Thoughts from Week 1

Week 1 in a new abode passed much as week ones do: unpacking, organizing, making lists, discovering, buying groceries.  And, for the baby, getting used to a new bed and a newly regular schedule.  It has taken her every bit of a week to adjust, but I am very grateful that her sleep is becoming more predictable again.  (Two nights after we arrived, she woke up 5 times…not very fun.)

Here are a few oddities/thoughts from this week:

  • The apartment/office complex is busy throughout the day, every day.  The facilities manager, who also lives here, is extremely capable, helpful, and efficient with his duties.  I can not count the number of people I’ve seen doing various tasks around the complex: cleaning the pool, mopping the walkways, planting a new palm tree (which involved a backhoe and crane), trimming hedges, washing cars, mowing lawns.  The list goes on.  We’ve had 4 different people come by our place already to help with assorted issues.
  • On a walk with KLC, I noticed a man edging a lawn with a machete.
  • We are expected to tip people frequently, but we aren’t very good at having the right amount of money handy to give out in a smooth “Thanks, here ya go,” sort of way.  Exhibit A: at one of the grocery stores (you have to go to several to get a full complement of groceries), they have about 10 baggers eagerly awaiting customers’ exit.  T didn’t notice during his first visit and, as typical, said “No, thanks,” to the offers of help.  As he walked out, he got some dirty looks and noticed that no one else did their own bag carrying.  When we returned this past Sunday, we let the 15 year-old girl help us out with our 4 bags of groceries.  To make conversation, T told her that we were new and asked what the stamps he had been given were for, and she told us that you can redeem them at 12 for $1 of groceries.  Then she said, “Did you also know that we work for tips?”  Thanks for clarifying.  (and, yes, of course we knew…in this case…and we threw in the 20 stamps we’d been awarded as a bonus.)
  • Driving on the left side of the road is not as hard as I’d imagined.  Thankfully, there are lots of one-way streets, and there isn’t a terrible amount of traffic to contend with.  It kind of feels like a puzzle to me, and it keeps me on my toes.  (B in Uganda, I definitely think you have a harder task!)
  • Making dinner at night is not so rough when you’re not working, but I was dreading having to use that part of my brain again at first.  I’ve had time to do some things like make homemade pizza dough and bread, and I’m really enjoying having a kitchen of my own again.
  • Our general schedule is:
    • 6:30–alarm
    • 7:00–baby wakes up
    • 7:30–T leaves
    • 5:30–T comes home, plays with KLC while I finish dinner
    • 6:00–dinner
    • 7:00-baby asleep
    • 11:00 (or earlier)-asleep
  • The baby monitor’s range extends to the pool.  That is nice.
  • It’s fun to take a morning stroll to the beach (pictures below) as a family.

IMG_0196 IMG_0197 IMG_0205


One thought on “Thoughts from Week 1

  1. Yay! Updates! I hear you on the 5+ wakings per night. That’s Arthur’s new favorite hobby. Sigh. The tipping sounds hard to get used to. I usually feel flustered in those situations and certainly have no experience with it being part of everyday life. Will email you soon. Thanks for chronicling your journey here!

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