01 02 03 Africa Expat Wives Club: Corruption and end of term-itis 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Corruption and end of term-itis

I heard on the radio this morning that Kenya has now overtaken Nigeria in terms of corruption - which is quite an achievement. The news reader said (tongue in cheek) - if we can't beat them in football, we can now beat the Nigerians in something else! Ha Ha

It's June and the school calendar is hotting up. Today I was handed ten metres of brightly coloured fabric to fashion into multicoloured ribbons on elastic - there was no warning that this was coming... but I smiled sweetly nonetheless. How on earth did it get out that I have a sewing machine?

I also find myself preparing all sorts of material for my 9 year old daughter's LAMDA exam -sticking printed out bits on manilla paper and attempting to help her sum up the story: 'My Tudor Queen, Diary of Eva de Puebla 1501-1513' into a 2 minute synopsis (it strictly must not exceed 2 minutes). - harder than you might think considering the number of historic figures who die or get married during that period. I am wondering why on earth I paid for this little extra exam/challenge - they should be paying me!

We have birthday parties popping up all over the place (no least our own childrens parties to arrange - one down yesterday), plus leaving parties/lunches for mums who are moving on in late June/early July to pastures new/new countries - as expats generally do. It's unsettling.

The middle daughter is in a highly competative interschools football tournament on Friday. She is 6 years old. I think that they should put the parents on the pitch instead. I can't wait until she is in a class with more than 8 pupils and she can gracefully bow out of football in favour of more girly pursuits. Watching her take part in the last match from the sidelines, standing stock still as if lost in a very absorbing dream was fairly agonising, especially as her fellow boy piers were giving it their all (amidst their parents cheering). When she was subbed out, my daughter cried with bitter disappointment. Trying not to be too much of a pushy parent, I asked her what went wrong. She said,
'But Mummy, it was so hot - I just didn't feel like it.'

Today that same daughter has her induction to her new school. She is the only one from her kindergarten going in september. I need to pull out some clean clothes out of a drawer for her, brush her hair then push her off to find some new friends - fingers tightly crossed behind my back.

The end of the school year always means change....and lots of pulling of weight of parents. It's all school plays, sports, parent teacher meetings, tests - notification of school fees going up from September. On the upside, at least the dreaded common entrance is now over for those bigger kids who can now kick back and look forward to a long summer before changing schools. The thought of preparing our children those exams strikes fear into my heart already, especially as I have been eavesdropping random words like 'extra tuition' spoken by more experienced parents on the school play ground recently - can't wait until its our turn!! Will certainly be getting my knickers in a twist.

For Mums like me, living through your kids vicariously is seriously hard work! Phew!

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