Monday, October 4, 2010

The New Adventure (long post, but please read it all!)

On to finishing the pre-assignment visit...
So, after the extra two days in Amsterdam, we finally get to Atyrau. The flight is fairly simple, only about 5 hours (that means some great travel for future reference ;) )

The airport reminded me so much of when we lived in Maracaibo, Venezuela. It was small with only two stations open for checking passports and getting your bags, etc...
no carts to haul all that extra luggage we took. It was pretty funny to see my husband and I running back forth with the bags that we could carry!
I can't imagine going there the next time...
picture: myself, two kids, 3 suitcases (big), 3 carry-ons (small) and a dog and cat.
How about we do not even go there yet, ok?
(breath, om, going to my happy place, breath)

We were greeted by a few fellow colleagues of my husband and taken to the camp. It is close to the airport so that was good seeing as we were tired from all of our journey.
We stayed in the guest house, which was similar to a hotel, but much more comfortable. The ladies from the camp, who are wives of the men my husband will be working with, had put in a lovely basket filled with goodies and fruits, water and pops in the was a nice welcome seeing as we were tired and just wanted to relax for the evening to get ready for the next day.

The next day came and I was greeted by 3 ladies that were a sort of welcome committee for me. They took me around to the different grocery stores and even a flower shop! Boy, how did they know I needed to see that flower shop?!
I thought it funny, though, that they took me to about 4 different grocery stores, but I really found them all to generally have the same things! I wanted to tell them that I am used to this kind of shopping after living overseas almost 8 years now, and that most sights that they thought might take some getting used to, do not surprise me. I wanted to tell them that it is ok with how the meat and fish look in the cases...
how can it not look ok to least they were in semi refrigerated cases...
I mean, I usually buy my chicken and fish off a street vendor, yep...all out in the open!
They were quite generous with their time and their advice, so I just let them lead me around.
We had an afternoon tea where I was introduced to a few more ladies.

Truthfully, I think living on a camp will be the hardest felt by me. I think our children will relish in the freedom of walking/biking/scootering to school and friend's houses. I think my husband will still get up and go to work like anywhere...but for me, well, it will be different and probably take some adjusting of being around the same people every day, all day.
I will stick to my routine, though...and they have a beautiful "club" on the camp to help me do that. There is an indoor lap pool (YEA!!!!!) and an outdoor pool, as well (weather permitting obviously!). They have 2 nice indoor hard court tennis courts, a workout room, small library, restaurant and social area. It seems like life will work itself out there, and I will find my way. I always do!

The housing is quite nice. Though we are not sure which townhouse we are actually moving into, it really does not matter much. They are all exactly the same, so we are waiting for a final decision on which one it will be.

The school was great. It is quite small with combining of classes, but it was really well presented. The headmaster was very informative, honest and gave it to us as we liked it...straight forward! We heard of the benefits, like opportunity for specialized attention due to the small class sizes, to the faults, like the language program. At least this way we know what we are headed into...we already bought the Rosetta Stone French Course 1 for our son that is loving learning the French language this year! (His 12th birthday is this Tuesday by the way!)

All in all, I think this will be a great opportunity for our kids and for some great travel. I am trying not to get too overwhelmed by the "fish bowl" effect of living on a camp where everyone wants to know your business. I have my plan set in motion. I know what I want to get out of this experience, and though I am always open to changing my plan, I will stick to it and have fun in the process.
There are going to be some great travels from here!

Now, can anyone tell me how to continue blogging in a country that I believe blocks blogger? :(
Yes folks, that is a big downside...I tried to blog there, but I couldn't open my page! So, if anyone has any tips, please pass them along! I don't want to update everyone only every 6 months?! I promise to figure out a way once I get there...

but look for more crazy packing stories coming up! It all starts tomorrow with packing the air shipment! Off I go to organize! (Agh, I could use you right now Gabriela!!)


Brenda said...

Love this post and I can't wait to hear more about your adventures. I would find living in a camp a little confining as well, but it sounds like it has its attractions.

You might need to get your own URL, I think you can still use the blogger templates, but your blog address would not include the the Maybe try that. Blogger even has an option to buy your URL through them. Thats what I do.

I hope you can figure it out, I want to keep reading about this!

Nicole said...

Uih, I can imagine what living on Camp will be like. Fishbowl suits the bill.
It was similar in Korea. Not ON camp, but right around with all the wifes there. But I did what you are planning.
Using the good things and pretty much just live with the rest ;)
There's a Site that you can use to go around blocks on Internet pages.
I am currently trying to get a hold of that link.
If I get it, I send it to you.
If that doesn't work, maybe try other blogging services or try to go self-hosted?
I can help you with that, if need be.
And if I get the link, I'll mail it to you too.
All the Best!
(And yes, I feel your pain with the airport and all the luggage, etc.
I went to similar crap in Frankfurt & Sharm,... just minus the kids, but with a huge dog Kennel, a smaller one, a huge suitcase, Golf Clubs, backpack and two dogs,... oh well ;)

BLOGitse said...

I just noticed that it's only 2 hrs difference between Atyrau and Finland.
Traveling is so much pain nowadays - with or without luggage. I feel like a criminal even if I'm not carrying any illegal or feels like a war zone - security/police vs. travelers. Oh well...
I'm happy everything went fine and you're excited to move...

mythopolis said...

You are one tough cookie! (That's a compliment!) Happy Birthday to sonny boy! When I was 12 Elvis had just hit the scene, rocked my world! Please keep me up on your blog situation, don't wanna lose touch! I have a feeling you will be taking some interesting trips to nearby countries! Hugs!

Betty said...

Sounds like you are excited to get everything underway. You have a great attitude and I hope it goes well and you adjust to life there.

Gabriela said...

I wish I was there to help...

Miss you!

Carol said...

Oh, sounds like quite an adventure is in store for all of you!
I know I'd feel exactly the same way about the camp...but you are a strong woman and will figure out a way to keep the privacy you'll need to survive...and still be open to friendship with the women there. I envy them. I'd LOVE to be there with your day-to-day ventures.

As for the someone else mentioned...I know there's a way. I hope someone comes forward who knows. It would be very sad not to hear from you in these new phase of your life~

Hugs to you~xoxoxoxoxoxox

Anonymous said...

With as much travel as your husband sponsors for you, all of this sounds like second nature to you.

Beverlydru said...

I love your blog-- takes me around the world from my desk chair. I had to look up Atyrau to even know what part of the workd you'll be in. I pray you'll find a way to blog!