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Monday, August 26, 2013

Settling In

We landed in Moscow 1 1/2 weeks ago and so my mind has been soaking up the new atmosphere that we are now living in.  I haven't been out sight seeing yet but rather just settling into how life will be for the next two years.  So here's a little run-down on what I've been up to.
Sleep - Moscow is an 8 hour time difference from Michigan so the fuzzy-head feeling of travel is just now wearing off and we (well not Elena) are able to get out of bed without hitting the snooze button 10 times.  I did sneak in a nap yesterday!
School - We arrived on Thursday night and hit the ground running.  New student orientation was on Saturday and the open house on Monday.  The girls started school bright and early Tuesday morning.  We are all thankful the bus comes an hour later in the morning than it did in Bogota!  They were a bit overwhelmed by the size of the school (3 times bigger than their last school) and lack of warmth and friendliness they had at the old school, but I'm guessing in about a month they will be very settled in and have forgotten what it was like the first week here!
Suitcases -  Our suitcases, including the door-checked carryons did not arrive when we did, nor the next day nor the next.  If fact if took 8 days for us to receive our luggage.   We knew the luggage had made it to Moscow by the third day, but the airport seemed very reluctant to hand it over.  So this meant that every night we dropped our one set of clothes into the washing machine so we could wear them again the next day.  I was so thankful for the generosity of other teens on the compound who made sure my girls had a variety of outfits to choose from.  When the suitcases did arrive there was a broken jar of cherry pie filling in it.  That wouldn't have been so bad but because the suitcases sat, the moisture had spread leaving many clothes moldy.  So I spent a lot of time soaking, scrubbing and bleaching.
UAB - Our airfreight actually arrived before our luggage did.  For most of us this was wonderful because clothes were packed inside.  Elena had outgrown every stitch of clothing she owned in Bogota, so she was still stuck with nothing.  One of the 4 boxes had gotten wet on the outside so you guessed it, everything was moldy.  Some of these things went straight into the trash and other things were given many hours of soaking, scrubbing and bleaching.  I'm really hoping that no water gets into our two shipments still to come!
Grocery shopping -  We have to eat so I have braved the city and begun to figure out what it will look like to shop here.  I've already placed an order on Amazon for a grandma cart to pull back and forth because there is no "domocilio" (delivery) or taxis to load everything into here.  I have to get my stuff home on my own.  I'll blog more about shopping later.
Social - Living on the compound is great.  If the CLO office has a back-to-school coffee I could pretty much show up in my jammies.  Both weekends have found us on the green in front of the apartments enjoying dinner with lots of other families.  
the Metro - Saturday was pretty much dictated by getting Elena to and from her new soccer club.  Club is a very weak term for the organized scrimmages but a perfect way for her to keep her foot on the ball and gain more confidence.  To get to the fields meant walking to the Metro, transferring lines and walking to the field.  This took a bit of planning and going over the map with my neighbor.  All went fairly well.  This morning I attempted the Metro again on my own and managed to make it to a PTO coffee.  I was only 30 minutes late.  I'm going to love the easy and consistent transportation around here.

So all in all I'm beginning to make my way around this city and new life.  I haven't had my camera out yet.  That's right, not one picture which is so unusual for me, but within a week or so I'm sure I'll be snapping pictures all the time and I can't wait to share them with you!

- Kris

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