Wednesday, February 24, 2016


When we arrived in the dark on December 1, my exhausted kids were so overwhelmed they were crying.  One of them (who shall remain nameless) sobbed, "The soap in the bathroom smells strange! This place is awful and I can't believe we have to stay here for two MONTHS!"

After a good night's sleep, we set off to find groceries on foot and got to check out our new neighborhood.

There were some modest and pretty houses, like the one above, across the street.  There was the very rare fancy one, but you could only assume so because the wall surrounding the house was so tall and guarded, you couldn't see in!  

And some houses (this one was two doors down from us), we didn't think our family would be able to adjust living in.  It was a very educational first walk for the kids, reflecting that not every person on earth is able to live the way we do in Canada.  

Later that morning, my sweet child who had earlier hyperventilated about the soap scent said to me very somberly, "I think I should apologize about last night.  We have the nicest house in the neighborhood, and I had no idea."

Our place was a tall, freshly plastered yellow house with two stories.  We had the bottom apartment, with louvered glass panes for windows, and heavy steel bars on doors and windows.  Our windows were about 3 feet from the sidewalk, and without curtains in the kitchen, so it was easy to greet the neighbors walking by as I washed dishes at the sink.  I learned later that it's not customary to do so from inside the house, but hey, sometimes they were trying to surreptitiously peek in and see who was living here now!  Younger kids were not so subtle.  They would hang off the bars of our door and giggle until we came to see who was there.  They usually ran away when they realized how little Spanish we were able to come up with, but they sure were curious!

The photo above was a sweet and pleasant little community with the playground where Ry found the accessible coconut tree.  Small, clean houses surrounded by trees and flowers, their front doors only accessible by the walkway.  Cars had to be parked a block or two away, but motorcycles and mopeds slowly put-putted down the walkway and got parked within the owner's small front yard.  Most of the people I saw in this neighborhood wore some sort of office uniform, like neatly pressed navy slacks and white dress shirt with a tie.

To be continued