Published: December 13th 2009December 12th 2009
The journey is not quite over for Kornies5. We have decided to set up a more permanent sort of camp in Bellingen, NSW and have leased a house for a year. We have had a wonderful few months here; the kids love their time at Chrysalis Steiner School. It is quite a magical place set on the edge of a hill in a forest near Thora. The view from the classroom includes waterfalls, mountains, rivers…not a building anywhere to be seen. When I was visiting Sam’s class, he introduced me to “Snaky” a friendly tree snake that they have adopted and acknowledge each day as he rests on the top branch of his favourite tree.
Jojo has begun his Montessori pre-school, Adam has a job as Commercial Manager, Medical Lighting at Planet Lighting and I have been doing some casual teaching…so another year in this green, hot, flood prone, sub tropical paradise seems as if it was meant to be! That being said, we will complete our circuit in December and return to Melbourne for a few weeks (23 Dec-Jan 12) to catch up with friends, family and reunite Jojo with his beloved train set which will have to relocate
Sam's School Camp
Just about time to head home ...Sam had a ball and so did his dad as a parent helper
to Bellingen ( It was the only way we could get Jojo to agree to stay!)
Sam is becoming an expert hand knitter, long stitch extraordinaire and had a large speaking part in his school play last Wednesday. He loved his three day, two night camp with his class, especially the animal tracking and star gazing using a telescope on the beach. He won “The Korny who lasted longest without a haircut” award but has recently had his curls curtailed so that he could actually see!
Max is weaving his own pencil case, mastering his woodworking skills and was a leading musician in his class play. I survived without Max (just!) for 5 days while he headed with his class to The Gibraltar Ranges; hiking, swimming, orienteering, cooking and then returning in one piece to be washed, fed and put to bed for a day or so. Max seems to be attached, literally and metaphorically, to his guitar lately (but we did hide Sam's recorder after a while!)
Jojo has begun taking part in a gorgeous pre school, and is smitten by the nana like Rineke who lives a few doors down from us. He likes to
Creek outside our house starting to fill up!!!
walk to her house to visit on his own and makes sure that I am not following secretly behind. He is showing a surprising interest in National politics. During a recent discussion about the Liberal leadership challenge I was telling Adam that I was surprised that Hockey didn’t win. “After all he is of Rudd’s generation, personable, easy to relate to, warm cute and cuddly” to which Jojo responded, “Just like me Mama!” If he keeps on enjoying the delights of Bellingen Gelato Bar he might be right!
Our friends have helped us feel so welcome here. We enjoy Shabbat together each Friday night, preparing food together and marking the end of the week with joy, laughter and lots of kids running around! I have hit the garage sales filling Gull and Sacha’s storage up with beds, tables, couches, crockery etc to furnish the home we will be letting from January. Peter Blecher, you would be proud of my garage sale performance but Adam is still recovering from the regular Sunday night furniture pick ups from around town.
Adam is no longer Tom Hanks from Castaway. Both Max and Sam walked right passed him when he went to
The Devines are back...
The gang back together again for one night only...
pick them up, clean shaven with short hair, from the bus stop. He has returned to full time work, but instead of a 45 min drive to Laverton, he hops on his bike, crosses the Bellinger River and is in his office within 10 minutes.
I have worked with both classes six and eight at The Steiner School. Obviously, the forest setting introduces new challenges that will definitely add to my teaching repertoire. While I was teaching Class six, I heard a student yelp as she opened the teacher’s desk, looking for a pencil. A family of baby rats had decided to make this drawer their home. The students were not perturbed and many volunteered to remove them from the drawer and I gratefully accepted their offers of help. I probably should have zipped up by bag; however, as one daring rat jumped out of a boy’s hand and fell straight into my handbag. One lovely boy saw my face and quickly offered to take my bag outside “and deal with the rogue rat”. He emptied the entire contents of my bag onto the verandah and caught the rat…had a cuddle…then released him into the wild. This all
The Caravan was sold to a family in Vic and was finally collected in a tearful farewell on the back of a truck...
took place in the first hour of my first casual teaching job in Bellingen. It was amazing to see how at home these kids are in the natural world…I have so much to learn from them…but I don’t expect to be cuddling up to rats any time soon.
It is so wonderful ending our around Australia adventure with another journey that has already treated us to many rich and wonderful experiences. Both in Bellingen and around Australia, the best part of our year has been meeting and sharing our experiences with such wonderful people. What stands out for all of us is how incredibly generous, supportive and warm people are, when trekking around this country. It has helped us become a more open, optimistic and giving family. I hope we all stay in touch. Love Kornies5
There are more photos below