Monday, September 15, 2008

In Brisbane

Andrew, Kurt, Vickee, Teryl and I arrived in Brisbane yesterday to investigate innovative curriculum ideas. We hope to visit the Department of Education today, but I am a little concerned as I have been emailing my contact all of last week and have not heard from them. It was all confirmed before I left on my sabbatical, but the silence concerns me. I will ring this morning at 8.00 and hope all is OK.

Tomorrow we visit Calamvale school which really impressed me when I visited 2 years ago. It was a school designed to deliver the New Basics curriculum. Apparently they have had to move away a little from this position because of state mandated learning outcomes. I am certain it will still be a very valuable visit.

We left Opotiki on Saturday and had an uneventful trip driving up in the school van. We checked into the Ventura Inn and set off walking to the Toby Jug Inn for dinner and to watch the rugby test. We got a little lost and then got hit in a downpour. After sheltering for a while we made it and had a basic pub meal.

The boys watched the test and we were rapt to thrash them. The downside was that we got back at midnight and had to get up at 3.45 to be at the airport for our flight. This made for a very long day yesterday.

Kurt is proving to be the traveller who needs watching and supporting. At he Toby Jug he ordered a beer and $40.00 cash, didn't get his money and didn't remember until the next morning. (He will try to retrieve on our return). Also, when we were checking in it was announced that Kurt needed a visa to get into Australia! The wonderful Pacific Blue people organised it for him (at a cost of $30.00!).

We finally got away. The flight was cattle-class cheap, but was great. The steward had a real Polynesian humour and joked all of the way. Tried to get some shut-eye but didn't happen.

We arrived at the Grand Chancellor at 10.00 and were able to check in straight away. Vickee and Teryl hired a car to visit Vickee's neice in the Gold Coast while the boys walked to Chinatown for lunch and then spent a couple of hours walking around the CBD and riverbank. Back at the hotel we had a rooftop swim, followed by some downtime before we wlked into town for a fairly average Italian meal. Andrew had a greaT Linguini, I had an average calamari and Kurt had a fish risotto thing, which I don't think he was that impressed with.

Asleep by 9.30 hoping the girls make it back!

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