Long way from home, long way from sleep

Aaaaaand my first week of being away from home is over. I have been plonked into the land of green rolling hills, white skies and town scenery which I’m only familiar with seeing on Postman Pat And I love it!

My first week has been hectic to say the least. From the sad goodbyes last Saturday, which still don’t feel real, to the 24 hours of travel where our plane was pretty much just gappies central (who all took advantage of the free onboard drinks, classic gappies), to arriving at Heathrow and then driving to my wonderful new home city of Salisbury.

On arrival I was spoilt by the house parents whose family already feels like a second family to me. Their 3 kids are the cutest and happiest of chaps and never fail to brighten up your breakfast, lunch and dinner. After I met my fellow tutor at Chafyn Grove, Will from South Africa, we were treated to a big english roast for lunch by two of the teachers at the school. Accompanied by tea, a walk that ended with rain and went through green countryside, it was a true english experience.
The welcoming didn’t end there as we were treated with a fun night meeting the other teachers/families who live onsite! I think both Will and I just kept saying ‘I love England’ again and again that night.

Work began the next day (monday), getting to know what seemed like hundreds of faces, names, rules, customs, jobs, rooms, instructions, foods and drinks (coffee, lots of coffee).

The first kids didn’t actually arrive to school until Tuesday afternoon where netball training began *angel voices* and a swarm of 12 year old girls ran up to me and go ‘hello are you the new gap?’, ‘are you from australia?’ ‘Do you surf?’, ‘my name is…’ ‘Do you remember my name?’.

They all asked what my name is, to which I promptly replied ‘Kara’ without hesitation. I then heard a more authoritative and older voice respond ‘no it’s not’ to which I was quite confused (they don’t even know my name or my story).

I would be Miss Cummins here, or Miss C. Because 2 syllable last names can become a bit too much for these sweet kids.

The first few days have been exhausting to say the least! But so incredible and fun. A typical day includes wake up duties (I am nice so wake them up with music), checking kids are practising music, sorting lost property (agh), classroom assisting, netball coaching, listening to kids read, lunch duty or helping the 3 year olds with lunch (aww), then returning to the boarding house to help the kids shower, play, read, do homework, get on nicely, eat and then finally once the day is done, sleep! As you can expect after jet lag and full days of working, I have not had a problem with falling to sleep.

I constantly get asked if I’m feeling homesick or if I’m coping ok but to be honest this whole week has been such a whirlwind, it hasn’t sunk in yet at all but I’m sure it all will soon. At the moment it feels too different and too jam packed for me to realise that this will be my life for the next year, but I am absolutely loving it! All the staff, all the kids and every person I have met have been nothing but warm and welcoming, and I am constantly in awe as I look out the window and see the beautiful english countryside.

Until the next time I have a free 10 minutes xxx


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