Thursday, June 21, 2012

Arriving in Santiago

The L-O-N-G flight from Atlanta to Santiago is supposed to be made easier by being overnight. MOST people sleep. Alex covered his head and was out like a light.

Like father like son. Those two can sleep anywhere. Andrew and I didn't sleep much. Morning came and the beauty brought anticipation.

All of our luggage arrived and we made it through customs fairly quickly (even with the dog). Greg had arranged for 2 friends from work to be there to haul us and our stuff to our new home. It was, of course, raining upon arrival. So we loaded and hauled in the rain. Luckily, Christian brought a tarp to cover our things in the back of the truck. Most of it stayed dry.

Our amazing relocation specialist, Paz has been a gem. She worked diligently to have the house ready for us when we got here. She was here with the house open when we arrived. She had the foresight to have fruit and bottled water ready for us. She has been a lifesaver. We had about an hour of paperwork and instruction about the alarm, heater, etc and then everyone left and we had the house to ourselves.

We began sorting and hauling things to each room and began unloading. The house was FREEZING! The damp, cold winter air was more than us Arizonians could handle. We have radiant in-floor heating here. It takes a while to get it warm but is supposed to be very efficient once it's going. Gas is VERY expensive - like $8 a quart expensive - so most people supplement with plug-in electric heaters. We were lucky enough to purchase some used ones from a family at church that is heading back to the states on Friday. We bought heaters and transformers for a very reasonable price.

When we arrived, Paz showed ME how to work the heater. When everyone left, I showed Greg who decided to change things. After about 4 hours of FREEZING - and by freezing I mean it was 10 degrees celsius INSIDE our house - I put everything back the way that Paz showed me and the heat started rising ever so slowly.

The house has 2 floors. Upstairs is the kids domain. There are 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, nursery and loft with TV and comfy sofa. We're using the small little nursery as a storage area at this point. Downstairs is the master bedroom & bath, an office, kitchen, open dining/living area, servant's room & bath and an interesting outdoor laundry/storage area that is completely covered from the elements with a locking gate/door to the front.

Here in Chile it is customary to have a Nana. She takes care of the kids when they are young and also maintains the home and makes meals. When the kids are young, she'll live with the family during the week. As they age, if the family desires, she will stay during the daytime hours only. I've been anti-Nana for months, but after attempting our first meal here last night. I may have changed my mind. But that is another post...

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