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Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Location: Perth, Australia

Well, that\'s three months in Perth and I\'ve loved every second from the moment I arrived and yet I can\'t believe the time has passed and its time to move on. Yes Vegas beckons but I am so sad to be leaving. So what makes it so special? The kids and staff at Mirrabooka have been simply amazing and I\'m going to miss every child and every member (well nearly every member) of staff and everyone of Noushins friends and family that she has introduced me too. Noushin and Niloufar go without saying. I\'ll miss the sun and warmth, the crickets at night, wearing shorts all the time, Noushin and Niloufar. The relaxed life style that is Western Australia. I\'ll also miss doing something different, work not associated with construction and enjoying it too. Who would have thought I could have taught? Certainly not me, I just hope the kids got as much out of it as I did.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Location: Perth - Swan Valley, Australia

Dear Diary,

Hope all of you taking time out to read this are well and hopefully enjoying some spring weather. Its Autumn here, but temp still in the high 20's.
School continues to be great fun and I'm still getting so much out of it. Wednesday was Harmony Day in Australia celebrating the many differnt cultures and nationalities, so many of the kids came in National Dress. Some countries represented were Iraq, Iran, Ehtiopia, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Angola, China, India, Pakistan, Afganistan, Bangladesh, Macadonia, Burma, Karen, NZ and Australia, pretty diverse.
A couple of things happened in class which require comment. one boy Ansul is from India, a migrants son he is 8yo and generally begins every sentance with "my dad..." Every friday they have a spelling test, taken very seriously and everyone has to be quiet, something Ansul finds very difficult.
Miss Shams: Question 1, "Sister" s.s.s.sister as in " I have one sister"
Ansul: (hand up in a flash) "I have two sisters"!!
Then there's Darshan, another Indian migrants son. He is seven, very clever, but like a lot of Indians does have problems with certain letters in our alphabet. He was reading to me, he is also very quiet.
Me: Ok Darshan, which book are you reading today?
Darshan: My dod dooes to training school.
Me: Its dog Darshan, d.o.g
Darshan: Dod, d.o.d
Me: No Darshan, its a g, as in growl (staying with dogs) g.g.g.g. growl.
Darshan: d.d.d.d.drowl.
Me: Darshan, watch my mouth and see how I form the letter. G
Darshan: D
Me: G
Darshan: D
Me: G
Darshan: D
Me: ok moving on, start reading Darshan.
Darshan: De dod was on de lead.
Send for the speach therapist!!

We also have a kindergarden and four kids had to go and see the headmaster for being naughty. After a dressing down, one of the children turned to her mates and said "shall we shoot him now?"

Me and the vols went on a wine tour yesterday along the Swan Valley, hope you like the photo's.


Monday, 22 February 2010

Location: Australia

I'm sorry the weather is still bad back home, so welcome to Perth where its hot and sunny!
I've been here a couple of weeks now so I thought I'd up date you with what has been happening.
I'm here with 11 other volunteers, mainly Brits but the odd Yank and a couple of Canadians, though we are all doing different programmes. I'm at Mirrabooka Primary school which is an Intensive English Centre mainly for refugees and migrants children but also caters for mainstream kids. I help Mrs Parry with PE and Drama and also Miss Shams with children aged between 7 and 9 with their English and Maths. I've made so many friends amongst the staff and the kids are just wonderful, I'm loving every minute of it.
There is quite a bit to do in Perth, the Swan River, lovely parks and only 15 minutes from the beach. I've also been to see Cricket at the WACA, a concert at the Perth International Arts Fair and to a beer festival.
I love it here so much I'm trying to extend my stay without it costing me too much money - might as well the sun is shining!
Hope everyone is well at home and that you like the photos.
Lots of Love

David x

Wednesday, 03 February 2010

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne is a lovely city, with a great climate and I've really enjoyed my stay here. I was here mainly for the tennis, but I've also been to the MCG, to the Ocean Road and on wine tours.

Shame a bout Murray, I watched the final in Garden Square which is the Aussie version of Henmans Hill, so there was a great atmosphere. I also had tickets for the quarter final between Tsonga and Djokovic.

And now its on to Perth.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Location: Sydney, Australia

Its good to back in Sydney and of course bland food!

Visited the usual places, SOH, the harbour bridge and Coogee Beach, but mainly just chilled around the Circular Quay and Botantical Gardens.

I did though go the second One Day Match between Australia and Pakistan at the SCG, where a rather pathetic Pakistan were hammered by the Aussies. I took advice from Twiz on who to support and suggested I couldn't support the cheating, ball tampering, gambling, drug taking visitors, so Australia it was then!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Location: Sri Lanka, Indian Subcontinent

Sorry I'm a bit late with this guys, but here is the entry for Sri Lanka. Had a fab time here, although by the end I'd had a bit too much curry, whatever happened to bland food!
The football coaching went very well and my thanks go to the Northumberland FA for supplying balls and kit. They certainly don't have a great deal, most kids play in barefeet and the pitches are more like car parks. Being the coach I am, I cleared the pitch before each session and its fair to say from the debris I removed you could build a small house! But the kids were great, always positive and the coaches want more of us to go out there, Robbo are you reading this? there current methods are a bit outdated.
It wasn't all work though, with Rhian and Steph I went to Kandy via an elephant orphanage and to the tea plantations. And also with the girls and Trevor we went to Unawatuna which was devastated by the tsunami and is a beautiful holiday resort on the south coast.
Next though, its back to an old friend and Sydney.

