as it has already been five weeks and several hours since our plane touched down at the airport in Ankara. After 24 hours of traveling, we had arrived. Two parents, two kids, two cats, one dog, and a boatload of luggage to be tucked neatly into two waiting cars.
Dare I say the journey itself was nearly uneventful? It seems like all of our hyper planning paid off (and with the exceptional help of a certain veterinarian/auntie and family), and other than Peter having to make an unexpected trip through TSA with the dog, everything went so amazingly smoothly. We had a nice dinner at Dulles, were amazed by the amenities on the plane (Nick decided Lufthansa was far superior to Delta, thanks to the water bottles by our seats), and had a relatively calm layover in Munich. There was one small snafu when we went to the wrong terminal for our flight to Ankara, but not a big deal given we had 5 hours to get lost and find ourselves again before the flight took off.
Even the arrival in Ankara was fine. We had 5 minutes or so when we weren't sure where China and Kai might appear, but then a friendly airport employee showed up with them, and all was well. We found the waiting cars, hopped (okay, stuffed) ourselves in and headed off to our new home. And what can I say, but...it's absolutely lovely.
While we are in an apartment, we are surrounded by plenty of play space, dog walking areas, and even a bunny habitat (they are scattered about and fearless). We can walk everywhere (or so it seems), and are enjoying beautiful fall weather. The markets are filled with every type of fruit and vegetable one could want (lemons galore!), and we are able to augment the rare item we can't find with a trip to the commissary.
The first few days were filled with our jet-lagged attempts at getting the kids enrolled in school. Miraculously, we did it, thanks to the help of new (incredibly helpful) friends. The kids are only in their 5th week of school, but they are already quite settled and enjoying their classes. It hasn't been a completely smooth time, but the bumps in the road that we have had are certainly typical. In fact, I realized that I had to keep reminding myself during the first 2-3 weeks that it was okay if things weren't perfect. After all, we had just moved from a different continent and very different school and living situation. It's hard to believe that we only left Managua three months ago, and yet...here we are, living in Ankara, a year early albeit, but already loving life in our new home.
Now do we really only have three years to explore this amazing country? Where to start....