Back to Blogging

January 28, 2015

After a 4 month break, I’m back! I didn’t really intend to stop blogging while we were in the states but life came like a 3 month tidal wave and all we could do was hang on. It was wonderful.

We have been back for about a month and have slowly adjusted back to life here. There were definitely challenges: problems with electricity, water, more water problems… As of Tuesday, we have a working depo on top of our house that will provide water when the water is cut off, which unfortunately, has been happening more days than not in a week’s time. It isn’t enough water to shower or run a dishwasher/washing machine but at least we can wash hands and flush the toilet.  Small victory!

We also have heat this year for the first time. This is a huge quality of life changer and has made our adjustment back SO much more pleasant. I remember this time last year thinking that there was ice in my shampoo. I’m so thankful for a warm home this year. Huge victory!

It took us about a month to figure out what our routine should be. One thing we have learned in our transience is that people move on, with or without you. So, we have spent this month patiently discerning exactly how we should enter back into life here. Which friends to strike back up relationship with, which activities to join etc.

***Let me just take a moment to vent. New topic. I’m at a cafe alone just  now. My first time alone since we have returned. I was so excited to drink a nice cup of coffee and blog. Blog post begun, as you can see. Coffee just arrived. Evidently caffeine free to the waiter meant coffee free. Yes. My late is a cup of steamed milk. I’m super annoyed. But, alas, culturally “the customer is always right” doesn’t prevail here as it does in the states so, I’ll drink my glass of milk while I write. I’ll choose to be thankful for my alone time and not begrudge the lack of coffee in my mug as I sit in a coffee shop, smells taunting me.***

We really value sports for our kids because it is a great physical outlet for them, language learning tool, and opportunity for them to interact with kids their age and make friends. Upon our return, N choose basketball while J and SK chose rhythmic gymnastics, of all things! Thus far, everyone’s classes are going well.

We have hired a language tutor for the kids and she starts this week. She will come once per week and teach language for an hour but stay for four so that I can have some time out of the house to visit other ladies. With Baba working more hours now, this is a great solution, allowing me time in the community as well. We love the tutor and trust her fully; it is because of her that this scenario is even feasible.

***Side note number two. The hot milk totally made my stomach churn.  So, I decided to go for it. I politely explained that when I had said caffeine free I had wanted coffee not just milk. After a couple of rounds of defensiveness they agreed to add coffee! It was worth the effort and I’m excitedly awaiting an actual coffee now! Things don’t always go as badly as we think they will!***

SK will hopefully start preschool next week, completing our integration back into life here. She will attend the same school she attended last year and I am hoping that by now she is throughly bored of being a half-participant in home school each morning and will go with enthusiasm. One can hope.

Here’s one of my FAVE cousin pics from our time in the states.

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Now that you’ve been updated, I’ll start blogging from the beginning of our time away. Enjoy…

***Arrgg. Before I go, side  note number 3. The coffee was, in fact, NOT caffeine free. They must have just put coffee in there to save face. I already have caffeine jitters. Guess I’ll be blogging later tonight that I’d planned. You win some, you lose some!***

Cuties and Modern Technology

September 24, 2014

One day, several months ago, I Facetimed my Dad. When he answered, he happened to be a Wal-mart. He was talking to us as he walked around the store and had the fun idea to let the kids each pick out a tee-shirt. they picked their shirts over Facetime and then he mailed them!

Obviously, we won’t frequently shop over Facetime. But, it was a fun treat and a great way for the kids to feel connected to their Grandpa! Isn’t technology amazing!

Here are the kids walking to the bus in their Grandpa shirts.

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Little Surfer

September 21, 2014

Catching the wave with a little help from Baba

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Gaining speed

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In for the landing

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Celebrating victory

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The Many Hats of SK

September 18, 2014

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Burger King Trailer

September 15, 2014

This trailer is on the side of the road outside our city. It makes me smile. I don’t know if I’d be brave enough to eat there but it is funny that western food has such a far reach!

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Home School

September 12, 2014

We started our home school semester early this year. It killed me to begin school again in the heat of August but it was worth it in order to gain flexibility when we are in the states this fall.

I’ve learned much about learning styles this year and was surprised to learn that it is good to let a kinetic  learner work in such a position as this:

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I try my best to incorporate pre-school activities for SK but it is hit and miss. I guess I took this on one of our better days.

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We also do school-on-the-go, when the need arises. I know it isn’t optimal but sometimes, life circumstances superceded the need for a perfect classroom.

This is Jenna doing math in the waiting room of a government building while we applied for residency permits.

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On very, very good days, we will even do a craft together. But, like I said, that is only on very, very good, have it all together days!

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I’m sure schooling will continue to look different as we transition to the states very soon!

 

Swimming in our City

September 11, 2014

Our city is very hot and many apartment complexes have pools. But, not everyone swims at every pool. Each comes seems to have their own swim culture. We did lots of swimming with local friends but because I don’t post pictures of local friends on the blog, I have never written about this aspect of life here. Right now, as I’m writing, I’m sitting on the deck of a pool where women only swim at night. The brave ones come out after dark so that no one can see them. At this pool, girls are also required to wear swim caps. I forgot ours accidentally. Here are our sad girls:

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We are in the process of borrowing caps for them from a neighbor in the building.

At some pools, everyone swims. You may even see a woman in a bikini sitting next to a woman covered from head to toe in a wind suit type outfit made for swimming. In one city we lived in, swim times were segregated between men and women. In other pools, women never swim, just depending on the culture of the building.

We have had a summer full of swimming, only my level of participation has varied. Although there would have been a time in my life where this was irking or frustrating, in this life stage, I find joy in sharing the afternoon in friendship with another woman, even when it is fully clothed on the side of the pool!

In the end today, we borrowed a cap for J and they let SK go without one. All’s well that ends well, I guess.

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Redneck Snow Cone

September 9, 2014

We recently saw this is a nearby village.

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A truck bed, full of ice. I’m not sure if it was shaved somewhere and put into the truck or if the guy drove 30 minutes up the mountains and gathered snow? It was insulated with evergreen tree branches and plastic tarps.

The syrup was pumped out of a large water jug.

It is all highly sanitary. Guaranteed.

Other Summer Fun

September 4, 2014

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Chillin at the beach.

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Nice face paint job!

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SK’s new favorite ballerina move! We see it multiple times per day, guaranteed!

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Fun friends!

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What’s not to love about summer?

Time to Flip and Fly!

September 1, 2014

 

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J and Baba perfecting their synchronized flip!

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