It’s been almost a month since our feet touched the soil of Hawaii. We had some craziness along the way, but, as only humans can, we have adjusted so well to everything that it is hard for me to even remember. It is surely a defense mechanism of mine to put a side difficult events (like all of our previous moves, or childbirth) and only keep a collection of pictures in my mind of the things that happened – with a somewhat disassociated feeling.
So what did we have? We had to scramble for the last few days in New Haven to pack what we wanted (or disassemble) and put it in our one relocation cube. This is a kind of service, where you are given a container, you fill it up by yourself, and they pick it up and send it over. It was the cheapest option for us, but only if we used one container, usually used to pack one or two bedrooms – we mostly wanted our books. Many of our things were thrown away, which was a whole logistic arrangement by itself (salvation army – it seems – don’t pick up almost anything at all.) We had to manage to clear everything, lock everything, make sure the kids don’t die, and various other things before heading to the airport. By the way, the kids didn’t die, but Tantan had a terrible fall and scratched his glasses terribly. We still haven’t fixed it for reasons.
The flight was long and boring. I am just happy they are not babies anymore and don’t throw up (I had a lot of that on the Chicago to New Haven flight). But the length of the flight was tiring, the airports were not vegan-friendly (for my husband), and at the end of the day it took my legs almost two weeks to stop feeling swollen.
So here we are in Hawaii. It has rainbows on the licence plates and stuff. I thought it was a silly symbol before I got here (not that there is anything wrong with it), but it actually a very apt description of the weather here. Especially in the Manoa valley where we are. Rainbows indicate sun and rain, and we walk here in the sun with a mist like rain around us (though, sometimes it is stronger) and rainbows crown the mountains around us. In Manoa, the rain is always coming, and the clouds are always moving, and the mountains are always green, and some houses climb the sides of the mountains in an impossible looking way. And between three sides of high-rise mountains is us and the the University. It is a pretty good setting for a life.
Humorously, we find almost everything around here similar to things from Israel of our childhood. Buildings, plants, and even the feel of places. Some things are a little bit stuck in the past, like public phone booths and old school VW beetles. Everything is full of Japanese signs and stores. Suprisingly, despite reading Hawaii is mostly buddhist, we see more churches than shrines (and one church that looks like a shrine.)
It is hard to know how the work life in the University will be. We will know soon, on August 20th. We have a positive view. My husband likes the math department he will be joining, as it is renewing itself with “young blood.” I am equally excited and terrified about becoming a PhD student, but this is something I’ve been working towards.
I can’t speak for the kids, but I believe they have a sense of life being better here. New Haven felt harsh and dangerous, with Yale being its only nice point. Here, we live in a faculty housing complex that is very large, green, full of children, when they can go outside and play. We find that Tantan needs supervision, due to tendency to walk into people’s homes. Did I mention that many people leave their doors open? So it is that kind of environment, and we hope it is a good payoff for them losing the huge playroom they had in New Haven. (We have settled everything yet, so we don’t know where the area that will substitute my office will be.) My father-in-law has been with us (and taken all the GOOD pictures I have to share, mine came out terrible) and it really helps Tantan get over this crazy experience that happened to him (he kept asking to go back home in the first week or so).
We have gone to a free public pool that is a walking distance from us, and both kids enjoyed it. The Supermarket is close and so is McDonalds, which we have frequented more than we would like – but hey, Tantan wants to, it’s difficult time, and it’s summer vacation. We went to the beach and to Target and to Ala Moana mall, which is the largest outdoor mall in the world (the world being everything at least an ocean away…) we are getting the hang of it’s confusing ways. It is so central, that I feel like we see it everytime we are around downtown or waikiki. All roads lead to Ana Moana. We got to see other shopping centers when Shonshi broke HIS glasses (Yay!) and we have yet to feel like we have explored even to center of Honolulu, let alone anything else on Ohau. The big problem is our car.
We are desperately waiting for our car to arrive. We have only bad things to say about the company we hired to transport it (and thank-yous to our friends who helped with the car after we had to leave before it shipped,) but we will wait to have it in our arms first.
On our todo list: Get the car. Get local driver’s license. Start school (kids and grownups, kids start next week.) Finish arranging the house (especially a swing for the patio.)
Our achievements: Got here. Got our apartment. Got our books and arranged them nicely. Got the kids registered to school and did a first special education meeting about Tantan (we have a good feeling about the school, they will be in two grades next to each other, and Tantan will be taken out just for special education classes). Visited the campus and saw lots of stuff. Feel comfortable.
And on that comfortable note, I shall leave you for now.
Moving to HawaiiSee images »