Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Djibouti Bound

We have arrived in Djibouti, our new home for the next two years.

We haven't been here 24 hours yet.. and our house isn't ready yet.. so, we aren't exactly "home" yet.  Which is also why I am able to have access to internet, as we are staying in another hotel.  Or shall I say... resort hotel.  The 5 star Djibouti Palace Kempinski. They are for sure, rolling out the red carpet as a welcome mat here.

Our journey began Sunday evening.. we actually slept at the Stuttgart airport.  Our oldest daughter, Lilly, isn't a morning person.  And with over eight pieces of luggage, a dog, a toddler car seat, possible traffic... it was just a good idea to sleep at the hotel.  I was not enjoying the bed at the hotel anyway.  However, I'm sure everyone would have gotten more sleep if we had stayed at the hotel.  But, it was much less stressful to go the night before.  Some other issues came up as we checked out of the hotel anyway.. that would have set us back if we had left in the morning.. so again, it was a good choice.  And also, a fellow guest at the hotel offered to be our "second taxi" if we left on Sunday night.. so we saved money on that as well.  

Stuttgart Airport
With very little sleep, we left for Paris on our flight, with no issues.  In Paris, our layover was over five hours.  When your layover is over two hours, you are required to pick up your pet (our dog was checked as luggage this leg) and re-check him in closer to your connecting flight.  So, the girls and I went ahead to our next gate while Bryce went to get the dog.. give him a walk.. and re-check him.  So, most of our time in Paris was just myself and the girls.  In Germany and in Paris, breakfast is very light (croissants and breads mostly).  And as Lilly is a picky eater, it is always fun finding food for her to eat.  But we killed most of our time at a cute little Cars playground.. that even had a Cozy Cone Motel.  Which was conveniently right next to the smoking area.

Cars play area at Charles de Gualle Airport, France
Bryce arrived at the gate after boarding had already began (yes, I got a little worried.. mostly I was worried he fell asleep while waiting!), and we were on our way.  Over five hours later, we had a stop-over in Riyadh, Saudia Arabia.  We didn't get off the plane.  Picked up two passengers, and another two hours to Djibouti.  We arrived just before 1am local time.  Our contacts picked us up at the airport, and we got to stop off at what will be our house.

Our house is not ready yet.  It has been vacant for about six months, and apparently the last tenant didn't take care of the place too well.  But also, in Djibouti.. if your house is vacant for a couple months... it looks like it's been vacant for a couple years.. with all the dust, and what not.  I'm not sure.  But, apparently we will be in the hotel for at least a week.  As they are installing new furniture, new appliances.. the works.  However, Dexter (the dog) is at the house, as there are no pets allowed at the hotel.  So, we hope that we can be with Dexter again soon.  The house is massive.  There are guards outside our compound during the evening.. we have the barbed wire on top of the wall around our compound, I like that it will be secure.  I have found out that there are two other stay-at-home moms that live in the compound and several other children and another dog as well.  So, I hope we will have friendly neighbors, so I don't go stir crazy since we won't have a car for a few months to be able to go anywhere, unless an Embassy driver takes us.

After getting to bed after 3am.. in a much more comfortable bed... we slept until noon.  Bryce had to go to work at 1pm.  The girls and I had a lunch buffet (which was over $50, yikes!).  Found a $25 bottle of sunscreen (as I shipped our sunscreen, and the boxes were still in the mail room at the embassy).. but then Emma was ready for a nap.  And by the time she woke up, Bryce was back.. it was evening, and the sun was going down before we were able to go outside.  Bryce didn't get to the box that had the sunscreen and swim suites.. but tomorrow, we should get them.  And then we can enjoy the wonderful pool with the amazing view.  

School here is Saturday - Wednesday.  Tomorrow I should be able to finalize all of the paperwork, and hopefully Lilly can start school on Saturday.  She has been out of school for over a month now.. which Christmas break, moving, and two weeks in Germany and all.  But she is finally putting an effort into learning the French language.  Too bad she still has a lot to learn to be able to understand her French school teacher.. that teaches in French.  But, I know she will learn quickly.

Pool view of the Red Sea at Djibouti Palace Kempinski

One of the many benefits of staying at the hotel this week.. Bryce says I get any service I want in the spa for my birthday!  I think that might just be the best present he's ever given me.  I'm looking forward to it!

Djibouti, 10pm - 79 degrees 

We are finally warm!