Sunday, January 17, 2010

We Arrived: A Brief Summary So Far!

After an exhausting flight on Thursday to KL, we finally arrived in Chiang Mai on Friday morning to a big crowd waiting and cheering for us at the airport.  The ZOE children weren’t there, as they were at school, but just about all the missionaries, staff, bible students etc were.

Tobi and Eli enjoyed the second (shorter) plane ride much more than the one the previous day.  They  coped really well with all the attention in Malaysia and Thailand.  The three children certainly stand out and get continuous points, stares, touches and high fives.  They’ve all done really well being friendly in these situations and have surprised us with their coping skills of the “celebrity status” they attract.
We couldn’t remember the house very clearly from our visit in July last year but it is so lovely. We arrived to a fridge full of food plus a massive basket of cleaning products, snacks etc. WOW! 
The missionaries have been so generous, dropping around with meals, which have been so yummy, and they’ve drawn up a roster to drive us around till we get a car.  The kids are enjoying not having the constraints of car seats- not sure how they’ll cope being strapped down once again!!!! And it is so much quicker to get in the car and go anywhere LOL!
God has definitely blessed us with the use of this house so we will be grateful for as long as we’re here.  Funnily though, as great as the house is, we were shocked to discover that there’s no hot water in the kitchen!  One of the first things I did was to go and buy a kettle to boil water for washing up. 
We’ve had a few encounters with mini beasts so far… a huge ant was in our bed the first night, a big lizard thing jumped out at me as I put rubbish in the outdoor bin and then today we went to mop the floor and a huge nest of ants and larvae looking things all starting crawling out of the hollow mop handle… and I’m talking a LOT! We both screamed (Dave jumped onto the couch to escape them) and thankfully I had just bought insect spray about an hour earlier and a vacuum yesterday so between a WHOLE can of spray and the vac, we managed to kill them before they infested the rest of the house.  Ewwwwwwwww! We spent the next hour or so mopping and cleaning up. It’s still gives me the shivers just recounting it!
The children’s kinder is directly opposite our house but unfortunately across a busy road. Probably too hard to walk there by myself but with 2 adults we were able to walk there on Saturday to show the kids (and pass a coffee shop hee hee).  As we looked through the gates, the guard opened them and let us in so unbelievably Tobi and Eli got to go and have a big play in the playground without anyone else there, see the pool and look at the photos outside each of the classrooms etc. It was a great experience and they’re both really keen to start so we’ll go down tomorrow probably and see the principal to arrange it.  Dave started crying when he saw how happy they were.  We’ve shared a lot of tears but know without a doubt this is where we’re meant to be. 

Yesterday Jess took me shopping to buy some items for the house while Dave took the kids for a swim.  The pool near our house has a shallow area which is roped off. They all had a wonderful afternoon cooling off in the water.  It’s pretty warm here- comparable to the summer in Melbourne but apparently it’s winter…? 
The kids are doing well to survive without any toys besides what they had in their hand luggage.  The big boxes from the items we’ve bought for the house have become many imaginary things now and we’ve got lots of empty water bottles (as we can’t drink the tap water), which make good skittles! We have bought the kids a little table and chairs and someone has leant them a pop up tent that’s making a great little cubby house.
Dave was disappointed today when he discovered that our new rice cooker/ steamer is faulty and we have to return it to the shop- thankfully people have been bringing rice with all the meals so there’s been no shortage, but still!!
It’s really feeling like home now so I imagine when all our shipment of stuff arrives, it will even more so.
We’re enjoying the food and all ate out at the food court the other night for a couple of dollars!!! Tobi has decided that every day we all have to try something new.  So tonight at dinner Jess (who works at ZOE and is staying with us for a couple of weeks) ate broccoli for the first time!!!  The kids have really warmed to “Aunty Jess” and she is very patient with them. 
It’s been so full on…I can’t explain it.  Surreal, so exhausting, busy, overwhelming, emotional-mixed feelings of missing family and yet feeling so loved here too. It’s been so wonderful to have Jess here in our house and know that she’s done this and understands what we’re grappling with.  She is such a great person to have around.
Well as the adventure continues we’ll keep you updated.  Thanks for your emails and Facebook messages, it really means a lot.  For now though “Sawatdee” (goodbye).

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