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We are halfway!

We can’t believe it, but we are already halfway of the Beautiful World Tour: time flies!

Here are some stats since we left France:

  • 6 months since departure (50% of the full year;-)
  • 10 countries visited (including the many small independent islands in the Caribbean)
  • 10000 km by air
  • 5000 km by car
  • 2500 km by boat
  • all of it of course 250% Carbon compensated (see details😉
  • 137 kilos of baggage (including 50 kilos of boards and 15 kilos of books…)
  • 1 drone crashed, the other 1 still stuck at the Brazilian border;-(
  • 50%+ of CNED school courses completed (Maths 70%, French 40%, English 60%… see details)
  • many new education topics discovered (that national education does not really cover), like Computer Science (here is Jade’s first program, as well as the one of Ulysses…) and Ecology
  • Only few Kids Challenges completed so far (Kite for Ulysses, Surf for Jade, English WIP for both): they will have to accelerate to win the super-prize (an animal back home)!
  • Several small NGOs helped along the way for economic development and environmental protection…

Here are the detailed maps of each big step of this world tour.

The Brazilian Trip

The Carribean Trip

The Central America Trip (50% completed)

And the rest ahead of us…

world tour map

  • Express-visit in California
  • 6 weeks in a camping-car in New-Zealand with Flying Challenge
  • 4 weeks in a camping-car in Eastern Australia with Diving Challenge
  • A quick stop in Indonesia
  • One month in Southern India
  • The last month in Northern India, ending our trip in Daremsala for a nice spiritual happy-ending…
  • …and back home mid-August!

We have still plenty discoveries and challenges ahead of us, and we’ll make sure we keep you posted with nice pictures and videos along the way!

Thanks for following us;-)

Education on the road

A few days after we arrived in Costa Rica, we started the second quarter of school for kids, CM2 for Jade (elementary school) and 6th grade for Ulysses (middle school).

It’s not always easy for the kids to concentrate with the ocean nearby and monkeys swinging in the garden… but this way of teaching on the road has some advantages!

Indeed, the good side of this taylor-made eduction is that we can adapt to the level of each child, going faster on things easy for them, taking more time where needed, and letting them discover new things that the National Education Program would not provide, such as Computer Science and real-world Nature discovery (Natural Sciences).

Starting the second quarter, for Jade, we have already completed the full year of Mathematics, half of the French lessons… For Ulysses, 70% of Maths are completed, but only one-third of the French lessons (so barely in time with the official program)…

For English, we did put Jade and Ulysses together in the same 6th grade class where we have already completed more than half of the program with much more spoken language practice, with the aim to complete 6th and 5th grade during this year and bring them to some spoken fluency through real world practice (after Costa Rica, we’ll be in English speaking countries mostly)!

Overall, the CNED program (Centre National de l’Education à Distance = French Remote Schooling National Program) is fairly well made content wise, but some of the content is very “academic” and far from child’s preoccupation or real-world situations. Learning english by learning Middle-ages vocabulary (moat, …) that they will never use in life, or learning some of the french language concepts through distant Greek mythology is seriously outdated. Also, the Internet tools the CNED is providing are dysfunctional and almost a copy of the “linear” content provided in books without taking real advantage of the interactive capabilities provided by the medium. No wonder that education levels are decreasing in France and elsewhere in this Digital age that needs education to be reinvented.

We are also starting Sciences with a focus on “Sustainability & Preservation” with concrete applications they will need to reflect on, such as reducing our Carbon footprint during / after this trip. In Computer Sciences, after going through the basics of managing data in the cloud, we are starting more serious stuff like programming simple things before getting into HTML and website programming.

schooling tools

We also try to condense the school time to one intense full week every three weeks to let them enjoy and discover the many activities that each country offers, with a specific sports challenge in each region we cross: Kiteboarding in Brazil, Snorkeling & Sailing in the Caribbean, Surfing in Costa Rica, Paragliding in New-Zealand, Scuba-diving in Australia, and serious Hiking in India! Poor kids, are they are entitled with one “joker” only to discard the activity they like the least;-)

The most difficult thing so far has been to respect the well defined school schedule, as the first day is always painful, teachers and students having to adapt to the always new classroom, and kids having to cope with the schooling intensity!

school schedule

On top of this, we keep some English lessons and outdoor sports / adventures all other weeks as we believe this is what kids can learn most during this journey.

We as parents are slowly progressing as teachers (at least doing our best with this new “job”), trying to make our kids’ education as rigorous, taylor-made, interactive, Digital and fun as possible while learning ourselves in the process (patience in the first place)!

jade ecole
Jade looking at the monkeys in the garden
ulysse ecole
Ulysses joyfully going through his Maths lesson…

Antigua & Barbuda – the Beaches heaven

We just came back from Antigua and Barbuda, 2 small islands that form an independent country with english roots at the edge of the Caribbean sea.

We spent more time in Barbuda, the beach island, one of the most secluded and virgin island of the Caribbean, where we could stay absolutely alone in some of the most beautiful bays & beaches we have ever seen: pure nature, white sand over several kilometers, turquoise water, birds and abundant sea life including some sharks… and virtually no one in sight!

We had all those wonders for us for 8 days suspended in time!

Here is the full photo album

Next stop: St Barthelemy and St Martin before we hit the British Virgin Islands

Back to « Le Marin » Basecamp & Prayers for France

IMG_4689Just back from a month of sailing in the Caribbean, we landed in « Le Marin » in Martinique and learned about the terrifying terrorist attacks in Paris. People we know lost some friends and family in those meaningless attacks. Our thoughts and compassion go to them…

From where we are, those attacks are even more absurd. Our one year journey is all about visiting the world, discovering its diversity and many different lifestyles, embracing tolerance, enjoying the differences that make to whole world richer…

The Paris attacks were meant to destroy that diversity and tolerance, and France has been the target because it represents those values best. The terrorists and radical islam fundamentalists have nothing to propose against the way we live. Vacuum can’t triumph against tolerance and love.

We send love to people in France, hope everybody will stay cool and avoid blind retaliation, but also challenge our Muslim friends to take firm action to avoid that their religion feeds the anger of hopeless fools and turns the world into a chaos. This is our civilization tipping point, and Muslims will have to be brave and speak-up beyond simply saying « those attacks are not in my name », while French and occidental people practice their sense of fraternity, avoid amalgams and violence in return.

Hopefully we can build a future where we can all live in harmony.

I leave you with three quotes that I have been moving me as I was just learning about this drama.

« Si la haine répond à la haine, jamais la haine ne cessera. » Bouddha Shakyamuni

« Si l’on pratique “œil pour œil, dent pour dent”, le monde entier sera bientôt aveugle et édenté. »

« Nous devons être le changement que nous voulons dans le monde. » Mahatma Gandhi