Joaquin - This is my son (with his sister and I), He is very sweet, very loving and sensitive. Here he is at the local town fair in Patagonia. He had fairy floss and was happy to go with his father and sister to the fair. I am very proud of him and I have just sent him off camping with the summer Colonia to a place called Piedra Parada.
Zalia This is what she looks like after she wakes from her afternoon sleep. She is grumpy and wants hugs and kisses. But they she is very happy and full of energy. She is a spirited child and knows what she wants. She makes us all laugh with her funny faces and the way she is beginning to pronounce her words in english and spanish.
"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."
We went to the local fair yesterday.It marks the week of the Anniversary of the 107th birthday of Esquel. We left home at about 7pm and it was freezing out. All the light snow on the mountains was really blowing down to Esquel. It was freezing... That did not stop the people going to the fair. There was so many people there, all ages. We had a fun night out, we had fairy floss, french fries, torta fritas, a slice of cake. Zalia did not try the fairy floss and was a bit scared of it. I don't blame her, it is nearly as big as she is.
I bought fresh blueberries and homemade blue berry jam. There was music, bands, girls singing Whitney Houstan classics and stalls selling so many things. Everyone selling everything from home made cakes, sweets, mapuche weavings, woollen socks, wooden toys, clothes, jewelery, boutique or artisan beer, honey, creams. There were bands and music and people singing. So much activity. I have never seen so many people in Esquel, so many cars outside the Gym/showground where the even was on. So many kids, a few clowns thrown in for good measure, Joaquin's circus teacher also was there. We had fun, but it was cold and we left at 9pm. Joaquin ate 2 hotdogs or panchos. He can not get enough of them.
Yesterday even though it rained so much we went outside to pick the apples. They are gala apples and I am still not sure what to do with them. I think I may try this recipe. It was so cold outside and I finally realised that all that rain was snow on the surrounding mountains. We had the heaters on in the late afternoon to keep us toasty warm.
Zalia was the first to try them. She loves apples.
Last week our boxes (15 in total) finally arrived. We sent them in June 2012 from Randwick, NSW, Australia and they arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina on the 11 November 2012. However we had bought a door to door service from a company called Discount Freight. Little did we know what a sham this company and the owner Phillip Leon Abadee is. We bought door to door service but of course our items never arrived to our door. We even paid insurance. Instead our items arrived to the port of Buenos Aires and we had to pay everything including delivery here to our door. My parents ended up travelling to Buenos Aires, travelling back and forth from their apartment to the port of Buenos Aires, every day for 5 days during a very hot spell, doing all the "tramites" and paperwork to release our items and sending them by courier to Esquel. What I learnt from this is:
a)Never ever use discount freight. This company has a list of complaints (we found this out too late). There is also a blog about his company with 215 posts or complaints. This page also has many complaints about his service. Phillip Abadee who runs Discount Freight and other freight companies used to be a councillor and alderman for Randwick Council in Sydney between 1991 and 1995 and his uncle is/was a judge. His uncle is Alan Abadee AM RFD QC - Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales (1990-2000).So really he should know better than to rip people off, to commit fraud. We have gone to the NSW Office of Fair Trading to make a complaint but nothing was really done. It was his word against ours. b) Never send personal items by ship to Argentina, send them by registered post, it may cost more but it will arrive to your local post office. In the end it costs more to send by ship and deal with all the bureaucracy and hidden fees everywhere. Anyway our items finally arrived thanks to my parents. My children got their toys, summer clothes, books in english and I got my things.
In other news....all week it has rained and now our garden is green. The willow still has its leaves and it s a bit cooler.
February is here strong and full of life. Children are still on holidays, the days are still long but are cooler. In our little world, toys are all packed away in the ikea bookcase we use as storage. Joaquin can finally play with all his Thomas trains, his Little People and puzzles.
Zalia finally got her barbie car, a dolls cot, dolls and a little people's doll house.
