We made it in one piece with all twelve bags and a Bella doggy who, while she was really glad to see us at baggage claim in Zurich, seems to be none the worse for the long trip. All of us actually got a little sleep on the plane – the boys got a lot – and arrived feeling pretty good. Zeus’ father and brother came to pick us up and our friends Esther and her kids and Tracy and Rudi came to greet us as well. Manu went to pick up the Blueberry Mazda car and we drove to the Natal Village. We had snacks at our grandparents and then came to visit our house. The Welcoming Committee Our luggage Zeus’ parents-bless them!- had gotten the house all fixed up with beds for our arrival, and there is nothing quite like falling into clean, ironed linen sheets after a long travel. It’s enough to make one ponder the possibility of one ironing one’s sheets as well. But that possibility is pretty remote, I think. Our first day here was spent eating at what felt like all the wrong hours, exploring the house and garden some more, unpacking clothes and walking to the store to buy dog food. Our grandparents, Popop and Tata, provided lunch and dinner for us since I don’t have any pots and pans or much food yet. Zeus hit the ground sprinting early in the morning and was off to the town hall to declare ourselves and jumping through car registration hoops. After lunch he and his dad built a closet for us, because built-in bedroom closets don’t really exist here – it’s mostly Bring Your Own Closet – BYOC. Or Wardrobe, if you will, as in Lucy going to Narnia. In French it is called an armoire. So they put together the armoire for us, and we began unpacking into it. The kids and I felt a little lost all day. What with jet lag, fatigue, warm temperatures, lots of unfamiliarity and a house that doesn’t smell like us, we kept sort of wandering about, feeling like we should be doing something - the past few weeks there was always something we needed to be doing – but not quite sure what. To be suddenly with no extremely pressing agenda in a very quiet little village feels rather surreal. I think we just need time, vitamins and a lot of chocolate to burn off the excess adrenalin still flowing in our veins. The chocolate is quite helpful in the Oh No! What have we done?! moments. But it’s very pretty here and the weather is beautiful and we love what we see out the windows. Looking east – the view from the kitchen, the village church is in the background. Moo. Looking west, to the backside of the house. Our rental property goes a ways further back – through the orchard which extends past the buildings you see in the background. The cherries are ripe and there are also apple and plum trees. The raspberries and red currants are also ripe right now, which soothes my soul since I had to leave both of those ripe at our house. Yum! This was our one casualty from the voyage. My computer was in my carry-on and pretty well packed, but at some point when we were stressed and bundling our things aboard it apparently suffered too much pressure, and the screen cracked. It seems to be working alright (aside from the large alien-with-antennas blotch), but I think slowly the rest of the screen is being affected. So we shall have to see about that. Since I’m supposed to be over here writing, a non-functional computer could seriously hamper my style. It’s now about 4:30 am here. Time now for a snack and another shot at sleeping.