Thursday, August 12, 2010

Welcome to Jamaica!

We have arrived in Kingston, after a long and wonderful summer in Canada with our families and friends.  :)  We had to travel a very long time for a destination that is closest to Canada than any other we've been in.  We left Regina on Monday morning at 9:25 and had to fly to Calgary.  We met a friend of mine from high school and her two sweet little girls for lunch at the airport and had a good visit before we had to catch our flight to Toronto.  At the food court at the airport, there's a beautiful view of the Rockies and the city.  The flight to Toronto was OK but the kids were getting tired and ready to be settled.  It took us a while to get ourselves sorted before we could head to the hotel.  We got in rather late but we hadn't eaten supper so we treated ourselves to room service pizzas and then crashed at 10:15.  Talk about a long day for the kids!

We were up at 4:45 to be able to catch the shuttle to the airport.  We had the best porter in the world - so happy and friendly and knew all the Air Canada staff, which helped us tremendously.  The lady who was checking us in was not in the best of moods and she insisted we had one more bag than we did.  Thankfully, the porter was there and smoothed everything over.  He definitely earned his tip!  It took us a while to get through security but thankfully we had plenty of time so it didn't matter.  The flight from Toronto to Kingston was 3 hours and 45 minutes in the air but it seemed to take forever.  I think it was because we were so tired and ready to be done!  We discovered that the flight is not an international flight but a Caribbean one.  That means that you buy your headsets and food, unlike international flights when you're treated so well.  Oh well, at least we know and we had brought plenty of snacks for the kids.  You have buy anything onboard using your credit card now so we'd have been in trouble since we don't have a credit card now.

It took us almost 2 hours to get through the line at immigration.  Of course, they only had 3 people working to get all the visitors through.  Thank goodness I had a stash of gummy bears and Smarties in my purse left over from the flights to get the kids through that line.  There was no preferential treatment for people with small kids here like there was in Santiago so we waited in line the whole time.  We did finally get through and our bags were all ready and waiting for us.  We got through customs and were greeted by Sean and Scott from AISK.  Sean took us to our new home, which we love.

Our house is great!  It's much more spacious than we thought we'd have and it's more than we could have asked for - 3 bedrooms, a pool in the complex, a nice kitchen and fully furnished.  There are only a few little things that we're going to need to get; everything else is here.  It's fabulous.  It makes us realize how hard the transition to Santiago really was where you had to completely furnish your house once you got there, from furniture and appliances to light bulbs and curtains.  Yeah, it was tough!  So, we're very thankful for the ease of the transition to our new home now.  We're going to do a video of the place on the weekend and we'll upload it here.  So, stay tuned!

That first night, the school took the new staff out for dinner but I stayed home and put the kids to bed at 7:00 - they were zonked!  I think I was in bed by 9:00 myself!  We had a big day yesterday.  First it was a stop at a government building for Der to register for his tax number thingy.  Then it was off to another government building to get the visas processed.  We had to wait outside under a tent for about 45 minutes or so until our paperwork got dealt with down there.  It was stinkin' hot!!!!  There were no fans or any air circulation so we were all sweaty and getting cranky.  Then we were able to go into the building where it was air conditioned.  We had to wait a long time there too but I wasn't complaining; at least it was cool!  The kids somehow powered through that without too much complaining.  Thank goodness for Anthony, who has worked at AISK since it opened in 1994.  He did all the work and dealt with everyone so we didn't need to jump through any hoops.

We went to AISK for lunch (where I had a jerk chicken salad wrap, yummers!) and then for a tour of the school.  We met everyone we had been in contact with for months - Cara, Indie, Carolyn, and Nicola.  After lunch, we got a tour of the school (well, I did while Der stayed with Aidan while he napped a bit). It's a small school but it looks like a great campus.  Kirsi got to see her classroom and she was very happy to see that there is a goldfish there.  We met Der's colleagues, Craig and Omar, and saw Der's work space, which is the coolest place in the school.  I think we'll be visiting Daddy often!  ;)

Then Scott took us to Sovereign Centre to get signed up with Flow for internet, cable and phone and then went to the supermarket to pick up some more food for the house.  It's incredible how much you need to get started in a house and how expensive it is.  But that's part of the lifestyle we've chosen!  We came home and had some KD for supper and went to bed pretty early again.

This morning we got up, had a relaxed breakfast, went for a swim in the pool and now the kids are napping before our day out with the school again.
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