Part Two: Our first few days!

We arrived at our new apartment at about 11am and were met by another of my sister from another mister, Roro, who had our keys. After a pinch to make sure we weren’t dreaming and that we were actually standing in Israel together, we opened up the front door to our new home. What a feeling, walking into our apartment. The place we will hang our hats for the foreseeable future.

We live on a main road. Its a one way and on the other side if the road is a park or three. Lots of green grass and trees and places for the kids to play or ride bikes. About 200m down the road is a Superpharm (like Dischem or Clicks) and a Mega Supermarket. A further 5-minute walk and we can throw a stone at Roro’s front door.

modiin road

Roro took us around and we did a quick shop to get some basics, like milk and bread. Until our lift arrives (hopefully beginning of February) we will be eating off paper plates and using throwaway cutlery. I did buy a pan and some proper mugs as well as a toaster and a kettle.

A few days before we arrived my brother went to IKEA and bought us beds and mattresses, which were delivered the day before we arrived. My brother Matt came to visit after work and he and Paul put together three beds! We had brought our linen and bedding with us on the plane and that first night in our new apartment in our new beds was bliss.

The Mall

The Mall

Our landlady came over that evening with our lease to sign as well as some donuts (It was 1st night Chanukah!). She is so sweet and kind and obliging. She was very distressed that we didn’t have any furniture so she sent her husband over with 4 chairs for the kitchen island and when he arrived he insisted on going back home and bringing back a small two-seater couch for us to sit on until our lift arrives.

Our apartment is lovely, the rooms are quite big by Israeli standards and the kitchen is amazing, its about a third of the size of our SA kitchen but it has at least 30% more cupboard space. Most apartments in Israel do not come with a stove/oven and you have to buy your own. Our amazing landlady decided that she would include a brand new oven/stove in our rent. The gas guy arrived on Thursday morning to connect everything; he was early and it took him exactly 5 minutes to finish up. What a pleasure. Now we can cook which makes life a little easier too.

modiin night

We still need to buy quite a bit of furniture. There are no built in cupboards and we are living with our clothes on the floor which is driving me slowly mad. So perhaps next week we will take a trip to IKEA and buy some cupboards if we cant find any second hand ones for sale in the area. We also need to buy a couch as we didn’t ship ours with the rest of our furniture.

On Friday morning we are going to spend the day in Tel Aviv with my brother, sister in law and our new nephew. It will be  first time using public transport from start to finish. We will walk to the train station, take a train to Tel Aviv and then a bus to my brothers place. I cannot wait to see them all and to give my nephew cuddles and squishes.

So far it has been a bit overwhelming and a lot exciting. Next week we speak to the school people about registering the kids in school and us in Ulpan (Hebrew classes) and then maybe it will feel a bit more real and not so much as if we are on holiday ;)

Part One: A hole in my eardrum and the easiest flight ever!

What an ‘interesting’ few days its been.

Two days before we left South Africa my right ear became blocked. We thought it was possibly a wax buildup and I got some Waxol and put it in. The next day we did it again, and I had the most excruciating pain when I sat up, it was so bad that I was in tears and almost made my mom take me to the ER.

In fact the next morning she did take me since I was feeling nauseous and my ear was still sore, the doc gave me a drip with anti-nausea stuff and pain medication and ordered irrigation. The first few tries were uncomfortable but not sore then she changed the angle and OMG! The pain! I made her stop and refused further treatment.

I came home and went to sleep. As soon as I woke up I was ill and then every time I sat up I was sick again. I was either sleeping or hanging over the toilet seat and completely missed the braai my mom organized as well as all the visitors that came past to say goodbye.

After everyone had left my mom took me back to the ER since I was so dehydrated and still nauseous. They gave me more anti-nausea stuff and got me a name of an ENT to see the next morning (the day we were leaving!).

