Democracy Sausage

Jarvis Bay

Oh, its been forever since I got a blog post out! Its been non-stop around here. Tessa and Jack started school at the end of January, we've had quite a few visitors and things just keep on keeping on. I still have short bouts of homesickness, but a trip to the beach usually cures that.

Kindy has been a new adventure in our lives and takes up most of our time these days. Tessa's accent is slowly changing. She even corrected me the other day when I said "overcast". It's "ovacost". She no longer wants a tomato, she wants a tomahto. And sweaters don't exist anymore, they are now jumpers. She wears a uniform every day and pretty much hates it. They are hot and kind of like gunny sacks. She's struggles with separation anxiety and so that has been our biggest challenge. Its rare that she isn't crying when I drop her off. But, she loves it, so I'm really perplexed.

If Kindy had student council, I think she would run for President. She seems to know everyone and has to say goodbye to everyone each day. (There are about 100 kids in Kindy - leaving is a production.) There are about 3 or 4 boys that want to marry her. She's only serious about one of them because he can read. We feel its an important quality so we are very supportive. Her teacher is amazing. She plays guitar and violin. She is so patient and kind. I don't think we could have had better luck. I seem to get a lot of communication from the school, but I never seem to know what's going on. Partly because I gave up on the school newsletter (its 10 pages long and I really don't think its ever been very informative) so one of my friends just tells me if there's something I need to know. (I know, so lazy!)

Jack has made so many best friends at his preschool. One of them recently moved to Japan, so he's been kind of down. (So am I, I miss his mom.) He hasn't picked up much in the way of an accent, but he's only there two days a week and frankly I don't think they are teaching much. That's really ok - he's only 4. They had a bake sale (Cake Stall) as a fund raiser and raised $2,400. I about passed out. A bake sale raising that much! Impressive! I don't remember ever raising that much money, but maybe with inflation, that's the norm?

We've been on several trips around Australia this year. Over the Easter break we went to Tasmania - I'm planning a separate post on that trip. It was amazing. In March, our niece and one of her friends came to visit and we headed down to Jarvis Bay for a couple days. Probably the whitest beaches I've ever seen.

Jarvis Bay

Early this month, my parents came into town and I had the opportunity to take them to my favorite places and enjoy a lot of good Aussie food. And just last week, our friends from Gunnison came into town and we hit Birubi Beach and the sand dunes near Port Stephens. I feel like every beach we go to gets better and better. There were tons of surfers there and even camel rides on the beach! TW caught about 30 lbs (filleted) of Mahi... enough said...

Back in February I got a real treat. I got tickets to hear my favorite Aussie speak at the Sydney Tomato Festival - Paul West. Chances are you've never heard of him. He was the star of River Cottage Australia (and some other shows now that River Cottage was cancelled). Its no secret I really struggled with homesickness for several months when we got here. For some reason, Paul West made me feel at home. His task was to start a farm in Tilda, Australia. He was doing what I was wanting to do back home before we left (probably on a larger scale than me.) I learned a lot of Aussie words, I learned some about the culture and I kind of felt at home for an hour. I had no choice but to tell him how his show helped me and actually got a little teary-eyed. Super embarrassing! But, he is a lovely man. TW enjoys calling him my boyfriend. Ha. Ha.

We also got a little taste of home. We went to our first concert here - Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats. They are a Colorado band that I've been trying to see for years. Such a fun band! And the trumpet player was hilarious and so talented! (Far left)

Nathaniel Rateliffe & The Nightsweats

Finally, the democracy sausage. Every election day, the schools where the polling takes place have "Sausage Sizzles" to raise money for the school or other club. (Think hot dogs on steroids.) I think its a great idea, but their elections are on Saturdays, so its easier for them than on a Tuesday. Anyway, they've been dubbed "democracy sausages". Voting is mandatory here, so you might as well enjoy a good sausage while you wait. I have a friend who is Celiac (therefore can't have them anymore), she said the best line about election day... "Ah mate, I sure do miss a good democracy sausage".

Election poster in Newcastle

Aussie Speak of the Week

Nigel = Short for "Nigel No Friends" - a person with no friends

Servo = service station

Salvo = Salvation Army or thrift store

Bubbler = water fountain

Rugged up = bundled up (if cold out)

Moggie = cat (typically a mixed breed)

Chokas = stuffed