Sunday, August 30, 2009

Masai and the mystery of the appearing ants.

I have a new ant situation. Every evening, under my wash basin, lie corpses of dead ants. Nobody has sprayed them. There are no live ants around. So, where are these ants coming from? Every day, my housekeeper dutifully sweeps up the ants. When I get home from school, there aren't any dead ants. But, when I go to bed at night and wake up each morning, there are piles of dead ants. The ants have to be coming from somewhere, right? Something has to be killing them. I don't really believe that in the evening when Siobhan and I eat dinner, live ants are marching the corpses of their brothers up the stairs to my bathroom to try and make me feel guilty about the murders I committed a couple of weeks ago. Ants don't do that sort of thing, do they? And so I bring you, the mystery of the appearing ants. Maybe the series of CSI New York I watch every night is starting to affect me.

This week I took my class on a field trip to a Masai Village. I spent a good couple of hours typing it up on my portable hard drive, but for some reason blogger won't let me paste it on here like I've always done. So, I wrote a hub about my visit to the Masai. You can read about it here. I'll be putting the photos from the trip on Facebook as well, although at the moment, it is virtually impossible to upload photos anywhere. I'm not sure if it's internet speed or the bandwidth. It just takes forever. Maybe I must try and make my photos smaller files.

We went to a BBQ Friday evening, and another at the TPC sugar plantation Saturday afternoon. Both times I took sausages, now I have orders up the ying yang. The supermarket in town, Aleems, where I buy my groceries stocks boerewors which he buys in from Kenya at double what I'd sell it for. Now he ants me to supply his shop. He'll even do all the packaging for me, which was my headache part in China. The making of the sausages was simple. The packing of it was time-consuming. However, people have been saying they want to buy directly from me and not Aleems. I have to say, the new electric Kenwood sausage maker I have is so fast, it's only the thorough washing of the meat I have to do beforehand which takes the time!

Tony celebrated his 18th birthday on Friday. His first birthday without me being present. I think it was probably harder for me than for him. Siobhan is flat out busy with schoolwork and babysitting. She charges 10 000 shillings for her services, which is roughly US$10. I've told her to save it for our Christmas holiday. We're going to go to Pangani which is on the coast of Tanzania, just a few hours drive away, and then after a week of lying in the sun, take a dhow across to Zanzibar. A few days in Stone Town, then we're taking a ferry across to Pemba Island, which is a remote island off the coast of Zanzibar. A week lying in the sun there, and then back to Pangani, pick up my car and back home. We have a 4 week Christmas break which is rather nice.

Hopefully, this coming week I'll get my internet at home. I ambled down to the lady at the office on Friday to ask what was happening with my internet, which I was promised over a week ago. She said that after they installed my landline, which was supposed to have been done the same time as the internet, they lost my form. So, she smiled, telling me that I obviously had to fill in a new form. "When were you going to tell me that they'd lost my form?" I asked, trying to keep the impatience out of my voice. "I was waiting for the next time you walked down to my office." I just smiled, it was pointless giving a reply and perhaps explaining that it might be weeks before I next walked down to her office.

Which brings me to our three days without power at home. The electricity supplier has decided that we must all get prepay electricity boxes. Imported from South Africa. However, when they installed them, they only put a little bit of power on, to last us until the next morning, then we have to put more money on the card and recharge the electricity unit. However, when they installed the new prepay boxes, they hadn't yet got round to making the new cards. And, there was no way to put more power into your box without the card. Luckily, it only took them two days to make the cards. The school put on 30 000 shillings to give us a start, and picked up our cards for us. Unfortunately, they didn't indicate which card was mine and which one was the next door neighbour's. I gave both cards to our gardener who had come to school, concerned that there was still no power and he couldn't pump water up to our tank, and asked him to give them to the housekeeper who had access to both properties. Unfortunately, she didn't check the numbers to the meter, so the cards didn't work. She left the card on my table, and obviously, my card on the neighbour's table. Siobhan and I sat in the dark waiting for the neighbour to arrive home after seven, so that we could swop cards and get our power connected. We were determined not to light candles another night.

Other than stomach cramps and a touch of what I suspect is amoebic dysentery, as everybody has been hit by that, I'm okay. Siobhan has been battling a cold and tonsilitis since before we left Cape Town. I keep telling her to go to the nurse at school, but hanging out with friends is more important. Today her throat is so sore and I can see her tonsils are swollen, so think she has reached the antibiotic stage. Hopefully, she'll go and get it sorted tomorrow. Okay, have some homework sheets I need to get organised. Have a great week!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back to the sausages!