I seriously didn’t think I was going to be allowed to fly. As sick as I was on Sunday, I woke up feeling ok-ish on Monday morning. Paul got me an appointment at about 11am. We saw a great ENT who charged us an absolute fortune to see us on such short notice. He also did ultrasounds of my ears and cleared out a TON of wax from the right ear using microscopic instruments and a very expensive operating microscope. Once the wax was clear we found a small ‘v’ shaped tear in my eardrum. We are not sure if the hole was there before the irrigation or if the irrigation caused the hole but flying with a hole in your eardrum is ok, so away we went!

plane

We got to the airport early so we could check in the 10 huge bags we had.  We were the first in the queue and watched the security guys check the counters and general area before they opened up.  Suddenly we were being told to clear the area.  There was an unattended bag near the check in counters and they were calling in the sniffer dogs.  Two gorgeous doggies came to sniff out any explosives and after about 10 minutes we were given the all clear to proceed.

We were questioned by the El Al staff and allowed to check our bags in.  10 bags takes a LONG time to check in.  Once we were done we got dinner with my mom and Brian and then said a teary goodbye.  Its was really hard saying goodbye to my mom.  Especially as we had been staying with her 24/7 for 4 weeks.  We made it quick if not painless.

Passport control was short and simple and we stopped off at the Mugg & Bean which overlooks the tarmac and actually overlooked our plane.  The kids were fascinated.  Pretty soon boarding started and they kindly allowed those of us with little ones to board first.  We got our seats and landed up with a free seat next to us so Faith got to stretch out and slept pretty much the whole way to Israel.  Aaron slept as well but I didnt since I was sitting next to him and he managed to kick me a few times as he moved.

Next thing you know we were being served breakfast and getting ready to land.  I was anxious about my ears but it turned out this was the easiest landing I have ever had.  My left ear got sore for about 5 minutes.  Then it ‘popped’ and it was clear.  No hassles at all!

Once we landed we walked down to passport control and used the direct line telephone to call the Absorption office. One of the staff members arrived a few minutes later and escorted us to the passport control desk where they informed the controller that we were new immigrants. He checked our passports, stamped them and we then went up to the office where we filled out a few forms, had our pictures taken, chose our medical aid, were given a sim card with NIS 200 and were then given our new ID books.  The whole process took about an hour.  Once that was done we were put on a taxi and taken to our new home.

modiin

Its quite surreal how in less than 24 hours we went from one country to another, one home to another, one nationality to another.  I think I am still going to be hit with the reality of it all but for now we are settling in and learning our new surroundings.  Stay tuned for Part Two: Our first few days!

 

3 more sleeps…

3 more sleeps until we are on the plane and 4 more sleeps until we are Israeli citizens.

Its gone so fast.  It feels like yesterday we were counting down months instead of weeks and days!

One of the things I haven’t spoken about is friends.

Friends are the family we choose and leaving them behind is heartbreaking.

We had a farewell last Sunday and so many people came to say goodbye, I never got a chance to speak to everyone and certainly not for as long as I would have liked.  Im going to miss each and everyone of you!!

There are just some special souls in this world and my sister from another mister, Wendi, is one of them, leaving you is like leaving a part of me behind.

We met at work 8 years ago and just clicked.  We have the same sense of humor and can tell each other anything.  I know we will only be a Skype call or a Whatsapp away but its just not the same.

Im just going to have to have to work on convincing you to come over (once the kids are out of school of course Wends).

Thank Gd for technology, Im not sure how people did it before.  Its hard enough as it is, I cannot imagine not being able to Skype and FB and Whatsapp at the drop of a hat!

 

Three weeks to go…

Three weeks.  Thats all the time we have left here before we start our new adventure.

The house is packed and the boxes have been taken to the container.  The keys have been handed over to the new owners.

Im officially on leave until month end and then I am unemployed (first time since I was 16!!).

We sold my little Tazz a few weeks ago and now that my mom is back from Israel she is using her car so I am carless too.  In the afternoons I can use her car if she doesn’t have anywhere to be.

I feel the need to be doing something.  Lazing around at home is so alien to me.  Especially since everyone else in the house is either at school or working.  So strange.

Paul is working from his office until the end of the week and then he will be working from ‘home’.

The kids have two weeks left of school and then a week of holiday school.

