Children I Met In Brisbane Helen





About a month ago, I flew to Brisbane in Australia from Shanghai in China via Singapore. With great curiosity, I experienced the Australians kindness and friendship. The 2nd day on my way back from school, I forgot to ring the bell in time in order to get off the bus. So I had no choice but to turn back and walked along the bus route. Unfortunately I got lost soon after I got off the bus at the Mt. Gravatt Central Bus Stop, where my home-stays place is. I didnt know which way I should go because all the streets looked almost the same. Whats even worse, there were no passers-by! I walked for a long time when I luckily met an old Australian walking a dog. Hesitatingly I asked him for help. He listened to me patiently and then led me to the right place. How thankful I was for the mans help!

However, what interests me most is the children I met in Brisbane because I myself am a mother of a 14-year-old boy, and a Senior School teacher as well. Before I came to Australia, I was determined to find out the differences between the two countries children.

John and Lisa are my Brisbane home-stay parents. They have two daughters. The elder is Erin and the younger is Tara. Erin is a beautiful and clever girl, who is in Year 2. She is good at Maths and Drawing. Upon my arrival, she showed me her Maths exercise book and paintings proudly, on which there were a lot of good comments by her teacher, such as “Excellent”. At the same time she can jump rope very well. Whenever I want to take a photograph, she will offer to help me and she does a really good job. One dinner time, she proudly showed me a beautiful bookmark as a RIBIT (reading in bed is terrific) Reader, which is no wonder she can write the lovely short story “The Three Birds”, in which she even drew a conclusion “If you are nice to others, they will be nice to you. ” Tara is a different kind of girl. Three days before my arrival, she had just had her 4th birthday party. And now she is in a kindergarten. She is a spoiled girl, who is always screaming for something. Of course she is a lovely and clever girl. She likes dancing very much and she always shows off her dancing skills. On Fathers Day, the two girls gave their father three gifts: 1 Big Hug, Control of TV Remote and 1 Hour Quiet Time, which is another surprise to me. Perhaps it is the most economic and wonderful present Ive ever seen from children!

Roger and Clare are my Harvey Bay home-stay parents. Although we lived together for only 5 days, I have a very good and deep impression of them. They have altogether 8 children, only 3 of whom are living with them in a big house. They are: Jacob, who is 14 years old, Sarah-Jane, 12, and Joseph, 10. Both Jacob and Sarah-Jane are now studying in the same church school near where they live. Jacob is in Year 10 and Sarah-Jane, Year 8.Jacob can play table tennis well and his coach teaches him the skills of table tennis for an hour every other day. When he learnt that I can also play table tennis, he begged me to compete with him. As you know, I was once a member of my schools team. So its not so easy for him to defeat me. But he never gave in and continuously asked me to keep playing. Such a determined boy! Sarah-Jane is good at running and she has won the first place in several competitions. Surprisingly she is also active in playing drama at school. Joseph, unlike his brother and sister, doesnt go to school every day. He just receives Home Education, which is quite fresh to us Chinese. That means the education of Joseph is provided by his mother— Clare. Im quite interested in the following questions: Does this kind of education system work? What if the child who receives home schooling fails in the future? As a matter of fact, Joseph is quite a successful boy, who has good manners and is expert in all aspects. What impresses me most is what he says and what he does. For example, if he coughs or sneezes at home, he will say “Excuse me” or “Thank you” to us. Whenever he wants to drink a juice or have an ice-cream or fruit, he will ask me first. He is a tender boy. He often helps to set the table and do some other things he can at home. So its not strange that I like him best.

In addition, there is another 15-year-old Hong Kong boy named Jason living in the same house. Im especially interested in this boy. So I interviewed him. His parents are working in Hong Kong while he himself is studying in Year 10 at Fraser Coast Anglican College. He is now staying at Roger and Clares home, just like another son. He likes reading and he tells me “Australia is my favourite”. What impresses me most about Jason is his smiles and confidence. When I asked him if he was used to the home-stay life, he responded by “No problem”. Of course the home-stay parents are kind to him, treating him as their own son, while he doesnt disappoint them, either. As soon as we finish dinner, he will quickly wash the dishes, with Jacob and Joseph helping to dry them. What a happy family!

Back to Brisbane, I returned to my first home-stay family. Im very glad to see Erin and Tara again. On September 16, Sunday, Lisa invited me to her niece—Jessicas Christening. That morning, Lisas parents drove me to the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, together with Lisas family and some of her relatives. I witnessed three Christenings. That is to say, I know about the children from their birth to their teenagers in Brisbane, which I think is of great help to me as a teacher.

How lovely the children I met in Brisbane are!


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