If you have been following our travels, you will know that we were lucky enough to have had the most incredible teacher traveling with us.
His remit was to keep the girls on track with the the UK core curriculum, but he has brought SOOOOO much more to their education, to the girls more broadly and to James and I as a friend and travel companion.
He has had many names over the 10 months that we were together. We started rather formally with Robert, and worked our way through Rob, Roberto, Rob San, Bob San, Bob, to Bob Bob. He will now be forever Bob Bob, but we promise not to call you that ‘in public’ Rob, just in the safety of the Monicofamilytravels cocoon.
We had a protracted set of celebrations and goodbyes starting with the last night he hung out with the girls while James and I enjoyed a date night. They started recording a cooking show together (YouTube stylee) as they often do to have a lark while Rob prepares their tea. Bob Bob totally surprised them this time instructing them to pull out 3 boxes of lurid and spectacularly sugary cereal from a secret stash drawer. We have an ongoing joke with Rob about cereal, so the girls were both taken aback and totally thrilled when they realised that they were legitimately getting to eat unlimited amounts of unhealthy cereal for their evening meal!
Next night was the materialisation of one of a series of fabulous Christmas presents Bob Bob gave to James and I. It consisted of a delicious home cooked meal. Bella and Emily were kind enough to act as waitresses, so we had the most amazing gourmet experience without moving from our spectacular alfresco home table, and without lifting a finger.
It was so delicious we suspect Rob left it until the last week to deliver in case we figured out what a great chef he is and attempted to prevail upon his cooking talents more frequently!
After dinner, Rob performed a song for us. He wrote the lyrics (copied at the bottom of this post) all about our trip to the tune of Old Town Road by Billy Ray Cyrus, and there weren’t many dry eyes by the time he finished. Music is just another one of Rob’s talents that he shared so generously with us all.
On Robs last full day, Emily and I disappeared to town for some girl time in the afternoon, and the Minecraft maniacs (James, Bella and Bob) had a bit of a binge back home on the sofa. I can’t tell you exactly what they did, but I know that it involved villagers, racing horses and deadly zombies. Anyway, they had fun and Millie and I were glad to be elsewhere!
We went to one of Bali’s classic restaurants, Bridges, for Rob’s last meal of the trip. Over drinks at the bar, we presented him with cards, Monicofamilytravels t-shirts, ’string art’ masterpieces from the girls, and James read a poem he’d written about our time together (copied at the bottom of this post). There were lots of laughs, and a few more tears, followed by some delicious dining.
That night was the last of the sleepovers where the amazing Roberto bunked in with the girls. What kind of amazing teacher does that?!?!!? Last seen disappearing with fizzy cola bottles and a box of glow sticks, we imagine they got some sleep, but their eyes in the morning suggest that it wasn’t much!
In school this week, Rob recreated an entire learning journey for the girls.
They started with a day of ‘reception, having fun mis-writing their spellings, colouring, asking to go to the toilet constantly, and enjoying nap time and story time. The learning journey culminated in a re-creation of University, receiving a ‘lecture’ from Rob. He cunningly weaved in lots about different learning styles to help embed the personal maturation the girls have achieved this year with the benefit of his 2-on-1 tuition.
Some of the outputs from reception class:
After Monicofamilytravels University finished for the day, Bob Bob held a wonderful graduation ceremony for the girls. He had created bespoke certificates for them to commemorate their incredible achievements……….
Bella Millie Bob School certificates:
…… handed over their schoolbooks…….
…….and gifted them the most fabulous bag of goodies. The bags themselves were constructed from printed montages of BMB (Bella, Millie, Bob), and the gifts inside all had personal stories behind them: some weird pizza sweets (must be an inside joke!), a beautiful wooden spoon (for cereal), a Bob bear each, a hair band (because the girls were always playing with his hair, and regularly helped him shave his ‘back-burns’), elephant bracelets, and a rubber (marked on the back to remind the girls that they shouldn’t always rub out things that they are not 100% satisfied with, but should challenge themselves to work with what they wrote/drew, and keep going). I’m sure I’ve missed loads, but the point is that the gifts represented the level of thoughtfulness and creativity with which we will forever associate with Rob San!
The girls also held onto one of his t-shirts each which they haven’t really taken off since he left.
The finale to the graduation ceremony was a series of photos set to music that Rob compiled from all the occasions when the girls and he had had their own adventures.
It was so fun to see moments captured that James and I hadn’t even known had happened, and it was a bitter sweet visual journey of happiness, adventure, love and nostalgia.
James’s ode to Bob Bob
There was a young lad from Saltburn on Sea
With a peculiar liking for Yorkshire tea
While eating a late night bowl of frosteeees
He saw an ad that was surely a tease
The advert set out in clear nomenclature
The details of a crazy year long adventure
Bob set about becoming the best interviewee
To join Monico family travels with his box of Yorkshire tea
His first day as a teacher
Was in delightful Argentina
At a house in Palermo soho
Surrounded by street art and delicious gelato
With the first lesson completed
We know Mr Thomas would not be defeated
For the girls and he just clicked
And Charlotte and James loved his kindness and wit
A note to all teachers who are learning to ride
Buy a pair of budgie smugglers, your manhood should hide
For Bob quickly mastered galloping with style and grace
And an ever so slight wince on his face
Like a charm from pandora
Bob bobs magic aura
Attracted hippies from the beach to airbnb
For late night chats
About spirit animals and all that
When all he wanted was a cup of Yorkshire tea
On this Minecrafty day
We wish Bob bon chance on his way
And we know in our hearts
This friendship will last
As we raise a glass with love and thanks
To Bob Bob Thomas
Bob Bob’s song
Well the Monicos are going all around the world
Were goanna fly till we can’t no more
Well we start in BA
Where Bob loves the Crepas
Millie love the chocolate
And Bella loves the wagu
We’re In Argentina
Of course were riding horses
Bob’s on Chimango
Bella’s on Tornado
Now were in Los Pots
Jeff is swearing
Now were in Colombia
We digging on the beach
We’re walking in the forest
We’ve got a guide taking selfies
Now Lela’s here
And your mum and dad are partying
We went to a man bar
In Santa Marta
Now were on aeroplane
We land in japan
It’s very cold
In Shibu Onsen
Then we take a train
and then take an aeroplane
we land in Hokaido
then we go to Sapporo
We get to Niseko
We ski down a mountain
We’re on snow mobiles
For James’ birthday
Now we’re in Tokyo
Where we go on lots of trips
But bob got lost in
We hired a car
And went to the mountains
We slept on the floor
And walked the dogs in the morning
Now in Indonesia
Where the food is good
But It’s very hot
and we have to wear long sleeves
Then we went to Bankaru
oh no we didn’t
we went to Tailana
it was very beautiful
We went back and helped out
Tom, Prass and Feetree
we said goodbye
and we went on half term
Now we’re in Bali
Living in a villa
It’s got a nice pool
Surrounded by rice fields
Bob got his hair died
And Millie got her hair done
Sarah taught us RE
And Robyn came for Pete Tong
Now it’s nearly over
We had a really good time
But I’ll stay in touch
so I’ll say see you next time
Well the Monicos have been all around the world
Were goanna fly till we can’t no more