Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Weeks Worth

Sorry for taking so long to post again- this week flew by.

So our week in a nutshell:

Monday was our appointment at the Embassy. We met Eric who is a Consular but was acting Ambassador at the time. All four adoptive couples were there and he went through our paperwork and gave us a quick run through of where are papers are going. Eric told us it might take a couple extra weeks to get our kids Visas back. So that puts us at 6 weeks total. We’ll need to change our plane tickets and let the hotel know that we’re staying a couple extra weeks- maybe they’ll cut us a deal- I doubt it but maybe.

**Future families—you should find out when your Embassy appointment is because you need to book your return flight 4 weeks after the Embassy appointment, NOT the court date. We have heard that usually the Embassy appointment is the day after court but in our case it was a ½ a week later. Everyday counts in your wait!**

Tuesday I think we hung out in the room all day and ate pizza from The Flame Tree. Shawn ordered Sausage and we got Pepperoni but those are the islands for ya. The cheese was really good, the sauce was a can of hunt’s tomato sauce and the crust was doughy (to me). Shawn, our pizza expert, said it was ok; $14 for the large which was about 12”. Rosita was with us in the morning but went home at about 2pm.

Wednesday Shawn went to The Flame Tree and brought back food while Noemi and I chilled out. I had a bacon cheeseburger which was actually really good! It came with a salad and fries and I think it was $6.50. We then went to the Long Island part of the atoll and went Guam shopping. There is a store past the China Restaurant but before the Long Island Hotel called “something” wholesale and retail. They sell Guams for .50!! They range from .50-$3 and they have all kinds and sizes. I bought 2 for myself and 1 for Emita to wear for her Kemen (sp?) (her giant 1 year old birthday party that is a MUST in Marshallese culture).

Thursday we went to eat at the Flame Tree and I had chicken fried rice. It’s funny because the flame trees version of Chinese food is more Latino then Asian. They always add green and red peppers and it’s kind of mushy. I don’t think I’ll order that again. We had another fun experience with Rosita but she’s doing much better and we’re very happy she comes to visit us every now and then.

Friday was Christmas Eve and we had a very quiet day again but it’s really helping us get in a routine with Emi and we’ve really been able to bond with her now. We went to China Restaurant and it was very good; Pricey but very authentic and yummy. Now I don’t know if it was because we were American or if it was because we had a baby with us but they stuck us in a room all by ourselves! They had a dining area and the waitress said ‘no you come here” and stuck us in a room with 1 table in it and closed the door! Shawn went to the restroom and left the door slightly open and the waitress came by and closed it! As we were eating we heard other people eating in the dining area! It was so funny! The room was very pretty and I think it was an honor to be placed in “the room” but it was so weird! LoL. We then came back, chatted with family and headed to church. The Catholic Church is the Cathedral and has a large Filipino population so we got to hear both Marshallese and Filipino carols. We came home at about 11pm, which is super late for us these days! About 5am MN time =) Also EVERYBODY buys Christmas presents on Christmas Eve night! All the stores were packed! One of the other moms was saying that she was convinced everyone on Majuro was at the ACE hardware =) We actually ran into Rosita on our way to the store and she had bags of things! She offered us some peanut M&Ms but we knew they were a special Christmas treat for her so we said no politely. She then ran off to keep shopping =)

Christmas was very nice. The only thing that would have made it more perfect was having more family around. After we gave Rosita our gifts for her we took her out to a nice brunch at the RRE hotel and when we were on our way back to the hotel, she JUMPED out of the cab and waved goodbye! She’s so funny sometimes =) We think she saw her friends or something. We then came back to the hotel and Skyped with family. I miss everyone so much but it was great to see my side of the fam. We need to figure out a way to connect with Shawn’s side too. After that we went to a loddy-da Yachtie Christmas party. It really wasn’t loddy-da but it was really interesting. These people have all decided at some point in their lives to just sail away… Some sell everything they have and sail around the world, others own companies and have vacation time to just go away for months at a time. The people there last night either happened to dock in Majuro during the holidays or were Americans living on the islands. We met people from all over the world and heard some of there stories on what it’s like to just up and leave. There was a couple there with 2 small children! I think the boy was about 4 and the little girl was maybe2-3. That must be so difficult to have 2 small kids living on a boat with you as you sail from island to island in the Pacific. Two of the other adoptive families and a family doing their revisit showed up and we joined them at the Tide Table restaurant to just sit and chat. That was our Christmas.

