Thursday, January 10, 2013


Photo: Kelly and Aunt Isabelle during breakfast in Nouméa, New Calédonia.

samedi, août 18, 2012 (Saturday, August 18)

On the afternoon of the second Saturday, I was with Isabelle and Danny, the mother and son of the family that hosted me in Nouméa, New Calédonia.
We were at Isabelle’s office. She runs her own laundry business in a rented room a few kilometres from their home. I was sending emails to my friends back in PNG on one of the computers, while Danny – who was 18 years old - was playing games on another computer.
Isabelle was fixing up a few things in the other end of the room where there were big laundry machines and a sink.
At about 4.00pm, a slim fair-skinned woman turned up at the office with a small, cheerful girl, who was even fairer than the woman.
“Thomas, meet me sister and her daughter,” Isabelle told me in French.
I said “bonjour (hellow)” to the two and shook hands with them.
 “Thomas speaks English,” Isabelle told the mother and girl.
“You can practise your English with him,” Isabelle told the girl.
Later I asked the girl: “Comment t’appelle tu (What is your name)?”
She replied: “Je m’appelle Kelly (My name is Kelly).”
“How do you spell your name?” I asked in French and she spelled it sounding the letters in French.
Kelly’s mother gave permission for Kelly to spend the night with her aunt and us.
That night as we were driving up to the home up in the hills, Kelly, who was eight years old, tried counting the numbers from one to ten in English.
“What is eleven to twenty in English?” she asked, and I helped her with the numbers 11 to 20.
You see, students who learn everything in French count their numbers in French. The numbers from one to 10 are: Un, deux, trois, quart, cinq, six, sept, huit, neuf, dix.
After dinner we watched television.
In the morning, while everybody was still asleep, I came out to where the swimming pool area was and wrote in my note books. Kelly was also up cleaning the pool with a leaf rake.
Later, after breakfast, Danny sat on one of the tables near the pool and read a book. Kelly was working on another table, writing on a blank piece of paper. At times she would go up to Danny with her paper and pen and talk. Then she would go back to her table and write.
At lunch time, I walked by Kelly’s table and looked at the white paper she wrote on. They were filled with addition, subtraction and times problems.
Yes, Kelly was doing some revision work on the weekend, assisted by her cousin Danny. I think Kelly is a good student.    

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