yes – for those of you wondering – Susan’s parents are in fact here. They have been for most of June now. It’s 6.00 and I’m about to drive them to the bus station to catch their airport shuttle so they can head back to Canada. We have had a great visit – and we are incredibly blessed to have family that are willing and able to come and visit us here. One of the hardest things about living so far from family is looking up one generation and feeling like you are taking away their grandchildren, and looking at your own kids and feeling like you are taking away their grandparents. We have been very blessed that my mom was here when Alma was born, and now Susan’s parents have both got to meet her.
I know I have basically posted nothing during the past couple of weeks – so here are some pictures of a hike we took when they first got here – with more updates of our other adventures shortly.
Who says you need to go to the states to get a real American experience? Well, I do for one.
But for a fairly reasonable facsimile thereof, you have the “American Village” camps to teach French children English as a Foreign Language.
And- if you are like Jonah – you can have a week where you go from being the kid who is always struggling to understand as well as the others – to being the kid who totally understands, and others ask for help.
Seeing as I’m the token Dad-without-a-real-job, I could arrange my schedule so that I could be one of the parents along on the trip. It actually worked out pretty well – as I had a fair amount of uninterrupted time to work while I was there.
It was a good week. It’s good to be able to see your kids interact with their classmates, and I feel I got to see a side of Jonah that I don’t always get to see.
Last week we decided to head down into the city and spend the day there as a family. So since getting there is always half the fun – we rode the tram downtown – which is something that never seems to loose its novelty for our kids
We hadn’t decided exactly what to do (museum etc.) but we settled on eating lunch out somewhere. Since we don’t tend to eat out a whole lot – this is a bigger deal that one might imagine -and with 4 kids in tow – it seems like most things we do are now a bigger deal than one might imagine.
We settled on a Lebanese place on a quiet pedestrian street in centre-ville.
The owner / chef came out and gave us royal treatment. He helped us choose what to eat -then started bringing out plate after plate of food. Then some more plates of food. Then some more.
He also insisted that the women (Susan and Matea) be fed their first bite from his hand. I’m still not sure if that’s some sort of tradition – or if the guy was just a bit of a creep – either way we write it of as a ‘cultural experience.’
The kids loved it – and they were pretty excited (their first time eating most of the things that we had)
Including the grape-leaf wrapped somethings (below) and a whole bunch of other things.
We stopped in one of the big parks downtown to play for a bit- then headed home.
It was a fantastic day. We were on our way home and were actually kind of shocked how much fun we can have with just the six of us (wow – I actually just said “just the 6 of us” – huh). We are blessed with fantastic kids. They are healthy and happy, and adventuresome and are really trying to take advantage of our time here. Really couldn’t ask for much more than that.
I was just out running this morning in the middle of the French countryside (a couple hundred km’s from home – so I have no idea what’s around me) – I had run about 8km and figured I was probably heading back towards where I wanted to be, but I had been on a fairly random combination of hiking paths, roads, and farmers fields so I wasn’t really sure.
Then I saw this – and figured I was indeed on the trail that I should be on.