We did it, we packed our lives into 5 bags, shoved them onto a plane, flew on a just over 9 hour flight where we landed smelly, sweaty, and tired into a baking airport filled with people from so many different nations, beautiful people.
My husband, being the hero that he is, took on the task of communicating with our shuttle driver to our hotel. We were traveling with my Mother in-law and our friend, who is more like a sister, Kari. In total we had 10 x 50 lb bags with 8 carry on’s. Our bags were piled high on a cart while we waited to hear when our shuttle would arrive. People were scurrying all around us, speaking languages we couldn’t understand, women dressed with scarves on their heads and some in all black and all that you could see of them were their tiny hands and their hiding eyes peaking through the small sliver in their full garb. It was fascinating and overwhelming all at the same time. All Isaiah wanted to do was drive his “digger” around on the incredibly dirty airport floor where he also would occasionally lay down because it was tile and it was cool and he was very, very tired. Eli was passed out in his stroller, sleeping heavily and catching up on all that he missed on the plane ride over.
When our shuttle finally arrived the men and Mary piled all the bags into the small bus, we boarded our bus and as we drove stared out the windows looking at this big foreign city with wide eyes of little children (some of us in actuality being little children). I was tired and hot and really looking forward to getting into our hotel room.
We arrived at our hotel and they began to unload our bags on to the sidewalk that was right on the edge of a fairly busy one way cobble stone street. People were having to walk around us and all of our bags as they walked along the street and surprisingly none of them seemed to surprised by the pile of luggage sitting on the sidewalk. The manager of the hotel didn’t share their indifference though. He looked at Dalton and said “How many people, 4? I have to ask, how many years are you staying here? So many bags!” Dalton replied with, “We are staying a very long time, we have moved here!” Some of the other young men working at the hotel were pleased to hear that we were moving to their country.
The hotel was this narrow little placed nestled in between lots of shops. It had a spiral staircase that went up steep as if it were a lighthouse. It took probably about 30-40 minutes before our rooms were ready so we just sat there on the street with all of our bags. And then, when our rooms were ready, Dalton and a couple of the guys from the hotel carried each and every one of our 50 lb. bags up the stair case to the 4th floor. It may not seem very high, but I assure you, I was exhausted just carry Eli up those stairs. It was quite a workout.
Our room was very small with 3 beds crammed in and our bags protruding throughout the small space that we had. Some might say it was a tad claustrophobic. But it had air conditioning and a soft bed to laon and that was enough for me.
The location was smack dab in the middle of the city. After Isaiah and I took a nap we all went for a walk through the city and found some dinner. The city was beautiful, cobblestone roads, 800 year old architecture, big beautiful mosques that would be the equivalent of some of the beautiful old churches that you find in France or Italy. But what struck me the most was the people. Everywhere I looked, strikingly beautiful, warm, friendly, welcoming faces. The men LOVE our little ones. Always kissing their hands and pinching their cheeks and trying to pick them up and hold them if the boys would let them. So far, it’s the people that I love most. I haven’t a clue how to have a conversation with them or connect with them in a personal way, but that’s one thing I have patience for (it feels these days like patience is a rare commodity within both me and my children…sigh). It will come in time.
There is so much more that I could write about and will write about. This is just a small picture into our first day of arrival into this foreign land that has become our home. I hope it satisfies the curiosity of some of you who I know want all the details. More to come!