Wednesday, October 24, 2012

School Daze

Orion has been back in school for about three weeks and it has been rough! He started in the local French school and only French is spoken in his class. I was told his teacher speaks a bit of English but she speaks English like I speak Spanish..."two beers please" and "where is the bathroom?" We have had mornings filled with tears and proclamations about not wanting to go to school. His favorite thing to to ask is "do I have school tomorrow?"

It has been three weeks worth of frustration for O and for us. Trying to read everything that is sent home in French, plugging it into Google Translate and getting the gist of it. Figuring out the pick-up's and drop-off's with no car and what exactly do you pack for snack and how do you pay tuition and what the heck is an inscription fee? Ahh yes, the list of questions has been never ending.

I try to cut my kid some slack and I often think how I would feel if I was dropped into a work environment where everyone around me was speaking a different language but honestly, its been hard to empathize at times. You can imagine the chaos in the morning with everyone trying to get outta the house (School pick up is 7 AM) and then there is O yelling and screaming and carrying on.

Anyways, the point is that this pretty little picture came home in the school notebook yesterday and about melted my heart. I love kiddo drawings but what I love more is that Orion did this in his class in which everyone was speaking French to him and he got it...he understood (at least a little bit) of what was expected of him! Ahh my heart soars.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012

Our House!

is a very, very, very fine house. With wild dogs in the yard (well, across the street) life used to be so hard...
View from the sidewalk

Our very fancy looking front gate. It looks like glass doesn't it? It's really plexiglass!

See the large imposing star at the for Orion
the inside foyer - amazing accoustics! Thought it would be great for Christmas decorating but just checked and there are no power outlets on the stairs to use for light...time for plan B.
Eric's kitchen - no table for eatin in but when our stuff comes I think we will use the picnic table in here. We have a propane stove, fridge and freezer.

The dining room and living room - when we moved in the table was stretched out to its full length and set for 12 people!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Views on the way to School

Pretty typical street scene...though this is taken at mid-day so not as many people out and about
Center of one of the round abouts - would love to know the history of why there are pots here as I have been told pottery is not traditional to the Djiboutian people
Down a side street - miss those Kigali sidewalks!
We drive past this beach to get to downtown and Orion's school
Low tide

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

Impressions Part Deux

Does that count for speaking French? Speaking of speaking French. Eric and I were asked to meet with Orion's teacher today - she wrote it in his little school book yesterday - nothing like last minute notice. Good thing that things are pretty flexible around here. You have to be or else you'd want to jump off the roof. We met with her this afternoon and she brought in the English teacher to assist. It was a pretty harmless visit and at least now I feel like we have a clue where each other is coming from. I wanted to know what to call her (Maitresse Natalie) and what the school day looked like (4 rotating activities) and if it was ok to bring cookies to school for O's birthday (of course, the only request was no frosting - too messy) and if she thought O was too old for Petite Section (She likes him in petite cause the kid has no French and if he moves up to Moyenne section their teacher speaks NO English). So things are set on that front for a bit.

We moved into our permanent house - the house we will call home for two years! It feels good to be more settled and actually unpack the suitcases. Our new house is called Macy 2 and it has a giant gold star at the top of it. Makes me think of Orion and serves as sign from the gods that we are supposed to be living here. We were told to have our stuff ready and the Embassy would send over a van on Thursday evening to move us to Macy 2. We were ready, the van came on time but it turns out the landlord just had the driveway cemented so we were unable to drive into the yard and drop our stuff off. Instead we had to lug our six suitcases, numerous shopping bags, refrigerator contents and boxes across the edge of the street and up the patio and inside the house. UGH! Talk about a hot and sweaty mess.

Which leads me to the fact that I don't have an outdoor thermometer and thus have no clue about the outside temperature. I thought about ordering one just for shits and giggles but then thought that maybe ignorance is bliss. I know its hot, I know it gets hotter, I know I sweat, I know that despite this - I still walk home from work, I still go outside and water our new houses garden and I still enjoy life with A/C.

A/C is the segue way to the next thing that I keep stewing about which is the fact that I wish our A/C unit in our bedroom was louder. Why you ask? Well, next to our new star-studded house we have a neighbor (that I have not met yet) who has something I like to call my new ALARM clock! Its someones pet goat or their dinner for next week or their personal garbage disposal. Whatever you want to call it...this thing starts bleating (is that what you call the noise that a goat makes?) at 5:40 or 5:43 or 5:42 every morning. Seriously, the sun is just starting its rise in the sky and my own personal alarm clock starts going off. I never knew that goats were like roosters.

One last rained, for about 2 seconds.