Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Happy holidays

When your friends think you may have died it's definitely time to post something.

We had a family-tastic Christmas and New Year, with a wonderful visit from my parents and sister - you know, the once struggling author who talks too much. Feel free to pop over to her blog for an envy-inspiring pic of the beach we were on at New Year's. I really must add to her eulogy that Nkwichi Lodge was without a doubt one of the loveliest places I have had the pleasure to stay in. The boys loved the jungle adventure mixed with fabulous beach, Joaquim discovered to his delight the joys of swimming underwater with a mask (aided by the presence of hundreds of multi-coloured and very tame fishies in the crystal clear water), and Paulo and I found it hugely relaxing (no mobile phone reception, for one, how blissful is that?). All-round a big thumbs-up. Aside from that there was the usual present frenzy at Christmas, the highlight of which for me was Sebastian's reaction to my urging him to open his other presents after he found an all-singing all-dancing Lightning McQueen at the bottom of his stocking: "I don't need that, I just need this!" (He has barely let it our of his sight since, he sleeps with the big hunk of plastic, bless his cotton socks.) Great Super-Maman Christmas lunch: turkey and trimmings and chocolate roulade (if you ain't tasted it you ain't lived), and all the rest.

Since then it's been back to work, where I have a new member in my team; we are now three (my management skills are being stretched). He is taking over responsibility for the community-based tourism projects, leaving me freer to concentrate on other stuff, like strategic tourism planning and working more closely with the operators and er, blogging. He seems promising.

For Joaquim, Monday was his first day at "The Big School". He has been counting down the days, so excited is he at joining his best friend Milan and the other big kids there. He was so confident and happy, waving me away with barely a glance as he showed off his new exercise book and pencil to his teacher that I was filled with a warm glow of pride. Sebastian is back at nursery next week, which he is equally keen on, but meanwhile has been kept busy playing with his new best friend, Samuel. And what a beautiful pair they make.

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