(emailed 1/25/08 pre-blog)

Hi everyone!
We are here in Merida and got our internet hook-up yesterday. Getting anything hooked up here is quite a chore – they require tons documentation for everything.  We can’t get cell phone service until Hubby’s FM-3 (work/residency visa) comes through – I’ll let you know our numbers soon (we’re on central time). In the meantime for anything urgent, you can call him at work at which rings though to Merida.  We’ve had some cold showers while waiting for gas – but a cold shower when it’s 85 degrees out really is not that bad.  Our house is amazing – it’s incredibly well laid out and quite a big change from our house at home – but not crazy ostentatious like some off the houses around here, but 4.5 bathrooms is nice!  The juxtaposition of poverty and wealth here is jarring – just looking out our back window is a trash strewn lot and then a Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous house.
Brendan Downey called it well when he laughed at Hubby for getting a house with an indoor fountain when we have two girls under 8.  They play in it daily, getting water everywhere and causing me to pray for the safety of the delivery people that have been in and out dropping off furniture and appliances.  We got flutter boards for the pool, but right now those are in the fountain, piled high with stuffed animals surfing.
They have many brands I am familiar with at the grocery store, but I am trying to avoid those as much as possible and try Mexican brands.  I am already addicted to coconut yogurt, H wasn’t keen on the chili powder flavored candy.  Pizza is pretty good – but here Yucatecans add worcestershire sauce to it.
J had a fever of 103 on our second night.  Motrin seemed to work, but I had our friend Luis drive me over to the hospital yesterday so that I would know how to het there in an emergency.
I’m kind of glad our TV isn’t hooked up yet since we are doing other things, but I do think it will help the girls and me learn to speak Spanish. So far, I’m doing okay with baptism by fire. Sears closed while I was inside getting sheets, so I managed to put together Donde esta la puerta abierto? Let me just say that I learned abierto on Sesame street in 1975, so I hold high hopes for J’s ability to absorb the language.
The girls start school on Monday.  We visited yesterday and the girls did great!!! It is a really special place – I would be thrilled for them to attend a school like this no matter where we lived.   Most of the schools here are rather bare strict Catholic schools.  This is an amazing beautiful white box of light filled with amazing art projects made by the students.  It’s very light on homework though – so we may have some reentry issues!  The girls spent some time in their classrooms and got measured for their uniforms (cute/casual shirts – jeans allowed).  We actually met one girl in Hannah’s class on our second night here (at a pizza place called Bostons!) and they were giggling together yesterday a school – Hallelujah! The girl had actually lived in Massachusetts for a few months while her dad was studying with scientists at Harvard (its like Brookline it the Yucatan here!).
So far so good as far as meltdowns.  I expect it will come when Hubby goes to France in a couple weeks, but my brother John will be here to help distract.  Hub is impressed with my driving ability around here, but maybe I do well in a “make your own rules” driving environment. 🙂
Funniest thing so far – the girls were very upset that we didn’t get to ice skate before we left Brookline.  Turns out they just opened a rink in the mall ten minutes from here and they can now skate year round if they want!
Thank you to EVERYONE who helped make our move easier.  We really couldn’t have done it without you – you are superstars!  I’m sorry we have been out of touch with so many of you lately, this move was really distracting – I hope we get to spend some quality time with you soon – here! (Current date of return to Brookline – July, 2010).
The girls say hello and we miss you to everyone.  Start planning your visit soon – dates are already booking up!