Thank goodness we have this lovely bunch of organised children at the Hazelhut this week because the thermometer is sky high and only due to get higher!
Their rooms were immaculate at inspection time and then we headed out into the sun to do some sports.
There was the usual mix of land games and water games, serious sporting skills and chance!
But one thing was different, the children could not wait until the afternoon to cool off during the Pool Olympics, so we headed straight to the water after snack!
There was a lilo race, a hoop grab and the breath holding contest and then everyone just wanted to have fun!
The children demonstrated their independence and good organisation skills again when making sandwiches. We took the sandwiches out for a shady picnic and then tried to cool off with an ice lolly.
But it was too hot to think, so we came back indoors and kept busy in many different ways.
Later James brought the children together for a quiz and a song. Then we headed out to gather potatoes for dinner and pears for jam.
The children were very good about helping to prepare the fruits and vegetables.
Thanks to them, we had a lovely dinner and we have something special to take home to our families.
Here are this week's ten new Hazelhutters at the start of the week's adventure.
After a quick dip in the pool, it was clear that they were most interested in the art room, first designing boxes and signs to take home and then sewing.
We discovered that they have good appetites and they enjoyed the fruit at snack time.
We also discovered that they are good chefs as some of them made a very delicious ice cream, which we all enjoyed after the classic Sunday night lasagna.
Just before our dinner, we went out for a walk in the grounds and to say hello to the animals.
This group of children is very calm and well behaved and we enjoyed an uncharacteristically peaceful dinner. No doubt they will open up as friendships grow and the week progresses - watch this space!
This has been a sad day at the Hazelhut as we have had to say goodbye to a super special group of Hazelhutters!
Some of these children have been coming for the past 4 years, others have been here for the first time, but all have been treasured for their kindness, friendship and the fun they have brought. We are missing you already.
It was a super day, buying gifts for loved ones and eating lovely food.
The walk up the hill was hot, but then there was the hat game to play indoors.
After the parents arrived we enjoyed prize giving and finally it was time to say 'arriverderci' and we hope not addiò.....
Whatever happens, we hope that you will all return to see us soon.
We had some eager fisherfolk today who couldn't wait to get their rods out on the lake.
As soon as they had understood the instructions, they headed off in pairs to try to catch as many fish as possible.
They started slow, but as soon as some kids had success on the far side of the lake, it was like the fish were jumping out of it themselves!
One pair even landed a 'boccalone' - a highly prized lake fish.
Lunch was delicious, especially as it ended with a very tasty watermelon.
Then Gigi kindly let the children use the table football and gave us ALL the fish an more to take home.
Of course this meant that there was work to do back home..... but luckily we had just the right team to take care of it!
While these kids toiled others swam....
Then the Italian boys and one long suffering girl took over the kitchen to make the best tiramisù ever - it took a lot of arguing, created a lot of controversy (English cookery book!!!) and made a lot of mess, but was highly entertaining and most importantly sooo tasty.
Next the girls took over to cook for all the families tomorrow - expect some tasty gingerbread!
Then it was time for our party and to fry all those precious fish. Who would have thought those little guys could be so good to eat!
The party brought smiles and also moments of reflection on the amazing week we have spent with these inspiring, thoughtful, funny and positive young people. Can't believe they are leaving us tomorrow!
We didn't want the weather to catch us out again, so, having checked the forecast, we switched the morning activities with the afternoon ones. That meant that the morning was spent learning survival skills, which started with a safety lesson about using knives.
Then we moved into water filtration using found materials.
Next we considered food for survival and especially the coconut, which has at least 6 different vital survival properties - do YOU know them?
Before lunch the children learned to use a piece of bamboo to make chopsticks and a marshmallow skewer. This required different knife skills and more instruction. The kids were super and no one was injured all day - phew!
After lunch the children could hardly wait to try out their new tin can stoves and even the oncoming rain didn't stop them from trying to get their marshmallows toasted.
