Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Spring in the air

Well the holidays are over and both girls are back at school and nursery as of yesterday. We all had a break from the punishingly early schedule only to find we were quite glad to get back to it, especially now that spring has most definitely sprung. Now it is practically sunrise by the time DD1 gets to school and the days are longer, brighter, warmer and more pleasant. Last week the girls and I made the most of the weather and spent as much time as possible outdoors in parks, gardens and the obligatory playgrounds. Perhaps too much time... The girls picked dandelion seeds and we all breathed in the heady and quite literally intoxicating scents of the Chilean flora surrounding us until suddenly the familiar feeling of losing one's senses took hold...of me I hasten to add, thank goodness, though DD2 is showing some light symptoms such as reddened eyes... Hayfever is a cross some of us have to bear every year at this time though usually the warmer weather and the pleasure associated with increased outdoor pursuits outweigh or at least partly soothe the suffering. Or used to... Here in Chile as expected the smells, sights and pollen count are magnified a thousandfold which causes in turn more dramatic allergic reactions. Suffice to say I reached immediately for the antihistamines though am still waiting for any appreciable effect.
Meanwhile during the last ten days whilst still in the midst of Fiestas Patrias we passed the first anniversary of our faltering arrival in Chile without even realising it. Progress most definitely has been made on every front: the girls are settled and entirely integrated into their school and nursery respectively. DD1 speaks fluent Spanish and has made satisfying friendships within her class, gaining respect from peers and teachers who marvel at how many languages she apparently effortlessly speaks. Even DD2 has completely lost her initial ambivalence and waltzes happily and willingly in through the door at her nursery in the morning, parking her bike at the entrance and waving goodbye with nonchalance. She too has now started producing some Spanish, mainly at the word or simple phrase level but generally spouting more and more even in her play. All very satisfying from the point of view of cerebral development and the number of synaptic connections taking place though I still wonder about their sense of self and cultural identity...

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