Thursday, 21 August 2008

Lots still to learn...

In honor of my birthday/anniversary today, and in the 4 year tradition of this Carr family, I purchased my own birthday cake. There is a French pastry shop near the corps that some new friends pointed out as being one of the best in town, so I bought a ridiculously expensive cake to celebrate. I warned my husband that perhaps the prices of my birthday cakes will just keep going up as the years go by.

It has been an interesting and exhausting week. On Tuesday the gate covering the door to the church would not go up. The volunteer that runs the thrift store was a stumped as Jeff and I. We decided that there was nothing we could do since Spain runs on its own hours, and nothing would be open. We'd have to wait until Wednesday. So, I went to the corps early Wednesday morning to wait for the locksmith. As he explained to me that it must have been a motor malfunction and that a breaker had been thrown, he continued to explain to me that there was no need to call a locksmith that I could have fixed this on my own. When he realized that the manual override was not working, he cracked open the pull down gate the width of a stair, looked at me in my uniform and said "Now, just shimmy up inside there, open the door, and go flip the breaker." I said "No." So, he shimmied up inside, and well...opened the door. I think he felt sorry for us for making us pay for something that we could have done ourselves apparently if we had only known. He said he cut me a break on the cost...he said. The gate is still not completely working, but we're trying to make it work.

Today, the I learned what an asset my two boys can really be. People stop me on the street regularly just to talk to the boys. Mind you, the boys still don't respond to Spanish, but people are just so "attracted" to them. And this worked in my favor at the bank today while trying to open an account. The girls establishing my account were so enamoured with my two little flirts that they were extremely helpful to me.

We also found the local market. And I even bought homemade meatballs from a local butcher. We located the mall, and as Jeff says, it makes you feel a little less isolated. Being surrounded by mountains, in a small town, you can begin to feel like nothing really exists outside of you. We're still learning our way around town, and have become incredibly grateful for our Christmas purchase of a GPS. Now, if only I could figure out how to get around inside the grocery stores (nothing's placement makes sense to me yet).

And to top off the birthday/anniversary celebration we went to McDonald's Playplace. The boys had been in the strollers or car for the majority of the day so I wanted to give them a chance to run off some energy. Bram has yet to realize that the kids here don't speak his language. He came to me very frustrated this evening "I told the grills (girls) my name is Bramwell" He was upset that they didn't acknowledge him. And earlier at the thrift store a little girl, around his age, kept holding Bram's face trying to make him understand her. He kept looking at me like she was crazy. He's memorized a greeting phrase so far. And I think he's catching on that he'll get more of a response with 'Hola' than 'Hello'.

And as a great birthday gift: we recieved news today that our shipment of belongings should arrive within the next week!

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