8 crazy days

I’m really only writing about this because it has to be documented. If you want to hear about on of the busiest and hardest 8 days to date for our family continue reading. If you don’t care, I won’t take offense if you just stop now.

Last Sunday after Drake’s 103 degree fever would not go down I took him to the ER in the middle of crazy rain and wind from a typhoon that was just touching down up north. 5 hours later we found out the little guy had Dengue Fever. This is very rare in the ex pat community and is transmitted by a mosquito. He was admitted to the hospital at 10:30PM and we were told he’d have to be on a fluid drip for 3-5 days until the temperature stabilized. Patrick was driven to the hospital by our friend who lives near. His live in nanny stayed with Aydan. Then our friend drove me home and Patrick stayed the night with Drake.

I got home to find out Aydan’s beloved Baby Ant (her self proclaimed “perfect pet ever!”) died. Aydan was a wreck. I had to explain to our 3 year old about heaven and death after just coming home from being in the hospital with our very sick one year old.

Monday morning was Aydan’s first day of preschool! I got her all ready and sent her on her way. She walked right in, no questions asked. She didn’t even give me a kiss goodbye.

I walked next door to the embassy health unit to talk with the doctor who was with Drake the night before and that morning. She was AMAZING. We had less than stellar medical care in Cameroon. I am so thankful for a doctor who took her time to explain everything about the illness and his blood work and what she was thinking was best for the little man. Then I headed to the hospital. Mind you, this is all happening via taxi bc our car is still not here.  I’m pretty sure we’ve spent well over $200 on taxis just this week. Also, finding a taxi is so annoying and frustrating. I’m pretty sure I’ve waited for taxis this week for longer than I actually ride in them.

Once I arrived at the hospital Patrick headed home to shower and get ready to pick Aydan up from preschool. The hospital room was great. Drake’s fever had dropped and he didn’t need an IV so we just played in our little room. The room was really nice actually. It was just like a hotel suite. Drake and I hung out there all day. I won’t go into all the sad things they made the little man do but it was really hard. We even had to get an x-ray on his hip because of a previous problem he had with it. Thankfully a friend stopped by for a couple of hours and brought lunch and dinner. The doctor came back that night and went over his second round of blood work and said we could take him home. His fever had not returned in 24 hours so she said we were out of the danger zone. We were so happy to be heading home after only one day in the hospital, unlike the five that we originally told we’d have to endure. Drake and I took a taxi home in yet another downpour from yet another typhoon.

Also on Monday our new housekeeper, cook, and nanny started. It was a HUGE relief. We’d had five different women in our house in the past 5 weeks. All having different stories as to why they only came in to work one day, quit, and didn’t ever text me and I never heard from again. Delia has been amazing and it’s so nice to have some constancy in the chaos that was this week.

On Tuesday we found out that our HHE (Household Effects) would be arriving to the house on Thursday morning. So I spend the morning dealing with the logistics that come with the shipment.

Wednesday morning I took Aydan and Drake in a taxi to preschool and the health unit. The doctor thought Drake looked really good and was happy to see him doing so well. She scheduled another blood test for Monday morning.  Because Delia was home and Drake was doing so much better I was able to go out and try to get our phones working. After taxing back from the medical unit home, I put Drake down for his nap and headed to Greenbelt Mall. I got there around 10.  Globe (the phone store) doesn’t open until 11. I grabbed some bread at our favorite bakery and some Starbucks then headed to Globe. The line was so long just to get in at this point. I waited for over an hour. Once I was in I explained that we’d already signed up for the post paid plan, had the SIM card in our iPhones but there is still no service. After forever the guy told me that I’d have to unlock my iPhone more… who knew there were levels of iPhone unlockage. I knew they were running a deal on a free phone and tablet if you signed up for their 999 peso plan. So I spent the next 30 mins convincing the people that I was in fact Patrick’s wife and that they could release the phones and tables to me with out a problem. It was 12:30 at this point and I had to go pick up Aydan. They gave me some paper work for Patrick to sign so I could come back and get the free phones and tablets. SO I headed to the preschool, picked up Aydan, found another taxi, headed home, put her down for a nap, kissed Drake, left the house again to get our phones, tablet and try to get the iPhones unlocked. I had 2 hours to do this because Delia had to head home. Let’s just say that it took them 2 hours to hand over the new phones and tablets just for me to realize they were not free at all. They would cost me mins every month, so I would still be paying 999 peso but I’d just have a few minutes to actually make calls with. So essentially it is free (doesn’t cost me any money) but it isn’t free because it costs me minutes. I was not happy and the poor kid who was working with me knew it… so lame, I can’t even go into how infuriating it was. I spent so much time there I couldn’t get the iPhones dealt with, so I just left with our new phones working… Samsung Galaxy phones are terrible by the way. A week later, and we are still without our iPhones. Annoying.  After spending all day trying to deal with that I got home, made dinner, bathed the kids, put them to bed and slept… until Drake woke up every hour because he was still not feeling 100%. Poor guy. I did a lot of rocking and snuggling that night.

