This has been a super interesting week and a half. Honestly, it feels like we’ve been drinking from a fire hose in terms of all the information we’ve taken in. It has been so wonderful to start exploring this beautiful city! The weather here has been P E R F E C T I O N. 60-70 degrees during the days and a brisk 55 at night.
House hunting commenced just 4 days after we had arrived, and in no time we were tooling around the coast in search of walkability and views.
It’s interesting – the way culture integration works. When you first arrive in a new place, you’re jet-legged, searching for a place to lay down in the middle of the morning and wide awake at 0400. A few days go by and the excitement of this new place is causing you to chomp at the bit, looking to get out and explore. But once you’ve been somewhere for about a week, you start to miss things you never thought you would – good ol American toilets (yes, there’s a difference), familiar streets, better… ahem… drivers, etc. But it’s funny because once you deal with those things, you put them behind you and move forward. Suddenly, it’s like you forget about what made you uncomfortable before and see everything in a new light again. I guess it’s all part of the acceptance.
Back to house hunting, we looked at over 20 houses/apartments over two days and ended up finding an apartment right on the port. It was lovely, but we still weren’t too sure. There are so many pros and cons to living both on or off the installation. Honestly, we went back and forth on our decision about five times a day. We wrote things down, talked about it till there was nothing left to say, and of course prayed – just asking God for direction. We have a desire to become a part of the culture as much as possible, to really experience it, but at the same time it’s so important that we have people in our lives that are in the same place – young families working through transition and as excited as we are to be here. We are really desiring a strong community, and it seems like we’ll find that best on base.
Some of our pros for living on base were:
- English speaking
- Families/mommies to hang out with
- 24/7 security of a military installation
- Free transportation to other bases/airport
While some our pros for living out in town were:
- True culture integration
- Being forced to learn the language
- Walkability, proximity to restaurants, cafes and ships
- Beautiful setting
In the end, the apartment out in town that we were looking at fell through because of some major electrical issues, and we were offered one of the bigger, better apartments here on the installation!
Honestly, it’s such a relief. We’ve already met several couples that live here and there are so many great things based on the base – day trips and tours, grocery store/NEX, bible studies, the gym/pool… the list goes on and on. It’s a good place to start out our time here, but it doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll live here the whole time… That is TBD.
Right now, we are just so excited to unpack our bags one last time and begin to settle into our new home! So many fun decor ideas floating around in my head, but I need to just post this now … I’ll leave that for another blog post 😉
And guys. I can’t wait to share some of the trips we have planned for the next couple months!!!! SOOOO excited!