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Greetings from Spa and Botassart!

Picture of Mandy Porrett
Greetings from Spa and Botassart!
by Mandy Porrett - Friday, 21 June 2013, 4:41 PM
I am very happy to tell you that everything is going well here in Spa. The weather is brilliant, even maybe a little too hot, but we aren’t really complaining!

We arrived late afternoon yesterday after an exciting visit to the mines in Blegny. As soon as we arrived in Blegny we ate lunch and then had time to play in the playground, which was enjoyed by all. Afterwards we had a bit of a hairy ride down 30 metres in a ‘cage’ elevator. At the bottom we were told all about mining and experienced the sounds and sights that a miner or a child labourer would have done. We then walked down a further 30 metres to 60 metres to find out even more. We travelled back to the pithead in the cage and breathed a sigh of relief to be out in the fresh air once again. We are now experts on coal mining and will be able to answer any questions you may have.

When we came out of the mine the weather had changed and rain was falling. This was not what we expected or wanted but fortunately by the time we had driven to Spa the sun was shining again.

The children settled into their rooms and made their beds before we went for dinner. After dinner we spent some time outside playing football, throwing frisbees and generally trying to tire the children out. It seemed to work quite well and after showers the children were really ready for bed. They didn’t take too long to settle and were asleep just after 11.00 – an all time record!

This morning we woke to bird song, bright blue skies and the promise of high temperatures! After breakfast we agreed on the criteria for Room Inspections before holding he first one. Whilst some rooms were very impressive, others have certainly left themselves room for improvement! We then split into groups and Ms. Wilkins took an Art activity whilst Ms. Jacques and myself took the rest for basketball and rounders. Lunchtime came around very quickly and despite the fact that everybody had eaten a huge breakfast freshly baked bread, cheese, ham and salad was devoured. Following this we had some quiet times in rooms before heading out for an afternoon of orienteering.

Orienteering was certainly a skill that some groups didn’t find easy, however, they struggled through the sun and the fact that maps and compasses didn’t seem to correspond, to find the clues. Well, that is all except for one group that almost made their way back to Brussels! (That’s boys for you!)

Following that excitement we ate our afternoon snack and then headed down to the stream to cool off and to develop our engineering skills. Dams were constructed and deconstructed when we noticed the sign asking us not to build them! The monkey bars were also well used. We then returned for dinner with many sweaty and rather grubby children! Now we are having a last play before showering and bed. (The children looking over my shoulder whilst I am typing this say “No” to the bed bit!)

So, as you can see we are all having great fun.

Meanwhile the Class 4 and 5 children are also enjoying themselves. Today they have been building rockets and hot air balloons, and this afternoon they have been for a very long walk. It was called the Milky Way trail, and they had to look for clues, but I don’t know if they actually ate any Milky Ways! I have just been talking to their teachers and all are doing well.

I will try and send you some more news tomorrow, we are off on a long walk ourselves and the Class 4s and 5s are finishing off some workshop projects. The weather is still meant to be good, so that will be an added bonus.

I hope that you are all enjoying the peace and quiet whilst your child(ren) are away, we are certainly enjoying their company.

Best Wishes from sunny Spa!

Mandy Porrett, Ms. Wilkins, Ms. Jacques and Class 6W and 7P