Friday, 18 September 2015

ms-havachat's about coffee mornings

Who doesn't enjoy sipping coffee, chatting with friends.

It doesn't matter if you're in a cafe, their home, your home or the school library.

Just being together, talking, sharing, supporting is what it's all about.

Coffee mornings with or without a guest speaker are one of the regular events that glue the expat school community together. In fact, they probably glue most school communities together, and church groups, or a book club for that matter.

They are a great way to bring people together, to ensure the non-working parents have an opportunity to meet other parents and hopefully start friendships, to promote activities that require volunteers, and generally lift the community spirit within the school.

Some schools do it better than others, and it's great to be back in a school community that do it well - maybe a bit too many, but at least they are there and you can choose when to participate.

There are Welcome Back coffee mornings in September and January; grade coffee mornings which are different to class coffee mornings, Lower (elementary/primary) school coffee mornings and of course, one's for Middle and High school; then there's the all of school term coffee mornings, and the one's hosted by the Parents Association. Occasionally, the principal or head of school will host one too.

Sometimes there are guest speakers, sometimes there isn't.

Going thru the school calendar yesterday and writing up the relevant dates in the diary took me nearly an hour, but also made me realise just how many coffee mornings there are!

Thank goodness we've only one child here! Imagine having 4 grade coffee mornings, across the 3 schools (lower, middle and senior) plus 4 class coffee mornings plus the Parents Association - you'd swish thru your days!

Today I was invited to the first one with the Aussie and NZ parents for this year.

There were 4 dads and 8 mums.

We met at a lovely local cafe/restaurant for a late breakfast/coffee/chat.

The normal questions were asked of me and one other new arrival. You know the one's we chatted about a few days ago when we talked about Community - what a start! Everyone is amazed that this is our 5th move in 9 years .... I'm beginning to think it IS a lot.

One dad mentioned his daughter isn't coping too well but it's only been 6 months and thankfully he can see slight improvements already. Another mum had us in raucous belly laughs over her epiphany (her word) in the shower earlier today that she sent her son to school with seafood for lunch (a no-no like nuts) and how she bolted out of the shower and phoned school to retrieve the lunch from his backpack; we talked about fundraising for MrsD's eldest daughter and I'm excited that I'm going to help her plan and execute some fundraising ideas for her CAS (community service) component of her  IB.

Our new school encourages a parent from each nationality to step forward and volunteer to be THE lead parent of the group in terms of new families arriving during term, and especially for the organisation of the annual International Fair. Two mums offered to be the Aussie/NZ parent reps for 2015-16. When I told G I didn't volunteer he was delighted! I could sense his relief over our Skype session.

I'm now buzzing from the coffee's this morning, so it's green tea or water for the rest of the day.

With friendship

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