My five year old first family gap year!

[Lara was four and a half when we started travelling – she’s spent a year on the road. When we get back to the UK next summer, she’ll be six and a half and will have been travelling for almost a third of her life. Will she remember home? How will she adjust back to a settled life? She’s an adaptable and resilient young lady who takes pretty much everything in her stride with the exception of trying too many new foods without a lot of bribery and corruption!

Lara's travels

Lara’s travels

We decided it was high time for an interview with Lara so we could see what she thinks and share her views on our family gap year(s) ………]

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Galapagos Volunteering – Part Three

The horror of being involved with getting the kids ready for school! Maybe I am a lone Dad who finds this part of the day a touch frustrating but I suspect this may be a common problem even in the more perfect of Stepford households. I feel lucky at home that we have had au-pairs to herd the fruit flies out of the door and Mo who loves this ‘quality time’ with the children when she can. Suffice to say that asking a child to put their shoes on 20 times makes me think of Einstein’s quote about doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result, yep I am going mad…

So the toys go out of my pram but with the help of a taxi we make it. The headmistress seems happy to see us and we get the obligatory peck on the cheek, smile and burst of Spanish which my brain fails to translate and I hope is nothing more than ‘good luck, you’ll need it’. The kids are gone, no need for embarrassing parental delivery to the door and we head to the classrooms we were shown yesterday. How will the kids fit in? Will they enjoy it? Get anything out of it? What about us?

Outside the new school

Us at our new school

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Amazing Amazon – Diary Days 12-14 In and Out the Jungle

Its our third day in the jungle. Sami has inspected Lara’s foot which is looking a lot better and he says he’ll treat it with jungle medicine. He collects a large seed bobbing in the water which he opens and scrapes the green, wet, highly pungent centre onto her foot. He says this ‘Fava’ (we later discover means ‘bean’) will kill any worm in her foot!!

Jungle Medicine

Sami puts the ‘Fava’ on Lara’s foot

We head off after breakfast and all of us feel just too hot!! The kids moan and no one is too bothered to concentrate on spotting monkey or sloths! More

From Ilha Grande to Paraty and back to Rio

We’ve just taken off on a flight out of Rio, on our way to Brasilia, with fabulous views over Sugarloaf and the many bays and islands of the city. It’s exactly 4 weeks since we arrived in Rio and began our family gap year! The time has flown!

Copacabana beach, Sugarloaf to the right of the wing and Christ the Redeemer sits atop the peak on the right of the pic with his head in the clouds!

We didn’t expect to stay in Rio de Janeiro state for a month. To be truthful, (and to the horror of many of our friends) we didn’t have much planned for Brazil at all

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First Casualty

And the winner is…

Lara

A few weeks into our family gap year she has managed to break:

  • A shelf climbing on it
  • A toilet seat by jumping off it
  • An iPad by dropping it off the bed – luckily just a small crack on the edge of the screen and still usable

Dad managed to fix everything apart from the iPad with a spoon and swiss army knife.

Lara swinging on lamp post

Metal Tree Climbing

She has also had a few scrapes: More

Lara does Ilha Grande

Dad, Ben and Zoe have just left for an ambitious 2.5 hour hike across the island. It’s a chance for Mum and Lara to do a blog and have some quality time! We begin with a small bribe!

Mum : Lara come and do an interview with me and then we’ll have some chocolate!!

Lara and Abraao bay view

Just chilling!

Lara : Ok Mum, come on sit down! Are we going to have MY chocolate?

Mum : Yes, after we’re done! Do you know where Ben and Zoe have gone with Dad?

Lara : they’ve gone! ….. More

Lara Interviews…

Mum did an interview with me just before we left England and then again this morning about our first days in Rio.

Lara in taxi to Heathrow

En route to Heathrow

Here they are:

Tuesday 9th July 8pm

Mum : Do you know what’s happening tomorrow?

Lara : don’t know!

Mum : what do you think is happening?

Lara : going in a taxi ……. to the airport then we’re going on an aeroplane to Spain!

Mum and Zoe burst out laughing More

A gift to Oxfam

Appropriately I bought a compact travel camera at Amazon which arrived today. Here is a quick test pic, full review to come once I have used it for a bit.

Lara outside the backdoor at Oxfam

Smile, Dad’s got a new camera

Interestingly I resized the photo and saved it as a new file and it kept the EXIF data. Bit geeky but bear with me. More

Urban Jungle Camp

In Urban Jungle Exploring Ben and Zoe built a camp in the garden using whatever they could lay their hands on.  But what use is a camp if you can’t sleep in it? How could Dad resist when they asked so nicely and as Mo was out I couldn’t get a second opinion so I said yes until Mum comes home:

makeshift camp in garden

Luxury

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Lara is packed already!!

Lara carrying her rucksack

Look at me mummy!

Lara and Mummy’s bedtime chat tonight ……

Mummy: You were busy this afternoon…?

Lara: Yes, I started to pack for our trip so I didn’t have to do so much when we go on holiday and travel round the world. I got my rucksack out and

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