Sunday, July 28, 2013

Our Apartment

We’re now completely settled in our new apartment.  Please email me if you would like our mailing address (postcards for the kids are highly valued and carried around everywhere for days.  Just saying.  :)

Here are some photos.

















As for the date stamp on these photos…  Well.  It has since been corrected.  These are indeed 2013 photos.  :)

Coming soon… observations from Sofia.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Our First Day In Sofia

We arrived in Sofia on Tuesday afternoon, and were greeted with a warm welcome by some old friends, who had prepared lunch for us.  It was so much fun getting reacquainted! Honestly, I don’t remember many details of those first conversations, other then the basics, like the delicious food and the feeling of being with friends that I have missed.

After a visit and a little unpacking (we stayed at Pastor Plamen and Debby’s house for a few days) we headed to IKEA for a meal with friends and a little activity.  This trip was designed to keep us awake until a decent bedtime.  It worked!  We had another nice visit and walk around IKEA, then collapsed. We slept reasonably well, and felt soooo much more human in the morning.

The second day we jumped in headfirst to deal with many of the details needed to settle in Sofia.  We started with a visit to currency exchange, then a visit with our immigration attorney.  The we opened a bank account (also required for our visas), had some awesome pizza, and coffee with Dessy.  I have a photo, but she made me promise not to post it.  :)

The iced coffee, however, was wonderful, and exactly what the mid-afternoon slump required.


After the coffee, Johnny (another new friend) took us to the police station to register.  This was required for our visa application and had to be done in the first 5 days.  Basically, it means that we have to let the government know where we are staying and how to contact us.  We used Johnny’s address for this, since we didn’t yet have our own. 

After all this activity, we capped the day off with a tour of the neighborhood we hoped to settle, and a relaxing dinner at a local Chinese restaurant.  Turns out, the grocery store tour and the Chinese dinner provided that night by Dido and Milena turned out to be EXACTLY where our new apartment is!  We didn’t know it that night, however. 

Up next… apartment hunting.

And Then It Was Time

Monday, July 8.  Flight day!  We checked out of our hotel at noon with all of our luggage.  We had 13 suitcases, 4 rolling carry-ons, and 4 backpacks.  Whew! 


We had to wait for about an hour to check our bags.  Apparently British Airways had no morning flights that day and the counters were closed.  We couldn’t get very far with all the bags, so we waited.



Then we went through security, and waited again.  :)


And then we boarded the plane.


The kids did great on the flight.  They only slept about 2 hours, so we were all exhausted when we arrived.  See?


In the next post, I’ll share some of our first impressions of Sofia!

Thanks for reading!

Fortnight of Moving, Part 4

Part 4 of moving involved one of my favorite cities, Chicago.   We drove the rental van loaded with all our luggage to the airport area hotel, and loaded up our room with luggage.




We spent the first day in Chicago downtown, eating brunch at our favorite place, PJ Clarke’s (awesome BTL’s!), walking lakeside, and visiting the Children’s Museum and Navy Pier. 








Our second day in Chicago was a quiet one, mostly spent at the hotel pool, followed by a dinner with Alyssa’s sister Cynthia and Brother-in-law George.  It was a perfect, relaxing day,






And then, on the third day, it was time to head to the airport.  To Be Continued…

One note- we were given a valuable piece of advice by a fellow missionary family.  This family shared with us that the best thing they did to ease the transition for all of them (especially the kids) was to put a little distance between the goodbyes and the flight.  This is why we took this time in Chicago, and I am so glad we did.  It was exactly what we needed to reconnect as a family, relax a little, and shed out tears before we got on the plane.  It really did make the transition easier.  If you are a family headed to or from the field, it’s worth it.  Honest.  :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fortnight of Moving, Part 3

As I mentioned in a previous post, this recounting of our moving adventures is to record this time for my children, share photos with friends and family, and perhaps to assist other missionary parents in preparation for their own move.  If you do not fit into the above categories, please feel free to skip ahead.

After spending the week in Illinois with family (links at the bottom if you missed these posts), we returned to Indiana to pack and make our final preparations for moving. 

Here are a few photos from this (exhausting) process.



(I am missing some photos here, but maybe I will find them soon.)  Anyway, we went from the piles, to the rental van loaded with 13 suitcases, 4 carryon suitcases, and 4 backpacks.


We had a very nice farewell from our church family, with a surprise party for us, where the kids said goodbye to several of their closest friends. 




We also had a wonderful 4th of July party with some dear friends, another opportunity to say goodbye.







On Friday, July 5, we headed to Chicago, and that is where I will begin part 4. 

Fortnight of Moving Part 2

Fortnight of Moving Part 1