We have now been in the Philippines as a family for a week! With traveling there are the pros and cons, so here is my attempt capture our first week of the good and bad.
-Living in temporary housing. This isn’t that bad since they are serviced apartments with a yummy breakfast buffet, nice fitness center, 2 pools and hot tub. But, it does mean that we have to move again in a few weeks once our furniture arrives.
-Not having our things. We traveled with 6 suitcases and 3 carry-ons…I guess we could have brought 2 more suitcases, but really we didn’t have room in the cars for more suitcases and I didn’t want to try to maneuver more suitcases either.
-Arriving on a Holiday Week. The International school was out for the whole week, so Kalani wasn’t able to start school and make friends right away. Many people were gone from church traveling and stores were closed for “All Saint’s Day” as well.
-Jet-lag. I was told that it takes about one day for every hour difference from your “host” country to over come jet-lag. And that seems to be the case since everyone tells us that it took them about 2 weeks to overcome their jet-lag. (The Philippines is 13 hours ahead of Texas during day-light savings)
-Having our driver on-call 24/7. We got picked up from the airport by our driver in a new Toyota Fortuner. It is a company policy for us NOT to drive in the country. And really we don’t want to drive here since we would most likely be in an accident or cause accidents daily if we did drive.
-Having “Help”. We hired the help from the family we replaced and they are FABULOUS! We have a maid/cook and nanny. I came to the realization yesterday that they are another Tia, and I am getting use to it quickly.
-Church Members. I think that if you want to travel and/or live overseas you should be Mormon since there are members all over the world and you automatically become included into the local network of Mormons at the new location. Our branch here has nearly 200 members with 98% active! We have also been invited over for dinner 3 (edit: make that 4!) times during our first week. A thoughtful co-worker also invited us to lunch and a movie on Saturday.
-New Adventures. We love to get out and try new things.
-Friendliness of locals. Super nice and friendly people everywhere we go.
-Spending time together as a family.
Highlights of the week:
We are looking forward to more adventures during the next 2-3 years while we live here. And REALLY looking forward to having our furniture and belongings with us so it will feel more like home. And REALLY REALLY looking forward to friends and family visiting us!