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Back to school!

Rebecca, my eldest, started big school on August 15.

She joined around 20 other kids in the ersteKlasse, or Grade 1. Her Papa, younger sister Sarah, and I brought her to school on the first day. We, along with other excited kids, their parents and siblings, waited outside until the school doors opened at 9 a.m. (This late start was only for the first day of school, they will then start at 8:15 a.m.)

Once the doors opened, we went inside to their classroom. Rebecca already knows where it is because she had an introductory day back in June. This was really smart of the school administration as she is then familiar with the teacher, plus all of her former classmates in Kindergarten (they are only 6 in her age-group) are in the same class.

She looked quite tense and scared when she was sitting in her assigned chair. I was afraid she would do the same thing I did when I started Grade 1.

I still get teased for it to this day.

All I remember is that after my mom brought me to our classroom, I was sitting in my seat, then I got up and chased her, crying my eyes out! She must have brought me back to class and, with the help and comfort of some helpful classmates, one of whom was Roselynn, who is now a teacher and a close friend, I managed to sit through the first day.

My poor Mom, it must have been so stressful for her.

Or funny.

Anyway, back to Rebecca. She did perfectly well on her first day of school. When we asked her how her first day went, there were no complaints. She said they were asked to draw what they did during summer, and she chose to draw her Opa and Oma’s house. We had spent two weeks with them at the start of the summer holidays, and again four days at the end.

This was a weird summer, we only got around two weeks of sun and summer heat, the rest was raining or cloudy. I couldn’t really take the girls to the pool, so, instead, we organized a few trips with friends.

Among the trips I took them on – the zoo, a chocolate factory tour, among others – what stood out was our visit to the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne. We took the train to Lucerne and a ship to the museum with two mom friends and their kids, which was already exciting for the girls.

At the museum, there were so many things to do for the kids. They had exhibits featuring the different modes of transport – air, land and sea. The kids could climb up forklifts, see inside actual planes, discover how steam boats work, go aboard a chair lift, or gondola, and so many more. We stayed there until closing. Definitely worth the visit.

For these trips, we would usually bring snacks as you never know when the munchies hit. I discovered that these sushi rice balls make a good snack on the go!

Sushi Rice Balls

1 cup sushi rice

1 ¼ cup water

Sushi rice balls*

In a small pot, place the rice and rinse until the water runs clear. Drain and add 1¼ cup of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat, and cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the water is fully absorbed. Set it aside, still covered, for another 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the optional seasoning.

In a small bowl, mix 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp white sugar, ½ tsp salt. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar.

When the rice is ready, transfer to a bowl and pour over the vinegar seasoning, if using.

Then, mix in ½ can of tuna in brine, drained,½ cup frozen peas and 1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds. Mix well, taste and adjust seasoning and add-ins if needed. Form into rice balls.

Visit to the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne*

I have a nifty rice ball maker I bought online which makes rice balls quite fast, but a Japanese friend also told me that you can use 2 bowls. Take two bowls, one smaller than the other, and place your desired rice ball amount inside one. Cover with the other, and shake.

You may use any add-ins you or your kids want. I can also suggest shredded chicken, flaked salmon, finely chopped carrots, bell pepper or cucumber, shredded cheese.

Guten Appetit!*

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