Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ceiba- Grade 1

Some pics from Ceiba's open house at school. Such a fun environment, and of course, I love the flower/insect chapter they are exploring.
Her class is nice and small at 17 students, with a lovely Canadian-Maltese teacher and awesomely fun aide from the UK. When Ceiba takes in baked goodies from home, they send a note back about how they "loved the hot yummy buns!". LOL. Gotta love our international bunch! Especially when they ask the kids to get out their rubbers.... parents' jaws drop... only to learn that's another word for an eraser ;)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Ta'xbiex Water Polo Club

Because it's May, sunny and we had a sitter...
And it is super YUMMY! The Caprese salad was gone before the photo!
The backdrop view of Valletta isn't too shabby either.

Missing my greenhouse

I LOVE Malta... but I miss my greenhouse  
My hands miss the soil, my nose misses the smell of flowers, soil and humidity.
Gardening is my therapy, the only true euphoric trance for my mind to blankly enjoy. Growing things makes me feel accomplished, powerful, gifted and happy. 
I have a taste of that here, an appetizer. The old greenhouse was the motherload!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Making Friends

I'm sure you've read a million posts about making friends abroad. I've read them too, and I still struggle. Is it the short time, the independence, the confidence? I don't know, but what I do know is that whether you are 5 or 105, making a new friend feels good.

In Dhaka, I learned a good lesson on assumptions. Though it was innocent, I still learned to broaden the scope a bit or think before speaking. While at the American Intl Schol in Dhaka, I overheard an accent in the PreK class. "Where in the States are you from?" I asked. "I'm Canadian!" was the reply.... oops. My first expat post, so I guess you could say I was still a tad green around the edges. I've learned a lot since then.
 This week at San Anton Gardens, the Kitchen Garden, I overheard again, but asked "Are you Canadian or American?". And thus a friendship began, good conversations, kids playing and similar topics. Wouldn't you know, she is from near where my first great, sassy Canadian friend (you know I love you Sandra!) is from. I guess I'm drawn to Canadians! Some are our very great friends (you too Lara!). We always joked about how we had better mail and entertainment, but they have better healthcare. Share food, spend time and play with kids together. 

Today I was invited by a good friend, who I met here in Malta through her blog, , to an artsy lunch where she and some friends were selling their wares. She and I met through my emailing her after reading her blog and feelings we'd hit it off. I am not usually the "starter" in friendships, guess I fear rejection or who knows? We also have a close family, so I feel awkward sometimes to offer a friendship I might not always have the time to tend.

Not only did I re-meet the woman who hit it off at the garden, but also a nice woman who lives LITERALLY 4 doors down (we are on different schedules and rarely pass), plus a multitude of other VERY interesting ladies. It was nice to be in a room with many expats and so many interesting and eclectic woman, many mothers also. The vibe just felt good, if that doesn't sound cheesy. Discussions came up actually that mentioned "Under the Tuscan Sun" and "Eat, Pray, Love", so it MUST be fate, right?!

Looking forward to new friendships, lasting ones and learning new people, playdates and visits. Here's hoping! And coming home to 3 lovelies still napping since I left - topping the cake!

Friday, May 16, 2014

St. Peter's Pool

On the back side of the quaint and touristy port city of Marsaxlokk, lies another hidden gem in Malta... St. Peter's Pool. Last weekend, for our day date, Chris and I drove out to visit the secluded rocky shores.
We drove around the area, a few wrong turns, a few dead ends and then after parking, walking and hiking, realized we could park across the bay for a better walk and view. Off we went, and upon moving, had great access to the water via some stone carved stairs. Here, as in many spots around the island, there are old salt pans used to harvest and trade the precious commodity. The sea here turns turquoise as it flushes into the narrow cove, all limestone surrounded with several railings and stairs to get down into the beautiful water. Still a tad chilly for us, but there were several swimmers nearby.
(the wheat here is like in the Gladiator and Roman movies, so different)
On the drive down and out, the capers were getting right ripe, and we passed little old men with baskets in hand. On my must do list before leaving, but honestly we've been gifted with capers from friends here, more than we'll probably eat in a lifetime! The thistles are also blooming and full of bees, wasps and snails (which surprised me, especially in the hot sun). 
Fossils also abound, but while they look like you could just pluck them out of the rubble, they are firmed planted in the the stone. It's fun to see how many different shapes and sizes of sand dollars dot the shores in Malta!
And I LOVE our day dates, but always seem to end up photographing in the noon blaring sun light! 

Verdala International Night

Last week, Ceiba's school Verdala International, held their annual International Night. For expat families, this is an especially fun event, offering a look at so many cultures and countries, different foods and the chance to mix and mingle with the international school community.
Our American table put out a spread of PBJs, hot dogs, chili, mac n cheese, pb cookies, guacamole and good ole' apple pies. We made the apple pies for Ceiba's school (AISD) in Dhaka too, so we're starting a pattern here!
And almost as yummy as the apple pies... usually the leftover pie dough (since there are rarely pie doughs in the nice recycle tins at the stores overseas...) to make scratch cinnamon rolls. My mom always made these after making pies, just roll it out and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, roll up and slice. Avocet helped cook while Ceiba was at school. Trying to raise the girls to wear out the counter with their little butts to cook, like we did as kids!