Trip Start Dec 10, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Spain  , Valencian Country,
Wednesday, July 1, 2009

June has passed us by in an absolute whirlwind!   Busy but fun, (met a wonderful couple Mike & Carrie, from Texas, here for a months holiday, awesome couple and really wish we'd been able  to spend some more time with them and their children before they left – next time definitely ….)  Also a very exciting month, as we finally received our container lot of household furniture from New Zealand….

 This in itself was a small feat, as we are finding about a lot of things here  - it’s just a bit more 'tricky’ when we are not residents of an E.U. country.  But nothing is impossible, and as we know, perseverance (and a few trees of paperwork later!) will win out in the end.  With a recent history of delays and checks at ports, and the normal buracracy our customs agent was surprised and delighted when we got our effects through without so much as a basic inspection  – so were we.    Boxes and boxes and boxes arrived, and as we ploughed our way through them it was like Christmas, especially for the children re-discovering all their toys (and some Weet-bix that Nana had packed).  However, re-discovering your clothes, and fashion past, does not quite hold the same magic. 

Another significant event, in the re-settling stage, was that, the children received their residency.  They are now official foreign residents of Spain, for a period of 5 years, at which point they could then apply for Spanish residency/passports etc, which of course would make them residents of the E.U. (for life I believe, although, rules change very fast in this country).  At any rate, they  and Gary and here legally,  I, on the other hand, are still waiting for my residency as we still wait for the British and the Spanish to agree on some wording in the matrimonial document.   I take small comfort in the fact, that I’m an ‘illegal’ resident, along with thousands of others in the exact same position.   

Amongst other ‘exciting’ event s in the Foreman household this month were the birthday boys.   Trent turned 8 and celebrated with a few classmates at 10 pin bowling, and a pool party.  Brad turned 5, and although that is not a significant event in Spain (they start school when they’re 6), it is normal for us to have a reasonable size celebration.  So, complete with bouncy castle, treasure hunt and lots of swimming, it was a 5th birthday kiwi style.   I do have to add here, that even though our bakery lady is really nice (and very patient with my limited Spanish), by the time, we’d ordered 4 birthday cakes for the week – one each for the home celebrations, and one each for the boys class, I was glad I wasn’t going to be seeing her again for a little while.

Talking of celebrations, we are of course in Spain, and every week there is a celebration of some sort or other.   Earlier in the month, Tara was dancing, (with her dance school) in the food and cultural festival in Javea.   I went along, in the position of ‘mother’, to dress and see my child perform, but vowed I would come back as ‘customer’ in the next year, as the food, from many nations were on offer.   Everything from the mouth-watering apple strudels and blueberry pies, to the authentic  Indonesian satays, and of course German beers and many wines.    It was a fantastic celebration over 4 days, with only the food and drink for sale; all the shows (professional), were free of charge, and the atmosphere was relaxing and just a genuine, happy, contagious buzz… (for want of a better description).

Other fiestas we were privileged to see this month, was the ‘Moors and Christian’ Festival and Parade that take place in the towns.  We opted to see the Moraira parade , which literally went for 2 (maybe even 3) hours!  The costumes were exquisite!!  The detailing was incredible.   This is a festival that portrays the history of the battle between the Moors and the Christians hundreds of years ago, but like everything  in this country, drenched in history,  it has now turned into a festival and an event to be celebrated.   And when it comes to the preparation, there is no compromise.   It really was a first-class parade.  I’ve no doubt though, the reality of the bloody wars is quite a different story.    

Also, in Moriara, only a week or so before, we enjoyed the free Music Festival, which brought in acts from the surrounding areas, including jazz musicians, solo singers, bands and a couple of numbers from the Benitachell Arts Centre that our son Harrison belongs to – another chance for him to enjoy the limelight.    

We’re very proud of all our children, and how they have settled, seemingly quite easily, into school and their various activities.  Tara, in high school, and only having completed 6 months of her first year, (remembering their year starts in Sept),  has been given a pass mark by all her teachers, which will see her starting her second year of high school in September.   We cannot speak highly enough, of the integration programme for foreigners, that is in place in the Benissa secondary school.  Obviously, we cannot comment on other schools, but having personally met with 4 out of her 6 teachers, we feel that she (and we) have been truly blessed with an amazing (somewhat young and modern) tutorial team, who have strived to see her complete her studies, and have gone out of their way to ensure she has sufficient understanding and capability to pass her exams.

With summer officially here, the schools have finished, and in fact the primary finished at 1.00pm all this month until their ‘break-up’ party 3rd week of June.   Admittedly, the weather certainly warmed up this month, and with such a long lunch-break (2.5 hours), out in the sun, it would definitely have been very difficult for anybody, let alone the younger ones, to be out at that time of the day  – hence the schools decision to finish early.   

For the preceding 2 months, they were practicing for the finale evening with dance and song numbers to perform in front of the parents.  When I look back, I think this was the evening that impressed me the most out of everything we’d privileged to see this month (although I do have to mention here, I very much enjoyed an outing at the local cultural centre where the school put on a drama involving the school children, including some of my friends children, all in the Valenciano language, and it/they were amazing!)   Back to the finale evening at the school – this really showed me again, how much work the teachers and staff put into these children.  And, how genuinely caring and openly affectionate they are with their young students, something which I believe we are ‘scared’ to do, these days, in some countries.   Anyway, I have to say, the costumes were great, and all the kids from 4 years to 12 years had a fantastic time.    After the show, the children enjoyed the mini- fair which was set up for them, including go-karts, bungy-jumping, slides, bouncy castles, carnival games etc…. while the parents (in the next court), enjoyed some snacks and drinks …   all put on by the school.  Because of the time (it was around 9.30pm by this stage), families brought their own dinner as well.   They really know how to eat in this country!

It was a lively, social, family time  …… a night enjoyed by everyone,  despite the age, race or nationality ……  Right there, is one of the very reasons we have chosen to live in this country, and to show our children, by action, rather than words, that family life, and enjoyment of such, spans the generations.    

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amberd on

Hi All,
Wow, its been a while since I have had a good look at the blogs, and it looks like you have all settled in great. I cant beleive how long it has been already, all you kids look so grown up, 8 already trent, gosh!!! You all look lovley. xxox Love Amber

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