PictureOssians choice of art to draw.
Ossian went on a field trip the other day. I signed up to follow them and keep track of a group of 4 kids.

It´s a nice museum and I think the kids liked it too. They where supposed to draw a drawing of one of the paintings/sculptures at the museum. At first all the kids on the groups went for the same piece but after a while they change their minds and started to choose a painting or a sculpture more of their liking.

More pics at the link "read more" down below.

This Saturday Ruben and his new friends at Saturday basketball at UNIS played a game against a team from another school (nobody told me which school). The kids performed so good and they won by 9 to 2 points. I think Rubens contribution was 4 points. Given this was his first basketball game ever he did really good. I´m so proud of him.

I took a whole bunch of pictures and on the link "Read more" you can find them.

Finaly! The boys got into Saturday Soccer and Saturday Basketball at UNIS. It´s a great programme with parents training the children. It´s open for the entire community in Ha Noi so it´s just not for UNIS attending children and parents.

During the day it´s not only the kids that is training. Adults have bootcamp training or other physical exercises at campus. Kids and adults from UNIS school are also selling hot dogs, snacks and drinks.

See more pics by clicking the link "read more" to the right.

You probably wonder why I´m so late wishing you happy new year. Well, in Viet Nam is Tết celebration (New year) in accordance with the luna calendar and it accurs on the first day of the first month of the Lunar calendar (around late January or early February).

Ha Noi has been crazy for a long time now because of Tết. Everybody is going around buying stuff to give to family and friends. The traffic is horrific. A motobike ride that normally takes 15 minutes, takes another 1 hour (during rush hour). This is the most important holiday/festival in Viet Nam and everything will shut down for a couple of days. We have had to buy all the essentials, like food, before the holiday. Its not like Sweden when you can go to the supermarket on new years eve untill 9 pm.

Today was the last day in school before the leave. There where celebrations and all the parents was invited. The kids performed a play, sang songs and danced. There was also a dragondance performence by the kids and later on there was proffesionals doing the same. I´m so impressed that the teachers get the kids to perform like that. So different from Swedish schools.
Click on the link "read more"  to the right to see more pics.
Yesterday Ruben and all of the 3 graders performed a play called "What´s in your mind". I could not miss this for anything in the world so I went even though I am sick. Panadol does the trick for a while. I´m glad i went. It was so good. The kids were so talented. I am so impressed that the teachers get the kids to perform the songs with such passion. There were probably many proud parents with wet shiny eyes in the audience.

Se also Ruben and his class performing Ace of Base´s "I Saw The Sign" on Rubens page.

11-11-11. A day that occurs once in a lifetime. A special day for special events. At UNIS they celebrated with a charity event - Walk-A-Thon. The kids did laps on the field track and for every lap they did their sponsors had to donate a predetermined amount of money. The money will go to Blue Dragon Children´s Foundation.

Please visit: http://www.streetkidsinvietnam.com
Blue Dragon came to visit the event.
Want to see more pics? Just click on the link "read more" to the right.
Today was track events. 400 meters for grade 1-5. The kids competed for points to their "houses". Ruben and Ossian belongs to Tigers. Its just like Gryffindor, Hufflepuff etc. The kids love it. They really tryed to do their very best.

Ossian fell at the start and ended up last but after 250 meters he was in the lead. A remarkable achievement. Finaly his energy ran out and he came in second.
Ruben had also a bad start. He was caught up in some kind of "running jam" and did not come up to speed. After 200 meters he had caught up with most of the guys but that was not enought. He ended up in 5th place.

The boys did really good and I am so proud of them. When they got home Ruben told me that he wants to start training running with me.
Practicalities such as give the boys healthy snacks to bring to school, ensure that they are doing their homework and arrive without problems to ASA (After School Activities) is my (Jocke) main focus these days.

Ruben goes to UNIS (United Nations International School). It seems to be the school (almost) everyone wants to attend in Hanoi. UNIS have amazingly good resources in terms of facilities and sports facilities, and the staff appears to be very good. Ruben has really acclimatized. It has gone beyond expectations. It may be because we was very clear and told him that the language sets limits for him and he should not expect to much at first. He goes to school with a smile on his face and return home the same. He seems to communicate with his new friends like it is the most natural thing to do. I´m so impressed.

Ossian did not get a spot at UNIS when there was no place in EAL class (English as an Additional Language). In the meantime, he has been at Concordia International School Hanoi. It is newly opened and that was really good for Ossian when there were only four students in his class. It gave lots of individual time with the teacher. Concordia seems like a great school. Tomorrow, 20th September, Ossian will attend grade 1 at UNIS. I´m looking forward to that. To have both boys at the same place makes everything easier. Not only for me but also for the boys.

Ossian has had a harder time at school and he thinks at times that it's boring. This is quite understandable as it is a new language, country, culture, climate, friends, etc.. He is so brave and goes on the school bus every morning (some days with great persuasion). Ossian really wants to be with the others at UNIS. All his friends from the Embassy and the Swedish camp is at UNIS and he felt left out.

He does, however, great progress in school. Although he never had English lessons at home in Sweden he reads English books in the evenings. His teacher, at Concordia, Mrs. Markin has many years of experience working with children who do not have English as their first language and she is very impressed by Ossian - "he is so intelligent," she says. In the little time they had together, he has learned more than any other children she had as a student. She has even told the EAL teacher that it will be difficult to keep up with Ossian's learning pace.

The children are very polite to Sinh (our maid), and they can now talk to her about their the day at school. It is quite amazing considering that he only have had four weeks learning english in school.

I have put myself to school. I intend to learn Vietnamese. This will probably take much longer than it does for the boys with the English language. I am so proud of them.