Home sweet home, or hogar dulce hogar.
You know that feeling when you come home after a long trip. That ahhhh, sigh of relief, that feeling of relaxation, comfort and knowingnesss, that feeling of home? Well, we didn’t quite get that feeling when we opened the door to our new home. Perhaps it’s because we had never set foot in the house prior to this day, and the unkown always leads to a little anxiety.
The first impression was taken through weary eyes and tired bodies not wanting to unpack a single one of the 18 suitcases. The beds were quickly divvied up, and we were given a quick walk through of our new home. The very first thing I noticed, I could not help but notice was that our front yard did not have a lawn, but instead was a pool, a fan-shaped pool. And although it was nearly 10 pm, the pool was warm. The second thing I noticed were the giant doors, about 9 foot tall, real wood doors. They were pretty impressive. The third was a sound, it was the weird horn sounding noise,almost mechanical in nature, much like the vuvuzela horns. I thought perhaps the air conditioning was over worked, or a pump was broke. I was quickly informed that those were frogs. Lots and lots of frogs. I remembered the drive and seeing all the frogs attempting to jump in front of our car. Apparently they were coming to our new house. I am glad I was able to cut several of them off before they made it. However, a few of them were chilling right next to the pool, just waiting for us to arrive.
After loads and loads of luggage, we turned up the air conditioners and settled in for our first night. Early the next morning the kids were in the pool, while I walked next door to the Super Massai to get some eggs and supplies for breakfast, although no one else seemed to miss it. After breakfast, I continued to inspect the house, and I realized we were not alone. First, we had a cat. I am not a cat guy, but this cat liked me and loved the kids. It seemed very comfortable around our house, it seemed that it lived at our house and we were her guests. We also had some geckos and we had already met the frogs, we just hadn’t met all of them. One frog decided to become more at home than all the others, he took up residence in the downstairs bathroom. In the one place where there is always water, the toilet. Ben discovered him when he went to break the bathroom in. The frog quickly disappeared down the escape hatch, and made several more visits, usually when Ben was around, before I was able to trap him and release him back to the cesspool (pun) he came from.
Overall, the house is very nice. It is larger than we anticipated, but also well lived in and in need of minor repairs. So we have been working closely with our new maintenance man, Esteban. He speaks very little english, and I speak very little spanish. Together, we communicate well. There are a lot of hand signals involved, lots of “si, si” ” no funcionado” “es bien” but we make it work.
So far, other than the constant heat and frequent thunderstorms, our biggest adjustments have been to the critters. They are noisy and they are everywhere. Ants, frogs, iguanas, lizards, crickets all singing, and usually only in the dark. It is a giant chorus of nature lulling us to sleep or alarming us awake, depending on your point of view. I imagine in no time at all it will be difficult for us to sleep without the constant chorus of critters.
We are still getting settled and there is a lot still for us to do, but we are trying to get into a groove. It is a very difficult but exciting transition. Not only are we moving countries, but I am working from home with is another huge adjustment. And it makes it even more difficult when the sun is shining, the air is warm, the pool is blue, and the family is outside. I may have to find a computer screen that I can see well in direct sunlight. Steve Jobs you listening?
We feel blessed to have such a nice house with a pool, and a beach about a 4 minute walk away. I have run it several times and cannot say how much I enjoy the sound of the waves thundering against the sand. My feet are still Alaskan, never seeing the light of day, but I will strive forward to break them in through many miles of beach running.
I enjoy seeing the fisherman early in the morning wading neck-deep to catch barracuda, ahi, rooster, or anything that will bite their live sardine bait. But I eagerly anticipate the time when we get into a groove, start making new friends, find a new purpose and start living, instead of vacationing, although when your front yard is a glimmering warm blue pool, are you ever off vacation?