Sunday, June 05, 2011

An interview with Jazzy and Finn, Barn Hill WA


Jazzy and Finn have been taken away from their home in Warrandyte and out of school for a year, regardless of their own personal wishes, and have been travelling around Australia for five months in a caravan with their parents Greg and Tori. Currently they are in Barn Hill, 120km south of Broome. Here is what they think of the journey so far.

Greg Swedosh: So Jaz, how’s life on the road been so far for you?

Jasmine Swedosh: I quite like it but I miss lots from home. It’s really different because now we’re really spaced up together and whenever daddy goes away it feels really weird. Like a part’s been taken out. So it’ll be interesting to go back to Warrandyte and stay in the same spot.

Finn Swedosh: It’s been sometimes weird, sometimes bad. I didn’t like it when I was sick in bed.

GS: But would it have been any different than if you were sick at home?

FS: Well I have a bigger bed at home. And I like to stretch a lot. My bed here’s only a pillow and a quarter wide.

GS: Other than that how’s it been living in a caravan?

FS: It’s interesting. The vodka freezes in the freezer and you told us that vodka could never freeze. So, that’s interesting. How we’ve never used the van shower is interesting. How we can’t use the air con in some places is interesting.

GS: Jaz, do you like moving around and living in many places or do you prefer living in one place?

JS: Well, we’ve been making friends in caravan parks and then we’ve been leaving them. They’re sort of like three day friends and then one of us goes. Except in Exmouth we played every night, chasey in the playground. But in Warrandyte it was really routined and I like here how we get to go to school in our PJs. It’s interesting. Sometimes I like it and sometimes we go to places where we just have to walk.

FS: I hate those places.

GS: What about you Finn? Do you like being in different places or do you prefer being in just one place?

FS: Depends which place. Coorong, Nuh! Jack Point, Nuh! I liked Monkey Mia, Exmouth, Perth, Adelaide. I liked Warnambool and Colac. I’ve liked mostly everywhere except Merredin, Burracoppin, Jack Point and the Coorong.

GS: So what do you miss most about home?

FS: I’ve missed the kitty cat Pusskana. Friends. Mum telling me I have to go outside and play basketball.

GS: Do you miss that or are you happy it’s not happening now?

FS: I miss that because I’m getting a little on the chubby side. I miss playing sports.

JS: I miss all my friends. I miss the pool. My big bed. Having permanent WiFi everywhere. My bed here is the size of a pillow. Just shorter than a pillow wide. And it’s three quarters of a pillow because the gate cuts into it [GS: bed barrier installed after Jaz plummeted from the top bunk one night] so I have almost no spreading out space. So I miss my bed. I miss my iPod charger because we always have to share and there’s never enough. I miss doing tap and jazz dancing. And I miss going to school and seeing my friends every day.

FS: I don’t really like doing the dishes. I preferred stacking them in the dishwasher at home. I’d rather have a toaster than having to toast under the griller.

GS: Is there anything you’re glad to be away from?

FS: Sometimes school.

GS: How’s the home schooling going?

FS: My English has gotten worse, somehow. Same with my grammar. Maths I’m ok at. It’s going ok. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. Sometimes I’ve done very well. Sometimes I’ve done…appalling.

GS: How does it compare to going to school every day?

FS: Depends what we’re doing. Sport… since we haven’t done it here, I’d rather over there. In maths, I thought it was a bit easier over there.

JS: I find it weird. As I said before, I like coming in my PJs but I don’t think I’m learning as much as the people who go to normal school. Except in maths. But I don’t like maths. We’re not doing as much writing and I’d actually rather be at normal school.

GS: What about you Finn? Do you think you’re learning as much on the road as you would at normal school?

FS: Depends on the subject. Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. Hmmm…. I don’t really know.

GS: What do you think you’ve learnt on this trip that you wouldn’t have learnt at school?

JS: I’ve learnt stuff about birds and animals. Other than that. No. Nothing.

GS: Do you think the experience of seeing the birds and animals up close, for example swimming with a whale shark, is the same as learning about them from a book?

JS: Oh yeah, I guess not.

FS: I’d actually rather look at birds in a book, because at least it tells you what they are called.

GS: So how are your teachers in the home school? How’s Tori?

JS: Good. But we should do some science. She bought this science book that looks great but she hasn’t done any science with us.

FS: Let’s just not do the mentos and coke one while the baby’s around us.

JS: It’s really different depending on the day. Because she’s pregnant and with all the hormones, sometimes she’s in a really happy mood, but when she’s not it’s…

FS: Torture

JS: Pretty much.

FS: When she’s cranky she’s very cranky. When she’s happy, she’s..

JS: Very happy. There’s no subtlety.

FS: She can sort of drop if we aren’t doing our work all that well. But it can rise if we do well.

JS: It sort of depends how she wakes up.

FS: Yeah, it depends on that.

GS: And what about Greg. How’s he as a teacher?

JS: Strict and hard.

FS: Good and terrible.

GS: So what have been your favourite places?

JS: Robe. It ‘s a cute little town and I liked our caravan park. It was the first one we stayed in that had a jumping pillow. I’m going to live in Denmark [small town in Southern WA] when I grow up, because it reminds me a lot of Warrandyte. They have the pub and then all the stores and the river and the bakery. And they have loads of animals there. But if you keep driving, you don’t get into the city, you get into nothingland. And I liked Adelaide. It was sort of like Melbourne. It was big and I liked that.

