We are adapting well to island life but there are definitely moments when we still look at each other in shock or have to pinch ourselves to check we are not dreaming!
It is small differences that still surprise us but at the same time these small things are becoming the norm. Gecko poop! Gecko poop is everywhere, you brush up and clean worktops but wake up in the morning to another sprinkling on every edge and surface around the house (yuck). Geckos themselves mainly come out in the evening and like to wander around the outdoor light, we seem to have dopey geckos though and they don’t seem great at catching flies! We have found a few gecko eggs in the gaps in windows, when we first moved in we also found some mummified geckos trapped in windows and doors too; another thing to get used to shaking windows and doors before shutting them and banging the side of the toaster before use!
Something that is less common than the geckos is seeing turtles. Jay went for a run on the beach one morning and not only seen two Hawksbill turtles but they were mating! This is very rare, especially in the shallows, there were some locals with him and they were very surprised to see this.
We have had a few beach visits now and the views are not getting boring. The sand is so soft and the waters clear. It is so nice to sit on the beach even just for a short amount of time and watch the waves or look over at neighbouring islands. We are trying to learn the names of the different islands in view around us and already planning which ones to visit.
During the second week in September, the children started school. My first impressions were that they were so quiet, many didn’t seem happy to have new teachers and I think were quite wary. After a few days and a few lessons down they started warming up to the new staff and I noticed that many were quite giggly. This was something I had noticed walked around the island, Seychellois like to laugh. It is refreshing to see that if they are happy they smile and laugh, loudly and sometimes, it seems, for no reason. Why do we need a reason to laugh and be cheerful? In other cultures, if someone randomly laughed they would be mocked, in the past I have had people question why I am always smiling. By the end of the month I feel like I have built good relationships with the kids in school, they are all so lovely and well-mannered. It is also nice to see that the majority students here don’t carry a burden of pressure based around school and exams. It already seems miles different to teaching in the UK and even Spain; there isn’t this underlying pressure of teaching to a test and needing to ‘get things done’, there isn’t unnecessary paperwork or high pressured observations. Yes, there are observations, yes, there are exams and reports to do but it is handled differently and overall everything is more positive.
Starting term without internet at home and with only a suitcase to live out of was quite tough. Without all of our nice things the house didn’t feel like a home. Until I got a lovely message in school one day to look outside. There I seen all our shipping and I felt so happy. I couldn’t wait to get it unpacked.
With everything at the house it was time to start making it a home. I really enjoy organising things and making everything pretty. Jay likes to moan at how many sets of fairy lights I own and asks do I need all of the photographs, but he loves it really. Once we were unpacked it was so nice to enjoy a cup of Yorkshire tea from my own mug while Jay played on his guitar!
This month we got a scooter! Jay absolutely loves it, I on the other hand am not so sure yet. I thought it would be easier to drive but it is actually quite difficult! I will definitely need to practice before my scooter test.
Jay is going to be our dedicated driver while we are on learner permits. It is nice being driven to school and I am no longer squeezing Jay around the waist telling him to slow down. I actually enjoy going on the scooter on really hot days, just so I can cool down! It isn’t the best when we are going the beach with a picnic, towels, snorkels etc. I feel a bit like buckaroo then. Luckily we haven’t had to drive in heavy rain…yet!
The rest of this month has been filled with various random moments where the only way to describe it would be #islandlife. Jay had his first haircut out here…by me! It went very well if I say so myself. We ran out of gas and had to go get another canister and we hitched hiked back, me between two men in the front and Jay on the back of the pick-up truck with the other hitchhikers. That was actually our second hitch hiking experience as the other was near the start of the month when a man drove us back from the other side of the island, when he pulled up he said with a laugh ‘don’t worry I won’t murder you’, thankfully we had already been made aware that hitchhiking is totally normal here. We also tested out the local nightlife, we went to a birthday night out in one of the bars; I am now a fan of the local takamaka white rum and ginger ale and Jay of the local Seybrew beer! We have dodged a lot of giant crabs when driving home of a night, they are everywhere, some alive and some not! From our garden we have had limes, mangoes and bread fruits and tried new recipes with all, some successful, some not…
It has been a very busy start to our new life and already it has been a fabulous adventure. I think it is best that we have been so busy because when you get a chance to stop and think or talk to anyone from home it just makes you realise how far away we actually are.