Tuesday, August 30, 2011

An update from your favourite transient/loiterer/wanderer

Well, time for a little update! We have moved into the Hiebert's house that they will be renting. I will be staying with them for the next few days, and seeing as there are 5 bathrooms in this house, it is easy to spread out a bit! I'm hoping to get documents signed with my landlord in the next day or two then get moved into my apartment. It is proving to be difficult to rent here in Caracas. The laws are in favour of the renters, not the landlords and so many people would rather their apartment or condo sit empty than risk renting it. But this is where being a "foreigner" is actually to our benefit, and they are more open to renting to us because we are connected with a church.

These days have been exhausting trying to tie up loose ends and get some shopping done. My most awkward moments always seem to be when I'm shopping, maybe because I'm under pressure and just don't know the vocabulary. Those are the moments that are discouraging. Then there are light moments, like the other day when our taxi driver put on some crazy dance club music and asked us to translate it for him! Chris did an awesome job, and of course, avoided translating the inappropriate bits....we were all laughing so hard! Burning up the dance floor! Raise the roof! There is just no way to translate some things into spanish....

Tomorrow morning we will be meeting with Pastor Eduardo to discuss expectations, involvement etc in the church over this next year. Please pray that we will be able to communicate clearly with each other.

The last few days I have really been missing Costa Rica and it's familiarity. Things just seemed....easier there. But I remember our first few months in San Jose and the difficulties of transportation, shopping etc. and I am hopeful that soon Caracas will become just as familiar. I'm thinking the remedy (for anything, really) might be a beach day....hmmmm.......

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Home Sweet Hotel

Well, we're still hangin' out at the hotel, but it has become a good temporary home. I am repacking some of my suitcases because I seem to be running out of clothes. I have been digging down deep into my bags to find clean pants and shirts, because I used a lot of my clothes to pack breakable things. Genius at the moment of packing, so annoying on a Sunday morning when I can't find my pants! We headed off to church Sunday morning and had a great time visiting afterward. We met our pastor's son, who is a Canadian citizen because he was born in Regina while his dad was attending seminary. Right now he lives in Victoria and attends UVic so it was great to chat with someone who has a frame of reference for our homes in Canada. He'll be heading back in two weeks to return to University.

After church I headed out with 2 new friends, we had a great meal at a Lebanese restaurant (note to self: I MUST go back and get the labneh!!!). However, on our way back to the hotel to drop me off, the car battery died twice and we had to pop start it! I'm thankful that everyone stayed calm even while driving with no headlights and that we were even able to laugh a little bit afterward. I sure hope I have a few more adventures with those two.

Today I looked at an apartment that I really loved so I’m hoping the details can be worked out and I can move in soon. The only furniture included in the apartment is a king sized bed….Judging by the size of the elevator, I assume it was a nightmare to move in, I doubt they want to move it out again. I’m happy to have a bed, but I’m not sure how I’ll handle having such a big bed to myself! What side do I sleep on? How many pillows will I need to buy for it? Do I set my alarm clock ON the bed so I can reach it in the morning? Will I need to buy a step stool so I can actually get into bed? My legs are short: How long will it take me to make the bed in the morning if I have to walk all the way around to the other side?

I've been able to catch a few photos lately, but I'm not going to risk trying to upload them....I may crash the whole wireless connection here as I'm sure that all the people in this hotel are using the same connection...soooooo sloooooow! But I promise that as soon as I get a faster connection I'll get caught up on posting photos, including my last days in Costa Rica!

Friday, August 19, 2011

We made it!

Ok, so I haven't really been able to take any photos to share yet here in Caracas....but I still wanted to let you know that we arrived safe and sound on Saturday and have been laying low this week. It has been good to just relax after the whirlwind of finishing school, packing up my life in Costa Rica, jumping on a plane and getting settled here in Caracas. Right now I'm staying in a hotel. It's not ideal, but I'm comfortable and have a little kitchen so I'm having fun cooking for myself once again. Takes a little creativity too, when you only have 1 sharp knife, 1 burner, no oven, no microwave, a mini-fridge, and barely enough room to turn around!

Last Friday we had our graduation at my language school in San José, and it went really well. And then Saturday morning we took off to Venezuela. I had a very hard time saying goodbye to my host family in Costa Rica. Mami and Papi have been like family to me for the past year and took very good care of me, I really am going to miss seeing them every day. We arrived Saturday afternoon here in Caracas and then Sunday morning it was off to church. I loved the service and everyone was so welcoming and gracious with our communication difficulties. The accent here is very different, so I am usually scrambling to keep up with the conversation!

Hopefully this weekend we will be able to check out some apartments, I'm itching to get settled in my own place. Will let you know if I find something.

And in breaking news....I just discovered that there is at least one skating rink in Caracas (check out the photos!). You have to take a cable car to the top of a mountain to get to it....but at least I can rest easy that there is a rink here. Sigh...