Hello, blog! It’s been a while. I had to start over because of technical difficulties, and I simply didn’t have the time or the motivation until now. I had a second baby in March after a rough pregnancy and a crazy year at work; we packed up all our things in June; spent July and August in the US on home leave; and now I’m in Rome at my parents’ until mid-October with the girls, while Dan gets our household set up in Addis Ababa.
It sounds like Dan is settling in just fine. On Saturday, he wrote:
Sara (our sponsor) took me to the supermarket today… there are lots of South African brands and the produce is good-looking and dirt cheap. We also stopped at the German bakery, which is close to our house. You can get donuts and fresh bread. The supermarket and the bakery both have cafes, too. Actually, I think every place in Addis has a cafe.
Sara volunteered to be our social sponsor out of the kindness of her heart, and we’re so grateful. I’ve never met her, but she writes an amazing blog that I’ve been following for about a year. Moving to a new country is always a little scary, especially when it’s somewhere as under-developed as Ethiopia. I wrote her to thank her for making Ethiopia sound doable, even downright exciting, for families with young kids. Anyway, every family is assigned a social sponsor who will buy you groceries when you first arrive, show you around, introduce you to people–basically try to make you feel welcome.
Our house sounds like a dream! There is a large finished basement (which is something I’ve never even heard of in Africa), a pink guest bathroom, a huge working fireplace in the living room… and best of all, a full-sized American washer and dryer. This is a big deal to me now. In South Africa we had the tiniest little European “environmentally-friendly” washer and dryer; you could fit a pair of pants and maybe two shirts per load, and one wash cycle took TWO HOURS. Needless to say, I let the housekeeper do all the laundry there, even though it’s my favorite chore (I’m not joking, I really love doing laundry and I missed it terribly).
I will write more about Addis when I get there (or when I get more details from Dan). For now, you’ll have to hear all about Rome. Not much to report, really. We take a long walk every day to a playground and my dad and I stop for cappuccini (look at that! I speak Italian!). I have iPad apps for Villa Ada and Villa Borghese (both are just a few blocks away), which show all of the playgrounds and cafes. My dad cooks a healthy dinner every night for us, which is a real treat after a couple of months of vacation (read: lots of binge eating of the “this might be my last _____” variety).
I’m looking forward to updating everyone through this blog. And by everyone, I mean the five loyal readers I had before. I hope I haven’t lost you guys!