Thursday, February 25, 2016

Hello from the Other Side

Well, I've returned.  Scraped up.  Wiser.  Better.  Thankful.

Since I am now "on the other side," I think my hiatus from the blog world needed to come to an end.  

I also see I'm behind in adding "Keira-isms" (as I call them) to the funny things "my darling three" (now four) say.

But before I recount some of our stateside, I think I'll start in the present with a conversation Keira and I had Monday when we got on the plane.

"Mom, who's driving us?"

She was very concerned, so I reminded her about the book we had read on pilots.

Then she said, "What's our new house called?"

I told her the name of the new country, and she said, "Is it to the left or the right?"

I said, "To the right."

Then she added, "I like flying."  (Of course, we were still on the tarmac).

In the air, she wanted to know, "Where'd all those houses go?"

Getting our last measurement (for a while) in Doc & Doe's closet


When she awoke in Frankfurt and at our final destination, her first words were, "Is this our new home?"

Just to give you some comparison, Caleb was only 7 months older than Keira when we left for Africa.

I must say, traveling with three older kids who carry their own luggage and manage themselves in the security line is awesome!
 Keira woke up from 1-3am the first night, and 4:30 to 6am the second night, but I think she's going to get back on schedule tonight.  We didn't let her rest all day.  Tonight at dinner, she was chewing her food, with her eyes closed and her head bobbing back and forth (we have video to prove it).
Day 1:  Doug, our landlord, and a friend went to the local police to register us.  Upon arriving, they found out that showing passports was not enough, the officials needed to be handed copies of passports and a passport photo of every family member.

Since business is usually conducted in the morning, the registration would have to be completed the next day.

So, we went to look at the house and then went to start buying cleaning supplies, tools, and other odds and ends.  We were still going to different stores when night fell.

Day 2:  Doug, our landlord, and friend went back to the local police with all of the papers and photos, and they informed him that they needed to see his family in person.

The kids and I were shopping with a friend for brooms, squee-gee's, garbage cans, etc. so we quickly checked out and went to the police station.  We filed upstairs into a room where we were never looked at once, and after some papers were filled out, we were told we could leave and go on our way.

After lunch with some fellow teachers from the language center, we went back to the house to clean, starting with the roof.

We filled up one trashcan easily, so the rest had to be thrown over the side of the roof, into our courtyard.  

Broken tile.
Dirty underwear.
Empty water bottles.
You get the idea.

When we went downstairs to clean it up, we filled four garbage sacks full!  We also filled another trash bag cleaning up the litter in our house and on the street around our house, for which we are now responsible.

 The girls worked inside, cleaning the kitchen with a neighborhood friend; Caleb and two boys from the neighborhood, hosed down and squee-geed the courtyard.

I cleaned the "laundry room;" Doug swept inside and out; Kylie later scraped paint off the stairs, and the other girls cleaned walls while the boys went to play soccer.

Caleb said, "Mom, we're done.  They said we're going to go play in the street now."

"Uh!  What?"

"Mom, please!"

Thankfully, they finally agreed to go to one of the boys' courtyards and kick the ball around there.  *whew*

This is the view from my kitchen, into the living area (called "the hall")

An upstairs bedroom

Some dangerously hard-looking stairs

One of the three squatty potties (one's outside).  We're going to buy a Western toilet to go over this.

I'll try to send more pictures as I get them.  I forgot to get a picture of the front of the house; however, I did get a picture of the best part.

Taken from inside my courtyard, looking over the wall.

We live next door to a chicken slaughter business.  

I can get chicken and eggs at anytime.

And the owner is my landlord.

Looks like our property will be well-protected; however, I'll let you know when summer comes, what it smells like outside.

This is what "hello from the other side" looks like today.