Thursday our shipment came. It went as smoothly as possible. We had some mold but nothing that we weren’t able to clean up right away.  By 3PM all the boxes were moved into the house, the GSO furniture we didn’t want was moved out and our own furniture was set up. The movers did it all and I was so thankful they were good and efficient.

Patrick and I had our first Parent’s Night at Aydan’s preschool at 5. So, we loaded into yet another taxi and headed to the open house.  We are very happy with the choice to put her in preschool, she is very happy there.

That night after 6 months, almost to the day, and 17 beds later, we all slept in our own beds and slept for hours and hours. It was perfect.

Friday and Saturday were devoted to unpacking, washing dishes, washing laundry, and organizing. Actually, Saturday Patrick and I spent the afternoon grocery shopping. We have a lady, Marge, who comes in on Saturday afternoons. This has been so great. Patrick and I are able to get out of the house and hang out with each other while the house is being cleaned, laundry is being ironed and kids are happily sleeping. It’s been perfect. We piled in a taxi again and headed to SM Hypermarket.  This place is like a cheap Target… a really cheap, ghetto Target. But look, they have a website!  I’ll write another post all about that experience later. We spent about 2 hours in the grocery store then headed to our version of Costco, called S&R. We spent another 2 hours there and headed home. We had about 5 mins before we were supposed to be walking to some friend’s house for dinner and games. It was pouring rain but we made it, we were even dry. We had a great dinner and game night.

On Sunday we went to church at Union Church in the morning. It was really nice.  We came home and did even more unpacking and organizing, but then the rain started and hasn’t stopped in three days.

Monday morning as Patrick is scrambling around trying to call a taxi or the shuttle for work he gets a text telling him the embassy is closed due to major flooding around Manila from yet another tropical storm!  We spent another day finishing up our unpacking and playing with the kidos. It was nice to be home that extra day. The rain was constant but not too heavy all day long. We found a few leaks in the house, put some buckets under them and just hung out.

All night last night it poured and poured. Aydan moved into bed with us around 4AM. Patrick found out he had work off again. We came downstairs to find the backyard completely flooded, with the water coming all the way up to our sliding doors that surround 2 of the three walls down there. We moved all the furniture away from the windows and added bins around the house were we found more leaks. The rain is still coming down hard and so we wait.

We are tired and so ready to be completely moved in and back to “normal” life. Some day…

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9 responses to “8 crazy days

  1. What a rotten start to a post. So glad your little one is improving quickly – hoping you get settled soon and can look back on your arrival with something less than total frustration. It’s got to get easier and better, hasn’t it!?

  2. What a terribly difficult week! We had a very good private taxi driver in Manila who was reliable and charged by the hour. If it helps to have his contact details, let me know. It helped us enormously when we needed someone reliable

    • I’d love his contact info! Our car should arrive soon… Hopefully it isn’t flooded… But it’d be great to have a taxi driver we can trust and is reliable. Thanks.

      • Paul 0919 7530612 and 0915 5383218 He charges 350 pesos an hour, which ends up being about double what you pay a regular taxi. But he’s reliable, the car is clean and in good condition (no dragging muffler!), he knows everywhere in Manila and I trust him leaving our stuff in the car. Tell him Caroline from PPT sent you! ;o)

  3. HI I just stumbled upon your blog when I was trying to find out more about what it was like to be the spouse of a FSO… I just wanted to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the story of how you found out about Cameroon. My husband and I laughed at the description you gave of dropping the highlighter and putting your head between your knees so you wouldn’t vomit or pass out or both. That is the exact reaction I would have, and that is why we both were laughing.

    I hope your little one starts to feel better soon!

  4. I am sorry to hear that your son had Dengue. That’s scary. We lived in Jakarta and now in Mumbai, Dengue is something we worry during the high mosquito season. It sounds like settling in in Manila is a challenge. I don’t know if this would make you feel better, but I didn’t have my SIM card for over 2 months in India. It’ll take us up to 6 months to receive the car we bought locally here and we could not import car from overseas. Everything takes time in India and it was the same in Indonesia. Patience seems to be a virtue. I hope the rest of your time will go smoothly.

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