Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Snow leopard vs Barn owl...

So you think: 'What do they have in common?" Well, nothing really but the girls had each to do an animal unit project and they chose these animals to research and make a 3-D diorama and today is the big finale... the oral presentation!

Proud as can be with their animal project, which daddy helped them construct it together, but all the ideas and pictures were from themselves. Daddy only helped to glue and fit it together....

Excited, nervous and proud of their end result the girls went to school this morning. Full of anticipation.... Of course I am off to school later to witness my beautiful little angels do their presentation!

Jasmine loves leopards and now the Snow Leopard is here favorite! The cotton balls are the snow...

Dirk and me were discussing these things the girls do at school, and both agreed that we at 7 were NOT doing such a big presentation already. We were still playing with Barbies and Lego.... kids these days have so much more on their plate! We didn't even have home work at lower elementary!

Juliet even found a real snake skin at KweKwe last week and added this to her project! Actually Jezz found it, but gave it to JJ to use... such a sisterly love!

The study and research included the following topics:
Description of the animal
Conservation of their animal

Big words for such a small children, but they nailed it and had a 6 full-page report about it. So now we all know so much about the Snow Leopard and the Barn Owl.... I am looking forward to the presentation later today, and I will add some more pictures to this post at the end of the day! So come back to see how they are doing at their presentation!

Have a good day!
What are you up to, anything as exciting as me :-)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Valentine's weekend in the Bush

You probably figured out that I have been away for a while or my internet service hasn't been working...

Well, we went away for the Valentine's weekend to KweKwe Farm in Limpopo. It was just magical!

The moment we arrived back home from the weekend I had to leave to do my biometrics for my green card in NYC, well the weather was completely opposite in both locations. While in Limpopo it was a sweltering heat with temperatures reaching 99F/37C it was freezing cold (32F/0C) in NYC and we even had another snowstorm while I was in Connecticut! For this trip I was gone from Sunday to Friday, so gone for quite a long time again. But let me tell you more about the fun Valentine's weekend.

Kwe Kwe is a 265 ha private game farm, set at the foot of a hill. It is ideal for walking, mountain biking, game viewing and birding, family and friendship groups. And since they don't have any predators at the game reserve, you can walk freely among giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, kudu, impala and waterbucks. That to me was the most special about this particular game reserve!!

Kwe Kwe has four self-catering lodges, that accommodates up to 8 people. We went with 5 adults and 6 children and just had a blast! Each house has its own swimming pool, game room and you can use bikes and pedal go-karts and just pedal away while the giraffes and other animals roam freely on the same path as you are!!

We had a very relaxing weekend, reading our books while the kids were swimming, playing on the hammock or pedaling away to find the giraffes, ostriches and other animals we had spotted on our path before.

This is Hornbill, our vacation home for the weekend. It has 4 bed/4 bath, a huge kitchen, swimming pool, game room and a big yard to play in.

The inside of the house, spacious enough to seat all 11 of us!

The kids went out with the go-pedal bike, a tough exercise, but very fun!

On the way the giraffes were on the same path as the kids were pedaling away, we spotted them in our car.

Biking in this heat makes you hot and red in the face, so the kids had to take a dip in the pool. From left to right: Juliet, Jasmine, Zahra, Colm, Sanaja, Maeve and Desmond.

The kids PLAYING with the hammock.

While the guys, Desmond, Scott and Dirk are relaxing in the shade and having a drink. There is not much more you can do in this heat!

Getting the braai (BBQ) ready for a dinner, in the back you see the game room with ping pong, pool table and darts. So fun!

And the last morning we had a delicious Valentine's breakfast with the whole group. Pancakes, fruit and yoghurt made by Kashmira! Yummy!!

I already planned my next trip to KweKwe. We will be having JJ and Jezz's Bday party here. A sleep-over in the Bush with a walking safari with a ranger. I can't wait to organise this, will be so exciting and fun. April 27th is their Bday, so it is coming up soon!!

This is the house we will be going to next, Warthog. As you can see it has an open terrace on the second floor on the right. We can transform that room to a big bedroom and all the kids can sleep there. Out in the open air, but still under a roof.

And this is the view from the terrace, isn't it amazing?! All the wild animals will roam freely under their bedroom, how exciting is that for a 8th Bday party?!

So KweKwe we will be back in April! It was a great Valentine's weekend, and we want to come back more often!!

Have a good week y'all! I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's weekend as well, tell me about it!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Shaka Zulu, a 2nd grade play.

Before the Xmas break the girls had both a role in the Shaka Zulu play they performed at school. They were so proud in their roles, they practiced every day for at least a week before. Juliet was a village girl and Jasmine was the mother of Shaka Zulu.

You probably all know the story of Shaka Zulu, the most influential leader of the Zulu Kingdom. If not, you can read here more about his life.

Most of the costumes they had at school already, since they do this play for years in the 2nd grade, but this year they had more students, so they needed more costumes. Me and another mother from school volenteered to make 4 new Shaka Zulu costumes. It was fun to work with the fabric and since I just had a few sewing lessons, I thought I could practice my skills a bit more. See the results below.

Juliet and her group reciting some introduction words.

Shaka Zulu played by Jojo, the costume I made... pretty good huh??

Juliet pretty serious into her role...

Another Shaka Zulu played by Callum, their were 2 groups who performed, so every child had a part.

Jasmine as the mother of Shaka Zulu, she is dying here and everybody is very sad, since she was a great influence on the King and his Kingdom.

Can you imagine all these proud mothers and fathers sitting in the audience watching their precious children perform this great play! We had so much fun watching!! And the children learned so much about SA history in a fun and creative way!

