Asha is here. As I said in my previous post, it’s been a long journey for us, but much longer for her. The welcome at the airport on Sunday was very emotional and full of smiles. Asha and Ulrike were exhausted but put on a lovely smile for us. Our and Ulrike’s friends joined in the welcome – some appeared at the airport (thanks for the sign! I was so excited I forgot to make one!;)), others sent us photos in their Indian clothes (how very sweet of you!). Dawid, our star, instantly jumped on the skateboard and showed Asha around the house and their shared room. Linda and Bethany came to visit us and discuss the English lessons. Prahkar came from oxford to help us with initial chat – just to make sure that Asha is clear on all the little details of our life here and feels safe and welcome.
Our approach to Asha’s stay with us is very British: we just carry on! Asha is here to learn English but also to experience the local way of living, so we have originally planned to basically treat her like our daughter and show her our weekly routine. We were planning a very quiet week of adjusting Asha to the local temperatures, food and weather but life – as always – is a bit different. We did not know until the last days just when Asha would travel so her first week coincided with my Polish family’s visit to the UK. They arrived on Tuesday and I think our week was actually quite intense, focussed on sightseeing. We tried to give Asha as much time to rest as possible but also make the most of our time with family and show her around major locations in the area. I think it was really nice to have my brother and his partner over because Asha got to meet more of our family too and the week was cheerful. Tuesday afternoon we walked around Wantage and had a meal with Ulrike, before dropping her off at the train station for London. After weekend rest we took Asha and our guests to Oxford.
After the longer weekend of initial rest, on Wednesday we took Asha and our guests to Oxford.
She’s wearing a hat but trust me – the weather was actually getting much better than the week before;) We have walked around the city, enjoyed some local food in the Covered Market and visited a few colleges. It was a quick walk but I think we have seen quite a lot. My family really wanted to see the UK from many angles, not just the typical tourist attractions. Asha seemed to like the architecture so we took plenty of photos of interesting buildings.
On Thursday my family went to London, but Asha joined us in visiting Letcombe Regis (I work there twice a week) for the set up of Oxfordshire Exhibition – an exhibition of local artists. Asha went for a walk to see some of the beautiful green paths, and then on the way back had a quick look at some of the works prepared for the exhibition. She also got to meet some of my co-workers.
In the afternoon, when Dawid got back from school, we took the kids to the Faringdon skatepark. I am so impressed with Asha’s skating skills and I hope Dawid will learn a bit from her – she already inspired him to get on the skateboard and experiment a bit!
On Friday Asha came to London to spend some time with Ulrike and to go to the Southbank skatepark. Below are her photos from the trip, which was really tiring – we think we might have to make more time for London and take it easy. By Friday it did feel like a long week;)
We rested on Saturday morning but in the afternoon we took our family (their last full day in the UK) and Asha to Blenheim Palace near Oxford. She was quite astonished when I told her that it is a house for one family, really. She really enjoyed the art displayed at the palace and the palace gardens.
Sunday was a day of rest. Asha stayed at home and Dawid joined her for some time on the blanket, playing with dogs, relaxing. We were so lucky that the sunshine allowed us to come out of the house and enjoy the garden. We did nothing, finally:)
On Monday I was feeling poorly so Dan stayed and worked from home. Asha spent time with us, with Dawid and Poppy in the garden and at lunch-time went to the skatepark again. We had our first English lesson in the house – we talked about the items in the room and just warmed up for more English to come. I had my own studies in the evening but Dan and Asha decided to cook Indian food, so I arrived back home to a lovely meal and kids in beds!
The first week of Asha’s stay was busy with travels so I think she must be very overwhelmed but I like the fact that even if tired she is always smiling and gradually speaking up more and more. She has a good connection with Dawid and Poppy and probably thinks we (me and Dan) are a bit crazy. Well, we are just happy to have her over so I think we are a bit crazy indeed;)
This week we will be back to our normal work/school routine with Dawid passing his SATs exams, so I hope Asha will see how our normal life looks like and will join in again.