For we are one and free...ish...

The Huang family newsletter

jan 2022
Back by popular demand (for the five of you who requested it), welcome to the Huang family newsletter!
Originally we thought we could transition this to a more typical Christmas family update – but alas, Christmas has come and gone, and so has the New Year. Thus, voilà: a random, non-holiday-affiliated, annual (roughly speaking) family update.
Last we wrote (about a year ago), we had just traveled from Taipei to Australia and entered a 14-day hotel quarantine in Melbourne (two weeks we’d sooner like to forget!). Here is, in ascending order, the updates on our family.


After an intercontinental upheaval at the ripe age of 1 month, Ewen has spent the past year in the mostly cloistered shelter of our suburban Melburnian apartment, gaining plenty of Covid weight and enjoying the attention of his older siblings. He eats plenty, crawls quickly, and (unfortunately for his parents) sleeps poorly. Every long night, however, is quickly forgotten by his rapturous smile greeting us in the morning. He turned one year old on Christmas Eve and (for those who know of 돌잡이) he picked the cold, hard cash.


Solène has spent most of the year attending 3-year-old preschool (called “kinder” in Australia) 4 days a week. We’ve been fortunate to plug into some of Melbourne’s French community, and thus Solène spends most of her time in French preschool, happily chatting away to her friends in her amusing-yet-impeccable French. She loves everything related to unicorns and rainbows and Frozen and was accordingly thrown a unicorn-themed 4th birthday party last month while wearing an Elsa dress. 


Nolan, who turned 6 this year, spent 2021 in Grade 1 / CP at the local primary school (confusingly named Caulfield Junior College), which also hosts l’Ecole française de Melbourne. The year was marked by multiple snap lockdowns, including one that lasted a few months in the (southern hemispheric) springtime. Despite this, he has adjusted quite well, learning to read and write both in English and French (and in Zhuyin, as his parents force him to Saturday morning Taiwanese Mandarin school). When we weren’t in lockdown, he also enjoyed taking lessons in soccer, swimming, and (to our surprise) chess.


Kim has played stay-at-home mum during our time in Australia, which included – for several painstaking months – Zoom-school supervisor, ensuring Nolan and Solène tried to get the most out of their remote classroom learning. She also had the “opportunity” to experience Australian medicine – from the viewpoint of a patient. Several months of severe neck pain led to numerous doctor and physiotherapy visits, prescription medications, an MRI and a spinal steroid injection. Much to our collective relief, her cervical herniated disc pain has since resolved, and we’re looking forward to flying to Brisbane and visiting Kim’s old friends from medical school next week (so long as all the Qantas staff aren't in isolation from Covid exposures).


Jumping into a second fellowship 8 years after finishing his first has certainly been an adjustment, but overall a positive experience. His current fellowship in paediatric hand and microsurgery is quite different from his original fellowship in pediatric cleft and craniofacial surgery, but the Royal Children’s Hospital is, as hospital environments go, a bright and delightful place to work, filled with excellent mentors and colleagues. As he started off-cycle due to Covid-related travel difficulties, he will continue in his fellowship position until the middle of 2022 (assuming the new fellow from England doesn’t run into as many travel difficulties as we did). The plans thereafter are fuzzy at best, but we look forward to sharing them – once we figure them out.

And now...for some family pictures!

Between snap lockdowns, we did spend a week's vacation in Tasmania in the dead of winter. Behind us in the cold fog is the famed Cradle Mountain National Park – supposedly. 
At least the kids did get to pet a wombat a local wildlife sanctuary in Bicheno, TAS.
More recently we spent a long summer's weekend at Phillip Island, a popular holiday getaway 2 hours' drive from Melbourne and most famous for a large colony of nesting fairy penguins.
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Copyright © 2022 The Huang Dynasty, All rights reserved.

This newsletter is about Andrew, Kimberley, Nolan, Solène and Ewen Huang, and their time in France, Gabon, Australia, Canada, and beyond.

The Huang Dynasty 4865 Duchess St Vancouver, BC V5R 6E1 Canada

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