FS: I liked staying at Jo’s because we got to see some people we actually knew. And I liked the beach there with the massive waves. I liked Robe and the food there. I liked Margaret River because we got to see Nana. I liked Warrnambool because it was so flat for riding bikes and had an awesome park with a flying fox. Even though I fell off it. I jumped and missed the seat. I liked Exmouth because we used to play tag with a couple of girls there and a guy named Blake who jumped on my back, which really hurt. I felt like punching him in the face, but I’m glad I didn’t.

JS: I also liked Exmouth. They had an outdoor movie cinema there.

GS: What places that we’ve been to have you not liked?

JS: Coorong. Jack’s Point. Death Valley.

GS: Death Valley was a different trip.

FS: Still… it sucks. Stupid sea level.

GS: Is there anything you do like about living in a van?

JS: Yeah. We’re more outdoorsy. We ride our bikes a lot more. But the actual inside van thing… I’d rather be in a house. But I do like that it has wheels and that we don’t have to stay in the one place for too long. I like how we don’t have to be anywhere at any time, except for Broome. But the van in general, I’d rather be in a house.

FS: I don’t think I would have read Harry Potter if we were back at the house, so I’ve liked doing that here.

GS: How’ve you been dealing with the long drives?

FS: I’ve been reading and playing with my iPod.

JS: I didn’t like the Nullarbor because it was long and there was nothing to look at.

FS: We did do the golf tree there.

JS: Oh yeah that broke it up and made it a bit more fun. I’ve mostly been reading, looking out the window, listening to music. I’ve liked the long driving days. We don’t eat any healthy food on those days. Mum always gives us Summer Rolls and stuff.

GS: How are you guys getting along together on this trip?

FS: Sometimes Jaz tells me to shutup and I don’t and we get in an argument. I do that to her too and she’s like “what if I don’t want to”?

JS: He’s annoying. I don’t like being too close to him. He’s so annoying. Most of the time anyway.

GS: Do you think he just likes to annoy you?

JS: Yes.

FS: It depends on the occasion.

GS: Do you think you’ve become closer being on the road together?

FS: Well, we do more stuff together. Ride our bikes.

GS: What about you Jaz? Do you think you’ve become closer?

JS: Yeah.

GS: How’s it affected the trip your mother being pregnant?

JS: She’s very cuddly. We haven’t been able to go to all the gorges, which is like, thank god! We hang out at the van a lot more.

GS: Are you looking forward to having a baby brother?

JS: Yeah. I’m looking forward to cuddles. And teaching him how to spell chocolate.

FS: Mostly no. Because all they do is eat and poop and cry and then they throw up and they cry more and then they need to poop. I just don’t want nappy duty.

GS: What have you learnt about each other on the trip? Jaz, what have you learnt about Finn?

JS: That he’s even more annoying than I thought.

GS: Finn, how about you?

FS: That she lies so often. Just like then.

GS: What have you learnt about your mum on this trip?

FS: That when she’s pregnant she’s boring.

JS: She’s cuddly. Very very cuddly.

FS: She get’s very tired. More than I thought.

JS: I think it’s the pregnancy thing. If she wakes up in a bad mood, she’s really really bad. If she wakes up in a good mood, which is usually, she’s very good to be around and a lot of fun. I reckon she’s doing quite well for a pregnant woman.

GS: What have you learnt about me on this trip?

JS: That you’d make a great Abraham Lincoln.

FS: And a great Elvis. And that you’d be good to go with to one of those burger places where you eat the burger with a knife and fork.

JS: That you’re scary. When I’m in trouble, you’re scary. And that you don’t whack Finn as often as you should. And you don’t let us have as much chocolate as we want.

FS: I’m sort of glad of that.

JS: Why? Keeping in shape Dudley?

GS: What are you looking forward to on the rest of the trip?

JS: Cape Leveque and… cuddling my baby. And going home.

FS: Uluru. Broome. Cape Leveque. Fishing. Will we be able to take out our fishing rods and cast into the water from our tent at Cape Leveque?

GS: Errm.. no. I don’t think so. How’s the food been on the road?

FS: The food at the Exmouth Chinese restaurant was appalling. My won tons tasted like nothing. In the van the food has been pretty much like home. I still don’t like curry, broccoli, broccolini. Though I like broccoli a little bit more. Just a very little bit.

JS: It’s the same as at home but we’re having more simple foods like spaghetti or sausages, which are yummy. I’ve been making some of it. Salads and omelettes. We have lots of eggy stuff. And lots of bready stuff. Yeah, it’s been good. But I don’t like curry.

GS: What’s your favourite memory from the journey so far?

JS: I have two. Making all the friends at Exmouth and playing chasey. And at Robe, being dinked around by Finn on his bike.

FS: At Coral Boy, meeting Adanne, snorkelling and seeing a stingray every day.

GS: Anything else that either of you would like to add?

FS: I miss my pussy cat. I miss Pusskana. I miss playing dodge ball with my friends. I miss Warrandyte. I also miss whale sharking.

JS: I miss Warrandyte.

GS: If you could have just stayed in Warrandyte this year or instead gone on this trip for a year like we have done, which would you choose?

JS: Warrandyte. Sort of. In some ways. Because I’ve got stuff in Warrandyte. And friends.

FS: I want to come back to Warrandyte, but I also want to continue this fun journey.

JS: Yeah. I’m sort of like him. I’m in denial about wanting to go back to Warrandyte, but I also really want to do this as well.

1 comment:

Doris Constantine said...

I really enjoyed reading this and getting to know your family through their responses! I plan on looking up all the places mentioned - the names are amazing.