Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fried Brain

We started language school today and I suddenly realized that we will be very busy since all 4 of us will be in school. That said, we were hoping that we would have signed a rental contract on a place by now, but all our tea time negotiations were for naught.
So, we're putting an offer forward on a different place tomorrow closer to our school and the kids' school and we'll see what happens.
Small success of yesterday was getting a minibus from the downtown area to the kids' school. There are no bus schedules or guidance posted anywhere, so you have to take your limited talking skills and ask someone. I was very excited to have made it to their school with time to spare. I've also learned directions well enough to direct a taxi driver to the rode near our temporary home.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Let's Talk Housing

I’m not sure where to start with posting.  I guess that I’d first say that this is all going more smoothly than I had anticipated.  We have spotty internet and cell service, the kids have gone to school orientation and we are learning enough words to get a taxi to take us where we need to go. The only problem with taxis is they don’t like to take people to our neighborhood. The hill is steep, the traffic is heavy and they don’t always find a paying customer for their drive out.

We’ve focused our time before school starts on finding a good and reasonably priced place to live…the furnished place we’re in now is more expensive than finding a good unfurnished place. Unfurnished here means you are renting a place with walls and doors. The previous You have to buy and wire the light fixtures, hot water heater, get curtains, stove and fridge. In our case, the place we want was vacant for 6 months. This means it became the place for garbage to be tossed and windows to be smashed. So, we had a friend of a friend do a walk through with us today and give us an estimate of the cost of repairs. At the end of the walkthrough, you sit down with the neighbor showing the flat, he serves you soda, you talk about the minutae involved with plumbing and water spots and how much repairs will take off your rent monthly. This conversation takes an hour and a half. This is the way things are done here and luckily through our other travels I was prepared for this sort of back and forth. So, the next step is for the friend of the friend to talk to the landlord and see if he’s willing to take the cost of repairs out of the monthly rent and also to lower our overall rent. Hopefully we’ll know if it’s ours to take on by next week.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

We're Here

We haven't gotten an internet connection at our house yet, so my posting will be sparse until we have it.

The travel itself would have gone smoothly if we hadn't run into 2 separate airline supervisors for 2 different airlines who decided to be hosers about baggage. US Airways skimmed us unjustly for a couple of hundred dollars in illogical baggage fees. We thought it would be the only travel hurdle until we got to JFK and a super for our airline to J wanted more money in unjust baggage fees. Granted, we don't have bribery fees in the US, but what these airlines were doing was just as pointless and unjust. Luckily the 2nd airline super left and the other ticket agents rightly didn't charge us for bags.

Thankfully all 16 (that's not a typo) bags (checked and carry-on) made it intact and we were able to flop into our furnished rental apartment by 8pm Wednesday. Ramadan was happening, so we were unable to eat in public during the day. This meant that many of our neighbors were up very late our first couple of days eating and enjoying their break from fasting at night.

Our temporary apartment has been glorious, to be able to settle down into a semblance of normalcy has been a great stress reliever. We have gotten phones, basic household items and the Wii hooked up. My next desire is to get internet since I'm feeling cut off from the world without it. School signups are happening this week and we need to decide whether we'll continue to rent this furnished apartment or rent an unfurnished apartment. Unfurnished would be cheaper, but here it requires us to furnish everything meaning cabinets, curtains, stove, fridge, heat, etc. Unfurnished literally means you're renting the walls/rooms and must come up with the rest. I've been told it's cheap to furnish a place, but I admit I'm skeptical.

A surprise for me was to be taken to the west side of town to Safeway! They had many western goods which I hadn't expected to see. Granted they're expensive, but I was very pleased to find cheddar cheese, wheat bread and Clorox wipes available in the country!

I'm absolutely loving our local corner store. The owner has a nice selection, speaks a little English and looks like the Arab version of Albert Einstein.

Sorry this is ramble, I'm a little tired. Until next post.

Monday, August 13, 2012

All the Bags Are Packed...

...and we're almost ready to go. We took a break from the packing madness and went on a 4 day camping trip with our church to the San Juan mountains.

I recommend this method of moving to everyone! It took me a couple of hours to start relaxing, but once I did it was glorious. The food, landscape and company were the perfect balm for my wigged out heart.

We came back yesterday evening and I'm looking at everything with fresh eyes so I can make this final packing push.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

At A Low Point

We started packing bags yesterday and I started to crumble.

There are so many little things we need to get done today in order to go camping that I'm getting the sense of drowning in a sea of moving chores.

I logically recognize that this is all easy in relation to being held hostage or climbing Everest. But emotionally I haven't been tried in the fires of having to power through things often. Elk butchering days and the church debacle would be the closest comparisons.

Poor J and the kids are being absolutely wonderful, thankfully there's just one of me with my type A tendencies!

Hope I can hold it together better today and power through!

Saturday, August 04, 2012

A Time to Keep And a Time to Throw Away

We are nearing the end of the household insanity. Walls and drawers are getting wiped. The majority of our furniture has disappeared. We're keeping only what we're packing, storing or throwing away by Tuesday. Thankfully we have camping stuff still, so we're making due with sleeping on cots and air mattresses.

The couple overseas already has found two possible apartments for us and Jason is watching loads to see when there are most seats for flying standby.

Someone asked me the other day if I'm stressing about finding an apartment and furniture when we get to J. I realized that I've embraced the mentality of today having enough troubles of its own, I haven't even considered all we need to do when we actually get there.

So, we are almost there.