Fly El Hierro – Alex

Alex is only 10 years but that did not stop him from conquering his fears and making a big jump. We are so proud of him and he had a really good time. As a preparation we first went to just look at the whole process. Everything involved from preparation, gearing up, checking and double checking everything. Getting ready, patiently waiting for a good breeze, take-off, flight and, very important, the landing at the end.

The first day we only observed. Alex had started out a bit anxious, but quickly became more and more confident as we got to know the instructor a bit and familiarized ourselves with the routine involved. The next day Alex was the first who wanted to go. He took off to the skies and went up to over a kilometer high! He dived into the clouds, and got to handle and turn the para-glider. After a bit of sightseeing from the sky he went back down for a smooth landing. After Alex showed the way his little brother Alan also ventured into the skies.

Alex was very happy with his jump. His instructor told us that Alex was really enjoying himself up in the air. It was a great and valuable experience for Alex, and together with the preparation we did a day earlier it is easily the best experience Alex had during his holiday this year. He has really grown because of this experience. Adapting to a new situation by first observing, gaining trust, and shedding unjustified fear is a lesson that can prove valuable for the rest of his life. For Alex it easily won over his other experiences like the boat trips, Loro park, Siam park, the encounter with an octopus, the watering of lizards, various swimming pools, forest walks, the bbq, etc.

Alex is already planning his next flight. The next time he wants to do something special. Solve a Rubiks cube while up in the air! We are still evaluating if this is something we are confident with. Alex’s instructor Ondrej on El Hierro is literary one of the best para-glider in the world, but paragliding is still an inherently dangerous sport (hanging in the sky at a huge altitude with nothing but a couple of strings connected to a big sheet == clearly dangerous, even if the instructor is packing a backup parachute), so we need to see if this is something we want to repeat closer to home.


Alex’ flight resulted in a great experience for him, and some great photos and videos for us. If you want to float across the valley on El Hierro you can do it with Ondrej from Fly El Hierro. A massively experienced professional who provided a great experience. Highly recommended when jumping with kids!

The Sint

This year the sint will have quite a boring birthday. There will be no parties and no gatherings. Still we seem to have gotten lucky and we received a letter from the Sint.

Dear Alan, Alex and Dario,

This year I am forced to celebrate my birthday a bit differently. Normally I go to hotel Barbacan in the south to celebrate my birthday with all the Dutch kids, but this year my plans for Sinterklaas have changed quite a bit.

This year I will stay at home, but I sent out my helpers to bring presents to all the kids that have been good. I have included a letter for you guys. I hope that Alex can help you if something needs to be translated to Spanish. All the kids that have behaved well last year will receive a gift, and in your case you have all been pretty good.

Alan, I want to congratulate you with your birthday tomorrow. I have been told that you started playing the piano this year, and that you are really trying hard to do a good job. This is really great! I love piano music and I am happy you started to learn how to play the piano. Your teacher told me you also started reading, and you are doing very well. Very good Alan! I would like you to think about this. When you get bigger people will start to expect more from you. Keep trying to do your best, and try to avoid fighting with your brother all the time.

Alex, this year you broke both your arms! That must have been a terrible experience. I’m happy your arms are slowly getting better but I would advice you to tke things a bit slower and be a bit more careful. I hear you are doing very well at school. This is super important for your future, and I hope you continue to do your best. Please try to not get angry when your parents tell you it is time to stop playing with your tablet.

Dario, you did very well this year. I am very happy with your school results. I have also seen a couple of your drawings. They looked very good and I thing you should keep drawing. Please try to be a bit more organised at home. Cleaning up your stuff after playing will keep your new house nice and clean.

I have one more piece of advice for all three of you. You keep getting bigger and are growing up really fast. One thing important about growing up is realizing that your actions have consequences. Whatever you do can effect your family, your friends or your surroundings. You should try and be aware of the effects you have, and you should all try to behave in a way that makes the effects positive for yourself and for others. Fighting and getting angry will never get you good results. Try and think about this, because this is what is important in growing up. In the end helping others will make things easier for yourself.

I can see that you are all doing very well. This makes me very happy. Next year I really hope to see you personally, and I hope this year you are happy with your presents.

Lots of love,
Sint

Bionic arm

Alex is a very unlucky person. At least it seems that way at times. A couple of months ago he broke his arm while playing, and luckily his broken arm healed very well. A few weeks ago it was the turn of his other arm. Once again a broken arm, this time the left one, and once again a visit to the hospital, a cast, and lots on inconvenience.
Meanwhile that have already removed his cast, but because the bone was not set very well he now has a strong plastic cast around his arm. Just make provide a bit of extra security for the time being. This way his bones can mend a bit better.

English classes

Alex has some extra English classes twice a week. I bring him to the classes in the afternoon, and enjoy a one hour run (around 7.5 km) and then I pick him up again and we walk home. Today Alex exited the class with a very strange story. During his class the kids needed to think about some fictional person and apperently some girl thought of the fictional name ‘Alex Berg’. Very very strange because his sirname does not exist in Spain, and is even hard to pronounce. This can’t be a coincidence. Probably his name was mentioned at the beginning of the class and somehow kept lingering in the girls mind, and then the ‘random’ name was easily selected.

One year more

Uf, today it is my birthday! I’m getting old. 45 years already. An old fart.

This birthday is in the middle of lots of chaos. A pandemic with viri everywhere. Kids that have been grounded for months. Tickets to the main land that gets cancelled all the time. A strange year! My with for this birthday was simple. A nice family photo that represents the times in which we are living right now. Nice for later.

As an additional cherry on the cake we also received some other good news. Alex finished his school year very well, and today we received this notes. All his notes were 9s or 10s. We are very happy with that. Alan also has some good results. The can add and substract all by himself!

Arm

Oh no, Alex had music classes today. We are very happy with his progress. He is able to play a couple of songs perfectly on his keyboard. After music Alex went to play in a park nearby. Running around on a wooden boat suddenly made all our days a lot worse. He had some very bad luck and his leg got stuck behind something while running. He took a tumble towards the floor, around two meters lower. The result was a broken arm. We went to the hospital immediately and there they put his arm in a cast. It was not a very nice break, so we hope it will all turn out okay. In 10 days they will check the result. Fingers crossed.

Los Olivos

It summer so the kids will be enjoying some well deserved time off. For Alex and Alan this will mean a lot of weeks without their daily routine. No school and lots more time for playing and fun. This year Alex surprised us by asking us if he could go to a summer camp. He wanted to go one week to a camp with kids he does not know at a place we only visited once. A mayor change in Alex’ personality because normally he would never initiate something like this as he prefers to stick to the things he knows and avoid risk and new situations.

Alex wants to go to the summer camp organised by ‘Los Olivos‘. We went here just once and the kids got to interact with goats, rabbits, chickens, plants, etc. Alex was very happy with our visit and now he wants to go without parents or brother for a week. He is very enthusiastic and we see this as a big step forwards in his behavior and we could not be happier.

Everything included

What is more relaxing than a weekend that had everything included. Food, drinks, and happy children running and playing around. The problem is that you do need time, but this month the kids have a full week off due to Easter, so that works out just fine. A great time to go down south and have some quality relaxing times near the pool.

Happy in the pool!

Sioux City

Sioux City in Gran Canaria is a nice park to have a look at the wild west. With a bank robbery, gunfights, stampedes, running horses and cowboys and indians everywhere it is a really fun place to discover. We even had a BBQ included with our entry ticket.

The saloon was also in typical Cowboy like fashion. There was even a piano where Alex tried some of his songs. To bad the rough cowboys had already disables a couple of keys.