15.11.2010 - 21.11.2010 22 °C
It's hard to believe that another week has gone by - it was pretty quick and there's comparatively little to write about. However, as we know we're likely in the running to win the new Giller category - "Travel Blogs", we need to maintain the elevated prose that has made this blog space known the world over (well, at least in small parts of Ontario, Alberta, and BC). The past week was dominated by renewed vigour in the planning of our upcoming trip to New Zealand's South Island, where there is an overwhelming number of things to see and do. You'll read about all of that in a few weeks though - for now you'll need to get out all the slack you have and cut it for us as you read this brief recap of our past week.
The gripping part of the week really began on Tuesday, when Jenn travelled to Otumoetai College to observe how things are done in an English classroom at a different but also really large high school (2000 students) in Tauranga. She enjoyed seeing the co-ed school and reported that it felt much more like her school back in Canada, though she only saw 2 classes. Meanwhile, Tim began work on the 2010 edition of the Cronsberry Christmas Newsletter while simultaneously cooking up a batch of Coq au Vin. That night, Tim and Jack went to inline hockey and sweated away half their substantial body weight.
On Wednesday Tim discovered just how out-of-reach the printing of the Christmas Newsletter is going to be this year. While everything in New Zealand is more expensive than in Canada, printing is almost criminal! Hence a digital version of the newsletter this year. After everyone else finished their formal commitments at school, we all drove over to Mount Maunganui and did some souvenir/Christmas shopping.
Currently New Zealand teachers are involved in labour strife, which here involves "rostering home" a designated grade once a week. Since Year 9 students were "rostered home" on Thursday, this left Jenn with a little more flexible time, which meant that Jenn and Tim could go out for lunch for a change. So we did - to De Bier Haus. They have fantastic seafood chowder! That day was rounded out by the writing of Christmas cards and some wicked games of handball between Jenn and Jack. Here's a photo of that action:
The weekend was forecast to be a wet one, so we didn't really plan much. After making a banana cake in the morning, we all set off for the library, which turned out to be the busiest we had ever seen a library anywhere at any time. It was like a media scrum outside the parlimentary chambers! Later in the day, Tim and Jack walked down to Jack's school to throw around the boomerang and play some handball. The real treat came in the late afternoon when we took the banana cake and went for dinner to the house of Jenn's colleague Sharon and her husband Rick. As usual our hosts were fantastic, and we continued learning more about New Zealand through the visit. Bronte and Jack really hit it off with Sharon and Rick's kids too!
Finally it was Sunday. After Bronte and Jack made cupcakes, we headed down to "The Mount Bookworm", a used bookstore. There we traded in some of our previously enjoyed books and got new ones. We followed this up with a trip to Copenhagen Cones, but luckily we only needed to drive a bit further down the street rather than fly to Copenhagen itself. Friday night was the real last day of Bronte's underwater hockey - recall that last week it needed to be postponed because of excessive chlorine in the pool. Bronte had a great time as always. Here's a few photos from that event:
Believe it or not, that's it! We know, it's pretty tame without mention of volcanic activity. Next week will be much more exciting as we've already got a couple of outings planned. But you'll need to visit again next week for that.