Feeling at home!

It’s almost been two weeks since we arrived and I’m thrilled to say, we are feeling peaceful here.  Whilst trying to cope with exhaustion (we tend to have all three boys visit at us at some point during the night), we are slowly adventuring out and exploring our awesome neighbourhood.

The boys have settled into preschool well.  I’m actually amazed, there has been no tears and no ‘I don’t want to go’.  It’s the complete opposite to what they were like when I took them to daycare in Canberra.  They are going to a small school.  They both have about 10 kids in their class, so suits them perfectly in terms of social attention etc.

I must say I love it here.  We were ready for a change and we are thriving so far.  I’m told once the excitement wears off from being in a new place, it can be quite hard, but I guess we are ready to ride the rollercoaster.

We are living in a place called Beit Hanina.  It is such a lovely place. Our actual house is massive with lots of natural light and powered window shutters to keep the kids amuzed (our shipment hasn’t arrived yet!).  We already have met some great people who have taken us under their wing and boy am I appreciative.

Our house is set back slightly up a hill, so whilst we have amazing views, we are also very close to shops and buses.  We have been living in the house or little over a week.  We moved in when IKEA moved in.  Truely, the whole house has been furnished with IKEA. It took two full days and three guys to put all the stuff together and build our place, which looks great.  I do have to say, those two days were absolutely horrendous, probably the most stressful parenting time I have EVER had.  Joel was away for work at the time, so I was left with the three boys (Cami was teething and didn’t want to be put down, Maxi and James were feral from all the hype).  The workmen kept forgetting to close the door so the boys kept escaping (they found a see saw which they were thrilled about..just quietly, so was I!), at the same time, they were asking me where to put the furniture that I had never seen and had no idea where to put it.  I was also trying to find my own feet, organise meals for the kids out of foreign products, and get the kids napping during the day.  Kind of difficult when there is the constant sound of power tools and no cots in sight!  So not cool!

Anyway, we got through it and we are back to enjoying a life full of new adventures, amazing, amazing food and new relationships.  We have great neighbours who like to hang with the boys, however, there is a slight cultural confusion.  We usually have dinner around 5 and then settle in for the night.  At 5, our Palestinian neighbours are just firing up, keen to visit and play.  There is always a bit of confusion when I say eat and bed time at 5.  I will have to learn some more Arabic soon so I can communicate what on earth we are doing!

On Monday, Joel will stop work for one month and undergo 4 weeks of intensive Arabic training.  I’ll be doing 1 hour a day which is part time equivalent.  I’m really looking forward to it as I’m using Arabic all the time and am keen to enter into further dialogue than the basic greetings.  Can’t wait!

We still dont have our car which is proving a bit of a pain.  Trying to blend into the community while lugging heavy shopping and a high chair onto the bus doesnt help to really blend..

I have found THE best bakery down the road.  Its AMAZING!! I just have to get out of the mindset of trying everything in one day like a tourist would.  I keep buying far too much, but its so good! I’m pretty sure I’ll be a few dress sizes heavier by Christmas.

I must go and get our boys from school.  I’m so proud of them, they are settling in so well.  They do seem at home here.

P.S I only just got the internet set up today, so watch this space…pictures will be up VERY soon.

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The travelling road show does the Middle East

We have arrived! The flights went really well.  We all enjoyed kicking back in our pods, having nice airplane food brought to us. In our first 24hrs we have caught many taxis, crossed many borders, waited in many lines, ate much falafel and hommus and been to a hospital, and all with a 3.30am start to the day.

It has certainly been a long, but fun trip so far.  It’s been so exciting walking this journey with our three boys.  They are so excited about EVERYTHING.  The gorgeous words of ‘mmm delicious’ were heard coming from them on the airplane and ‘Marhaba’ as they walk along the streets.  It’s been so beautiful.

We are currently staying in an apartment for one week while we wait for our furniture to arrive in our house.  It’s worked out well being close to the centre of Jerusalem so we can explore the city easily without the stress of public transport.  Although, the efforts taken to push the stroller over unfinished, narrow paths is a little hectic (although the stroller is certainly taking to the bumps well).  I’m finding it hard to really take in the atmosphere of the city because I’m constantly looking down to avoid tipping the pram or get hit by cars coming in the opposite direction.  Once I find my confidence in bush bashing along the paths, I’m sure I’ll get the opportunity to look up and see where we are going and see our new home.  The really cool thing is, Joel is saying maybe we could do this or that, and well, we are all tired so it’s nice to say ‘there’s no hurry because we are now living here’, rather than rushing around like tourists.

In our first 24hrs we did have a trip to the hospital.  J jammed his finger in a xtrainer machine and it looked horrific.  Thankfully there are no breaks, just a lot of bruising and swelling poor kid. This is of course not only happened on our first day, but it happened on a day when all the doctors were closed..great!

I’m not really looking forward to Joel leaving us for a couple of days for work, I kind of feel like I need to have my hand held, feeling vulnerable I guess! Please don’t leave me…

Anyway, we are off today to explore the markets which I am thrilled about.  I love that we have loads of fresh markets around us.  We are also going for a playdate with some of Joel’s work colleagues today, they also have 3 boys.  I’m not sure the boys will know how to play with other boys, they haven’t really had many play dates with boys, it will be awesome…