Sorry, I've been holding off til I had something to write about. Recent events include:
1) Got my driver's license and civil ID! W00t! I'm a real person at last.
2) Put money down on a car and apartment! Paid for the apartment, waiting on the last of the money to finish wiring over here to pay for the car.
3) I lost my camera :-( Which is also why I haven't posted. I will see if I can borrow a friend's to get some pictures of the new place and the car up. I am of course glad to have an excuse to buy an updated camera. Our old faithful Fujifilm Finepix 2800 zoom (2.8 megapixels) was purchased in 2001 anticipating the birth of Rowan. It always seemed to take remarkably good pictures for its low megapixel count, and of course a 6x optical zoom was virtually unheard of in digital cameras of the time. Now I'm thinking of a Fujifilm F30 or more recent incarnation. Have to dig around and find the money though.
The apartment is a 2 bedroom place at the Warba Resort, quite a bit more (500KD) than we intended to spend at first, mainly cuz it's got a beach view. But the compound is exactly what Kerri wanted, a safe place with lots of families and kids where she can tell Rowan to "go outside and play" and he'll be safe and have lots to do. That alone is worth paying more especially as we won't be paying for a private school. In any case, ITT pays $900 in car/housing allowance which cuts the rent in half, making it less expensive then where we were living in Portland! Enough of my justifying, once I actually visited the place I knew it was perfect. So I called and asked to be put on the waiting list as I knew there were none available...but the guy said that a 2 bedroom was just coming available if I wanted to come down that evening to see it...I said ok, went down, saw it, and put my money down...skipping about 10 other people on the waiting list! Otherwise who knows how long we would have had to wait. Also, just the week prior I had found the car (2001 BMW wagon) and put money down on that. At first I thought I was maybe rushing things, but then a few days later I was also getting the apartment, so actually its almost as if these coincidences were not so...coincidental. God's providence is really amazing and I'm very grateful for it. I know He's not obligated to make things fall together so nicely, but it sure is nice when it happens! It's also a welcome confirmation that we appear to be where He wants us right now.
With all that money down in such a short time we are going to be tightening the belt for the next few months while we pay back our line of credit and all that stuff. There are still some welcome infusions of cash on the way (second half of the bonus, money from selling our van in the states, tax returns etc...) which should allow us to recoup this initial outlay easily by the end of next year if not sooner. There's no doubt that I would recommend to anyone else looking at doing this to try and save up as much as possible prior to heading over to be able to make these initial outlays without breaking the bank. After you get settled things can become much more handle-able. If you are single over here you have it made! Company housing and vehicle, virtually all meals taken care of, and no time to frivolously waste your money! Highly recommended.
Well I'll try and get some pictures of the (unfurnished) apartment and car in the next few days.