Saturday, September 24, 2011

And another adventure begins

We have moved to Ireland. We are still a little bit in shock. Fortunately, everything went pretty smoothly with the trip here - the boys slept most of the flight from Nairoble to Amsterdam, there were no issues at all with immigration coming into Ireland, all our bags showed up, and there was even a humongous van waiting at the taxi stand when we got out there.

The only complications were when an older American man hassled us for going around to the front of the line to board (with our two small, wailing children, of course). I resisted the urge to tell him to stuff it. And Aer Lingus made us check one of our carry-ons, even though we were well within the limit. I tried to explain that Milo gets the exact same allowances I get - as he pays almost full price - but math was apparently not her strong suit. Anyway, I didn't mind having the load off. We keep saying this, but we are really going to have to learn to pack lighter next time.

Ireland is all a bit overwhelming still. It's hard to overcome the urge to splurge and indulge in everything. "Look - shawarma! No wait, there's sushi! And burritos! Can we have some ice cream?" I even found myself thinking about getting a McDonald's sundae today, because, you know, they don't have those in Malawi. I keep having to remind myself that we are staing here, and there will be plenty of time to eat the foods I like, buy new clothes, go to the movies.

Jorge is having the opposite reaction - he's finding everything a little overstimulating, and just wants to eat bread and cheese in the hotel room.

I know it never really takes us long to adjust, but I think we have been permanently changed by the years we spent living in Africa. It is hard for me to ever imagine a time when spending 600 dollars on a telephone will make any sense. And I think I will always crave for my children the freedom they have gotten used to. My saddest moment so far was getting down to Milo eye-to-eye and having to explain to him "We are not in Malawi anymore - you have to stay with Mommy now, you can't run around whenever you want to."

We went to several parks today, and as he always does, Milo tried to make friends with the other kids. They pretty much ignored him, the same way they did in Seattle -something I found very difficult to understand. But I saw a little spark of interest in some of the kids, as if they were wistfully considering socializing with another child, and that gave me a little hope that Milo will indeed make some friends here.

Our next big job is to find an apartment. A friend very generously offered us her apartment while she travels to Somalia for work, but the clock is ticking - we've got 3 weeks at the most to find and move into a new place. We're OK with something small, even a little dingy, but there is one thing I won't sacrifice, and that is a good shower. So it may take a while...


Mary said...

It is definitely ironic in a way that there is less freedom in more so to speak "developed" countries. Hope Milo meets some nice friends soon:)