I have been getting melancholic as I see my children grow up so fast so much. Joaquin is 5 but he is tall for his age so we forget he is 5. He lost his first tooth last week on the 2nd of Febuary. He camps overnight with other kids (without us) in a school holiday activities. He is not a toddler any more and this year he starts big school.
He will start "Primer grado", we are not sure if it is equivalent to kindergarden or first grade back in Australia. He will be attending school every day from 8 to 12 and then come home for lunch and then back to school from 2 to 4 to partake in english classes. I will miss him so much. At the moment Jas is teaching him to read english so he won't forget. He is going to go to a bilingual school which has english classes in the afternoon so hopefully he won't forget. In a way this reflects my life. Born in Argentina, left for Australia age 4, went to Kindergarten at Maroubra Bay Public School in 1979. The teacher in my yearly report card wrote under Speech " Her accent gives her a few problems but as she grows older it should become easier for her" and gave me a B. I also got a B for Self confidence but A for everything else. What I love at the moment is sharing afternoon tea with them. Jas makes banana bread using this recipe (he also jazzes up the banana bread by adding 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence) and we all eat it with milky sugary tea.
These summer holidays. It is still hot in Esquel, the water from the Arroyo is drying fast. It has not rained nor is there any snow left on the mountains. These are the things we are doing during the heat: Zalia plays in the little pool.
Joaquin and Zalia go to the park and I push them both back in the pram.
Zalia helps me pick the peas from the garden and shell them.
It is still warm in Esquel, but the nights are cooler. Today Joaquin went to Colonia and spent the day near the Arroyo Esquel doing climbing, walking and rock activities. We dropped him of at 10am. He was happing hanging out at the park with the other kids. We then drove into town and did some shopping. Spent up big as we always do in La Ladronima, the local food shop (really called La Anonima). We bought, cheese, ham, chicken, empanada covers to make empanadas for lunch, vegetables, fruit-peaches, bananas, apples, a preschool backpack for Zalia with Elmo on it, some tracksuit pants reduced to 45 pesos for Joaquin and two pairs of socks, we also bought milk, cereals, muslie bars, yoghurt, shampoo, wipes, some plastic orange plates and bowls for the kids as they always breaking the white crockery on the tiles. Then we arrived home before lunch and I made empanadas, ham, cheese, olives and ricotta. They were really nice, we were so hungry as Jas and I did not have enough time to have breakfast this morning. After lunch Z had a sleep, I did some work and then by 4pm Z woke up. It is so good she still sleeps during the day but she sometimes does not sleep enough and can be grumpy and clingy as she was today. I did some more work on my computer. All the while Z just wanted my attention and she ended up getting the unopened nuttella jar out of the cupboard and dropping it on the tiles. Yes the jar kind of broke (the lid) but we managed to recuperate the nutella and exchange lids with an older jar that was empty. Lucky for my quick thinking... At 5pm I walked down to the park with Z in the pram to pick up Joaquin. This is a photo I took waiting for Joaquin. We can see him coming with the other kids.
Zalia finally saw him, took of her shoes and ran to him.
They played in the park.
Joaquin tried the monkey bar.
So did Zalia.
Joaquin hit his head no the monekey bar.
We finally made it home but Joaquin was tired and I took both of them in the pram.
Jas had stayed home and made a lovely roast chicken dinner. He had put the chicken in brine all afternoon and the chicken came out so tener and delishious. The roast veggies potatos, pumpkin, sweet potato and carrots were scrumptions. We had home grown peas and carrot too. I got a bit cranky at dinner, as Joaquin is tired and won't eat his peas. I really hate getting cranky. I cleaned up and Jas put them to bed, he read them a book on wombats and they all fell asleep exhausted. Tomorrow is a new day, I need to go for a run, do some more work, pick peans and beans from the garden, weed the garden. Jas needs to mow the lawn and wipper snip. We need to water the plants (did not do it today as it rained last night). If it is warm we will fill up the little swimming pool too, so the kids can have a soak.