The Start of Playgroup…

Just 4 days ago, i led my first ever playgroup in English in my little Swiss village in Canton Solothurn :D

i was so very very nervous and worried about everything; mostly that the kids will not understand me and will not want to participate in the songs and games at all. i packed the books i had bought just for the group, made sure i had spares of the name drawings of the each child, listened like crazy to the Good Morning song i chose to sing, double checked that i printed the right school holiday schedule and heave a huge sigh.

Thursday morning came and i was up before the alarm. Laid in bed thinking, “Oh my, today is it!” Got up, ran through the morning routine with my boy and then got myself ready, kissed the husband goodbye and wheeled my box of stuff up to the playgroup building (it’s just a 5-minute walk away from our house).

i arrived to find the other playgroup leader doing a quick clean up from the previous day’s activities. It was nice and reassuring to have someone to chat with for a bit. Then i set up the book corner, arranged the chairs in a circle, pasted up my weather poster and paced.

This is where we have Circle Time and there are 2 other rooms full of toys, such as a play-store to buy and sell, and lots of cars and train tracks.
This is where we have Circle Time and there are 2 other rooms full of toys, such as a play-store to buy and sell, and lots of cars and train tracks.

The first little girl to come through the door was a delight. She was so ready to come and have fun and was so responsive. i was so very thankful for her. Then another little boy showed up and then another. The boys took a while to warm up to the idea of being at an English-speaking playgroup.

We sang songs and talked a tiny bit about animals and the weather. i asked them to paste up the weather for the day, which was a lovely sunny day. Then off they went to free play time. i followed and joined in as and when they wanted me to play with them.

The boys and the one girl chose to play different things so i switched between them. And soon it was snack time. Everyone was quite ready for snack and we had a lovely quiet snack time (quite different from when i did my internship). Then it was off to play again.

By now, the boys had warmed up and was really into rough-housing with me. Of course, they both decided to “attack” me. After a while, i went to check on the girl who was quietly playing with homemade “playdoh” with one of the visiting grandmothers (her grandson will join the group the week after). i started playing with the doh and the boys joined in. It was a good time of just squashing and rolling orange doh around.

After which, it was time for a story. i had thought one story was all they would want since English isn’t their first language. But they actually asked for a second one! i was thrilled. So i read We Are Going On A Bear Hunt and The Very Hungry Caterpillar, both wonderful classics for pre-school children.

To end, we sang Old MacDonald which they liked and the Goodbye song.

2 hours had just flown by and i am most grateful for the lovely grandmother who came to visit and help, and for the mums who stayed for the first half of the time.

i am excited and so looking forward to the coming Thursday mornings! :D

syc

PS: if you would like to know about the English Playgroup or the Deutsch Spielgruppe, check out our website!

Holiday Summary – Summer 2015…

WOW, 7 weeks without a single post here!

i think i have not taken such a long break from blogging for ages. i had every intention of blogging a few days after we got back from summer holidays but as you can see, it didn’t happen. Heehehe ;) This is what happens when we arrive home just 2 days before the new school year starts :p

Well, here is the traditional picture summary of our time spent with family and friends in Singapore. Enjoy!

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This year we left earlier than usual for our summer break. i pulled my boy out of school 2 days before the holidays so that we could fly back in time for one of my best friend’s wedding. It was a long-awaited event and we just had to be there to celebrate it with him! So we arrived on the Friday and the next day was the wedding. It was a simple but lovely affair and i love the little table gifts (pictured above, left). And for those who are not familiar with a Chinese wedding, the 7-dish lunch menu above is a scaled-down version of what is usually a 10-course dinner.

So happy for the wonderful couple! :D

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And of course being in Singapore means everything centers around FOOD! We had really really expensive Japanese food which was ooooh-so-good! (pictured top left) And then i enjoyed a night out with my friends from my poly days. It was Korean BBQ at which we got offered the little surprise of trying Korean rice wine. (pictured top middle)

And of course, we had loads more Japanese food, specifically sushi because Tobias is a sushi monster! (pictured top right is sushi without the rice, just fish – YUM!) This time we had so very very much of it i was almost at the point of not wanting anymore. Almost.

And in keeping with the eastern theme, we tried out an interesting Korean dessert, Bingsu, Korean Snowflake Ice Cream. It was very nice but i found the portion huge, so glad we decided to share.

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Just a month before we left for Singapore, i received a mysterious message on Facebook asking if i went to HD Primary School. What a lovely surprise it was to find out that my Primary 6 class was trying to contact everyone and are trying to get a 30-years-later gathering going for next year (2016). It was fantastic to re-connect after so very many years and even more wonderful to actually get to meet a few of my old classmates when i arrived in Singapore!

We arranged for a little makan (eating) session at a famous hawker area (Chomp Chomp) and of course, the food was good but the company was superb!

Before we met for supper, a few of us went to visit another classmate who now works at the Singapore Turf Club as a horse trainer. It was great because he could get us into the owners lounge area and we got to meet one of the horses he trains. It was VIP treatment! It is a place i would, otherwise, never have stepped into. We all placed small bets, as a show of support for his horse, and 2 of us won a tiny bit. Lovely!

Oh, i must point out the very sweet little commemorative t-shirt which was printed with our class photo (pictured top right). i think they made it to the size we were when we were in school. Mine was so small even my boy had to squeeze into it so i could fulfill the task of sending in a selfie of me (mini-me in this case) in the t-shirt… hahhaa

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Let me introduce you to Biscuit and Brownie! Tobias’ new pets! His grandfather (my dad) bought them for him. Yep, he has pets in Singapore too. No, they didn’t come back to Switzerland with us. These terrapins will stay with my parents and my brother will look after them. We get to see them via Skype.

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We did not do many touristy things this time. But we did go to the Dreamworks Exhibition at the Art Science Museum. i loved seeing all the work which goes into creating an animated feature. There were character sketches, detailed drawings of different expressions for a single character, 3-D models for the computer animated stuff and more. But my favourite style of animation is traditional claymation and it was a treat to see this model of Gromit, from Wallace and Gromit, in the green house. (see picture above) And of course, after the exhibition, there was more food and laughter to be had with dear friends.

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Speaking of friends and family, we got to spend more time with our darling godson. He is certainly growing up fast and i always lament that we are missing out on so very much of his cute years. This time we took him out for an afternoon by ourselves and it was great!

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The only other touristy thing we did was visit the Alive Museum with an old friend of mine, who also lives in Europe. It was a little disappointing. We didn’t get the pictures we thought we would get. The “alive” effect for quite a number of the exhibits was not very good. But still we had fun.

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This year’s visit has been more about spending time with family and friends rather than visiting places. And i truly enjoyed that.

The major event was the big gathering with my cousins. My mother’s side of the family is big and the cousins have been spread out all over the world for a long time now. But this year all of us were in Singapore at the same time. All of us save one. So that definitely called for a big dinner! So we did. 18 of us at a Chinese restaurant downtown. There was so much catching up to do, it was a really special evening :D

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Other lovely things we did: we spent the night at Walter’s best friend’s home, we visited with Tobias’ cousins for an afternoon of pool fun. The highlight was also finally meeting up with one of Walter’s best friends after donkeys of years! Sorry i have no picture of that, it’s all on Walter’s phone.

Of course, there was a scary part to our trip this year. My father was warded into hospital just the day before we had planned to leave Singapore. He has a very serious lung infection which caused his lungs to fill with water. Of course, we extended our stay. And praise the Lord, my dad recovered quite quickly. He was discharged and on his way home when we landed here in Switzerland. Thank you to everyone who prayed for him.

The other sad event was that we returned to find that Patch, one of our mice, had died. We had expected it to happen. She was at the end of her life and had a benign tumour. But it was still sad.

i think that’s it for this summer holiday summer. Till next year my beloved family and friends.

syc

PS: actually, i don’t have to wait so long. My uncle is coming for a tour of Europe and we might get to see him. My cousin, who wasn’t able to be at this year’s big gathering is coming here with her parents for holiday and they will pass through Switzerland so i am very much looking forward to their visits!