It is 8:30 am on the dot. Joshua Hennessy-Davis is headed for the first day of school on Aug. 28 at Jamestown Elementary.
Joshua is from Australia and would be headed to school in Australia with a two-toned blue uniform and a hat. “No hat, no outside play,” his father Darryl explains. But today Joshua wears his American 70s punk rock band shirt to start the year.
Joshua confesses he feels nervous although his parents explain he loved kindergarten last year at Jamestown and did well. Still this is something different with a new teacher and new things to learn.
It is a short walk down the street where he meets other kids waiting with parents, and they all head to the traditional ten-minute shortcut through a wooded neighborhood to the school. Darryl has Joshua’s backpack slung over his shoulder, and his mother Siobhan is along as well. She says usually she is off to work at the Australian Embassy but, “I’m here for the first day of school.”
Joshua takes his lunch “unless he sneaks a school lunch once in a while.” Siobhan says she packs a vegemite sandwich, an Australian yeast-based spread with veggies and spices. “Americans don’t like it too much. It’s an acquired taste,” Siobhan says. His father adds, “It’s just a thin layer.” But Joshua explains he also has a patty with peppermint inside for a treat.