A month or so ago we had no idea that we would be here today. At that point we had no idea when school was going to happen. But here we are and today was the big day.
All proud with her new school uniform and her bag on her back.
There were no tears from either of us. I think the excitement was too big. Bianca was so very excited, she wasn't even scared one bit. We got there and she chose a space for her bag.
Then she found her chair with her name on it.
And then it was time to say goodbye and "we'll see you when school is finished".
What felt weird was leaving her behind. Weird, because for the past year I've always been there, recording her journey, taking photos, sharing it with her. So it felt weird having to leave it to somebody else. It wasn't much different to when Bianca was still going to daycare before she got sick, but it still felt different. Not "sad different", but "oh, I'm not too sure what to do with myself" kind of different.
Shortly after, I got a call from the school - the lady who is responsible for administering any required medicines - and she assured me that she will make sure Bianca is well looked after and that she will make sure Bianca gets all her medicines that she needs during the day. So a big comfort that they are really treating this as a priority. I did try and make it as easy as possible, by writing out a schedule and putting as much information as possible about Bianca's medicines, temperature guidelines, our contact details and so on, but at the end of the day you still need somebody to treat this with the same importance as we are expected to. So it feels comforting that they seem very committed indeed.
When I got there at the end of the day, Bianca was all smiles and proudly declared "I think I'll go every day". I asked her what her favourite part was and she said "I loved everything". She apparently made 2 friends and she said "it was a boy and a girl, but I can't remember their names".
She told me how they all got stars, how they had to colour in some smiley faces and also learned "c, c is for clever cat".
Here she is all smiling and you can see the two star stickers on her vest. The stars are for children who try really hard to follow the school rules and be kind to others.
And then when we got home, we had to do homework. Some words and some reading. Just really basic stuff, but Bianca loved doing it and she loved the thought that she was able to "read" a whole book.
She has some words written on cards and then we are meant to put them into different sentence combinations and she did really really well with those.
The book is all about going to the beach and how people got up in the morning, then went out the house and into the car and so on. She can read all the pages in the book and I thought that I would write the single words "up", "out", "push", "stop" on a separate sheet and then ask her randomly to point to certain words. When I got to the word "push" she drew a car stuck in the mud (similar to the one in her book as she saw it), but she wasn't copying from the book, just what she remembered and then when I asked her which word was "push" she drew a little man pushing against the car. So I thought that was pretty cool. For now she is really interested in doing homework and I wonder how long the novelty will last. But for now - we'll just enjoy the moment.
Oteha Valley seems to be a really good school for Bianca. It is small and they seem really caring which is great and comforting to us! We also like that each teacher has their own page on the website and we get to find out what the kids are up to.