Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Oh look! A bottle.

Not crawling yet, but not far from it

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Lo, the mighty Mount Crib...

This is very surprising.

I'm a big girl!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Do you recognize that? Well, it's supposed to be the theme to Jaws. And why am I typing the theme to this cinematic classic? In honour of Aysha's first tooth, which became visible yesterday afternoon. It's a bottom center one - on her left side to be specific. She has been a bit grumpy for the past couple days - which happened to coincide with our putting the wall up on her crib between us and the bed.

Otherwise, Aysha is getting restless. She is not happy sitting for long anymore. She rocks forward onto her hands like she is going to crawl away, but when she gets to the point where all four limbs need to cooperate, she gets stuck. On the bed, she rolls all over and can sort of make some forward progress, if something she wants is just out of reach. I'm not sure if she realizes that she is moving forward or if she just thinks she can reach farther that way because she won't continue creeping along to get an item that is a little farther away.

Work is going pretty well. It's the end of our first five day week. Unfortunately, one of our colleagues resigned this week. Danny usually teaches high school, but was trying a grade 3 self-contained class. He is going back to Toronto to try to get a job. Another teacher has benefited though. Copeland, who was having a rough time in grade one, is excited to be moving into grade 3, where the kids know some English (the first begin English in grade 1 - something she didn't know until she got here) and are a little more independent.

Karla wants to check her email and has finished her oatmeal, so it's time to go.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The living room, from the entrance

From the living room: dining room, entance and kitchen

The dining room (with entrance hallway on the right by the stroller)

Aysha's room, with view of Bocagrande

Aysha playing with Great-grandad Hide

Aysha at the Calgary Folk Festival

Friday, August 19, 2005

Home again

It's starting to look like home, again.

Last weekend, we took Saturday off to go on a staff trip out to an island off the coast. Our director is completely different from Kuwait. We met at the dock at 7:30. Pete (Mr. Nonnenkamp) had 20 beer for the dock and 40 for the boat ride out (There were more than 40 people going). Mothers, not to worry. He also insisted that everyone wear their lifejackets in the boat. We relaxed and sat by the water all day.

That evening, we even had enough energy to get out shopping and pick up a TV and washing machine, along with other bits and pieces for the apartment. Only the washer and computer desk wouldn't be delivered until after the weekend. With the rest of the weekend, we got partly unpacked at home and organized lessons for school. But then Wednesday rolled around, and the painters arrived to repaint the whole apartment, and everything got pushed into the middle of the rooms.

By Thursday, the internet had been installed and the painting almost finished. Friday after school, Karla had a student council meeting so Aysha and I went to the pool to meet with some of the other teachers. The painting was done, mostly. Claudina tried to explain to me what they were going to come back on Monday to do - inspection? touch-ups? cleaning? I couldn't figure it out. It might have just been an excuse from the painters to leave all the pictures off the walls and furniture in heaps in the rooms.

Now it's Saturday morning, the windows are still open to ventilate the place. It's 7:30 in the morning and a shade under 30 degrees and a smidge under 80% humidity. Today we will try to arrange the furniture in the heat while resisting the temptation to shut the windows and turn the AC back on.

I promise to get some photos up soon.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

At home.

There was some doubt. Check in to our new apartment was at 3:30, then 4:00. At 3:40, they called to say that they couldn't make it until 4:30. Then at 4:30, it became 4:30 or 5:00. I went and picked up the boxes with the school workers, and headed over. When I got there, the people were waiting for us, while Karla and the school officer were waiting for a call from them.

By 6:30 we had taken the apartment, dirty and is disrepair, with a promise from the owner that cleaners and repairmen would be sent in the next couple days to fix it up for us. By 7:30, we had figured out that the AC didn't work and we sweated buckets as we set up Aysha's crib. Last night was unusually still and I am hoping that if the AC still doesn't work tonight, the ocean breezes will cool us off.

Today, our boxes and bags are in a pile in the middle of the living room. Karla went home to check on Aysha today and said that cleaners arrived, but their cleaning was "superficial". Claudina arrived at 6:00 this morning, and since Aysha was still asleep, she began cleaning the kitchen. I could tell her to stop, but when it came to explaining that cleaners were coming to clean today, I just didn't have the Spanish to do it. She was a little confused until Karla came out from the bedroom and explained to Claudina why I wanted her to "just relax".

It's day two at school. I kept my first kids in for detention today. I sat my kids alphabetically, and it just turned out that there is a big clump of talkative boys on one side of the room. I am just keeping up day by day, but this weekend I hope to get organized and plan at least two days in advance. Also, after school today the internet and cable people are coming to sign us up, and once that happens I'll be able to post a few photos. Oh yeah. We have a phone number now too - it's 665-3026.

right click here and open this link in a new window

Okay. Here's where we are: look at the first tall building in Bocagrande (the big y shaped peninsula at the top of the picture), its white and wide. Peeking out on the right side, is a dark building (actually, it's red brick); this is where we live- seventh floor, ocean view. Okay, now keep moving up the picture along the coast - there's another medium colored building about the same size as ours, then you see a taller building with a design that slopes down to the right(water) side. Our school is directly above the last building. It's in the area without any tall buildings.

That's all for now. It's almost time to get my books together and go sign up for internet.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

At home?

Okay. It's been a difficult time since we left Canada. Today was our first day of school and we are still waiting to get into our apartment. Actually, I am waiting to go do an inventory of it with the apartment manager, which will be the last step before we take possession. It was supposed to happen on Saturday morning, and then again on Monday afternoon, but it didn't. We have checked into the hotel three times since we arrived. It's only twenty minutes until the inventory time, and things still look good, but I don't want to get my hopes up.

Everyone else found a place and moved in either Friday or Saturday. We had our place chosen last Tuesday, but a company had it rented and had not turned in the keys to end their rental until today (hopefully). It's been very tiring moving back and forth from the hotel - we're in our third room in the hotel so far. It's been hard on Aysha. She hasn't had much variety in her diet, as all the baby food here has sugar and starch added. When we get into the apartment, we can start making food in the blender, but for now, she's been on oat cereal and papaya, since it can be mushed up with a fork.

Cartagena itself is beautiful. The school is literally on the ocean: a two lane road separates the school from the beach. The part of town we are in is touristy, but has a small town feel to it. The peninsula is so small you can walk almost anywhere. The grocery store will be in the same block as our place. The old town, which we have only driven through is much more hectic though. Once we get settled we will head down there to explore.

Our trip down here was, well, eventful, but that's another story. Air Canada wasn't that great, but Avianca, the Colombian airline, made us remember our Air Canada flight fondly.

I'll try to post more regularly once we get into our place.