#1 First report of these days in LA
We want to send you the first report of these days in LA seems to us more than 200 hours instead of 24, given the number of fronts and energy that absorb us.
The first impression of the people and the area where we hope to settle is excellent. Everyone we come across tries to facilitate the logistics in various ways. Although it may be common in American culture, the curiosity and hospitality in welcoming foreigners help a lot to overcome the discomfort of so many changes at once.
Needless to say, there has also been room for some emotional downturn these days, so far away from everything and everyone.
Mimi was the first. At the airport, when we were told, "We are sorry, but because Mel's carrier is missing screws, she can't fly; it's a safety issue,".... Mimi broke down and begged for a solution - we are going to be without her for a long time, Mel is family, everything is going to be so hard already...please let us take Mel..... literally sobbing.
Then it was me... after so many hours of tired flying with four suitcases of 23kg, five trolleys of 10kg, five backpacks, 1 XL size dog carrier, three kids, and one dog, we managed to catch the shuttle and get home.
We had dinner at 5 am Portuguese time and went to bed very tired. At dawn, I woke up with a migraine. I went to get my backpack where I had, besides the SOS medicines, my computer, my wallet with all my identity documents and bank cards, and the folder with all the other documents: visas, originals from the embassy, certificates from the Spanish school, vaccination certificates, .... EVERYTHING. And it was gone.
I woke Rodrigo up scared, and with all the ruckus, Mercedes said: "I know! The backpack was in the van; I hid it behind one of the chairs and forgot to take it out". And the panic grew exponentially... After insistently calling the shuttle company and being told over the phone that they were sorry, but they couldn't do anything because they had no lost and found notices, I begged them to recheck the van with the driver, and that there we had ALL the documents that allowed us to be legal in this country, that without that we couldn't school the kids, that we would probably have to leave. We insisted through messages and calls, and we got the feeling that they didn't want to listen to us anymore, and after four hours of suffocation, they called to say that they were coming and that they would come to deliver us home if we paid for the trip. And life was beautiful again!
In 3 days, I registered at the university; we opened bank accounts, we enrolled Matias, Mercedes, and Maria in schools yesterday, we are in the process of applying for the house we want to rent, we had a welcome dinner at Jenny's house which is the Principal Investigator of the team I am joining (i.e., my boss), and who is an American taller than me.
We received from our hosts at the Airbnb where we are staying a full grocery shopping to make breakfast with milk, cereal, bread, bread, fruit, butter, eggs, plus vegetables and fruit from their garden, and hot cookies over the weekend. In addition to the welcome dinner, Jenny has loaned us balls, scooters, a bunch of stuff for the kids, and her car while she is away at a conference. It doesn't seem like it, but these gestures have a big impact on the kids, they realize the generosity of strangers, and that's good to experience.
However, the next crisis was from Matias, who had already asked when we were going back to our little house. He doesn't have his books here (which he chooses every night) and wants to sleep in his room.
And with each crisis, we swallow a little bit dry and try to hold on tight to the idea that change always costs .... And that fear, my ass... fear when you embark on an adventure like this is not negligible, and confuses the intuition, but it is not an option to paralyze.
I think Maria has realized it these days. Yesterday afternoon she told us, after the 5 of us had been walking around for 3 hours between the Foreigners and Borders Service and the Social Security, that we were like players in a championship in which the levels of difficulty are increasing, like the levels of a computer game.
We all fell silent... and then he added. What counts for us is that we have the best team!
I sincerely hope that this adaptation to so many new things will make them realize that it is possible to feel at home on the other side of the world. And that this experience is enriching in as many ways as possible, but if I could, I would spare them the temptation to paralyze...
At the weekend, we were in LA: Farmers Market, Venice Canals, Venice Beach, and Santa Monica.
The girls say they don't need to go back to Venice Beach; the smell of cannabis doesn't appeal to them, nor were they dazzled by the artists and the graffiti there. But they got to know the iconic place up close and loved the market where we had lunch and the Venice of California.
We also went to the beach with Mel debuting a scarf we bought her at Clearance, and realized later it was from the Pride movement, which gives it a very fun look!
We hope that this week we will be able to finalize some loose ends that we still have, that there will be room for some grub, and that our boys will have fun this end of vacations (even though we didn't notice the beginning!) before school starts!
The following Slogan was on Maria's school door: "Be yourself, try your best, and never be afraid to dream." How can you not trust?
Thank you all so much for the messages and good energy, and a tight hug from each of us,