That pesky thing called life is getting in the way of my blogging at the moment, but I’ll try today to incorporate a bit of one into the other in a way someone other than my mother might find interesting enough to follow through a couple of paragraphs.
Visual aides always help, so there will be photos, too.
First, I would like to thank everyone sending congratulatory messages and lovely thoughts in response to my Answers.com writing challenge win. All are much appreciated, and I’m very touched by how many people are dropping by to read Sweet Polska. I think I’m just about caught up on the emails, but if I’ve not responded yet please be patient.
We’ve been preparing for a big milestone that we hit today. This morning, Sam took his first step on the educational trail he’ll most likely be treading for the next thirteen or fourteen years: He’s now a student at The International School Seychelles.
This is where he will carry on learning all the way through A Levels, after which he’ll have to go abroad for university … a step Mark and I can’t stand the thought of, but know will be upon us about next week with the way time is flying.
It is a brand new Early Childhood Section building that saw today’s influx, so all of the kids were on equal footing as far as the facility goes, and that fact had Sam feeling quite comfortable. There were not only no tears, but a palpable excitement in him, and a confidence even his teacher, well occupied with attempts at organizing the part of the hoard that was to be her class, noted and commented upon amidst the throng.
The International School year actually began in September, but we kept Sam in the local school in our village, the gov’t school schedule runs January to December, for the extra months to finish the year with his friends. Not only were we putting off the commute … it takes at least 45 minutes to get into town where the International School is … we also feel it’s important that his Creole be good and rooted in his brain in hopes that the language will stick with him even when he isn’t speaking it as a matter of course throughout the day.
Because the completion of the new section of the school was scheduled for this month, a second intake has Sam starting at the same time as about a quarter of the total of young kids, with the rest returning, but to the new digs, after the Christmas break.
This was his first day wearing a school uniform, and, man-oh-man!, he is very cool in his. I don’t know how prepared he was to see all the other kids dressed the same, but he did seem to fit right in, and as time came to line up … oh! the ubiquitous lining up … he jumped right to it and started the queue.
He is so ready to learn, and expects to start that process today. (I’ve warned his teacher, explaining that he has all the Harry Potter books lined up to read and wants to get that show on the road! We tried to do the same when he started creche, as his thought then was that school was where he was going to learn about how the dinosaurs became extinct. He’s still miffed that that wasn’t part of the curriculum.)
The summary dismissal his father and I received as he headed up the line and led the class through the door … Watch out for wet paint! … had us both blinking back the tears that never fail to spring when we’re confronted with how much, and how quickly, our boy is growing up.
You’ll notice in the photos that ethnicity is not an issue here, and the mix at the International School is actually much more a fact than in the local schools. At the creche, Sam was one of only a handful of non-black kids, where at the new school all races are represented more evenly.
He is the only Cambodian-born child, and will be until his sister and the three other Cam-born kids in Seychelles start school, and very likely the only internationally adopted child … unless there is an adoptive family amongst the expats here on contract for a couple of years … as it appears he was the first in the country. His teacher and I will be working together to address these issues, but since the kids in the school come from so many different countries and backgrounds and religions and ethnic groups, the focus does tend to be more on the similarities, and I suspect he will have an easier time than transracially adopted kids in other parts of the world experience.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll post some photos, then go hug Cj … maybe tightly enough to keep her tiny just a little bit longer?
First day of school
Sam’s anxious to learn
The brand new school section
And just for fun, this cool rock at the beach we call … Ready for it? … Fish Rock. Like pirates, we’re not too good on thinking up names. (I have a brother named Larry … )