Well, the last couple of days are pretty much a blur. We had a very nice welcome to our AF base here in Japan. The wonderful staff in DH's office had thought of everything, and our temporary lodging apartment was stocked with a case of bottled water, plenty of milk, orange juice, cereal, and even a giant box of GOLDFISH (someone in that office must be a mother of toddlers). His deputy's wife had made us a lasagna for that first night, complete with garlic bread. I was so tired, and it was so thoughtful that I literally almost cried.
The place we're staying at is known as "TLF", or Temporary Lodging Facility. It is where the AF houses people that are waiting to move into or out of a base. That is where we were living the last few days before coming here (at our last base), and where we'll call home until a house becomes available. We won't know when that will be until next week. The TLF we are at right now is pretty good size, almost as big as our last house. It has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, full kitchen, washer and dryer, etc... It is a high rise tower and makes me think of maybe a New York aparment building. The towers are pretty ugly on the outside, but very nice inside. And no complaints from me about being stuck in temporary housing for an indefinite amount of time, because housekeeping comes by every day and gets you fresh towels, coffee, takes out the trash, cleans the bathrooms, vacuums if needed, and cleans countertops. Yeah, I might want to stay here permanently.
We tried to eat dinner without much success, and finally started crashing. I think the first one to go down was Jake at about 4:30 pm. I succumbed to sleep at about 6 pm, pretty much passing out on the couch with Cy on top of me. I had been waiting for them to bring up a crib, which we had called about as soon as we got in. They finally showed up with it at about 8 pm, waking me up from that sweet slumber. We all slept soundly after that, and started waking up at about 4:30. The sun was already up, but that is not what woke us up, because there are very dark shades on every window. It's part of the wonderful effect of flying over several time zones, not to mention the international date line. Just throws your system off.
However, we had gotten plenty of sleep, so none of us were really tired. We started the day off with a trip to the commissary, and I was in heaven. You could probably fit about 5 of my old commissaries in there, and the selection was amazing. And Mama, guess what? They have discos de empanadillas in there - AND cilantro, too!!! But no pasta de guayaba, so any of you who are inclined to put that in a box and mail some to me, I know a few of us that would be extremely grateful. And if you have no clue what in the world empanadillas or guayaba are, well, you're just missing out.
Almost forgot - before the commissary, DH took care of a highly important piece of business. He bought me a car. A Honda Oddyssey, can you imagine that???? Apparently, that is the only kind of car I'm going to drive for the rest of eternity. Get this - it has 55,000 miles on it, and we paid $2,000!!! People here don't really drive their private vehicles off base, so they all have really low miles. Usually when traveling within the island most people take the train, because traffic can get so horrendous. I'll put pictures of my new ride up as soon as I actually have it. First, we have to insure it and take care of a couple of other odds and ends, including, well, getting our driver's licenses. Luckily, it's only a written test, and it's more of a formality than anything else. However, because we arrived on a holiday weekend, most of the offices on base are closed for four days. So, we can't drive anywhere until that's taken care of. Right now DH's deputy is taking care of driving us wherever we need to go.
After the commissary we went to the Fourth of July celebration, which was a lot of fun. The best part was all the free food. The festivities ended with a great fireworks show which we could watch right from our deck.
At some point yesterday we took a walk to do a little exploring. We found a couple of playgrounds nearby, the indoor pool, and the shoppette (which is like a convenience store, and you can rent movies there too). This is all within walking distance from our lodging, so at least we have things to do while we wait to be able to drive.
And before I close, a couple of cute things about Abby (this was at some point, after all, an adoption blog, right??). We had told her a while back that a lot of the Japanes characters are the same as Chinese. Well, as soon as we got off the plane she started trying to read the signs, and looked at us a bit confused. She said "That is almost like Chinese, but it's a little bit wrong". lol
Then yesterday, as we were heading to the 4th of July Festival, she noticed a lot of the Japanese people there (the festival was on base, but there are a lot of local nationals that work here) and said "I like Japanese people. They have black hair, like me." That totally tickled me, because I always thought she would feel like she fit in so much more here than in the States, and although I never mentioned it to her, she picked up on things like that on her own.
Oh, and I almost forgot. DH's deputy and his wife just got back from China three weeks ago with their adopted three year old son. It is amazing to me that we ended up in the same office, both having completed China adoptions within five months from each other. And I have a feeling God might have orchestrated that for a reason. Their little guy is a cutie, and I tried to get Abby to speak some Chinese to him, but she refused. She claims she can't remember, but I think she wants to fit in and just speak English all the time. I've really been working with her on helping her be proud of her Chinese language skills, but I think this is a phase she has to go through.
This morning, we were all up bright and early again at 4:30, in spite of going to bed at pretty regular bedtimes. Hopefully that early rising will wear off soon, 'cause it's getting old fast. We've been feeling good, but I'm a little apprehensive today. When we traveled to China, James and I felt pretty good until Day 2, so I'm hoping we won't start feeling like a train ran us over at some point today. All we have on the agenda for the day is checking out the evening "contemporary" service at the chapel at 5pm. If we're not asleep by then : )
A few pics from our drive in and our weekend (oh, and take notice of the very cool Wild Olive Tee I'm sporting, by the way: