Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Falkand Islands


Finally online and in the Falkland Islands. Left the UK on the 11th January after three weeks in the UK. We had a great time visiting family and friends, our last lunch out being with Janine, Paul, Isabel and George. Our other friends, Sarah, Lee and girls were meant to be there too, but due to car sickness, didn't make it. It was lovely catching up with everyone when we were home.

Flew from Brize Norton on Sunday 11th Jan at 11pm. I hadn't realised that the plane would have bigger seats at the front and that we would be allowed in them. It was all a bit lost on me as I never sleep on a plane - even when I flew to Australia. But the children slept brilliantly for the first leg as the seats reclined as if it was a bed. Abi was off by the time we were airborne closely followed by Jacob. Seven and a bit hours later they woke up for breakfast and an hour later we were at the Ascension Islands. We were lucky again here, Allen had to go and do some work so we got a quick sight seeing tour of the Island. Normally you have to stay in a big caged area and wait for the plane to be refueled. Ascension is a small tropical ish Island. There are palm trees and white beaches but it is a volcanic island. Bananas grow in the mountain area and it's hot/warm all year round. I was in my jeans and t shirt and was hot at 8am. The kids had a lovely run around before having to get back on the plane for another 8 hours. It actually went quickly. They slept a few more hours and were entertained by both of us for the rest of the time. The films were crap - all 15 rating so no good for our 2. Will be investing in some portable games that play videos I think!

As we were landing a jet flew along side us which was very exciting. I got a photo. I also took quite a few shots as we came in. White beaches and blue seas. Can't upload loads of photos though due to the link we have, it's weird here you pay for downloads each month so Allen's banning me from certain sites and it will limit what I can do online. So my first impressions of this Island have been good. It's not that big but there are loads of smaller Islands off the main 2. Beaches are white sands but lots are full of mines so are out of bounds. There is more food available, I thought it would be very limited. The house is much bigger and better equipped than I pictured. It's very sociable - just my thing really.

Saw some penguins. Did a walk to Bertha's beach - very beautiful, I've included a photo of Allen, Jacob and Abi walking, well trying to walk, on this beach. It was very windy and it was an hours walk to get to the penguins. We gave up after 15 mins! So on Sunday we went to another beach in Port Stanley and saw penguins straight away and extremely close. I've added a photo of a Magellanic penguin and also one of Jacob and Abi on the first day of school outside our house. School is a bit strange. Jacob's not keen, I think he's bored. Abi loves it. I'm giving it another week and then I'll be in to see what they can do for Jacob if he's still moaning. He's already been to the doctors, bless him, with a rash and he was very happy to stay at home with me. He's fine, may be the washing powder.

So all in all a brilliant start to our 18 months in the South Atlantic. I have a job as pre school teacher that starts after the Easter holidays. 4 mornings a week, so just what I was looking for really.

Hope all's well



Claire said...

Wow - quarter looks great! Well done for surviving the long flight (only 11 hrs home from here...should be easy in comparison!!). Seriously, well done for getting sorted out so quickly. Am sure school will settle (if not, am sure you will sort it out soon). Job sounds perfect; enough time to unpack and establish yourself beforehand. Loved the penguin pic!!! What is the weather like, obviously windy but is it as cold as Denver? Been in the 70's here but really need a little rain now. Back skiing in Tahoe next month and rain here means snow there so fingers crossed! Been an utterley amazing day today - lots of joy and hope! Best wishes and thinking of you. Cx

Claire said...

Forgot to ask about time difference, if we are 8 hrs behind the Uk , what does that make you???

Rachael said...

HI Claire
Nice and sunny but windy. Meant to be 15c here today, that's summer! Time is different lots in the year. At the moment we're 3 hours behind the UK, so 2 hours ahead of DC - so what is that with you? Have signed up for Skype, we're under alandrach.wilson
Would be lovely to talk so we should set up a time.

Claire said...

So that makes you 5 hrs ahead of us I think (makes me a little dizzy thinking about it!). Will send you 'contact request' via skype. Would be good to chat - usually around after midday here although that may not be the best time for you?!

Rachael said...

Allen gets back by 5 ish so that will be fine. We don't have it on all the time but I will try and remember to turn it on this week!
Speak to you soon.

ceri said...

Rachael, I received your voice mail but can't figure out how to leave one for you. Will have to enlist Taylor for Skype help. We should try to arrange a Skype call with video. Your house looks great, by the way. Did you add the plants? Too bad you have to pay for downloading. What a drag! Good luck to you all. BTW, Owen's contagiousum molluscum is getting worse. He tells us he wished that we had the rash instead of him. Nice. xo ceri

carriesweatland said...

Hi! You have a great little spot in the Falklands. It should turn out very nicely for you for the time you are there. I'm sure Jacob will come around on school. I moved a lot growing up, and I always hated the first few weeks. I takes a while to get used to the new kids, teachers and routines. Things here are good. I'm enjoying my long-term teaching, but have found out that I have a tough bunch. Quite literally. Someone told me I have the hardest kids in the whole middle school. My students are always getting lunch detention, suspensions, trips to the counselor and the like. Two kids are gone for 20 school days. I don't think I'll see them again. Makes it hard to get lessons out to them. It is special education and my students are all boys. Well, I do have one girl and one pseudo-girl. The psuedo-girl is technically a girl, but she acts, looks, dresses and talks like a boy. She even goes into the boys bathroom at school, for which she gets into trouble. There may be a sex change in her future. But I am enjoying it and I think it is going well. If nothing else, I'll walk away with some funny memories. I'm certainly giving it my best, though it may not lead to any full time job. Budget cuts are hitting the state hard, and there is a hiring freeze for the next school year. They are also switching back to half-day kindergarden to save money, which leaves me in a pinch for Jake.

Well I've rambled far too long about me. I'm glad your connected again. We'll check your postings reguarly and we send you our best. Carrie & crew

Claire said...

You will need to accept me as a skype contact first...open skype and you should find a contact request (if not, I have sent a request to the wrong people!).