Today we rented a car with two of the other adopting families and took a trip from tip to tip. We left RRE and went to Darrit, one end of the Island, closest to us. Then we went to Laura Village on the other end of the Island, about 20-30 miles away. Along the way we stopped at the “nice” park on the other side of the airport where people go to picnic. But, it wasn’t that nice. There were piles of trash and flies everywhere, but other than that, the scenery was beautiful. Then we saw the president’s house. It was nice and it was pink! After the airport, there isn’t anything, only sparse houses along the way and a couple a local shops. Even Laura Village doesn’t have really any stores or anything like that. It’s more “rural” living but I think the houses were nicer. We finally got to Laura Beach where we had to pay the lady at the gate $1 per adult. She was a cute older lady who asked us all kinds of questions. The beach was pretty nice. Well kept and not a lot of garbage. The beach is at the very end of the island, you can’t miss it. The road ends at the gate to the beach. The water there is amazing and the sand and coral is beautiful. But it’s not really a beach you can lay out on to get a tan. There is coral and drift wood everywhere, but by far the best beach we’ve seen so far here on Majuro. After we got back from Laura we all ate lunch at the RRE and then we came back to the hotel at about 4:30. When we got back Rosita was knocking on our door waiting for us. We invited her in and she left at about 8:00pm after Shawn informed her it was Noemi’s bedtime. We only had to let her know twice today that it was time to go home but we’re still working on overfeeding. She fed her 6oz. in 1hr because she moaned a little bit. Noe normally eats 3 oz every 3 hours. We’re working on the transition.

Overall a beautiful day full of beautiful scenery.

Tips for future families:

I can’t think of any right now that I haven’t stated above but I think I’ll do a whole post of tips in a future post. I still haven’t bought my notebook/notepad but when I do… I’ll capture those tips as they pop in my head!! Yeah!


  1. This post made me hungry for all sorts of different foods. lol. :) Glad to hear things are good with you. Keep us posted when you find out a return date/time. So did anyone get in the water in the beach?

  2. Merry Christmas Nilssons! Sorry to hear your stay in RMI might be extended - all that extra cost and missing home! We'd heard the time line was shortening due to the visa paperwork no longer passing through Hawaii... do you think the holidays possibly contributed?

    LSS told me last week that some families are receiving their FBI letters back in as little as 5 weeks - ours has been in processing just about that long! They don't know why some have arrived so early and can't promise it will continue but we're keeping our eyes open just in case :)

    I'm curious how much freedom you have to move around RMI - once the adoption is finalized, are you allowed to visit other islands/atolls or do they need you to stay in Majuro?

    Also wondering if renting an apartment is an option since the stay is a month+. I've read others have done this.

    As always, appreciate reading your posts and hearing about your experiences!

    Take care for now!

  3. Our FBI took almost 10 weeks! They said it probably would come sooner, so I don't know. You can go where ever you want you want in RMI but not many boats are leaving Majuro because there have been a lot of recent drownings and capsizing because the boats were too small. They're trying to regulate the situation. As for apartments, there are some apartments, but from what we can tell, they look kind of shady. The hotel we're staying at, the Marshall Islands Resort, it pretty decent and the rate is very good at $40 a night. We can try to find out more info on apartments for you. The process is shortened but it is 3 weeks from the embassy appointment, not court date. The holidays are delaying it a little, but I think that they are telling us the longest it could take so we don't get our hopes up. I hope =)

    @Brenda, we'll let you know as soon as we know. But we don't know anything yet. Next week we are going to check with DHL to track our package because our lawyer and the embassy didn't want to give us that info so we don't bother them constantly!

  4. Hello!

    We just came back from RMI two weeks ago. I just wanted to mention that we only received our baby's visa 5.5 weeks after our embassy appointment (our court date was 6/20/2012, our embassy appointment was on 6/22/2012, and we received our visas on 7/30/2012). The other two adoptive families who were there with us had the same results, but had to pay change fees to push their tickets to a later flight. Change fees are $280 for each ticket! It's better to book your tickets far ahead with enough cushion!