This is definitely my kind of life. You don’t have to dress up here and totter around on stilettos and wear make-up plastered all over your face. The dust will destroy any look you are trying to go for, would stick to the make-up and stilettos will cause you to break a neck walking on the uneven dirt roads. So here, you dress for comfort which is what I’ve always done. It always seemed so out of place in societies where women dress up to the nines and are all out to impress. Me, I could never be bothered to impress anyone. This is me. Take it or leave it. But, when I went to Arusha this weekend, I didn’t only buy an electric mincer/sausage machine. I also bought a handy dandy mirror on a stand. Having no mirror in the house, I had resorted to brushing my hair in the morning by looking at my shadow on the wall. I figured out, if I turned the light on and stared at my shadow on the wall, I could easily see any stray tufts of hair sticking up in strange places at odd angles.
Back to my electric mincer. What an absolute pleasure, so much easier than a hand machine. I still have a big box of sausage casings I bought in China, that went by ship to Cape Town and then flew via KLM to Moshi, Tanzania. I think my sausage skins have travelled more than a lot of people in the world. Bright and early this morning, hardly able to contain my excitement, I headed to the market area on the Dar es salaam road, to track down some pork. I bought a little guide yesterday of Swahili phrases, and practised before hand how to ask for pork. Nyama ya nguruwe. I can do beef and goat as well in Swahili. As most of the little supermarkets in town are owned by Indians, none of them stock pork, and I really needed pork for my sausages. I found the area where they sold the meat. Nothing like most people had ever seen before. Tiny little dark rooms with a serving hatch, door and dead carcass hanging from a hook. No refrigeration at all, just blood splattered floors and walls from long ago kills, and a big wooden tree stump as the chopping board. No meat saws or sharp knives. No aprons or hair covered by a hat. Just a man with a machete, which he wielded with frightening force, splintering bone and sending shards of it in many different directions. I looked at the scene before me and debated whether or not to go ahead and buy the meat. People were queuing up to buy meat. They all looked healthy, so I thought, yeah, let’s give it a go. Be a risk-taker. I ordered 3 kg of pork and asked for it to be without bone, and used sign language and sound effects to explain that I was going to use it to make sausages. No problem, he slashed at the carcass with the machete, chopping it cleanly in half, the bottom half falling on the floor marked with year-old blood stains, and thankfully took down the remaining part still attached to the meat hook for me, which he chopped a huge chunk of boneless meat from. The scale was the old one with weights. I’m sure I’d seen one like that in a museum before. I first asked for mutton and he said I had to buy it from the butchery in town. Very pricey they are, as the mutton is imported from Kenya. He asked if goat would do and I said sure. So, he directed me to another stall that sold only goat meat. Same procedure there, and that guy directed me to another stall that sold beef. I was pleased I’d worn my trainers as I trudged up and down rocky sandy paths.
You’ll be pleased to note that I washed the meat thoroughly and got rid of all the bone fragments and other strange bits, before I minced it, added the boerewors spice and stuffed the casings. Siobhan and I had a BBQ and cooked a small piece of beef, pork and goat steak I’d put aside, as well as my boerewors sausage which was freshly made with all three kinds of meat in it. It was delicious, one of the best I’ve ever made. It’s now four hours later and we still feel healthy, so obviously the meat was okay. Will see how we are in the morning, before I offer any to other people.
We had a bit of an alien invasion on Wednesday night. Siobhan went to her room and there were all these brown things hanging down from her window sill. Closer inspection showed that it was made of sand and white eggs, and fat worms were moving around, waving themselves like tentacles. Very creepy. It definitely looked like a scene from one of the alien movies. I took photos and showed the maintenance guy at school who thought they were some kind of termite trying to set up a colony, which means they must already be living in the wall. Our bedrooms are on the second floor, so tunnelling inside the wall was the only way they could have brought the sand up. Paulo, the maintenance man drilled little holes in the window sill and went crazy with the spray, resulting in Siobhan and I both waking up with chronic hay fever at 4am! I told him he should have put us up in a hotel, and he replied that the inside spray was only poisonous to the insects. The outside poison he’d used was the one very toxic for humans. Charming.
Saturday, I also bought more veggie seeds. We ate some home-grown spinach last week and again tonight and I’m really getting into this home-grown organic vegetable way of life. I’m beginning to feel like a farmer, and I love it! Had a bath this morning to scrub my feet. Unbelievable how filthy they were. Showers don’t clean them properly, especially when you have a shower like ours that gives a slow trickle of about 10 drops a time! We had no power Thursday and Friday night, so no hot water. Power cuts are a way of life here and you get used to it. We have candles handy, and I bought a flashlight in Arusha so that I can find my way to the front door if I get home and there’s no power. Nearly broke my ankle the other night as didn’t see a rock and completely missed the step. Life is definitely never boring.
Finally had my car fixed. It was doing this annoying thing of not starting reliably and sometimes being dead that you couldn’t start it at all. My guess was the starter motor which proved to be right and luckily just needed minor repairs. However, now that that is sorted, I’m struggling a bit to get the car going in the mornings. The engine turns no problems, but it seems to be struggling to make a spark. Eventually, after about 10 minutes if takes. So now I’m thinking, probably the points. Think the gap isn’t right. The poor gardener, Kabelo, washes my car several times a week but it is all in vain. I live down a very bumpy dusty road, and the minute I drive 10m from my gate, the car is already covered in fine red dust.
I’m really loving working at the school, it’s very laid-back and the kids are great. The management here are terrific. The internet is a bit sporadic, and I’m waiting to ‘hopefully’ get internet at home the coming week. The guy who installs things is in no rush, and I might have to fetch him from town. Did I tell you that we live just out of town in the supposedly upmarket area called Shanty Town? Haven’t seen any shanties, so not sure why it’s called that! Oh, and even the local little supermarket down the road has a huge selection of South African wines and bottles of apple cider, so I am in my element! Friday night I went to an Aloha Party run by the student PE teachers from Ireland. I went with the intention of showing my face and staying for half an hour tops, as I needed to be up bright and early to drive the hour and a half to Arusha the next morning. Big mistake. They persuaded me to try their punch which was delicious but lethal. More alcohol in there than anything else. So I tried the sangria which was even better, but made the mistake of eating the fruit. Five big plastic cups of sangria and one of the punch, and I regretted not sticking to coke all the way to Arusha the next day when I drove with a pounding hangover.
Anyway, definitely time for bed. Catchya later, luv you guys!
Love, Cindy xxx