Then the rain came in earnest and we headed to the art room to decorate stones. As if these kids don't have enough talents, we discovered that they are even great artists. WOW.
At snack time the children had to eat with their chopsticks - naturally!
To be honest, it didn't make them eat any slower! There were more spells of good weather and rain, with children playing football or fantasy football and then it was time for..... PIZZA!
It was yet another bright sunny day as we headed out to the horses for our first trip of the week.
Not all of the children were keen to prepare the ponies for the day, but luckily some of them were!
The weather held for the riding session and these kids really made progress in a very short space of time.
They started by following a simple obstacle course, but soon they were trotting, riding above the saddle and then without their feet in the stirrups and even jumping over the ponies all lined up in a row!
The ponies needed a good clean and after that it was time for Rita's delicious lunch. We all sat down in the sun, but before we knew it, the heavens opened and we had to finish the meal in the stable block, under a real roof.
Then the storm grew even more and we sheltered further into the stables for our dessert as the hail stones and rain fell!
Back at The Hazelhut the sun returned and some of the children very kindly dug up and even washed(!) the potatoes for dinner.
Then the sky clouded over again and our karaoke evening got under way - with a wonderful mix of songs and singers.
The garden potatoes tasted delicious at dinner with fish fingers, garden courgettes and spinach - YUM!
Today was packed with activities, fun and action. These Hazelhutters were ready to fight for the title of Sports' Day champ!
Kicking, throwing, jumping, running, aiming and firing were all part of the battle....
A new record was set in the skipping: 160 jumps!!!!!
The older kids loved using the air rifle - a rare thing at the Hazelhut, reserved for very careful and responsible children!
As usual they ate tons - sandwiches, pasta, salad, apples, melon, crisps, ice cream, cheese, salami, olives and drank gallons of water too!
To balance out all the sport, we also enjoyed a game of 'Randomise' and some of the children made friendship bracelets.
We have been told to expect rain tomorrow - everyone is looking forward to some kind of break from the heat, but these kids never complain, which is both a rarity and a treat!
We have an older group of children at the Hazelhut this week and they are all very keen on sports. Today they enjoyed badminton, tennis, swimming, pool, table tennis and, of course.... FOOTBALL!
We have discovered that they have excellent appetites..... but most excitingly they seem to love fruit and vegetables - the Hazelhut is just the place for these twelve!
In the afternoon James split the children into teams and organised a quiz to discover which team had the best general knowledge.
It was very close, but one team - BBB - had the edge..... just.
Since many of these children have been to the Hazelhut before, they were super excited about Marilena's Sunday night lasagna. We feel very lucky to have 12 amazing, polite and enthusiastic children to share the Hazelhut with this week. Evviva!
All too soon it was time to say goodbye to this week's Hazelhutters.
As usual we set out for the town to look around and buy some gifts to take home.
As usual the girls were quick to part with their money for things that sparkle, smell and shine, while the boys took their time and went for books, torches, locks and magnets!
We all enjoyed our lunch in a new space outside our favourite restaurant; 'Corte dei Prefetti di Vico'.
Back at the Hazelhut, James had organised a quiz for all the children before their parents arrived.
Then we celebrated the children's success and wished them well for the future. It's not always easy to say 'goodbye' to a group and we will certainly miss this lovely lot! Come back soon!
We were thrown all kinds of curve balls at the Hazelhut today, like a leaking pipe and malfunctioning pizza oven, some more sickness and scrapes as well as trying to accommodate visitors, but these wonderful Hazelhutters made it all pass with ease.
They behaved wonderfully at the fishing lake.
They also happened to be pretty good at catching fish!
It was all smiles at lunch time.
And their cooperation and love for each other has been wonderful to watch grow.
With no hot water it was not easy to make biscuits for tomorrow's tea party, but the boys took care of it.
Despite the pizza oven behaving strangely, the children continued to smile and dance!
We found new ways to cook the pizzas and no one made a fuss; everyone was happy.
It's going to be hard to let this awesome group go and we can't believe our last night has come so soon.....