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.

Helena Wallin
22/9/2011 02:26:12 am

Seems like we have to shout when you are so far away! It´s really a big pleasure to have news from you and to find out what life is like for you in Hanoi. How great that the boys are happy and adapting to their new schools, even though it must be hard in many ways. I hope Carol is doing fine too. The best of love to you all! Helena and family

Gunilla Curdén
22/9/2011 02:30:09 am

Hi there! Thanks for the report, just as sis said, it's a great pleasure to hear from you.
You seem to be very proud of the boys, and so you should be, wow - children are amazing! =)
Love from all of us / G.

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