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The march of the army ants

First week of school over, and it’s been great. Some of the new teachers are still struggling to adjust to life in Africa, and they will get there in time. I can already see how they are changing, and beginning to understand that time is not a factor in life here. When the curtain lady says she’ll come measure your curtains at 3pm tomorrow, it might be at 3pm 3 tomorrows away. When the internet man says he’ll be at your house at a certain time on a certain day, it might be that time, that day but the following week. It’s amazing, I’ve lived out of Africa for 10 years, but have quickly adjusted back into African time. If you wait for things to happen, you might have to wait a long time, better to just make them happen yourself.
Last week we went to Arusha which is only about 70km away, to the other campus to meet our counterparts and do some planning. The trucks on the road move at a snail’s pace, and they have all these speed bumps, some quite huge, that even with a 4x4 you have to slow down and crawl over, so it took us over 2 hours to get there. It was much faster coming back, as there weren’t so many trucks. Arusha has far more shops, lots of restaurants, a South African Shoprite supermarket, and I suppose is a little like Shanghai compared to Nanjing. It’s going to be great to go there for a weekend, but I’m pleased I don’t stay there as I’d probably spend a fortune. When one of the American teachers was commenting on how much better Arusha was, so much more civilised, I said that I’m pleased that I live in Moshi as I have something to look forward to each month – a weekend in Arusha. If you live in Arusha, then what do you have to look forward to? Actually, Moshi is not too bad. It’s much smaller, but you can basically get anything you need here, more so than in China. Especially the western foods. So for me in that respect, it’s not a hardship post, as everything is available.
What does make it tough, however, is the lack of internet at home. Yeah, yeah, I’m still waiting for them to come and sort it out. I have a landline but it’s not connected, so it just means someone coming and flicking a switch or something like that. The school has internet only in the staff workroom and it’s so slow, a carrier pigeon will probably reach its destination faster than an email. As most of us are still waiting for the internet at home, it’s not always possible to get on the internet at school as there’s often a queue. So, for those emailing me requesting for personal emails on top of my blog, unfortunately it’s not going to happen until I eventually get internet at home.
Then of course, I have the ants. Large army ant types. The ones that march up your stairs to find a new home in your bathroom. Last Friday afternoon, when I got back from Arusha, my gardener, Kabelo, was waiting for me. “Little dog, little dog,” he said frantically, pulling my arm to follow him behind the house. I immediately thought that someone’s dog had escaped and he’d tied it up in my back yard. Unfortunately, it was not a dog, but a writhing mass of black army ants. “Spray all gone, spray all gone,” Kabelo said waving his arms wildly, “In bathroom, in bathroom!” This was my welcome back from Arusha. Streams of ants, carrying their eggs, all marching up my stairs to make a new nest in my bathroom. I quickly nipped down to the local supermarket a 3 minute drive away, and bought some cans of insect spray, went home and indulged in a spray frenzy, which has given me hayfever. I thought I killed them all. However, Thursday I went to the toilet and happened to glance at the wash basin, which looked like it was covered in black fur. It was totally covered in heaving ants, so that you couldn’t even see the white of the basin. I pulled out a can of spray and completely annihilated the enemy. When I managed to wash most of their dead lifeless bodies down the plug-hole, I noticed that they had succeeded in making their nest in the hole above the plug in the porcelain, so they were actually living inside the washbasin! Persistent little blighters! I sprayed directly into the hole, and like the serial killer that I was, watched them come out of the hole to die. I thought that was that. Ant problem sorted. Last night, Siobhan went into the bathroom, to find the wash basin looking like it was covered in black fur. More ants, more spary. Hope this will be the last for a while. Murder is not really my thing. Although I have absolutely loved watching Bones second series every night. I think it’s better than CSI, and I was devastated when I finished the last episode last night.
Although you can find places selling the pirate Chinese dvds here, you can’t buy the whole series like I did. I think I’ll be starting on Women’s murder Club series next. We still don’t have a TV. I’m not in a rush to get one either. We brought so many movies and TV series over from China, ones I bought ages ago, wanted to watch and never got round to watching, that I first want to catch up on those movies. The PYP Coordinator is from Fiji and a rugby fanatic like myself, so we watch all the rugby together at her house, making bowls of popcorn, and chomping them nervously as we shout at the players on the screen. As if they can really hear us!
