Friday, 26 December 2014

New Caledonia gave us this moment.

Lately there have been mixed feelings in our house. We learnt a few weeks ago that my husband's work contract will expire in April 2015, so we will be moving on from New Caledonia.

This has prompted in me a range of emotions, and each day I oscillate from excited to nervous to regretful to quite sad. This is a reflection of the challenges, opportunities and joy felt since we moved here in July 2012.

Take my son Jack as an example. Jack turned 4 the week we arrived. He has spastic quadraplegic cerebral palsy with dystonia. He needs assistance or intervention to do most things from the neck down. He requires specialised furniture, a wheelchair, walker, footwear, commode, bike, stroller and physical therapy. We left a very supportive family, friends, medical and therapy network to come to a country where wheelchair access is haphazard and experienced therapists difficult to find. The sight of a child in a wheelchair or walker is rare, especially in the small farming and mining community where we live.

We weren't sure if we were being brave or just plain irresponsible about our son's health and potential. In fact I'm pretty sure there were many who thought the latter.

One of the driving factors for us, assuming we could address Jack's physical needs, was the opportunity to integrate both Jack and his little sister Nellie into the modest, local school and experience French language immersion in a mixed group of cultures. There have been some frustrations with organising an aide, plus access within a school not used to wheelchairs, but it has paid off in ways I couldn't have imagined before. We have discovered a community intrigued and surprised by Jack, but proud to include him in their number.

It's his ability with picking up French which constantly delights us as parents. His accent is delightful. His confidence defies his genes. And he just plain enjoys it. Bliss.

This morning out of the blue, he sang me a Christmas song he learnt at school. I asked him to sing it again so I could record it and share.The next challenge is how to retain and build on this lovely new skill he has once we leave the island....

Friday, 12 September 2014

When family visit sur le caillou :: Pt 2

We recently spent two nights on the amazing Isle of Pines. We were so lucky with the weather, which was mild but sunny. It allowed us to enjoy the stunning beaches for a while, and get our toes into the soft, fine sand. We stayed at Oure Tera, on Kunamera Beach, on the south coast.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

When family visit sur le caillou :: Pt 1

The last few weeks have been busy. Rob has been busy with work, the kids right into school, and just as school holidays arrived, I unexpectedly ended up in hospital for a few days. We needed a holiday!

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Le Grande Marche de Pouembout.

Today is the Grande Marche in Pouembout. Enjoy these sunny images of Province Nord on display.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Now we are six :: an island celebration.


The past months in my blog absence have included some physical and mental challenges for our family. We've all been learning about ourselves and there have been some new understandings of how things are and how they may be.