Thursday, September 19, 2013

Just Stuff...

Today, I thought I would talk about some things here that are unique or really surprised me.

  • Weave - Probably 75% of the people here are walking around with weave. This really surprised me. I'm assuming it must be pretty cheap to buy because poverty is real over here. I've been trying to figure out how to sneak a picture because it is installed in a very interesting way. Some people have tracks but for most it is different. At the root, it looks almost like palm rolled dreads. So...I think...the natural hair is palm rolled and then the weave is somehow glued onto that. I know I didn't describe it right but I'll get a pic one day. Just know there's a lot of weave and most of it looks a mess.

  • So, these people hook a trailer up to the back of a motor bike and make it into a taxi. I haven't been able to get a good pic so this will have to do. I have seen like 15 people hanging onto the back. Crazy...dangerous.

  • Women walking around with stuff on their heads. Now, I know this isn't something that I didn't expect but I have been surprised by the type of things on their heads. I've seen chairs, small trees, huge boxes. I'm always amazed by this. Usually though, it's more like these.

  • The traffic! This traffic is horrible...worse than anything I've seen. Example...Dwayne's job is about 11 miles from our house. He has to leave at 5:20 in the morning to get there about 6:15. If he leaves any later, it can take him 2 hours or more to get there. His commute in the evening is about 1.5 hours. He leaves work at 4:30 and usually gets here around 6 (sometimes later). I've been trying to figure out the traffic rules. There are very few lights or stop signs but also very few accidents. I guess the people aren't too aggressive and just fit in however they can.
I know there are more things but this is all I can think of for now. I'll write later.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Sourpuss

So, we are having a little issue around these parts. Danae is mad at the world right now.
When Dwayne told her we were moving, she cried like a crazy person. This was expected though because she would miss her friends and family and all that. Then, she had a few moments of excitement about this move. Well, since she started school, we have gone back to the bottom.

The problem...friends. She says that she doesn't have any friends. She says people don't like her and are talking about her. I think she's part of the problem. Now, my daughter tends to be a bit shy around new people and I get that. She met a little girl on the first day who has been talking to her and being very friendly. But, that little girl has other friends who don't know Danae and Danae isn't trying to know them too much either. As a matter of fact, when I walked her to class one day, another little girl spoke to her and she barely opened her mouth. I've been trying to tell her that she has to be friendly for other folks to want to be bothered with her.

Last night, she gave me this note.
It says: "I hate school so badly that I never want to hear the word school ever again."

"School is the worst thing I've heard of in my whole entire life. I don't even want to see one. I am too done with this thing. Just don't talk to me. PLEASE!!!

I think she came with such a bad attitude that it's affecting her ability to build relationships. This school is full of children who just moved here or are getting ready to leave or are in the middle of their stay. They get it! They've all been the new kid. I talked to Danae's teacher to see how she's doing and it seems that she is her own worst enemy. I've tried to encourage her, pray with her, talk to her, but I'm out of ideas and I'm very annoyed.

If anyone has ideas on how to handle, please share because I've decided to not ask her about it anymore and just let her deal.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Minha Casa (My house)

After landing and finally getting through customs and getting all the bags loaded, we headed to our new house.

We are living in a compound (just a glorified gated community) called Monte Belo Condominio. It is filled with 100 houses that are almost exactly the same. The only difference is one of the outside walls is painted a different color. Ours is gray. Our house was renovated before we got here because it began sinking and breaking when the previous tenants lived here. We have heard that all the houses here have had foundation issues because they were not built properly. Hopefully, ours will last for 3 years before falling apart again.

So, the house is about 4000 sq ft. It has 3 bedrooms, an office, a game room, 5 1/2 bathrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen, pantry, laundry room. It's also 2 story, which made the kids happy because they've wanted that for a while now. It came furnished but not all how we expected. For instance, we were told (and shown on our visit) that the living room couch would be white leather. Ours is a dark grey cloth. We are supposed to have a king size bed in our room, but it's more like a full-sized. They say it's a queen.

When we got here, the dryer, dishwasher, and doorbell didn't work. We were given a new dryer and dishwasher but the doorbell is still broken. There are a couple other issues but they're minor. Also, because we don't mosquitoes in our house, we have to keep it quite cold in here. I hate being cold!

Our neighborhood has a lot to offer though. We have a pool, 2 playgrounds, tennis courts, soccer field, basketball courts, a rec room, exercise room, and a meeting room. So, while we live in this really nice place, just outside are people living in shanties or washing up in water on the side of the street. It's rather sad and almost makes me feel a little guilty because we've been given so much while they have so little.

I'm including pics of the house but keep in mind that is mostly undecorated until we get our shipment. Anyway, pictures...
Our "king-sized" bed

The girls messy beds

Brayden's room

Game room

The stairs that my kids are going to bust their butts on


Dining area

Living room

Danica laying down on her nightstand
master bathroom

fun stuff

Our street with the same house over and over and over

Monday, September 09, 2013

Going to Luanda!

I suppose it is time to dust off the old blog now. For those who don't know, my husband has a job assignment in Luanda, Angola for the next 3 years. We prayed about this and felt this was the right choice for our family at this time. Dwayne applied for his work visa and got it back in 1 month. We were told to expect a wait of 4-6 months. The children and I applied for our visas and 2 came back in 1 day with the other 2 arriving the following week.

So, the task of moving to Angola was not an easy one. This is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Also, while things are greatly improving, it is also a city lacking a lot of the things we are accustomed to having in the States. So, we spent a lot of $$ to buy things that we may need over here for the next 3 years (or at least until we make it back to Houston next summer).

We arrived at the airport on August 26th with 32 pieces of luggage to check in and about 6-7 more as carry-on items. Don't believe me, here's proof...

We filled our girls' room in Houston with luggage after the furniture was removed!

Another angle!

Here we are at the airport with all this stuff!

Praying that none are too heavy!

Tired kids sitting on the floor of the airport

Off by herself as usual

I already have plenty to share about this place. We are adjusting as best we can. One thing is for sure, we live an abundantly blessed life. Stay tuned...