Saturday, September 14, 2013

My Australian family

Moving to another country has been stressful, but I have been very fortunate to have a great host family for my first two months here.  I'm staying with my boss, Dr. Williams and his family.  Dr. Williams (David) is one of the head managers, both the Pathogen Characterisation Group Leader and the Diagnostic Virology Team Leader at AAHL.  His wife, Sinead, also works at AAHL in one of the virology labs.  They have two cute kids: Orla (age 4), and Thomas (nearly 2).  I've been very comfortable staying with them, as I have my own room to keep to myself and they invite me to join them for dinners.

Sinead (pronounced like Shen-ay), is from Ireland, and she met David when they both studied in Glasgow.  She has made some wonderful dinners and been so kind to me.  She even lets me join her on her grocery store trips and lets me pick out my favorite foods and snacks.  Of course, I only pick out a few things because I don't want to overstep in any way.

Orla (sounds like Ola with the Australian accent) and Thomas are a lot of fun.  They are both happy kids, though sometimes Orla is more grumpy than Thomas.  They have a corner of the living room filled with toys, and both kids are pretty good at entertaining themselves.

Orla has this strange obsession with Snow White, particularly the Evil Queen of the Snow White story.  She loves to watch the Snow White movie that the family owns, but sometimes it gives her nightmares.  I still haven't figured out why she wants to watch the movie all the time if the Evil Queen scares her so much.  She is a typical girl in every way - ballet, ribbons, lots of pink and lace.  And Thomas is obsessed with Thomas the train - go figure.

Sinead works part time, so this week she was home Thursday and Friday with the kids.  The kids rode their scooters down to the cafe where Sinead and I enjoyed cappuccinos.  The kids had baby-cinos, which was steamed milk with some chocolate sprinkles on top.  They really seemed to enjoy playing "grown-up" with their tea cups.  After our coffees, the kids headed down to the park.  It had rained quite a bit earlier that morning, so there were lots of puddles around that needed to be stomped in ;)

Scooter time took a bit longer with frequent stops to look for frogs

The kids couldn't resist stomping in the puddles with their rain boots

I've certainly done my fair share of babysitting, and will likely to continue to babysit while I'm living with the family.  I'm more than happy to clean and babysit in exchange for food and housing - it's a very generous deal, especially considering how expensive everything is (especially food).  A favorite game of the kids is to play with a photo app on my phone.  One app adds a mustache and one adds crazy hair.  Plenty of car entertainment :)


I'll post again about what Geelong looks like.  I'm off for an afternoon enjoying the area by the beach!

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