There are not many upsides to Leo coming into our bed at 3am but here are two. First at 6am I was woken up by him laughing in his sleep. It was a rather delightful way to be woken up, by a little toothless chuckling boy. Then when he woke up he told his father and me of his life plans.
“First I am going to go to university,” he said. “Then I am going to play for Chelsea and then I am going to get married.”
“Who are you going to marry?” asked Rupert.
Leo sat up in bed and gave his father what can only be described as an old-fashioned look.
“Of course I don’t know,” he said. “I have to look around first.”
Meanwhile both he and Bea have beaten the waiting lists and got into the most gorgeous little ENGLISH primary school here in Abu Dhabi for next school year. It is called The Pearl and just looks lovely. Added to which my friend Noch’s daughter is going to go there too. So we can hang out and gossip about the other mothers. Bea will have a school uniform; you cannot imagine how much stress that will save us in the mornings. Leo will of course have one too and he will play rugby and cricket and football. And they even have basketball nets!
I am so proud of my little ones; they had a long test which they must have passed. Considering they have only ever been schooled in the French system they have done brilliantly. Olivia is going to sit an entrance exam for Repton in Dubai so fingers crossed for her as well.
And Rupert and I are looking forward to finally being able to understand their homework….
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2010
Well done to Leo and Bea and fingers crossed for Olivia! My kids had also only been schooled in French until we came to Bahrain and have absolutely loved the transition to the British system – more projects and innovative fun ways of learning and less old-fashioned rote-learning.
Oh, and belated congratulations to you, too! Don’t know if you’ve already finished your research for women of note, but Bahrain’s Minister of Culture Sheikha Mai bint Mohammed al Khalifa may be of interest. She’s done some fab things here and is active in preserving rather than bulldozing Bahrain’s heritage.
Yes, congratulations to the children, Helena, for I know that entrance to the best schools here is so very competitive. It must have been a very stressful time for all of you. Will Olivia be a weekly border at Repton? if so, that’s an interesting idea for an article for it’s a very novel concept in the Emirates. And I second Kate’s suggestion of Sheikha Mai. Together with Sharjah, where Dr Sheikh Al Qasimi (wonderful man) began work on preserving the historic area 20+ years ago, Bahrain has done a magnificent job in retaining its heritage and is a fascinating place to visit. (Along with many others, we still reckon it’s the best place in the Gulf to live too.)