Settling in

Shortly after moving in to our permanent house, we received work that our household effects (HHE) shipment had arrived in country, and would be delivered soon!  After the shipment cleared customs, a moving company came to the house (with a 45-minute head’s up) to drop off all of the boxes. It didn’t seem like we brought a lot of stuff, but when it arrived, it was definitely overwhelming. I’ve spent the last 4 days unpacking and organizing.

For the most part, I’m happy with what we brought with us. There are a few things we brought that make me wonder what we were thinking (the jogging stroller – LOL), but I’m definitely happy that we brought all of the food/liquids that we did. Food in Brazzaville is incredibly expensive! And we aren’t able to ship liquids in the mail. So, I was very happy to see four giant bottles of good California olive oil, and ten cans of black beans, and several cases of wine.  There is *some* South African wine here, which is all wonderful, but it’s expensive. There is lots of French wine here, but it’s hard to know what has been sitting on the shelf for too long, and what’s actually good, and unfortunately, it’s all expensive.  There is plenty of gin, though, and plenty of tonic water.

One thing we are happy we shipped is our king-size bed. The embassy-provided queen size bed is still in the house, though, so our king bed is sitting, wrapped up, on the front patio. I’m slightly concerned that some lizards (or worse…) will take residence inside, but I’ve been assured it’s wrapped up very well.

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Boxes

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More boxes

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Ben’s beer brewing equipment!

Since I have been unpacking all week, I haven’t been very adventurous, so I don’t have a great, dedicated blog post for you this week. But I did want to share a bit about restaurants here!

There are some wonderful restaurants here. For the most part, they are incredibly expensive. There are definitely affordable restaurants, as well; it just takes a bit of extra effort to find them. Very close to our house is a place referred to as the “food truck” or “burger truck.” It’s a non-mobile truck on the sidewalk that serves fantastic burgers and pizza, for very reasonable prices. Close to the airport, there is a fancy Italian restaurant with great pizzas and calzones, for about twice the price as the food truck.

Grilled/bbq chicken is somewhat of a staple here. I order it a lot, because it doesn’t disappoint and I love chicken. Have you ever considered how many chickens are killed in the world every day? Think about it for a minute…. Anyways, Ben and I ventured out to a restaurant in a neighborhood called Bacongo last weekend for grilled chicken and fish. The food and service were great and the meal set us back about $14. There is another restaurant closer to the downtown area famous for their spicy grilled chicken; it’s really fabulous chicken. That restaurant caters to a wealthier neighborhood, though, so the fabulous chicken dish alone is $12. Anyways, we won’t have a shortage of restaurants to try.

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Pizza at the fancy Italian restaurant

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Satanic chicken at Nenuphar restaurant

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