Another week has flown by and I am trying not to get my proverbial knickers in a twist about this move and approach it in the manner of a great British colonial wife! Brave and stoic and full of optimism rather than having a semi-nervous breakdown and sobbing me socks off.
I have always embraced the moves in my life as adventures realised but this is the first time I have moved my family lock, stock and barrel – an altogether different undertaking. We know where we are going, my husband has a great job set up and we have a house waiting for us, so in some ways we are not jumping into the unknown. I am trying so hard not to worry about anything but easier said than done as really I am jumping into a totally unknown and unique world. To this end the most cynical girl that I have always been, is trying to do Reiki and meditation. At the moment the most operative word is the TRYING. Will let you know how it is going!
Havana will bring me an exciting and safe city that I can walk around with my children and explore. I hope I will find lots of interesting people that the uniqueness of Cuba has attracted. I was hoping to get away from cheap American consumerism but have been warned that things are changing so fast in Cuba that that will not be the case. Bugger! In fact I am beginning to think that we may be there for the avalanche of fat gringo cruise ship tourists (the worst kind after British stag parties!).
The boys seem to be taking everything in their stride about the move. We visited en famille in February when the weather is perfect and the Caribbean breezes are warm. My recollections ..
So needless to say the boys are pretty happy about the move generally, helped a lot by the fact that when we visited Havana they had a freezer full of cornetto icecreams in the bodega of the house. Also they loved their future school, their house with their own beach and the Aquarium they visited just down the road . Oh to be a child and view the world in such a wonderfully simple way.
But what am I going to do while my husband is busy at the film school? How can I give my life some structure when I arrive and before I have found my friends to play with? I have lots of ideas of research I can start doing and have already found some interesting women working on social issues in Havana but that will take some time to sort out. There is a British Council in Havana so I can offer my services to pull together some lectures on the English Language. Still not sure how I can earn money in Cuba, but all in good time. I will have my little Saskia at home still to keep me busy and we can explore and dance our way around Havana. But on that note I am looking to do something I wish I had done 20 years ago and that is ….train to be a dancer. Maybe I can end up being the oldest professional dancer in the world! Anyway, as dance is my nearest thing to meditation and the most fun way to get fit, my search for my dance school or dance master has already begun ……….. will keep you posted.
What am I worried about ………… no skype, no broadband, getting used to dial up internet connections, no deli supermarkets down the road, no markets, no shops full of every plastic item you could wish for, no volcanoes, no delicious avocados all year round, in fact lots of food issues in general, no Juju (my Guatemalan nanny of the last 6 years). In fact no Juju is quite possibly the biggest factor worrying me right now ……..
As always when you are about to leave somewhere I am suddenly having the best time. Lots of visitors from all over Bosnia, San Francisco, Prague and London to name a few. New friends appearing at the last moment and spending quality time with old friends. I have been socialising way too much and embibing too much red wine and the even the odd very cheeky cigarette (scandalous). So this mother of 3 is feeling exhausted.
Mothers Day arrived during all this madness (it is huge here to the point that mothers get the day off work!) and my two boys greeted me from school with handmade presents. Two strange but interesting items that I shall cherish (no really!). I colourfully painted wooden board to “put hot things on” and a “thingy to hang my earrings on”. Lots of kisses and cuddles and promises of how they were going to be good boys all day! We hit the supermarket and the negotiations began.
– Mummy it took me 3 days to make your present. I think you should buy me a Kinder egg.
– (3 days I thought!!!!) No the whole point of presents is that you do not expect anything back.
– Oh ……… but will you buy me a kinder egg anyway?
(in Unison) You are the baddest mummy in the world, you never buy us anything. Semi double tantrum ensued ……
They were bundled in the car and lectured all the way home on RESPECT; SELFISHNESS and the art of present giving. The karma of mother´s day was slightly ruined for a moment, as I sighed and glanced back at their tantrum stained dusty faces in the back of the car. Anyway it was salvaged as we, Mummy and boys met up with friends for dinner and friends nanny took them to the play room, to play not eat in Pollo Campero (Guatemala´s famous friend chicken fast food chain, coming to Europe soon apparently!) leaving the Mummys to drink red wine and eat Camembert next door in my friend´s beautiful restaurant. Papa was at home with his beloved baby girl. The boys returned from Campero and gorged on papas fritas and pain au chocolat. A children´s equivalent of crack cocaine. We all rocked up home at 9 to be welcomed by another cool Mama (Rafa´s cousin) on the phone from California, great excuse for Rafa to get the boys into bed while I caught up. Another mothers day, my last in Guatemala. Not sure what date this joyous occasion is in Cuba yet.
Still getting the hand of blogging so promise next blog may even include photos ….