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Recent Messages

From Dawn, Martin & Domin
just to let you know we are following your blog! Pictures taken in Sri Lanka brought back memories of our trip many years ago. Would love to return one day and take Dominic. Stayed with Mally and Leslie over easter, must all get together when you eventually get back to blighty. Take care and enjoy!
Response: Hi Martin, Back in the Uk now after an amazing time, be in touch soon before I return to Aus!

Still loving the pics! Am wondering if you will be back in May or are you praying that the dangerous dust from Eyjafjalljokull is still spewing out so that you can stay a while longer ;) Hope your still having a great time. Kim and I were talking about another clan get together at the end of May so hopefully you will be home by then. See ya soon. Max, Mark n Tanya xxx
Response: Hi Guys and dog,
So bittersweet at the mo, really looking forward to Vegas, but will miss everything in Perth and i\'m v emotional about it all. Get together 2nd Bank Holiday weekend.
From Kim, Anthony & Kids
I think you'd better stick to the football - your obviously a crap english teacher!!!
Lots of love from us all xxx
It doesn't matter what I say, they don't understand anyway!

From Max
Hey, finally an update. I had only just suggested to Mark that mayb.e you were still sat in the Chinese Restaurant with loadsa women not realising that your birthday celebrations had finished!!! Glad to see your still having a good time and good to see that you have better kids than what we generally get in the UK lol! When are you due back by the way? Not that I am wanting to spoil your fun on your travels, but thinking of arranging another get together.

Take care, dont get too tanned - have some of our rain! Loadsa love Max n Mark xx
Response: You'll be pleased to know we had the worst storm for 15 years, but sun back out now!
Due back 12 May.
Love to you both
From Mark
Hi Bro I did text on the right day! Glad to see how much fun your having.
Love mark 7 Nicola x
Too Late, prompting was needed!!
From Kim
Well I was waiting for the correct day to send my message. It is a date stampted on my mind so I wouldn't forget!!! Therefore, happy birthday big brother, hope you are having a good one. I will also send a text just to prove it's the correct day!
Sounds like you are loving Perth, I can see why from the pictures. Take care of yourself. LOL Kim xxx
A little prompting never hurt anyone, think Mark must have read it too!

Thanks Kim XXX
From Max
Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear elder, youngest brother, happy birthday to you! And yes, I know its Thursday but bound to forget if I leave it until Wednesday to post! Pics of Perth are great - never been to Perth but heard lots of good stuff about there. Pleased your still having a good time. We're good, just cold!!! Take care and have a great birthday. Loadsa love Max xxx
Response: Thanks Max, I pleased that at least one of my siblings remembered!!
I've had a fab birthday with kids who all made me a card and sang Happy Birthday, I'm emotionally drained! Its 40 degrees today, 42 tomorrow so spare a thought for me!
Lots of love
David x
From mum
love you and miss you very much, so glad to hear your having a fantastic time lts of lve mum
Response: Thanks mum,
I've had a great Birthday with the kids today too, they all spoiled me!
Lots of love
David x
From Max
G'Day Sport!! Hows the trip going? Eagerly awaiting pics and news of Melbourne - having to suffice with Phil Downunder in the meantime and the only conclusion I came to from that is that if I had to dosh, we could have come and met up with you in Sydney for a few days. Ahh well. Hope your still having loadsa fun. Loadsa love Max n Mark xx
Response: Hi Max,

Err, I think you'll find there are pictures from Melbourne and area. Will post stuff from Perth at weekend.
Hope you and Mark are both well

David X
From Rosie
Hi David. Great to find out what you're up to, might have guessed you'd have a photo of you and a couple of girls ...! Keep us posted, it's cold and sleety here, (think we have the bum deal re the weather). Have a fab time, Rosie. xx
Response: You know what they say? a bird in the hand is worth two in a tea plantation!
From Max
Gday sport!! Great to hear that your having a good time but we wanna see more pics!!! Never did get your itinerary at christmas so think you need to leave a calendar posted here too!!! Dont get too tanned. Take care, loadsa love, Max xx
If you want to see more photos of Sydney, visit the Stuff of Dreams blog!!
From Kim
Hey big brother,
What is sunshine like? I can't remember. Looks and sounds like you're having plenty of fun and relaxation. Did you actually get in the water with the elephants? I'm soooooooo jealous. Take care of yourself. Love you. xxx
Response: Hi Kim,
No but you can if you wish! I'm having a great time thanks. Pls could you pass this link to Jon and Jerry.


Lots of love

David XX