Getting Established

One of my favorite–and most dreaded–parts about moving somewhere new is getting established in my new home–getting past the unpacking and the millions of phone calls to set everything up and finally starting to settle in to this place and find my place in it. It is my favorite part of the move because getting “established” allows me to feel like I belong here and I’m not just some lost tourist. It’s my least favorite part because it’s hard. I’m actually a pretty shy and introverted person so it takes a bit of courage for me to step out there and get involved. It can also take some time and patience to discover what opportunities and resources are available and to break into a new social circle. Thankfully, Ireland has been kind to me. This week I’ve had some exciting breakthroughs in the “getting established” department.

Yesterday I took the boys to our local library so we could get library cards and check out some new books (the 4 books I carried with us on the airplane are getting sooooo BORING).

Each of the boys got his own library card that he can use to check out 10 books at a time from the children’s department. The boys’ cards were free, but I decided to also buy myself a card for 15 Euro because I know I’ll use it. I went ahead and checked out a few books on Irish history from the vast selection of books on that matter (I think about 20% of the library is devoted to books on Irish history)–figured it would be good to know a bit about what I’m getting myself into here. I also signed David up for the library summer reading program. If he reads 15 books he gets a shiny “gold” medal. He’s already 2 books away from his prize (could be due to the fact that we checked out 10 books on soccer…er…football…from the library yesterday).

This morning we did something that got us legally established here in Ireland: we registered our visas at the garda (police) station.

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As you can tell from David’s expression, it was an exciting venture. Actually, it wasn’t too bad. We were the first ones in line when the immigration office opened and they got us processed in about 10 minutes. Jon and I both have special visitor/worker permit cards that we have to carry with us at all times just in case somebody suspects we’ve outstayed our welcome.

After I dropped Jon off at work I headed out to Fota to meet up with a mum’s group (how cute is that…mum?!) from our church. Every Wednesday they go to this place called Go Safari to hang out. It’s an indoor play area for kids with food and drinks–perfect for hanging out while the kids run around and burn off some of their boundless energy.

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I had a great time getting to know the 6 other ladies and their sweet little kids. They gave me some good tips on where to shop for the cheapest nappies (diapers) and who to contact for babysitting. Cha-ching! David and Jacob both loved playing in the ball pit–so much so that I couldn’t even get a photo of the 3 of us together before one of them would try to squirm away to jump in the balls again:

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On Friday we will be going to get our PPS Numbers (kind of like Irish Social Security Numbers). After we have our PPS numbers we can set up our local bank account–something we’re really looking forward to since we’ve been racking up enough foreign transaction fees on our credit cards to purchase a small car. Unless you’re in Ireland. In which case, enough to rent a car for a month. Or maybe just buy a week’s worth of groceries. Oy…

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