Our Household is Complete!

Around ManilaForeign Service Life
September 20, 2009

Mickey Mouse Plant

It was a big week here in Manila.  As you know, our stuff arrived a week ago, which means that we’ve been furiously attempting to stash things in any open location around the house.  I have definitely learned some critical lessons about how much to pack and will be doing many things differently next time.  I don’t know that I could have learned the lessons any other way though.  I must give some credit to my in-laws, as they did try to talk some sense into us (but we proceeded anyways).  Who knew that we’d end up with such a good cook???  It’s even making ravioli pale in comparison a bit (I can promise that I’ll polish those off though).

orchid market

An Addition to Our Household: The car arrived this week and what a joy it is to be mobile!  We ended up hiring the first driver we interviewed (the one that “test drove” our car back from the pick-up location to the condo).  Nick and I immediately liked him when he leveraged his old connections to get our car immediately serviced at the shop.  The battery had been left on in transit and anytime we shut off the car, it had to be jumped.  Reminded me a bit of winters in MN!

And so Rudy became the final member of our household.  He’s a 60 year-old Grandpa and VERY sweet.  He’s been driving for something like 30 years for embassy families.  He and Norma also worked together at their last family and get along quite well.  He will work from Tuesday through Saturday for about a 10 hour day.  He is flexible regarding hours, so we may have him start late some days if we plan to go out in the evening.  I can’t tell you what a relief it is to have someone hired!

orchid market

In my new, bizarre life I spend much of the day hanging out with Rudy and Norma since I’m either working from home or getting taken to an outing (Women’s Club, Volunteering, Embassy stuff, etc).  I already feel very at ease with both of them and I sense that they feel the same.  There is lots of laughing during our days together!

orchid market

On Friday Rudy, Norma and I ventured north to Quezon city to check out an orchid and plant market that I’d heard about from a friend.  What a find it was!  Plants and orchids of all shapes and sizes, all at dirt-cheap prices… my favorite!  Orchids were about $3 a piece and the large plant I got was $8.  I am still in search of a money tree and bonsai tree though.  I’m also thinking about getting this indoor tree for $100 that was imported from China.  What do you think, is it worth it??

Chinese Tree

I can’t emphasize enough what a HUGE help Norma and Rudy were on the outing.  Norma did all the negotiating in Tagalog, which is always helpful.  She also talked to the gardeners about care instructions since she’ll be tending them.  I also forgot to bring an umbrella and was sweating profusely, so Norma kindly offered me hers.  As forRudy, he obviously did the driving and took care of transporting all the plants to the car and up to the condo.  We were a good team!  There will be more adventures soon, that’s for sure….

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  1. Jenny says:

    hi! chanced upon this blog after googling AWCP. welcome to the philippines and hope you enjoy your stay here :)

  2. minnesotagal says:

    Thanks Jenny- Have we met yet? Hope to see you at an upcoming AWCP event!

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