There’s a great restaurant in the street next to us called El Rancho. Although the name seems to suggest that they sell Mexican food, they don’t. Strictly Indian, but the most delicious Indian food ever. Siobhan had two girls staying over last night, so we went there. Our 4th visit in two weeks. She’s settled in so well here and appears to be loving it. Usually such a girl when it comes to insects and creepy crawlies, she’s not fussed by the ants, just picks up the can of spray and lets them have it. I have a feeling her American twang is soon going to change to a Princess Diana accent, as her best friend here, who’s mum is with the UN, sounds very Princess Dianaish. The school is putting on a whole school production – Early Childhood to Grade12 diploma, of the musical Cats. It’ll be in the beginning of December, so while I see heaps of work ahead, Siobhan is very excited. She’s practising a few songs for the audition on Wednesday.
Tried to make some sausages yesterday with some beef mince I bought with a little hand machine, but it was quite hard work. It really does need a little bit of pork mince to work properly. Whereas in China, beef was expensive and hard to come by, here it is pork. I still haven’t found pork. Beef is so cheap. 1 kg Beef fillet costs $9. I saw an electric sausage machine in Arusha which I think I’m going to buy. We get a good discount because the owner has kids in our school. I already have people asking me for sausages, and the butchery in Moshi, where I bought my fillet, asked me if I can bring in samples of my sausages as she’d read in my biography on the school website that I make sausages as a hobby. Of course, my scale, vacuum sealer and bags are all in the box sitting in storage that I didn’t send, as the shippers had covered up the M for Moshi with packing tape! I’m still trying to figure out what to do about that, as I am missing the boxes with our linen, summer clothes and kitchen stuff. Oh well, seeing as we’re only going back there next year December, will probably just have to start from scratch again.
I bought a barbecue grid in Arusha and am going to build myself a block barbecue in my back garden. Eventually, I want to build a lapa as well, as it’ll be lovely sitting outside in the garden. I can’t believe how fertile the soil is here. Spinach we planted two weeks ago is already so big! It’s hard to understand how people are starving here, when the soil is so fertile. I think though, that maybe it is just the area where we are. I’m not sure. But everywhere there is an abundance of avocado trees, and the locals don’t eat them! Gosh, if I think how much they charged for a puny little avocado in Nanjing! Here, they virtually give them away as they say it’s animal food. I think that avocado has far more nutritional value than corn, which is a staple here, but I don’t know if that’s true. Just my opinion.
The kids in my class are lovely, and come from the UK, US, Netherlands, India, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Kenya and Ghana. The team I’m working with are very collaborative and lots of fun. Despite internet and ant woes, this has been a good move for us, and I can see why people stay here for years. It’s such a pity Tony has already finished school, as he would have thrived in this sort of set-up. I get one sentence emails from him every few days. The last one saying, “Momsy, am officially out of money, think I did well lasting 2 and a half weeks on R500, so feel proud.” No love Tony or anything. He’s working at The Peninsula Hotel in Sea Point which is 4 or 5 star, and very busy. He’s in the kitchen, and has been doing a few 20 hour shifts, so that’s probably why his money lasted as long as it did. He was too busy working to spend any! He doesn’t get paid for his work though, it’s all part of his training. He just has a few more weeks to go, then he has a two week break, then he starts a ten week theory block. This is definitely making him grow up quickly. He’s met the US rugby team and Springboks, all who stayed at the hotel and he cooked their eggs for breakfast, and one of the Springboks gave him a rugby shirt which he was delighted about.
Have a great week! I’m going to get dressed now, head off to school and hopefully get onto a computer to send this, after which I’m going out exploring with some fellow teachers, checking out some of the markets. Which reminds me. Had better study the town map. For a small town, it’s easy to get lost. As we discovered last weekend when my gas ran out and I had to try and find the gas shop. Thank goodness I have a 4x4, as the roads are well, not really roads! And the view of Mount Kili from Moshi – magical. That old mountain rises above the clouds so majestically, it’s breathtaking.
Luvya all!
Cindy xxx

