You know how they say that you should pull a band aid off fast so it hurts less?
Well, I feel like someone is pulling out a ginormous band aid from my imaginary chest hair. One hair at a time.
We are moving.
If you come here often you’ve heard this one too many times, but before you roll your eyes and press delete or open another tab let me add this:
…. in 8 weeks.
Oh yeah, the destination: top contenders where Togo, New York and Panamá.
And the winner is…
… drum roll…
And that is the way of the beast. It slumbers, and growls sleepily, and then, oh yeah, then, when you start feeling comfortable in that dark cave, when you start getting used to the sound of the beast, when you stop being bothered by that sleeping beast breath smell, spring arrives, the snow melts, and she attacks.
Fortunately, I’m an old wise man when it comes to these things, (a chubby middle aged mom for all the rest), so we’d gone ahead and looked into schools, and I am happy to report that both our kids our now placed in alternative multilingual private schools in Brooklyn, although I am likely to have to sell either my husband or my body in order to pay for them (I reckon we’ll get more for the hubs, so really this is just a pragmatic decision).
There is the minor detail that we hadn’t yet agreed where we would live: Thehubs is urban only, (preferably pre-war and cool), I’m wherever, as long as there is space, green and trees for the kids to climb (aka suburbs), so this big fight we were postponing for when we knew fer sure is now pretty much pre emptied. We got the kids accepted to these schools before the move was confirmed. Apparently I lost.
And the cherry on top: In case some of you had been wondering how I manage to raise two kids AND go on mission, my secret was a lovely, efficient and fully reliable lady that came with us from Cambodia, who was all excited about moving with us to New York, that is, until we confirmed the move, when she informed me she is not coming with.
[insert panic attack here]
So this is why I have been quiet. I have about 4 brain cells that have not gone into total meltdown, and those are dealing with the flu.
In the meantime my sister gave birth to a lovely, healthy boy, and my bicycle got stolen, which means I have no mode of transportation in a city where cars and walking are frowned upon (and result highly inefficient).
The hubs booked a cool tattoo artist in Amsterdam as a farewell/ anniversary present, but I fear it might end up looking like the one on Angelina Jolie’s arm, except instead of birth coordinates it would read:
- sell car
- cancel utilities & direct debits
- close bank accounts
- meet with tax consultant
- install five arms and two brains
Oh yeah, and I’m meant to be flying to Ethiopia for work in July, (unlikely… whole post surely to be dedicated to that as soon as some brain cells come back from sick leave), and Bangladesh in October. I’m booked solid until Feb 2012 and I work from home, problem being, I wont be having one for a bit.
My head is turning, literally. The other day I had to lie down because the room was spinning as if I’d drunk a good bottle of red, except with less fun and a lot less calories, and I’m getting NO WORK DONE, which I can probably put down to the (organic) sleeping pills that I have been on for the last couple of weeks.
So you’ll have to forgive me if I’m a bit late on my May family portrait post, (which is all sketched out but alas not done).
For those of you wondering about what it is like to juggle aid work and family life, (or simply expat nomad life), you might want to keep an eye on this blog for the next couple of months. It wont be about exotic places and cups of tea with nomads, but mundane every day life things like adapting to new schools, finding a home in a city you are not familiar with, making friends, discovering parks, dealing with loneliness, and sorting out logistics.
Bread and butter of our trade.
But we aid workers are often (and rightly) accused of being a bunch of whiners, so I’m going to close off on a positive note:
I had a 3 hour yoga retreat (added plus the hubs came along, was the sole male, and I got to watch him stick his head between random women’s legs while doing an upside lotus); My sister gave birth to a lovely healthy baby; My kids got accepted to alternative, diverse, bilingual schools; My daughter learned how to ride a bike without the little wheels; We are going to live in the city of dreams, full of creative energy, and to replace my stolen bike I am planning to buy myself a kick-ass mother bike for which I will probably have to sell someone else’s husband to pay for.
Alls good. Now someone just needs to inform my brain cells and hope they’ll join me back soon before I get fired.