We, Dan & Robin, stayed awake all day. I realize that sounds silly, but adjusting to to the late night hours of Portugal has really taken a toll on us the last two nights with post midnight bedtimes and getting up by 6am. Tuesday night was our fault – we had company over for dinner but they left around 10. We then spent a couple hours working but it was such that it could have waited. Last night I, Robin had a PTA meeting . . . which started at 9pm and lasted until 11:30 pm!!! Dan worked on language homework during those hours.
Today Josiah, Asher and Karunia each came home from school on their own!!! The days since school started have been busy. 5 children in 4 schools with varying schedules creates quite a bit of running around. The mornings aren’t too bad as the schools’ starting times are such that 4 kids can all leave at 7:50am and be driven round to their schools. But afternoon pick up begins at 3:30 and depending on the day continues until 6pm. Unlike school in the States, each day poses a slightly different schedule with only Jeremiah having the same starting and ending time every day. The crazy afternoon back and forth between schools and home was very stressful. The solution: public transport. Josiah and Asher can each ride the bus home from school (separately however since they don’t get out at the same time each day). The bus stops just outside their school and then very close to our house. Karunia has a longer haul, but can walk a ½ mile from her school to the train station to catch a train. Once she gets off the train she then takes the bus the rest of the way home. Earlier this week we started teaching them the various routes. I, Robin, took Dan to the schools to meet the kids at each appropriate hour. He then would ride the bus route or walking/train/bus route home with that child. We did this for 2 days for the boys and 3 for Karunia, since her route is more complicated and longer. Our afternoon is now much less complicated and rushed (we might even have time to start doing our own homework now). They are each the proud owners of their own bus and/or train pass.
Karunia now has all her teachers! School officially started for her (and all our kids minus Josiah) on Sept. 15th, however when she started 3 teachers were still not in place. Teacher placement works differently here and while I won’t explain it in this blog Karunia was waiting on a math, English and PE teacher. After two weeks without those teachers the PE and English teacher were placed earlier this week. The math teacher was placed and arrived today. Now her schedule is complete and she doesn’t have vacancies in the middle of her days.
Asher turned 11!! We closed out the day with cake and presents. How glad we are to celebrate his life and his part in our family!