Monday, August 3, 2009

Lost luggage, again!

The last few days in South Africa were hectic! The awesome family lunch at Quay 4 on the Waterfront on the Sunday, then Monday and Tuesday trying to get the Hermanus Rainbow Trust website done on Siobhan's macbook. After all the time and effort put into creating the website in iweb, the host guy couldn't figure out how to upload a mac website onto a non-mac server. Of course, we couldn't help him either. And, to make matters worse, the silly man had deleted completely the existing website, so now there was nothing. A void, an empty space. A, "This page has permanently vanished" message. No possible bloody way could I leave my Mom without a website, so we managed to upoad Wordpress onto the server, and I started making her a Wordpress website, just so she has something there. Worked until late Tuesday night, then got up at 5am to continue on the Wednesday, as we were supposed to be leaving Hermanus at 10am the latest. I wanted to do a little shopping first, and hadn't even packed our bags yet. Well, only finished the website at about 10am and then had to pack. Trying to pack a lot into a little is something I have perfected over the years. I managed to pack one big suitcase, two big backpacks, two draggy carry on bags and one gym bag. For us, that was hardly anything. We were no sooner getting ready to go out the door, when my Mom's housekeeper came running out with a pile of freshly ironed washing that we'd forgotten to take. I had to try and stuff it into the hand luggage, which proved to be a big blessing.

I had contacted South African Airways previously, to query why we had 20kg each from Cape Town to Johannesburg, and 30kg each from then on. The lady on the phone was very unobliging, and advised me to go on a wild shopping spree at the duty free in Johannesburg to make up our weight allowance. Fat lot of help that was. But, when we arrived at Cape Town International at 4.30am, the check-in man looked so tired and bored, he'd obviously pulled an all-nighter, and checked in our big suitcase and the biggest backpack. I had the one I usually carried on my back, and Siobhan hiding around the corner with the two carry on suitcases and sports bag. The check in man never asked about hand luggage or said how much our two big bags weighed, as I was worried they were over the 40kg we had between the two of us. The flight to Johannesburg was uneventful and we managed to get away with our heavily-laden hand luggage which was way over the 7kg we were each allowed. When we arrived in Joburg, we went to the baggage collection - our bags weren't there! I went to advise them at the lost luggage office, but then they looked at our baggage slips and said that they'd been put in to fly direct to Kilimanjaro with us. I did think that this was a bit strange as we were changing from the domestic to international terminal and still had to check in for our international flight, but stupidly, didn't take it further. When we checked in, the check in guy there asked us for our luggage and we checked in ALL our hand luggage with the exception of Siobhan's school backpack and our laptops! It was only 37kg! Which of course means, that we were very lucky to get away with carrying 37kg of hand luggage on the plane when we were only allowed 14kg! Never have we traveled with so little hand luggage. Both Siobhan and I had no idea what to do with our hands. The plane was delayed 45minutes, which meant that we didn't have much time to make our connecting flight in Nairobi.

