Speaks for itself this update. Those who know WIll know he is a happy little chap. And when you mix him with snow, the happiness factor ramps up, as does the cheeky snow ball throwing Fiend!!!
 
 
Sophia and Will delighted to find out that Santa found us in Cambodia. Here are a few snaps from the morning plus some Xmas Day shots mostly of the kids.... Nic and Dah hosted a beautiful day which included lunch with Nic's Nic's two sisters (who flew in from Sydney and London) and some of the cousins. Sixteen of us in all 8 adults and 8 kids so plenty of fun for one and all. The adults shots are on another camera so they will follow later...
 
 
We decided a trip to our little Thai Island would not be complete without a fishing adventure. I think it is John Buchan who is quoted as saying "The charm of fishing is (and seeking unique travelling experiences I might add...) that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope".

Well we didn't have to hope for long as the fish responded quickly and kept everyone entertained. While chit chat with our fishing guide was very limited - there was no mistaking the smiles, laughing and delight from both the captain and deck hand when Sophia and Will pulled in a few fish. And when Lydia landed two Barracudas they thought it was already Xmas. In fact, we all had a great time as the photos show.

You could say we had attained a truly unique and authentic travel experience which is more elusive these days in our 'global and connected communities'...

 
 
One of the common questions we got asked before heading off was "what are you doing with the children's education while away"...And Home Schooling rolled off the tongue like Lydia and I had been doing it for years and that it was going to be easy! Thanks to help from Queenwood (Miss B) and Mosman Prep (Miss Darling) we have enough educational material to teach the entire Cambodian primary school community. All we need to do is teach?!

Turns out - easier said than done. However we have divided and kind of conquered. I 'teach' Sophia and Lydia teaches Will. The reality is Sophia organises me to give her work and Lydia has the patience of a Saint in getting Master Will to focus each school day. Thus far we have not had any "dead poets society' moments of appreciation from our students but we are all enjoying the experience :)) However, it is no small coincidence that we know Bombay Sapphire and Grey Goose only costs $10 and $17 a bottle!!

Here are a few snaps from our little school at Villa Salt.

 
 
Well we got into the spirit of Christmas with a little tree on the 1st December. Will also came up with a great idea to decorate our door using their newly made Origami stars and Sophia provided a Santa Turtle (Asian theme:) called Benny.

Apparently Santa's little helpers had also been busy as when we opend our door later that day..... BEHOLD a 7 foot tree jumped out of the ground so our question of how widely is Xmas celebrated in Cambodia was sort of answered.

 
 
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Somehow our Khmer language skills didn't quite work when we gave directions on Sophia's Birthday. We managed to navigate our way to the local Kart track however our Tuk Tuk driver decided we looked like the kind of family who wanted to pop off a few rounds with an AK-47 and an Ozzie to celebrate turning 10... After seeing Sophia's enthusiasm to have a snap in front of the 'cool' guns, maybe he was right.

 
 
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Fantastic to see Brad (a colleague and good friend from Zurich) and his fiance, Jen, drop in and spend time on Bribie Island...They have been on their own adventure around Australia and it was great the moons aligned and we could meet up on Bribie. For those who know Brad & Jen you can check out their own adventures at http://coastingaround.travellerspoint.com it is a very impressive journey!
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Will was lucky enough to turn 7 on the 5th of September 2012. It is not very often that we are in Queensland for birthdays so we made the most of having Nanna & Poppy plus Grand Ma & Grand Dad on hand. Naturally we had cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner! As you can see Sophia was always close to the action too:) !
 
 
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"City living Island style" was the old marketing line from a developer back in the 90's for Bribie Island. Bribie Island has never been 'trendy' or had a high profile but my parents have lived here since 1988! And I must now confess when you get weather like we had in September it is a beautiful place... This is Will and I catching a few whiting. Great start to a gap year spending a few days at the beach unwinding from packing up our life in Sydney into four 23kgs suit cases!

 
 
Planned to perfection! We managed to be in Queensland and have father's day with Lillian & Bill, Melissa & Charlie and my parents. Perfect occasion to pull out the  cameras and shoot .... 562 shots later and I think I found a few that worked.