Katmandu living

the van de Wiel/Schou Hansen family blog

A picture of Liva and Joop infront of our dia del muertos/holloween display. I will try to write and undate later this week. Right now we are a bit busy as we might loose the car shortly. Posted by Picasa

We have already now started to say goodbye to the people we have known here. Today, Flor, a niece of Vivianna came to our house to see the kids for last time before we are off. Posted by Picasa

 Posted by Picasa

With November approaching we are getting ready for Dia del Muertos here in Mexico. In Liva’s and Joop’s kindergarten they have made a traditional dia del muertos display. Here is the teacher of Liva (Patty), Lieke, Liva and Joop together with some of Liva’s friends.

Anyway, to continue our story about Wilma and the canceled trip to Cuba, we ended up going to Queretaro. As we didn’t have to pay for the flight we used a bit more on the hotel and stayed in “La Casa de la Marquesa”. Above is a picture of our room (or rather Suit) which was called the “Maximiliano y Carlota Suit”. Queretaro was a very nice surprise, with quite a big part of the city center being pedestrian areas and having quite a few very nice squares. Lieke missed the kids quite a bit though. I was OK, but I of course also spend more time with them on a everyday basis than Lieke does. We are now home again with renewed energy to give it the last push before the 29th of November. Today I am off to the city center to pick up the rest of our tickets for Europe and Yemen. Strange to think about that we will be out of here in just over a months time.

Well, with no end in sight for Wilma we have canceled our tickets to Cuba and will instead go somewhere in Mexico for the weekend. It was a bit of a tough decision as we really wanted to go to Cuba before we leave this part of the world. However, with Wilma bearing down on Cuba we would probably not have seen much anyway, except for the Hotel. Getting the go-ahead to get a full refund turned out to be the easy part of the the problem. I called Mexicana, and as the hotels in Cuba were sold out for the next four weekends they agreed to give us a full refund, even though we were only entitled to get 70% of the amount back. However, to get this refund I had to go to a Mexicana office and here the problem started. It turned out that they can not reimburse us directly to our credit card and as they do not have any checks they will have to pay us back in cash. However, due to the risk of robberies in Mexico, they do not have any cash in the office and therefore will have to wait for somebody else to pay in cash before they can give us our money back!!! So now I am waiting for the Mexicana office to call me so I can go down and get my money. In the meantime I am checking web sites to see where we will go for the weekend.

As I wrote in the last post we are planning a small holiday in Cuba. However, with the current projections of the hurricane Wilma it might be a very wet weekend we are in for. As the course is set right now it is on a path that will hit just west of Cuba on Friday (our first day in Cuba).

Finally, things seem to get moving. We have had some moving companies to look at our household goods and will hopefully be ready to pack everything up by the end of November. We are working on getting the car sold but still no news on that front. We have however sold everything else we need to sell and our very long to-do list is getting shorter. Everybody has finally agreed upon that we will leave Mexico by the end of November (the 29th to be precise) and that the kids and I (Henrik) will take a long holiday in Europe. Lieke will go to Holland but right away fly on to Yemen where she will stay until the 22nd and return to first Denmark and after that to Holland for Christmas and New Years. On the 5th of January the whole family will fly over Dubai to Yemen to start our new life in the Middle East. So this is how the things stand right now. Besides that nothing new to report. Lieke and I will take a short well deserved holiday in Cuba. We will leave on Friday and will have three nights (in Hotel Nacional de Cuba) without the kids. It is going to be nice to get a bit of R&R before hell brakes loose in the last one and half month. Especially Lieke will need this as things will get very busy with wrapping everything up in the office.  

The girls practiced for colder weather last weekend. They can need some practice as Liva clearly prefers to only wear dresses and is next to impossible to get into a pair of trousers. Hopefully we will be in the colder weather of Europe some time in the early parts of December.

I know that my full concentration should really be in the move but the last two days have revolved more around sports than moving. It has not been a good week – First the Yankees got eliminated in the first round of the play-offs of the World Series. I know that Lieke will probably be happy with this as it was taking quite a lot of our together time (a baseball game is after all more than 3 hours long and there was a new one pretty much every day). Secondly, today it became clear that Denmark will not participate in the 2006 World Cup in Germany. This was of course not a surprise for most people (they have after all been playing pretty badly) but I was the eternal optimist until the end. So all in all, the last few days have not been good for any of the teams that I support (I will not even bring up AGF in this – I have given up on them long time ago). Anyway, to cheer me up a bit the books that we ordered on Yemen from Amazon.co.uk finally arrived today. We managed to find 3 (I repeat three) books about Yemen so it will not be reading that will take up our time in the next few months. However, with cool titles such as “Cool for Qat: A Yemeni Journey” I can’t wait to get started.

Yesterday we have placed an ad for our car in “Segundamano”, the free ads paper here in Mexico (it should be in Tomorrow's issue). We are crossing our fingers and hope someone will buy it, as selling the car is what worries us the most with the move. These days we are using a lot of our time on trying to get organized. We are looking for tickets to Yemen and trying to figure out what would be the best schedule to take. We have found out that the best option will be to get tickets over Europe to Dubai and then connect in Dubai to a plane to Yemen. This of course results in some complications. First of all we need to get a ticket with a stop-over in Europe and second of all we need to get a connection in Dubai where we do not have to wait too long around (I am most likely traveling alone with the kids, so a night in Dubai airport is out of the question). Finally buying the trip as two tickets of course means that we will loose the baggage allowance that we normally have when we fly from Mexico (two bags each of 32 kg.) and instead have the normal 20 kg. per person. So right now we are trying to find out that is the most sensible solution. In the last few days we have had moving companies to come and look at all our stuff, so they can estimate a quote for moving it all to Yemen. Last time we moved everything could be in a 20 foot container and we hope to do the same this time. Until now we have had two companies to look at our move and by the end of the week we will hopefully have had 5. Until now, my personal favorite is a company called Executive Moving, mainly because of their slogan. Their slogan is “We transport your confidence!!!”. If we chose them I just hope that they will give me back my confidence when they have stopped transporting it!!

Knowing that many of you had never head about Yemen, let alone Sana'a, before we stated to talk about moving there, here is a picure of the old city-center in Sana'a. It is strange to think about that we will be there in a few months. We of course hope that you, when you see this picture, right away will start to save up so you can come down to visit us.

Finally, after much stress from our side, is it now sure that we will be leaving Mexico to settle down in Yemen. Yesterday, we finally received the fax from UNICEF, so we have now gone into hyper-mode. So much need to be done before we will finally be in Sana’a (the Capital of Yemen). We need to find a moving company that can ship to Yemen, pack up all our stuff, sell all our 110 volt appliances (they have 220 V in Yemen), not to talk about selling our washing machine ,fridge and car and in general get our lives into order before we finally can get on a plane to start a new life. So right now it seems like, that our stress of the uncertainty of the future has been substituted by a new form of stress. Right now there is a very noisy street-party going on on the other side of the Barranca and it is strange to think about that the Mariachi music that we are hearing right now in a few months time will be substituted by calling to Friday prayer in the local mosque.  We know that we have not been good at keeping our web-side updated with pictures and information about how we are doing. This has of course mainly been Henrik’s fault, being that he has been both in charge of updating and of taking the pictures. We have of course read extensively about Yemen on the internet and one of the things that we have found out it that Yemen might have joined the information highway but that they still only have dial-up connections. We therefore also hope that this blog will make it a bit easier for us to keep you up to date with what is happening in our lives.

This summner we were home on holiday. Here is a picture from Oma and Opa's place

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