Sunday, 31 October 2010

3 1/2 months in Latvia and Going Strong

We have made it 31/2 months here in Latvia now.  We are very glad to get the three months down.  We now have the layout down.  We know what shops we need to go to for groceries, shoes, baggies. meats and have the system laid out since there is no one stop shopping here.  I was very excited this past week because I actually found real brown sugar and whole what tortillas.  We are living big now.  OF course there is no way to shop quickly because of the multiple stores one needs to go to.  We are getting used to it.
School is going very well.  Very busy but very well. We just finished the first quarter and have been on Fall break this past week.  For break we slept in alot and relaxed. We also went to see Turida Castle and Rundale Palace which were amazing.  Following are picture of daily life and random activities.

Our Apartment 2nd floor

Boy Band in Riga Old Town

Market in Riga

Julia lost her first tooth finally

Getting ready for school


Turida Castle

Turida Castle

Fire extinguisher practice at school

At the beach on the Baltic Sea(5 minutes from home)

Another Castle(don't remember the name)

Rundale Palace

Our 1st Hockey Game

Turida Castle

At the beach 5 min from home

Turida Castle

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

More pictures from Latvia

Julia in one of the parks in Riga

Peace monument in Riga

Julia w/ friend Liene

Jamie & Julia in my office 1st day of school

1st day of school

1st day of school

Mark enjoying sushi.

Brooke's gladiator shoes.  Very proud.

Julia and our boss playing in the fountain

 Some more pictures from when we first got here.
Jamie in Jurmala

Monday, 6 September 2010

Pictures from Latvia

I just don't think I can catch you all up on all that has occured in the last couple of months so I will post many pictures that I hope will help tell our story and start from where we are now.

Waiting for the train.  Steps are steep and
 people pushy getting on & off
Dinner outside @ The Wine
 Cellar in Old Riga
Peace monument in Old Riga

Pig heads at the market

Swimming in the Baltic Sea

Saturday, 28 August 2010

The First Couple Months in Latvia

On plane to Frankfort
Starbucks at Frankfort airport
In Boston getting ready to leave U.S.
In Frankfort on our layover
We have now been in Latvia for about 6 weeks.  The learning curve is steep and there is so much to learn.  This is a country that is trying very hard to rebuild after all the past devastation.  We have only been in the two cities of Riga and Jurmala but plan to explore.  The people are show little emotion.  We have learned to use all types of public transportation (train, bus, trams and vans)  Although now it seems easy to walk around and find our way without a map in the city the first many weeks were not like that.  Things we have learning:  how the money works, that at the beach any type of swimwear can go on any type of person or lack of swimwear, bounce houses are everywhere, many people will help but not the transportation people,  that grocery shopping is not easy, clothing and shoes are very important here, that customs and culture needs to be learned, the history here is rich. 

At dinner in Old Town "The Wine Cellar"
We spent our first couple of weeks we spent exploring like we were still on vacation.  The evenings out to dinner sitting out side were fantastic.  The beach was hot and warm.  We discovered that it is going to take time to settle in and learn the Latvian ways so flexibilty and patience has been being learned in a whole new way.  We begain school on August 18th and we are all adjusting to that although it still feels like we are on a constant vacation.  Probably because we are waiting to get into permanent housing on Sept. 10th.  The kids love school and their small classes.  They especially are enjoying French after the shock that they are full on immersion classes.  Mark and I are both adjusting to teaching and working as well.  The staff have been amazing....very educated, professional, helpful , fun with great attitudes.  The students are very enjoyable as well and for the most part very inqusitive.  Attached are random pictures of our first 6 weeks here as well as the plane trip here.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Nearly Normal Nair's blog from Latvia

(In Boston Harbor a few days before the Latvia move)
SVEIKI (Hello) from LATVIA where ice cream has become one of our daily food groups.  And welcome to our blog.  I hope it provides alot of fun and laughter as well as some good information about the much wondered about country of Latvia. After much trial and tribulation we are up and running.  Since the blog has taken awhile I have alot of catching up to do but that will come.  We accepted jobs at The International School of Latvia in February.  The spring was FULL of completing our obligations in Ashton and preparing for the biggest moves of our lives.  After moving out of Ashton, ID at the end of May we had 7 weeks of fun filled travel to family and friends from Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Massachusettes.  Nothing like transition only to go into more intense transition to Eastern Europe-Latvia.  Even after all our preparation and attempts of preparation there was more preparation if we only new but that is neither here nor there.  We are here and it is an amazing country with a very hard language to learn.  We have been able to learn some of our way around pretty good.  We are able to shop at multiple stores to get  a few needed items in no less than 6 hours (there is no one stop shopping). We have successfully transitioned to school beginning.  The kids and us have completed our first week and all made it with great smiles on our faces.  Although there is a steep learning curve and major transition we are all doing quite well and very glad that we have made this move.