Whoa, what a week!

Wow.   It's been a week.   It's been a big one.  I'm kind of emotionally exhausted.   It's all good things- but I'm really starting to feel the impact of the last times for things.   

Two Fridays ago we started the afternoon with a fun 5k at the embassy.  I ran the whole way but the girls walked/ran and had a great time!  They liked the ice cream more than anything else I guess. 

start of the run

enjoying the last bite of ice cream

Following the run, some of us went to a cocktails and canapes night at the USP training restaurant, Pacific Fusion.   We ended up going out dancing afterwards which is a rare occurrence, but always one of my favorite things to do! 

The rest of the weekend we celebrated Andie's bday early, had a few play dates, went on a LONG run and caught up on cleaning the house, blog, etc.   

Nice place to catch up on blog

Play date potion making

such good friends

I've been working on transition booklets at school with all of the leaving students (16 in primary school) so it also meant I got to work with Andie and Zoë on the booklet.   Honestly, I had to fight back my own tears in some of those sessions.  Here is Zoë's take on things:

Also, in preparation for leaving, we've had a few final play dates with friends leaving the country on holiday (or for good) so we've had to say goodbye now.   We've made some frames and plan to do a lot more.   

Last week was the last of school activities so that meant the last girls' group.   Man, I've loved facilitating girls' group.  I learn so much from these beautiful girls.  They crack me up and they make me think.   I cannot imagine not running a group like this in the future.   I'll miss it deeply.

On Thursday, Zoë had a culminating project on advertising.  All of year 2 put together a market day.  It was so awesome to see the curriculum so integrated!   I was quite proud of Zoë and all of the hard work put into the day to make it successful.    It was such a joy as a parent!

Zoë and Farah sold Fizzy pop after surveying others to see what would sell well.  

They created awesome print ads

They wrote tv commercial scripts

And wrote persuasive letters to others to order their pop

They sold the product at market day and made loads of money to give to charity! 

On Thursday, I also said goodbye to Steve, our principal.  He is out of the country until after we leave so it was the first of MANY goodbyes this week.....

In the midst of goodbyes, we also looked towards the future by heading to Sheila and Rado's  house for a typical Malagasy dinner.  OMG- Yum!!!!  We were all so well fed and full!  The meal was great and we discussed so many things about our future life.    It's so weird to have our heads in two places - but so great to have this opportunity to learn more and more about Madagascar.  We were even able to face-time with one of our future employees.   

Yum! Malagassy dessert!

Friday was a BIG day.  It started at 7am with a restaurant experience for all of year 4.  Wow.  I ate a lot for 7am!  Andie's class also had to create a menu, advertisements, prices, etc. for a themed restaurant meal.  Andie's meal was Japanese.  There was so much good food from all around the world!   It was followed by an introduction to different body system presentations.   

Then came sadness.....   After being here for nearly four years, every time there is a farewell assembly I cry.   There is the saddest song and always crying children.  I know it's necessary for healthy grieving and it's important to recognize our friendships and farewell properly.....but it's still brutal.  I've always dreaded our own and it came.  (Yes, there is still one week of school left but this was the last chance for the primary school to be together before the end of term).   

The assembly was just as heartbreaking as I had expected it to be.   First I got called up with the other leaving teachers and then all of the leavers came to the front with their friends.  There were so many emotions to process including saying goodbye to ISS myself as a staff member and then watching my girls and their friends who I've come to love- all of usgrieving.   Let's just say, I don't think anyone had dry eyes.  My heart aches for these friends left behind and for my girls leaving a place they love.... a place they've grown up and has become a part of who they are.   

silly photo of class after assembly to lighten mood

That evening we had a farewell party for the girls and two of their close friends, Liina and Emilia at the Holiday Inn.    Everyone in their grade levels were invited and loads of children showed up.  Looking back, it all felt like a dream.  The kids were running around happy and the adults were chatting and it was beautiful.   None of it feels real - partly because we still have a few weeks left and partly because it's just hard to imagine leaving.    I am SO glad we did the party though.  It was the perfect thing before everyone leaves for the holidays and I believe the girls felt celebrated.

That night Andie spent the night at Fana's and had a great time staying up too late.   The next morning we left early(ish) for a night away at Matanuvusi.   We couldn't have asked for better weather.   Gosh, I love that place.  It was the perfect weekend full of good friends, laughs, sunsets, snorkeling and surfing.   It was our final weekend with Ben, Lucy, Allora and family (Zoë's best friend) and I don't know if it could have been better.  Allora spent the night with us in our bure and Andie spent the night with Milla and everyone was happy.   It was such a great Fiji weekend.  I had to work hard to not feel sad there and instead soak in every moment.  I can't waste my last moments feeling sad --- it's a battle, but I just can't do it. I want to just feel sad on the plane instead.

Andie relaxing under the yoga tree

coming back from the trip where we saw a turtle!

All of us sat inside for a while watching the footage of the kids surfing!  

Luke, the surf instructor took three kids on his paddle board and surfed with them! It was awesome!

We all loved the hot tub.   After a swim in the cold ocean there is nothing better!


Sunday was also Father's Day and I have to say I have one of the best around and am married to another AMAZING dad.  So grateful for these men in my life that have shown me love, respect and have made me into a much better person!

Monday was back to work - which has been great because I am just soaking in my time there too.  I love my job and feel grateful to be doing what I love. 

card from year 5
ANd here's a few randoms from the week:

the market

Bonnie put our family billboards together for us and I finally got it framed!