Our visitor from Sri Lanka

E.’s school takes part in a volunteer programme, which means from time to time a volunteer arrives at the school to reinforce the students’ English communication skills. At the end of this year a 19-year old young lady, P., from Sri Lanka visited the school. We hosted her in our home for a week (altogether she stayed for 6 weeks and was hosted by other families too).

Although E. doesn’t learn English in school (and never will), I signed up to host the future volunteer in the middle of November.

The girls were excited and very curious about our visitor. They kept asking when P. was coming.

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P. arrived on a Sunday afternoon and with her wide smile and cute presents she stole my kids’ heart.

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P.’s English was absolutely great (as it turned out, her Mum is an English teacher 🙂 ) and she could communicate and connect with E and L very easily.

During the day she was in school giving lessons about Sri Lanka and practising English with students in the higher grades. (She also taught the kids how to dance a Sri Lankan folkdance, what’s more she performed a gorgeous dance in school when the 3rd advent candle was lit).

After school either she walked home or we took her home from school and spent the afternoons with playing together. She was painting with the girls, or they danced together, sometimes they played with cars or a board game.

 

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Towards the end of the week we had more time to explore Budapest, to show her the sights and to do a little shopping. We saw the parliament and the night lights, Christmas fairs, where we had some lángos,

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visited the Buda Castle, where we had some treats,

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also took a ride on the funicular railway and saw the beautiful view of Budapest in sparkling sunshine. (After that week of sunshine she could experience snow for the first time in her life)

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We had lots of fun; we really enjoyed our time with this sweet, warm-hearted, full of joy young lady.

It was great practice for the girls, moreover a pleasure to have her in our home and she will surely stay in our hearts.

 

 

Test – meeting a native cousin

This weekend is all about relatives and languages. This is E’s first real life test of her English (apart from our native Nanny). My husband’s brother (M) and Spanish speaker wife (V) came to visit (they live in Germany) and I also had a little chance to practise my Spanish (which is surprisingly good, taken into account the little I’ve had to study in the last couple of months). This was my test.

E’s test was to meet her 7 year old native English speaker cousin (K) as my husband’s uncle and his family also came home for a visit (they live in the UK).

To cut the long story short, it was fantastic.
K and E played as if they’d known each other for a long time and language problems were nonexistent. There were some issues because of the age gap between them but not because they did not understand each other.
First, K came up with an idea to make a princess dress for E. So she took some paper, I found some crayons and markers and the work started. Drawing, colouring, sticking, trying on. 
preparing the dresses
They interacted with each other in the most natural way: asking for a marker, saying thank yous, offering paper and Cellotape to each other and ask what the other is drawing/doing.
Let’s try it on. I’ll help you.
A beautiful princess
The magic wand was a great hit when they showed the outcome to everybody around the house.
Magic wands
Then they continued playing: I’ll turn you into a … magic wand game. E understood it very quickly and started to say: Mommy, I’ll turn you into a bed.
So I lay down and they both climbed and lay on me. But we were frogs, babies, chickens, bum-bums 😀 , horses, cats, princesses and so on.
After this the “Five little monkeys jumping on the bed” game came with a lot of jumping and falling, then they went on to play hide and seek. And this wasn’t the end. K improvised a hopscotch, then we watched some Mother Goose Club videos on YouTube. 3 hours flew by really fast, we hardly noticed it. I should have taken more photos but to be honest I just wanted to enjoy the time with them.
We had a lovely time together and loads of fun. E passed her first “test” with flying As. She wanted to play with K no matter what (once K wanted to lift her up and dropped her. E cried for 2 minutes then running after K asked her to play more).
I was so proud of her managing in English and enjoying herself with an English speaking child to a great extent. The best feedback ever!!!