Richmond Misadventures

We had not planned on going to Richmond originally.  When we were in Franz-Josef, the kids were clearly missing friends.  They’ve really enjoyed each other’s company, but after spending so much time with friends in Indonesia and then cousins in Queenstown, they were eager to connect with some peers.  So, after finding a day camp in Richmond for the holidays, we changed plans. 

We arrived on a Saturday from Mapua and after the usual grocery stop, walked to the local park.  Everyone was busy playing and James and I were talking about all that we were going to do while the kids were in camp that week.  We hadn’t had a date since Bangkok and were super excited for three day dates in a row.  

But all of a sudden, Manji screamed, “Mom! Mom! My arm!” James and I ran to him, but knew as soon as I saw him lying under the monkey bars that he had a broken arm. His arm was bent in a shape I’d never seen, and he was so brave, taking deep breaths, trying to remain calm.  James ran back to the house and grabbed the car. He grabbed some snacks for Manji and quickly stopped to ask a neighbor for directions to the nearest hospital.  Manji and James left for the ER and Bingo, Goose, and I walked home very worried about our sweet boy. 

James and Manji left for the hospital around 6pm and we spent the evening watching movies and waiting for Manji.  We got status updates from James and Manji often, but the poor guy seemed so sad.  Goose proclaimed, “I’m not going to bed until my brother gets home!” Once it reached 10pm though, he and Bingo gave up and were ready for bed.  Manji and James didn’t get home until midnight.  He had broken both of his forearm bones and has a cast for five weeks.  He enjoyed a big bowl of ice cream when he got home and fell right to sleep. 

Brave Manji after his arm was set

Manji at the Nelson Hospital

The following day we spent the whole time taking care of Manji.  Goose and Bingo were the biggest helpers.  We walked to the grocery store to pick up a few things for baking a gingerbread house. Then we had a special sushi lunch just for Manji to help lift his spirits. 

Sushi lunch to distract from Manji's broken arm

Treating Manji to his favorite food, sushi

We could tell he was in a lot of pain since he was struggling on our walk back. So, we spent the remainder of the day playing monopoly and cuddling. 

Bingo enjoying her role as the banker during our Monolpoly game

We played so much Monopoly

At the start of the week Goose was able to attend the Chill Out camp at the Richmond Aquatic Center.  The kids spent the morning with free play at the gym, then at a trampoline park, followed by swimming at the aquatic center.  It was just what Goose needed! He came home totally exhausted on Monday and Tuesday, barely able to keep his eyes open.  He also made several new friends, not surprisingly. 

Goose very excited to be with new friends at Chillout in Richmond

Goose on his way to camp

James and I spent the time with Bingo and Manji at the library downtown and playing monopoly.  We also managed to make it to the Natureland to see llamas, keas, and meerkats!

On Wednesday, Goose skipped camp and we spent the afternoon at Pic’s peanut butter world.  The manufacturing facility gives free tours of the peanut butter process and gives the history of Pic himself.  It was an incredibly engaging tour, and you could tell that everyone who works there, loves it! The kids even got the chance to grind their own peanut butter by riding a bicycle! How cool is that?!

The kids before enjoying the wonder Pic's peanut butter tour

At Pic’s Peanut Butter World

After the tour, we enjoyed a free Christmas party they were throwing with face-paint, crafts, and a chance to meet Santa (who happened to be Pic himself!).

Manji and Bingo at Pic's with Santa

Is it Santa or is it Pic?

Once Thursday rolled around, Manji was in better spirits. And, he and Bingo went to camp with Charlie for a morning of berry picking.  James and I were able to enjoy a quiet cup of coffee for a few hours and what a treat!  That afternoon we picked the kids up early so Manji could have his follow up with the orthopedist.  Thankfully, his x-ray showed the bones were aligned and barring any complications, he will be out of the cast in a month! We are supposed to fly to Singapore on Christmas day but wanted to make sure we got a good report before knowing we’d be leaving New Zealand, Alas, great news! 

Last, but not least, during the week Goose and James worked really hard to build a homemade gingerbread house.  From start to finish, hand baked and decorated with love (and lots of candy!).  At home, we would just buy a kit but after looking in the store, we realized our only option was to bake the parts of the house.  Constraints like these have been such a blessing during our trip and forced us to try something new.  The treat after Manji’s successful follow up doctor appointment was to eat the entire house.  Everyone dug in and it was a great way to end a rollercoaster of a week!

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