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July 22, 2010 / iselgarcia

Expat Kids: Eirene and Laura Schneider

Expat Kids: Eirine and Laura Schneider

*as published in Expat Travel and Living Magazine, vol. 3 no. 3, August-October 2009 issue


For the PDF version:



Making Waves

“ASK me what my favorite color is,” she tells me, eyes all a-glow.

“Okay,” I laugh, “What is it?”

She sticks out her foot to display shiny, painted nails.

“Midnight blue!”

Hanging out with the Schneider girls, Eirine and Laura was like hanging out with your favorite gal pals back in elementary school. They were bright and friendly, chatting 100mph about everything under the sun (Laura’s pet goldfish that died, school dances, friends, favorite subjects – Swimming and Math for Eirine, Art and P.E. for Laura – and many other things). But the Schneider girls are anything but ordinary.

Born to Sofitel’s GM Bernd Schneider and his wife, Pippin; all three of the half-German, half-Singaporean Schneider children were born in different countries. Eirine, 11, was born in Singapore; Laura, 9, in China and Benedict, 3, in Manila where they are residing now.

But being exposed to so many different cultures seems to have only positive effects on the kids, who are perceptibly very eager to learn.

“I miss school a lot,” Eirine shares, talking about the British School Manila (BSM), where both girls currently study.

She’s gonna be in highschool soon,” Laura points to her sister proudly. “I’m gonna be in year 5.” Laura then shows me a bag she got from Penang, Malaysia, where she attended an athletics event with her schoolmates. “I got to play football and I swam,” she tells me animatedly, her light brown eyes sparkling. Her mum tells me later that Laura won 11 medals in that event.

Though the girls are “excited for Monday” when school starts, they have also been keeping themselves pretty busy during the summer. Besides swimming and tennis at the Manila Polo twice a week, they also have weekly German and Chinese classes. But all this is just a piece of cake for these spirited girls, who are able to swim more laps in a full-length pool than I can ever dream of swimming. In fact, they seem didn’t seem a bit tired at all, when our afternoon together came to a close (they played tennis and then swam continuously for an hour and a half).

“I’m gonna break a world record!” Eirine tells me when I asked her what she wants to do when she grows up.

From the pool, Laura calls out to me as she plays around and says, “Look, I’m going to make waves!”

I smile. I have no doubt that the Schneider girls will.


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