It’s been an incredible few weeks and I feel as though I have not stopped moving since I got here. The following will only be able to provide a glimpse of my experience, so much of it is impossible to fully describe without actually being a part of it! I apologise in advance for the lack of photos of my work, I am unable to take pics of the kids and considering they are who I have been around here is not much I can visually show you!
I left the story at NYE. It was a night of cycling, fireworks and everywhere we went shutting down just about when we got there… Nonetheless I had a fantastic time and it was a great opportunity to explore Amsterdam in a different light. One thing I will comment on is that fireworks are best left to the professionals… Thank you again to all the fantastic people in Holland who opened their homes to me over December!
Day after New Years I jumped on a heavily delayed plane across the channel to land in the much anticipated London! After a messy travel rearrangement I bustled into the prestigious Dean Close School where I had the pleasure of meeting most of the Caldecote Team for a fantastic home cooked meal!
The next few days consisted of induction tours and tiresome e-safety talks, enough to push me to considering whether or not I would enjoy the year… At least that was until…
The Boys arrived!
Monday afternoon after I’d just about had enough of droning speeches and educational policies, 30 adolescent blokes came streaming into the boarding house halls! The rest of that afternoon was spent with emotional goodbyes between boys and parents then getting them settled in after an exciting Christmas. A few games of table tennis and pool got me into the rhythm of life for many of the lads. I was stoked at how welcoming all the boys were to the hairy, unfamiliar face intruding into their school.
The rest of the week literally jumped right past me, I cannot believe it has been so long since I got here. Meeting all the other gappers and matrons and boarding staff was an exciting time as I realised that the faces I was meeting for the first time would be the people that I will be around for the whole year. But hey, no pressure for a good impression, I have a year to work on that!
Bogged down by a standard cold I spent Monday through Saturday with the kids doing reading, maths, science and the all important sport times. This term the boys play field hockey, and tomorrow I am assistant coaching the 2nd’s team. I have absolutely no hockey experience whatsoever… Steep learning curve!
Saturday night was the all important gapper initiations! Featuring pictionary, sardines and an apron the team got together for an evening in Cheltenham. I must say that the nightlife of the town here is vastly superior to anything the home of the pink elephants has ever put up.
My first day off was a fantastic one, I was fortunate to meet up with the bottomless stomach of Sam Parkinson and his mate Bronson! We met down in Bath where it was miserable, cold and raining. We managed to see both the Abbey and the Roman Baths. Bath is a beautiful town and I would definitely say it is worth a visit!
The next week that followed was pretty similar to the first. Learning my way around and starting to pick up the ropes! I’m glad to say that I’ve begun to put memorabilia around the walls of my room, and by the end of the year I hope to cover the place with memories!
By that Sunday the house began to feel the need to go out, so Sunday morning we took all the boarders into town for a bowling session! It was fantastic to be a little more social and relaxed with the boys, and a little embarrassing to be beaten by a few 13 year olds… George if you are reading this I still owe you £3! The morning also was a chance to head out into Cheltenham a bit and get a better feel for the area.
This week has been a roller-coaster of planning and working. Sickness has hit the house hard and the boys are falling down ill all over the place! This coming weekend is exeat (a weekend where the boys go home) so I’m looking forward to a few days off and a visit to London for Australia Day celebrations, although I’ll post all about that next time!
#jongmasjourney has reached another level and I look forward to the rest of the term! I’m missing all the family and friends in Australia, its really exciting to hear about all the Uni entries! I wish everyone good luck for the next round of offers! Until I see you next, and as Grandma’s friend Laurie always says,
“Love all around”