We arrived on Saipan Tuesday evening (Tuesday morning for any IL folks)! We arrived around 10:00 p.m. Tuesday, dropped our luggage off at the apartment and were taken to a LATE dinner. By that point, Jason, Emilia and I were all pretty well brain-dead, but we were glad to not eat airplane food.
The first nights were pretty rough for Emilia. No matter how tired she was from the day, she would wake up around 3:30 ready for the day. A couple of those days, I was able to convince her to stay in her room quietly, and she made it until about 5:00 before coming back in to get me. I know it's mostly due to jet lag, but I think she is also still adjusting to the warmer climate.
Because electricity is so expensive, we do not use AC during the day. We only run it for about an hour before we go to bed, in the bedrooms, just to take the humidity out of the air a little. We are SOSO thankful that we were able to purchase two fans from the previous apartment occupants (Grant and Kara)...they are definitely a necessity for keeping relatively cool, at night and especially during the day. I have been told by a 2nd year teacher that they pretty much move their fan to whatever room of the apartment they are in.
Emilia and I try to spend as much time outside, in the shade, as we can. During the day, it is usually a little cooler outside than in our apartment- even with our front and back doors open. It has been challenging to keep her occupied and entertained when I have to rest so frequently, but we are working on it.
I know I am truly blessed to be able to stay home with her every day, but I agonize over what to do with her each day. I'm not sure if it's more difficult this time because she is older or because I have to try and make sure we stay cool whatever we are doing...but I already feel like I'm failing her somehow. I am hopefully going to look into a part-time preschool option that will give her some social interaction. That has been a little tricky so far too...none of the other teachers in the apartments have any kids so we spend most of our time just the two of us. So far it has been fun, but I know she needs (and WANTS) to be around other kids. She asks almost every day if she gets to play with any new friends today. That makes my heart hurt a little. But I know it's only a matter of time before she gets to make new friends and have someone other than me to play with. ;-)
We attended church services for the first time yesterday and they were really great. The English speaking service is at 10:30 a.m. and everyone was very friendly. There were several familiar faces, even more so for Jason since he has been here before. Emilia fell asleep in my lap and totally missed Children's Church. She was pretty bummed about that. We went to lunch with a group of the teachers and then took E to the park in the afternoon. The Filipino service is at 5:00 p.m. and it was also very welcoming. They invited us to dinner afterwards at a local, authentic Japanese restaurant. Our group was very large, so it took well over an hour to get our food. But it was really fun getting to know some of the congregation and there was a little 9-yr-old girl who played with Emilia the whole time (yay!!). We got home pretty late, but that helped Emilia sleep in until 7:30 so I'm good with that!!
The other thing we've done so far is move E's bed into our bedroom so we are only running 1 AC unit at night. We were given this suggestion by another family who used to live in the apartments. While it is not ideal to have Emilia sleeping in the same room as us, it will really help keep our electricity costs down, which is totally worth it.
I apologize for the randomness of this post...I still haven't quite figured things out but I wanted to give a little update. I am also sorry if any of this sounds like complaining; it isn't meant to. I am just logging some thoughts from the beginning of this journey. I know God is moving in our lives and hearts and it will be good to look back and see how far we've come.