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Published: September 7th 2010
Sexy future fashionistas
Ye Gods! We live! To appease your wrath for being such poor correspondents for the last couple of months, I'm just gunna launch right on in with a joke: What did Sushi A say to Sushi B? Wussa-bi?! Ha.
Jo here by the way. So, a quick recap - we left you (or perhaps you left us), way back in July, in Cardiff, with Spain scoring against Paraguay. We all know how THAT turned out. After a merry few days in Cardiff we jumped on a coach (aka a bus, in normal, non-UK terms) and wheeled our way to Nottingham, as the home of Robin Hood was to be our home for the next five weeks. Well, kinda. The wee town where our summer school was based was actually about 40 minutes out of Nottingham, in Long Eaton. Think Eketahuna populated by boy racers, and you have Long Eaton in a nutshell. Despite this, the school we were working/living at was an awesome, typically English boarding school, all red brick and green trees.
This suitably imposing arena was to become our little world for the next few weeks, while we worked our butts off teaching/entertaining/mothering/breast-feeding students aged between 9 and 18 from Mexico, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Turkey plus a few more. I have been tasked with the tricky job of bringing you all up to speed on our teaching adventures, a task which is none to easy - partly because we finished work about a month ago and my brain doesn't want to stretch back that far, but mainly because so much went on in those five weeks I just don't know where to begin.
This was definitely one of the most tiring jobs Drew and I have ever done (think boarding school on steriods - we were matrons, teachers, PE staff, entertainers, arty crafty leaders... the list goes on), but it was also undoubtedly one of the most fun and rewarding jobs ever. We were teaching for 3 hours every morning, then in the afternoon we (and the other staff, this wasn't just a two-man-band) would take and/or supervise the kids for sport, art and craft, dance, excursions to cities/theme parks/castles/the moon, or for outdoor adventures like windsurfing, ice-skating, cycling etc. No, I wasn't in charge of sport. No, Drew wasn't in charge of arts and crafts. Neither of us were in charge of dancing, windsurfing or ice-skating. This may be the UK but it's not another planet! Then at nights we would run discos, quizzes, games, mini olympics, karaoke etc etc. The kids were great, and had a ball. If you're worried for our social well-being you'll be pleased to know we made some new friends; the people that we worked with were absolutely awesome, we got on really well with them and had so much fun doing everything, possibly more fun than the kids. We're even going on holiday to Portugal with some of our new-found companions, but no doubt you'll hear about those shenanigans in a couple of weeks.
Our time in this pseudo-world (seriously, we only left the school grounds one day a week, and that was just to go to the supermarket for some supplies - we literally lived and breathed our jobs for five weeks) was so jam packed that you're going to have to live without the details, however I'll give you a few pertinent highlights, in no particular order: going to Alton Towers (a massive theme park (clearly this was Drew's highlight, not mine - I wouldn't have got further than the carpark)); a 'cluedo' evening (where we were the real-life characters and the kids had to work out who/what/where); learning and regularly performing dances to Waka Waka, Tik Tok, Wege Wege (a Portuguese dance hit) and other international anthems (we're regular Fred & Gingers now, if you're lucky we'll give you a demo one day); teaching (I wasn't bad, for a newby); a guided tour around a castle; Drew and 2 others performing their new hit rap single, 'Checkmate', on stage in front of 120 people (a rap about a costumed hero obsessed with chess and the downfall of electronic entertainment) - possibly the most hilarious thing I have ever heard (check itunes for the single, it drops next week). Drew surprised everyone (bar me, I've heard it all before) with his wit after taking the microphone one evening, and he became the resident MC - a job which he took very seriously, going as far as researching jokes on YouTube (honestly!).
Anyway, that about sums up our summer school experience in a nutshell. After five weeks of sleep-deprived hilarity, it was hugs all round and then off to our ever-gracious host, Kevin, in Hythe (Southampton) again to decide on the next plan of action. Wouldn't you know it, we worked so hard for five weeks that the day after we left we both came down with massively massive colds and were confined to bed for 10ish days of recuperation. I say 'confined to bed' loosely; we did manage to break the bounds of convalescence and spend some of our hard-earned money booking a three week holiday on the Greek Island of Crete, a trip that left a convenient 2 days after we recovered.
So now, my friends, we have come full circle, as I am writing to you from a state of utter relaxation in Crete, where we have been for 2 weeks already and have 1 more to go before we jet back to the UK for one night before flying to Portugal for a week in the sun with friends. Drew has requested the pleasure of describing our Cretan adventures, so no doubt you will be hearing from everyone's favourite rapping MC in a week (or two, let's be honest).
We didn't take many photos and we're not allowed to put any photos of the kids online, so I have confined myself to one slightly blurry pic of Drew and I at a 'future fashion show' evening. Aside from that, imagine what you will of our 5 week Nottingham adventure and wait patiently for snaps of super-sunny Greece.
Hope all is well back home, thinking of those in shaky Chch.
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