Don't take this post the wrong way. We miss all of you dearly. It's just that, had I known how great it would be to have household help, we would have signed up MUCH sooner! Divina started working for us last weekend and while conditions are certainly not "ideal"with us in a hotel suite, she has made our lives SO SO SO much easier! I believe children are a pretty good judge of character when it comes to people, and Holden really has bonded with Divina. The other day I was putting him down for a nap and I asked him to tell Divina goodbye. He got really sad and said; "I don't want her to leave mommy!" Also, since she is only here 3 days a week until we move, every morning he asks "Where's the girl?"
Holden falling asleep holding onto pictures of his friends back home! (thanks Dani!)
I went to the first American Women Abroad activity the other day. It was at the Manila Golf and Country Club where a membership will run you a cool $30,000.00 USD! I don't think I knew I was homesick until they played the National Anthem. I have always be aware of the things we take for granted in America, but it is never more apparent than when you are living abroad. Sometimes it just hits you that although most people are speaking English, you aren't really ever being understood nor are you completely understanding the other person. We are very aware of the different culture that we now reside in and try not to let the "Manila Moments"(these are many of the cons I listed earlier) get in the way of enjoying our new experience, but then again, those moments are part of the experience so we laugh at them and MOVE ON!! The organization does a lot of service projects around the area as well as activities ranging from tours around the region and galas and balls. I am excited to get more involved. I don't think I could ever replace my fabulous girlfriends back in Utah, and you know who you are, but hope we can meet some people we have things in common with. It seems like most of the ladies are either older, or have children that are in high school. I am searching out the ones with 3 year olds and husbands that work nights!!!
The playgroup we are in with Holden is multi-cultural, so he now has friends from Japan, Hong Kong, South Africa, Malaysia, India, etc. It's great to see children from all different backgrounds playing together, there are no cultural barriers. Our Holden, who gets called "Hey boy!" and "Baby" here now responds to people when they ask his name with, "My name is boy." Still hates it when people touch him and pay him too much attention.
Onto the living arrangements: Oh boy, this has been the biggest trouble spot since moving! We have signed a contract and paid an entire year up front and are now waiting for them to finish the condo. We keep getting different answers on the move-in date, but I believe they are sensing our utter frustration and will move quickly! Once the aircon is installed we should be good as gold! In the mean time, I have been spending time and money on shopping trips around the city collecting basics for the house; towels, bedding, kitchen supplies, etc. It's like starting over in your first place. We don't want to spend too much $ because that was the whole point in not moving everything over, but we don't want to buy crap that won't last 3 years either. I'm trying to bridge the gap. Live and Learn!