Today is my last day of my self – imposed writers challenge. During the last 24 days I reported on all sorts of going ons from our new life on top of the rock in B.C., Canada.
With this final entry I will get back to writing in “normal” intervals. I proved to myself I can write nonstop, every day, for 25 days straight! I am disciplined enough to put something on paper before midnight strikes. Mission accomplished!

I will leave you with this fine piece of well researched literature. It will compare basic school operations in The Netherlands vs Canada.

The Netherlands

At the beginning of each school year your kid gets his photo taken. Home address, phone numbers and emails of each student are collected. With the permission of the parents each kid in every class gets this list to take home. For us parents this list feels like a sigh of relief:
We know of all the other kids our children are hanging out with.
If our son has a crush on Heidi, all we need to do is pull out our info sheet, check out her picture and comment on the good taste of our son – or remain silent.
Another advantage is, if our kid “goes missing”, all we need to do is telephone the list from A to Z until we find him. All in all, this whole procedure runs like a well oiled machine, it’s organized.
The Dutch don’t have any secrets, nobody is ashamed to admit their dodgy, humble home address.
Wy? Where we lived we didn’t have dodgy.


it’s the beginning of the year and — nothing happens.
We as parents are lucky enough to know that our kid is back with Liam (there are three of them, so which one?), his teacher is Mrs. Scott and his class is next to Joshes. ( here again, I know five Joshes by now, which one is he?). Our Elementary school at the bottom of our rock operates on the “Need to know basis”. You want to know, you need to find out by yourself!
I literally have to walk around the playground with my pen in hand and ask individual parent for their phone number. Regardless of their connection to my children or not!

If you don’t put the effort in, something like the following can happen:
I allowed Cruz to go home with his mate Liam and his mom. At 3.15pm I remembered I don’t remember Liam’s home address or his moms name- and she is the one who took Cruz home!

I called the school. Thank God the secretaries were still around to take my call. I described mom, boy and ask for their phone number! School secretary identified mother and son but refused to give me their address or phone number. Not because she doesn’t like me- it’s school policy not to give private info out!
Secretary promised to call mom in question and I had to wait to be contacted!
Word of warning: Remember your childs not whereabouts before the secretaries leave. Otherwise you can kiss your kid good-bye!:imagesCADMIM71


Required volunteer drivers leave their name on a SIGN IN SHEET. All we had to do is mention the amount of seatbelts available and we were off.


BEFORE you even attempt to put your name down as volunteer, you need to call ICBC (the holy, Canadian wide insurance corporation) The school needs to know what kind of car you are driving, If you are the owner of that vehicle and if any claims have been filed against you!
Then each child brings home a disclaimer from school. We need to sign it, and then we are off.

Different rules for different countries – shall I tell you about the cheques we had to sign during our first full school year in B.C. Better not, this is a whole different topic altogether!


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