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June was our most "normal" month in a long time! We finished school up exactly when we should have and the kids both got good grades. We had our celebration dinner with certificates of completion for the 2004/2005 school year O. We watched many movies with dinners and had a bit of a more relaxed time. There was a cruisers talent show and live auction to raise money for a school that the cruisers are trying to fix up. One of the woman in the fleet used to be a drama teacher, so she took the lead in organizing the kids for this. She did a great job as she only had about a week from the time the event was announced to get the skits together, rehearse the kids, do a dress rehearsal, everything!! It was pretty amazing. The kids rehearsed everyday, sometimes twice a day. It was a good thing that we had just finished school! The kids were in several skits and they were great, I mean really great. Fletcher was an incredible tortoise in Tortoise and the Hare O. Dana was an amazing Little Red O in a modern, nautical version of this classic. They were both in a couple of other ensemble pieces O. The auction raised about $500 more for the school project. The school on the island closest to us is a very poor school. (This is the same school that Dana and Fletcher will go to for their summer school.) There is one large room that is divided into two sections and then another room which was built as sort of a lean-to along one side. This is used for the kindergarten during the mornings and then for the lower grades of the older kids in the afternoons. This room just has a dirt floor and is lower than the rest of the school. When it rains, the water just flows right through. There are also no windows in this room, so it is wet, dark and hot. Um, nice learning environment. The cruisers, after consulting with the teachers at the school, decided that what most needed to happen at this school was for this room to be torn down and another one built in its place. We had some money left over from another school project on another island, so we decided to go for it. When the materials were priced out, it ended up being more than was originally estimated, therefore the auction. Anyway, the talent show was a lot of fun and a great opportunity for the kids. That is one thing in this lifestyle, they do not get many opportunities to participate in kids group projects, be it sports, drama, dancing, etc.. We were very grateful for this teacher who stepped forward and allowed the kids to have this experience. As soon as the talent show was over, the kids started taking music lessons O from another cruiser who loves to teach folks how to play. Fletcher is taking guitar lessons and Dana is taking Ukulele. Neither of them liked practicing the first week, but Mike told them that they were going to do this for the summer, and that if they did not like it after that, they could stop. They have both calmed down and been doing well with their practicing. So far, they meet with the teacher a couple of days a week. We meet up at the pool area and one can swim while the other learns and then they switch off. Many of the adult cruisers are also taking lessons, so it is very normal to see this fellow with a student out by the pool. Another great opportunity for the kids, as neither Mike or Nancy are very musically inclined.
Another thing that happened during June, was that our fridge broke again. Right about the same time that it broke last year! Urgh!! It was a brand new unit and is only about eleven months old. We have had a refrigeration guy out, but he as not been able to get it working yet. At least this time we are in a place where it is easy to get ice! The trouble is that when we put ice in the fridge, then we do not have much room for food, so it is difficult to even stock up for a few days. Ah, another one of those trials and tribulations of the cruising life! Nancy and the kids did a major spring cleaning of their area. Clothes, books, and games were all looked through and it was found that many things could go. Some we gave to the other kid boats, and some we took to the island for the local kids. It feels so good to clean out. Nancy continued in the rest of the boat and made piles of stuff to take back to storage in California. Things that we want to keep, but really do not need on the boat. She will have a big bag of this when she returns to the states, but she will have a bunch of school supplies coming back, so it will be space that is used both ways. The kids are watching another boaters cat while they are gone for about a month. They go over for about a half hour a day and play with her and take care of her. She is a very sweet kitty and it is good for the kids to have this extra responsibility. On another day, we went to a water park that is about a 45 minute bus ride away O. Two other boats came with us and it was a blast. The water was very clean and the slides were nice and smooth. We spent most of the day there and had a great time. I am sure that there will be more trips to the water park now that it has been checked out. The day after the water park was the kids first day of school on the island. They had already met a few of the kids that will be in their class and one fellow had even invited the kids to come over and walk to school with him the first day O. All of the kids at the school were very friendly and welcoming. Both kids did great that first day. They both volunteered to go to the blackboard to do multiplication problems. The second half of the day, the teacher dictated a long selection in Espanol! That was challenging, but again they did very well. At recess, the local kids made sure to get Dana and Fletcher involved and they all had fun playing different ball games and tag. We are glad that we decided to do this, the kids love it and their Spanish will improve by leaps and bounds.
Please click to enlarge!
Second and Third Grade are finished!
Fletcher and another boat kid watching some of the musicians perform at the Talent Show
Fletcher in his tortoise makeup ready to go onstage.
The Surf Dudes and Dudettes skit
Dana as Little Red and Fletcher as a Shark (instead of the wolf)
The Homework Machine
Afternoon music lessons by the pool
A day at a nearby waterpark, summer is here!
First day of school on the island
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