Archive for March 23rd, 2007

Settling In

The dust is beginning to settle and life is beginning to feel a bit more normal. Well, as normal as can be expected for now.

It’s not easy getting used to a new home, new people, new friends, new city and shops, but when you throw in the fact that very few people around you speak English it gets a bit frustrating at times. But we’re adjusting and adapting and moving along, albeit at a much slower pace.

Many of you have asked how we are doing. Well, grab a cup of coffee and pull up a chair, it’s been an exciting 2 weeks!

The flight went fine, even on time, but the jet lag lasted for a couple of days (it’s 6 hrs ahead here). There was little time to rest though since our household items arrived the next day. I must say I was impressed – only 2 small and totally meaningless items broke. Not bad for 8 weeks of travel. The apartment we are living in is great, new construction, and everything was done for us as promised so no delays there. A bit of a surprise – apartments here don’t come with lights! Who knew? Not us! OK, I guess we did have one light hung in each bathroom and basement lights are up, and of course I can’t forget the small light above the stove top, but other than that it was dark when the sun went down.

Day 2: Andy leaves for Germany around noon and no more than 10 minutes later darling daughter Arianna falls off her scooter outside. Ok, scraped chest and hip – not too serious; skinned knee – lots of blood running down leg, hurts like crazy, thinks I may actually carry all 70 lbs of her back up the hill in my bare feet because of this; scraped hand – no blood but still deep enough and big to be a stinger; head – still in tact, no bumps or bruises, no marks on helmet, good girl for wearing helmet! We get back to the apartment, clean and bandage all spots and she lies down and falls asleep. (Oh yeah, I checked that helmet one more time for dings and scratches!) Figured I’d let her rest while unpacking a bit more.

After an hour I woke her up (still a bit paranoid about the head thing) and figured it was time for dinner. She refused to get up saying her hand hurt too bad. I thought she was afraid I’d put her to work! Looked at it again, still just scratched lightly. She could move her fingers, bend and flex her wrist no problem but something was certainly up. Arianna’s a tough girl and can shake off pretty much anything, but she just wouldn’t/couldn’t get over this. I finally got her up and brought her to the kitchen – no lights, remember – and ask her to hold her hands side by side so I could see if there was swelling. Then told her to turn both hands palm up to check again – nope, not going to happen! Hmmm, honey, let’s pull up your sleeves. Sure enough, about 2 inches past her wrist her arm took an unnatural turn upwards – definately broken.

OK, husbands gone, I have no clue where I am let alone a hospital. I needed to call someone but wait, we don’t have a phone hooked up either and I haven’t gone to get a cell phone yet. Our relocation person came by earlier that day and left a list of all important local and emergency numbers with addresses so I found that and spotted the hospital address. Ha, like that meant anything to me. At least I saw what town the closest ER was in so figured we’d just drive that way and hope to see signs. Fortunately I knew the bag our new insurance cards were in. Grabbed those, the kids and the keys and off we went. Mira’s upset to have to go anywhere, we still haven’t had dinner, Arianna’s in pain everytime I hit a bump and suddenly it hits me and I just started laughing- even when we find the hospital I have less than 20 francs on me, no clue how to speak the language and in my obsession to spot hospital signs I haven’t paid a bit of attention to where I’m driving so who knows if I’ll even find our way back home tonight! Luckily the girls have our wacky sense of humor and started laughing, too. At one point it was even joked that maybe her arm was broken badly enough that she would have to be admitted, that way we’d at least have lights, dinner and a bed to sleep in that night!

Eventually we spotted hospital signs, yep her arm was definately broken, both bones, so 3 hours later we’re on our way home with a bright red cast. Finally found the apartment, ate a very quick dinner and off to bed for everyone. Not exactly the romantic first days in a foreign city I had invisioned:)ari-cast.jpg

The next week lights were installed, phone hooked up, a little more unpacking done. Mira started school and loves it. Confirmation was received that Arianna would definately not get in to the same school this year so she will need to attend the other English speaking international school in the area. It’s a little over half an hour away, through the mountain roads, but it’s only for 2 months. For now she is spending her days with me learning more about culture and shopping than book work since she can’t start until after spring break. It’s giving her some extra time to heal too so that’s ok.

The weather was around 60 degrees the first week we were here but has now dipped to just below freezing and we’ve been getting snow for the past few days. It’s certainly spring, tulips and daffodils are flowering, forsythia are in full bloom along with most of the flowering trees, even azaleas and rhododendrons are about to open their flowers – everything is beautiful. I’ll take pictures on the next sunny day.

Time to go get Mira from school. I have still been knitting and can’t wait to show you pictures of what I’m working on. One thing Mira size, 2 toddler sweaters, 1 baby sweater for a little girl a friend is expecting, and my favorite that is actually something for me! It’s out of the wool/silk Rapture yarn- absolutely fabulous and my new favorite yarn.


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