ADJUSTING TO FRANCE!
Eric and the boys had 2 ½ weeks in Albertville before school started. They used that time to adjust to the 6 hour time change, explore the area, register Daniel & Michael for public school, purchase a vehicle, get it registered and insured, and work on the seemingly unending paperwork needed when changing ones residence to a new country. I stayed behind in the states to have shoulder surgery. I was busy shutting off stateside services, changing bank accounts, and tying up the loose ends that seemed to keep popping up. God was good and, thanks to the contacts of a good friend, I was able to get right into surgery. I had 10 days after surgery to recover before heading out to France. I was very well cared for in those 10 days and am thankful for all those who helped. I was rested and “ready” for Albertville.
You hear so much about what it will be like to move into a new culture, but I don’t think you are ever really prepared. I am so thankful that God provided some dear friends who not only picked up Eric and the boys at the airport in Lyon, France, but also bought us prepaid phones, food, adapters, and cleaning supplies, to help get us started. It was really great for them to see familiar faces after arriving in Lyon. These were an incredible help as the 5 guys took turns cooking, doing chores and getting the house ready for when I arrived. It’s a little intimidating and often funny when we go to a store here in France. We find ourselves just standing and staring at the shelves, unsure of what is behind the labels. We sometimes get home and find we didn’t buy what we thought we did. The funny thing is that after struggling to communicate what you are looking for, we later find out that they don’t even have that product in France. A lot of the cooking supplies we use in the US you can’t get here. Once we purchase something, the directions, measurements, and product info. is all in French. Even using the oven was a challenge at first because it is in Celsius and not Fahrenheit – we had to look online and make a chart. French things are very small: their cars, refrigerators, freezers, pots and pans. The first thing we did was purchase bigger pots & pans so that I don’t need to use 3 to cook one meal for the family. I have been here 3 weeks and still feel like a fish out of water!
Since classes started, we have little time for anything else. Classes are very intense!!! After the first week of classes Eric asked how it was possible to have had 4 days of class and be 3 weeks behind! The math just doesn’t work out. We start at 9am and end at 4:30 pm. We walk to the boulangerie a few times a day for baguettes (which have become a staple in our diets) and after class I start dinner. We eat and then do homework for 2 to 3 hours before bed. The next day things start all over again. Every weekend we have a long, closed book, take home test – an “evaluation”. We usually study all weekend and take it late Sunday night. We are trying to rotate doing paperwork and a family outing, every other Saturday. This last Saturday we went to Chamonix.
Daniel and Michael are in the public schools here. It is quite different than school in America. If you don’t have class, you leave school grounds. Many don’t even stay for lunch. They are often going back and forth from school during the day. There are some days when they have no classes on their schedule and they are home all day by themselves. They are at 2 different schools so they don’t meet up at school at all during the day. We are in class all day (with exception of a lunch break), so I never really know where they are. To try and give my “mother’s” mind some peace I made a sign out sheet that sits by our front door.
~ Our house to sell: Our house has still not sold. We need wisdom to know what we should do. We can’t continue to pay for housing in states and in France. We were hoping to sell our home in-order to pay off the house, pre-field expenses, and moving expenses (our O&P was too low to be reimbursed). However we now need to consider the possibility of renting, in order to help cover the expense of maintaining it. Please pray that we would have wisdom as we try to work all of this out from France.
~Brenda’s shoulder: Please continue to pray that her shoulder will heal. She has no choice but to use it, which is making the healing process slow.
~Language school & adjusting: Language school is definitely the hardest thing we have ever done. The first month has been very difficult. Please pray that we would have good attitudes, retain and remember all the information, learn French quickly, and adjust to the new culture & being on a ridged school schedule.
~Getting ready for Togo: We recently found out that the contract with the Togolese government giving the work at the hospital a tariff of 5% will be up at the end of 2014; it then goes to 30%. This mean that we need to raise the extra $12,000 for our vehicle and ship it & our container around August/September of 2014. (Things tend to sit in the port once they get to Togo and we need to make sure that they are processed before the deadline.) Please pray that God would provide for our vehicle. Pray also for our church family who is collecting the perishable things for us to ship out.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS AND SUPPORT!
THE KOSIOREK FAMILY
ERIC, BRENDA, JOSHUA, CALEB, DANIEL, & MICHAEL