Last week we packed our bags and headed the three hours to Longreach to attend 'minischool' - where the kids get to stay at the school with their classmates for five days, attend 'real' lessons with their class teachers at school (and do some yucky Naplan), do some fun activities as a group and hopefully have lots of fun. It's sort of like a school camp...but at school.
We stayed in the quarters at school, there in enough space for 50 people with bunk bed style accommodation, a big dining room and industrial kitchen. There were 17 grade five students, plus mums, teachers, governesses and some siblings doing school at the same time.
Here is Maddy in the classroom and getting her hair braided one night before bed by the obliging Miss Kate, a fellow governess...
And the result in the morning...
The theme for minischool was 'the Olympics' - quite fitting for this year and the kids really got into it! I remember at the same age the Atlanta Olympics were happening for me, and I was lucky enough to go to the US for the games, I can remember my Olympics fever as a ten year old!
Kristy was the head cook for the week, and after planning the menu and racking our brains for 'Olympic' foods we decided that we could go around the world via the menu. We brought our world map from the Malden schoolroom and got the kids to pin where the food was from before every meal. The foods we tasted and countries we visited were...
- American hot dogs
- Japanese sushi
- Italian pizza
- Chinese chicken and corn soup with egg and ginger
- Australian gold and green jelly with a caramello koala
- Dutch (Vikings!) roast pork
- Mexican tacos
- English scones with jam and cream
And after some creative thinking we also came up with the following, bit of a stretch? Perhaps. But the kids loved it!
- Jamaican marshmallow and fruit skewers (featuring coconut covered banana...I thought it was Jamaican?!)
- Antarctic ice-cream bar (get it?!) with an assortment of lollies, chocolate, sprinkles, Cold Rock style
- Greek 'cheesecake', also known as jelly slice. After much googling I discovered that the ancient Olympians were served what was believed to be the first serving of cheesecake...so Greece it was! Obviously.
The kids got to enjoy some fun activities - early morning cricket in the freezing Longreach chill, a session learning all about opera with an Opera Queensland crew who are traveling throughout western Queensland spreading some opera love, practising for the end of year school musical and a great Olympics x-box/wii night where they all had to dress up as an Olympian. Tom was a clay target shooter, with a gun and earmuffs he looked quite the part. After watching some rhythmic gymnastics videos on youtube with me Maddy decided she wanted to be a gymnast, a leotard and a ribbon stick completed the look.
The week was exhausting but fun - a lot of cooking and consoling overtired kids! While I was away in Longreach the poor suffering Matt was back at Malden in the throes of a terrible feverish virus, which he is thankfully over now but seems to have passed a bit of it on to me.
On the night before we were due to leave I think we all woke up listening to the heavy rain on the roof of the quarters at 4am. We packed up, did the grocery shopping and headed home, some others were not so lucky, either spending more time in the quarters or only getting halfway home before being stopped by the rain, road closures and rising creeks. This was our car leaving Longreach...bit full??
Back into the schoolroom at Malden, the creek has come up since we arrived home and we're once again flooded in - Alex and Matt have been boating out.
Until next time!