Extra murals are all winding down.

Aaron has been sick and is on antibiotics at the moment.  I really hope he is feeling better soon.

Faith is very clingy and wont let me even go upstairs without her.  A smidge of separation anxiety which is completely normal.  She never got chicken pox and according to the GP if she doesn’t have it by now the chances of her getting it are slim.

20 more sleeps!!

My children deserve a medal. Or ice cream. Or both!

This move has been stressful.  Any move is, but packing up an entire house and sending it on a ship to a house you have never seen is super stressful.

And thats a 35 year old grown up that is finding it stressful.  I can only imagine how daunting and overwhelming this must be for a 7 year old and a 4 year old.

My children though, have taken everything in stride.  A few small wobbles, a bit of separation anxiety but mainly they have been super stars!

Both children helped sort out their toys.  What toys were broken and needed to be thrown away, what toys could be given to charity and what toys were being sent to Israel.  There were no tears, no tantrums, just acceptance that they were not taking everything with.  They both made a concerted effort to ‘save’ toys for charity.  When I asked them to each choose 3 fluffy toys, they did so with no arguing.  The rest they made sure that I sent to a charity with children that would love the soft toys like they did.

They have taken to living in my moms house as if it were their own.  They are kind and courteous to my moms elderly domestic worker (She raised me from newborn!) and say please and thank you and help clear off the table and make their beds.  They carry laundry upstairs for her and give her hugs and kisses whenever they see her.

Every single day these children amaze me in their ability to adapt and to take things in stride.  I expect a few more wobbles along the way and we will deal with those as they occur but my kids have made me the proudest mom in the last few weeks.

#OperationIsrael Countdown

  • 1 day left of owning my Tazz
  • 3 days left of work (including today)
  • 7 days until the movers arrive to pack our things
  • 11 days until we hand over the keys to our house to the new owners
  • 22 days left of school
  • 33 sleeps until we get on the plane

keep-calm-and-say-woohoo

The Pox

We reached a childhood milestone this last week.

Aaron was miserable and moany for a few days.  He woke up covered in spots. Chicken Pox!

pox

Poor kid is covered. Everywhere. He is achy and moany and miserable and sore.

Now we wait to see if Faith gets it…

sigh

A little bit of Jozi!

Walking in Rosebank Mall the other day I came across {I Was Shot in Joburg}. This amazing initiative provides a platform for  youth at risk to learn new skills and generate income.

They also make the most amazing art!

I fell in love with the pillows made from veld and sporting some Jozi slang.

I knew I would be making my way back to the stall to buy some cushions for our Israeli couch!

cusion

 

You can find ‘I Was Shot in Joburg’ at Rosebank Mall and Arts on Main where they have a permanent gallery.

*I was not paid to write this post, I just adore the concept and the products!

Miracles are real!

Last night a miracle happened.  Its not my miracle and not my story to share but it made me think of the miracles I have personally experienced.

The time we were held up in our house and they pulled out all the landlines and stole all the cell phones except my crappy Alcatel with 1 bar of battery. And that bar was enough to call 10111 and they came and rescued us.

The time they broke into my mom’s house and threatened her at gunpoint and my brother was there and his training kicked in and he kicked scum-bag arse without anyone getting hurt (except the scum-bags)!

The time I took a different route home ‘just because’ and missed a huge accident on my regular route.

They do happen. All the time.  Sometimes they are small and you don’t realise they happened until much later and sometimes they are big and in your face.

I believe in miracles.  I believe in guardian angels.  I believe!

 

Your favourite things – Aaron

TV programme:  Star Wars.
iPhone App: You enjoy watching videos on YouTube.
Meal:  Pizza.
Fruit:  Bananas.
Vegetable:  You dont particularly like veggies.
Breakfast:  Coco Pops.
Drink:  Cream Soda.
Toy:  Your old iPhone with games on it.
You love: Karate.

Aaron 2

Something that happened yesterday:

You are on school holidays and you had a friend come over to play.  You guys did exercises like burpees and jumping jacks.

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