Four Months On

Longing for the Unexpected

Four months on and the whole South American thing seems like one massive, surreal dream.

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Iguazu Falls

So many amazing memories slipping ever so steadily into the haze of the daily grind back home in Australia. Iconic destinations like Peru’s Machu Picchu, Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni, Brazil and Argentina’s Iguazu Falls and the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador to name but a small handful.

Yet, as great as such places are, it’s the memory of a different sort that I’ve lately found myself most cherishing. This being (and I really, really can’t believe my fingers are getting ready to type out the rest of this sentence) our three months spent house sitting in Paraguari, Paraguay.

Somehow, there it is in black and white. The one sentence that I suppose best demonstrates how much traveling with a small child can change you in ways you once thought impossible.

Paraguari, if you remember, wasn’t exactly the sort of place tourist industry leaders are fending each other off trying to beat a path to. It was slow paced with what to us seemed very limited culinary and entertainment (ie. bars) options. Add landlocked and generally as flat as a chalkboard (with the exception of the town’s Cerro Negro) and, well, I think you get the picture.

Full moon on Koh Phangan it is not.

And yet, still, I’m finding myself missing the place.

This would come to me over the past couple months as we found ourselves in the discussion involving which local

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Kindy classmates

area school to get Little Miss Kaia admitted to.

The whole school thing…it’s kind of a big deal I guess you could say. I get it, I really do. But, as we spent a morning following a school administrator on a tour of a nearby school not too many weeks ago, I couldn’t help but take a less than on-pins-and-needles-approach to the whole presentation.

It was a presentation that involved up close and personal looks at busy and well-presented classrooms, elaborate play areas, libraries, a computer room and a whole assortment of other features that a little voice in my head was telling me were allegedly far more important than the one lingering question I was tempted to ask.

This being, what was the school policy on how many days out of each year the child can miss without being unduly penalized? You know, as in days spent on ‘intermittent walkabout’ with mom and dad.

Somehow, I kept my mouth shut and managed to avoid embarrassing Bec with such a line of questioning. For the average person, I can understand how this hardly rates as any sort of accomplishment. But for anyone who’s known me for more than, say, 20 minutes, this phenomenon called maturity was a massive accomplishment.

One that only took me just shy of 50 years of attaining.

And I suppose it’s just this ‘maturity’ (some sort of code word for middle aged baldness, I’m guessing) that is what has me missing our time in Paraguari, Paraguay. Maturity, traveling with a small child and twelve weeks that would see Kaia attending the little town’s Colegio Maria Luisa.

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A Lucky Girl

Comparatively, it was a school with a minute campus, a Spartan playground, no library and a single computer in the secretary’s office that, due to some technical glitch, did little more than collect dust the entire time we were there.

And, as for the staff, like Kaia’s classmates, they didn’t even speak English.

But, as I’ve come to fully appreciate, Colegio Maria Luisa had what mattered most. And they had it in an abundant supply.

It goes without saying, as a parent, you only want the best for your child. So much so it can get real easy to find yourself comparing every available report and state and federally prepared study you can get your hands on. Everything from school rankings, student to teacher ratios, extra-curricular programs and activities and even, for the super keen, the gluten and sugar free dining options of the various school cafeterias.

Yes, it’s all important but as Colegio Maria Luisa proved to us during our time there, when all

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“Kaia: We will always remember you.”
And us, you.

is said a

nd done, it all comes down to one question.

This being, a question of love. As in, how much of it will your child receive of it?

As long as there is this, I’m content to go on record saying, the kids will be alright.

Lots of love and, of course, let’s not forget the close runner-up.

That lenient attendance policy.

 

 

 

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One Comment

  1. Shane October 10, 2017 Reply

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