Saturday, May 09, 2009
Shonenji Golden Week Camp
Amy, Erica and Lena on a broad concourse at Asia Pacific University, where we went to pick up a friend to take with us to Miyazaki. Looking all fresh and new after only an hour driving - we sure looked a lot worse for wear when we arrived! Erica was in pyjamas, having lost her lunch all over herself. Amy was looking shattered with her hair all messed up, having lost her lunch as well, though in a bag at least.
Our brief at APU was to chat to and amuse a bunch of high-schoolers in a kind of extra, casual 'lesson', in exchange for a free lunch. This mostly took the form of them fussing over the kids and taking photos. Lena, for all her desire to be a model/actress/popstar/all-round famous person, got sick of posing very quickly.
Dinner on the first night, which happened not long after we arrived. We arranged ourselves around two barbecues plus one extra table, under the carport and a tent by the side of the house. I can't count how many guests there were! About 12 children, 15 or more adults. On the left, Amy, Lena and Sahara talking to a boy whose mother is Tunisian. In front of them, the Tunisian food - chicken and vegetables on couscous; also rice balls, sushi and a cheese and cracker plate (it took four of us to get that cheese platter right!)
Breakfast was in the Rec Room, an old town hall near the property bequeathed to the temple at some point. Bread and fruit and yogurt and bacon and eggs and rice and miso soup.
Out the front of the temple, the kids all fascinated by an irrigation ditch. Erica was calling it a bath, but keeping her distance. They had the most fun throwing balls in at the top and catching them. At this time in the morning, they wanted to go to the river and swim, but we said No, as I had a few things to do first. In retrospect it would have been the best time...
Erica found a dandelion in seed. She was just a little bit rough with it! On the second day, we made Banoffe pie - a banana toffee pie with a biscuit base, which Amy is crushing here. You make the toffee or caramel sauce by boiling a tin of condensed milk for several hours, then top with sliced banana, whipped cream and grated chocolate.
I love this total relaxation shot of Lena! Erica having a go at croquet. We all kept our distance!
Just because babies and flowers are so cute!
Hostess Queen Victoria directing the placement of her canopy of state. Or, shifting the tent in for a lunch on the lawn.
Bubbles in the English Garden
Croquet man-style. Or is this golf? On this beautiful day, eating lunch in the sun, suddenly we heard thunder. I looked up and saw the black clouds swirling over the temple and realized our chance to swim in the river was all of a sudden very, very short! I rallied the kids, we got changed, and off we went, after Erica showed us all how cute her bum is without a nappy.
The girls in the river.
(lfet)"Hurry up, Mum, what's going on!" (right) "I'm in!". It was only a wee bit cool, I'm sure that if the storm had allowed us more than a few minutes of swimming time, we'd have gotten a little wetter.
Sigh, not even the explosive fun of a wild thundery river swim can put a stop to the sibling fights!
"Noooooo, it's too cold!" Lena would not get in. No worries, Amy was happy to jump in!
Dinner on the second night was a bit simpler, in reflection of our general state of tiredness. Just curry and rice, and barbecued meat. On the right, the girls eating on the lawn. That's about the distance I saw them most of the time, if at all!
We had spent the earlier part of the afternoon watching Mamma Mia on a big screen in the temple's main hall. Talk about Abba worship.
Erica tucking into her curry. On the right, Amy having her turn whisking the cream. The electic beater had broken the night before while whipping cream for the trifle, so we took turns whipping with a whisk!
Fire. Meat. Yum.
On the right, Amy at breakfast the next morning, trying a unique new game. That is Erica back there trying to push.
Lena and Sahara meanwhile, were playing in a tent. On the right, the grown-ups, having placated most of the children with a DVD, enjoy a quiet cup of tea in Victoria's kitchen. I love that view!
Lunch on the lawn again. Loads of children again. The mostly all run off after their tummies are full. It took me ages to round them up for the trip home!
How many kids can you fit in one toy car?