It is so great to live in this wonderful country for so many reasons!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Summer in Africa!

This weekend we finally had some great summer weather. It has been raining here so much the whole summer, that we haven't had one day out in the pool. But this weekend was different! So the girls were the whole weekend in the pool having fun with some floaties...

We also had some nice meals outdoors in the lapa and it felt for the first time that it was summer... and yes I know that most of you guys have snow storms and really cold weather, but if you are living in Africa and it is summer, and you can't even sit outdoors because the weather is so bad that sucks!!

On Friday evening we went out for dinner with friends and a movie. We went to SKIN.

It is one of the most moving stories to emerge from apartheid South Africa: Sandra Laing is a black child born in the 1950s to white Afrikaners, unaware of their black ancestry. Her parents are rural shopkeepers serving the local black community, who lovingly bring her up as their ‘white’ little girl. But at the age of ten, Sandra is driven out of white society. The film follows Sandra’s thirty-year journey from rejection to acceptance, betrayal to reconciliation, as she struggles to define her place in a changing world - and triumphs against all odds.

If you have a chance to see this movie, go and watch it! It is great, moving, sad, mesmerizing and based on a true story! And this is not only my opinion, it got many awards! A movie to watch with your teenagers and have a discussion about it afterwards!

This movie also made me wonder, how our daughters will feel later, although they live under different circumstances... still.. will they choose later a life partner who looks like them on the outside? Would they feel more comfortable with an Asian person, or and this is what I hope that it doesn't matter how the outside looks, as long as it is a good person on the inside! It makes it easier by living in a very international community and not like we did before in the suburbs of the USA where the population was 97% white.

Something to ponder about, but on the other hand something I can't really control and I wouldn't want to either!!

Have a great week y'all!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Star of the week!

Every child in Jasmine's class is the Star of the week once. This week it is Jasmine's turn. And she feels so proud! Normally she doesn't like it to be in the limelight or to be the center of attention, but in this form she can handle it because it is done in such a nice way that even the shyest kids are enjoying it!

So what they do is:
On Monday she brought 10 items from home that have some sort of meaning and talk with their classmates about it. She brought some items from Thailand, Holland and the US. So she had the opportunity to talk a bit about all the countries she has lived in. Then she brought some of her favorite toys as well.
Also she brought a collection of photographs from birth to now and she told the class what's happening in each picture.

On Tuesday she brought her favorite book (Jock of the bushveld) and the teacher read it to the class.

On Wednesday the teacher read a letter to the children that I wrote about Jasmine. Why she is so special to us. And that she is our star always!!

Today, Dirk and me went to her school and I made a special lunch for her, JJ and her friends (Pad Thai & Chicken Satay) and we shared this lunch in the cafeteria. So we were her lunch buddies!

But we also brought the 2 baby bunnies that we have and the class found this the greatest idea! They had so much fun touching and cuddling with the 2 bunnies. We also invited JJ to her class, since she doesn't have this Star of the Week thing, so she felt special as well :-)

Jasmine with Amarula.

Juliet with Lucky.

Tomorrow is the last day of her special week and she will be presented with a friendship poster created by her classmates. The poster will include the Star's picture, surrounded by compliments written by her classmates.

This is such a cute idea! I love this Star of the Week project, it will bring so much self esteem to all the children and they feel so special for a whole week!

I hope you have a special week too, tell me about it!!
Love, Mireille

Monday, February 1, 2010

Happy Birthday to me!

Yesterday it was my Birthday and also the second Anniversary of my blog... YEAH to both!!

We had a wild and crazy party on Saturday going on till Sunday morning around 3 am. Wow, what a crazy bunch was here, we danced on tables, drank so many shots and shooters that most of us 15 party animals had to recoup all Sunday before feeling human again ;-)

I don't think we ever went through so much alcohol on 1 night as Saturday, my friends can drink!! The only thing is when you reach a certain age, the drinking is not the problem, it is the feeling you have the next day that is so much worse than when you were 10 years younger!! Luckily I felt OK, a bit of a headache and tired the next day, but that was it... some of my friends felt worse though and were really sick.... that's what you get when you mix so much drinks and party too wild for your body's sake...

Here some pictures of those crazy but FUN friends who were at the party!

Dirk, the bartender giving Marta a drink.

Gustavo & Luciano.

Lane, Nadeem & Dele.

Maryam, Candice, Marta, Tehmina, Stella, Dunke, Hyun, Felicity and me.
The new Legal Aliens :-)

Toasting on my Bday.

Dancing and posing.

Dunke and me. That's how it all started with the 2 of us and a bus ride to Sophia Town...

Nadeem and the girls.

Dirk and the girls.

He likes it there!

This was all still before 12 o'clock... so not my Bday yet. Now it is getting wilder, need to wait for more pictures from my friends cameras, since I don't have much on my camera after this point.... to be continued!

It was such a grand party, we found a really great group of people to hang out with, and I know for sure there will be many more parties and get togethers with this crazy bunch out of all the corners of the world!! Thanks guys, for the fun party!! I hope you didn't feel too bad the next day... ;-)

Then another topic, my 2 year Anniversary of Funky Doodle Donkey!
Wow, I can't believe this is already going on for 2 years! I love to be part of the blogging world, meeting so many nice and interesting people this way and want to go on for many more years. I am thinking of changing the blog lay-out a bit this year, and taking the blogging to a new level... how I don't know yet, but I need to change a bit I feel...

I really appreciate your friendship and interest in my blog, my life, my ramblings....

Life is Good!


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