Someone had told us that the first months and even longer after moving here are all about survival, practical day to day stuff that needs to be learned. I'd say they're right! We have the benefit of lovely NZ friends around who have been helping us but it's still a lot of work.
I've had a number of 'lessons' already on where to find food and how to go about it and I still don't know how to do everything yet! Most of our food is coming from a big bazaar nearby where you can buy fresh veggies, fruits, eggs, etc. I have to ask how much everything costs and try to communicate when I don't speak the language yet. It's making me realize that I really need to become and expert at numbers soon! There are also little stalls that sell other things, too, like rice, some noodles, soap, shampoo, boxes of milk, bread, cookies/biscuits, jam, even one stall that has peanut butter. A surprising amount of things actually. But the only meat is in the form of live chickens that they kill and skin for you after you choose it! Steve graciously went and got one and even cooked it a couple of nights ago since we'd had vegetarian meals for a couple of days previously. Last night, however, I was taken to a lovely little shop that's only a short auto rickshaw ride away that has already dead chicken in it! You can purchase a whole chicken, different parts, or even minced chicken or chicken sausages as well. Whew!!!
Steve found soy milk somewhere for Adam this afternoon (took him a couple of hours to locate but now we know!) and Saturday morning I'm getting taken to another market that has mince/hamburger. Things are looking up! There are still a lot of ingredients missing that would be on my shelf in the US or NZ or even Fiji that matter, but I'm pretty happy! You have to go shopping for small amounts often, though, because you can only bring home what you can carry.
I'm not used to the way things are done here yet so just doing daily chores is taking a lot of time. Things are often dirty from the market and have to be cleaned with filtered water. Plus water to drink and brush our teeth with. We have a water filter in the flat we're staying in but that's another chore, too, as we have to fill old 2 liter soda/fizzy bottles. It takes several minutes to fill each one so I have to do that between other chores and not forget that I'm filtering as well!
We wash dishes with hot water hauled from the shower. The washing machine takes a long time since the tub fills quite slowly and then we have to hang the wash out. Things get dirty really quickly and we need to clean a lot. Everything in this flat has it's own dust cover, even the TV remote. Smart idea! I also have to figure out what to cook!
Steve's been taking the kids to school in the morning (an hour and 15 minute round trip). I pick them up at 1:30 and starting in Jan. I will have to go back again at 5 to pick up Hannah until we feel like she's ready to venture out on the city by herself.
But I'm really not complaining!!! Just trying to paint a picture for you. We have so much compared to others around. Daily life will be challenging for some time until we get to be experts at the routine. It will always take longer than in our home countries, but we'll get it!