The plane was so empty, Siobhan and I each had three seats to ourselves, so could really spread out, relax and watch the onboard movies. The Air Kenya plane was old and the fittings onboard really showed the age, but it was a pleasant enough flight, even though the pilot had problems with take-off and landing. His take-off was a little hair-raising and definitely reminded me of why I hate flying. It is such a long way to fall if something goes wrong. We arrived in Nairobi and it was all confusing, we weren't sure what we were supposed to do, or where we had to go. Eventually, we found that we had to head to the gate next to the gate we'd come in through. Twenty minutes after arriving, we were boarding Precision Air to Kilimanjaro. Siobhan was very concerned when she saw our little plane had propellers on the wings! They looked more like lawnmower blades! The plane was full and I wondered how they'd fit in our total of 77kg of luggage on such a small plane. There was no room on board for hand luggage and I was relieved that we didn't have any. I shouldn't have wasted my time worrying how they'd fit in all my luggage, as obviously they didn't. Our large suitcase and big backpack never arrived, and still hasn't. there is still no trace of it and at the moment, each airline seems to be blaming the other for losing it. As I like to travel braless for comfort purposes, all my bras were in my big suitcase. So, I have been braless ever since I arrived in Tanzania. What a good impression I've been making!

For such a small plane it was a great flight and flying past the top of Mount Kilimanjaro was one of the most spectacular sights I've ever seen. There's not that much snow at the moment, but still, seeing it at dusk sticking up above the clouds - simply mind-bogglingly awesome! Everything had gone so smoothly, I should have been prepared for what happened next. As we had to fill in swine flu forms and our arrival forms, they asked me for our yellow fever cards, which of course we didn't have. I had checked before with the Tanzanian Embassy in South Africa, and on their website, and as Cape Town was not in a yellow fever area, we didn't need them. we would need them when we left, but I thought I would get them later. Unfortunately, I didn't factor in the fact that we stopped in Nairobi for 20 minutes which IS a yellow fever area. Therefore we needed them otherwise they'd deport us. The school principal tried to bribe the official, but for once he was above bribery, and we had to pay $50 each to get a yellow fever injection. Siobhan started crying, and the guy then momentarily had second thoughts, but decided he wanted to make us safe. Yeah, right. He showed us that the vaccine bottle was unopened and the needles were new, and put on one glove to make it semi-hygienic. Luckily, we haven't felt any ill-effects. The rest went quite smoothly, we paid for our visas and then had to queue up for the immigration official to take our photos for the visa. I asked him to try and make me beautiful and he laughed. However, when he saw the photo he'd taken of me, he sent me to another immigration official to take another photo as he said the other guy's camera took more beautiful photos.

Then we went to collect our luggage from the baggage collection area, and only our luggage we'd checked in at Johannesburg was there! Most of our clothes, lost! Four days later and still no sign of our things! I should have been suspicious of everything having gone so smoothly with our luggage! I reported the missing baggage and the official demanded a communication fee. I told him I only had rands, so he said he wanted R200. I said I only had R100, which he took and gave me no receipt. Obviously a bribe. When I asked for a receipt, he said he'd have to walk to the control tower to get the receipt book, and that it was getting dark and I wouldn't want him to do that, would I? So, I then countered, okay, will give you the R100, but if you don't find my luggage I want R200 in return. Looks like I might have to drive to the airport to collect!

Otherwise, have settled in quickly! The management here are great, and we have the biggest garden ever! The house is basic but comfortable and I'll do it up a bit in time. We definitely have enough room for guests, so, book your visiting times! The school itself is well-organised and very laid-back. The best place ever to raise young kids. I wish I had come here when my children were younger! For those of you teaching, enjoy the start of your new school year or term! Keep well, and keep safe!