Thursday, July 15, 2010

Update from Paris

Well hello there!
We are still alive and well here in Paris. I thought I would write up a little update about our misadventures in the big city.

So here is what our weeks have looked like in brief

- Came to Paris. Spent all day in hospital finally getting Bennett's arm set.

- A few days of no sleep and frustration trying to get his pain under control

- Tried to see a few movies, sights and visit parks. Saw the new Shrek movie.

- Great parks, love the flowers and fresh smells and seeing people without a care in the world. Their spirits seem lighter here, I guess that comes from not having to worry where your next meal comes from.

- Bennett rediscovered McDonald's happy meals, and has been wanting them for lunch every day since.

-Bennett sees the Eiffel Tower for the first time (well that he was old enough to remember). His first thoughts about it- Hey Mom- is that a GIANT Toy store???

-We went to the kids science museum on the outskirts of town and had a great time playing with science and machines and tactile adventures for children about space, air, water, food, bugs, etc.

A great time. On the way home, with tired child with broken arm, heavy stroller, bags and myself to care for, was targeted by thieves. In the busy hallways between metro trains where you are packed person to person, they stole my tiny wallet. It had our visa card, bank card and my passport. Yah---that sucked.

-Still had more medical appointments to go to, made more difficult by the fact I had to make alternative payment arrangements since I had no more money. Some people were less than helpful. More tears. Walked a whole lot of kilometeres since we had very little cash and I wanted to save it for food.

- Set in motion with the Canadian Embassy to get either a new permanent passport or a temporary one by the time we leave. They have trouble getting a hold of my references and that slows us down.

-Visa sends me a new emergency card after 4 days and transfers some money via Western Union. Western Union looks at my 5 other pieces of I.D (3 of which are government issue with picture and signature) and refuses to give me any money without my passport. I go back to the Police yet again to get another report from them to tell them YES my passport was stolen you dummies. Finally a day later we convince Western Union to give me my money! Parisians seem to be exceedingly difficult in every situation I confront them.

-Bennett gets his first xray. One bone is perfect, and one has slightly shifted but not enough for them to worry about it. Yay!

-With money in hand, we buy train tickets out of town for a 3 day weekend to go visit good friends of ours who live on the coast a few hours away (well they live in Niger with us, but are french and are home in France for summer vacation). We really needed to get out of town!

-Bennett loves the beach (only allowed to play in the sand-no water!) and seeing his friends again. Mom is super happy to sit and read and not see crowds of people and have no drama!

- The Western Union in this little beach town doesn't blink at my lack of I.D and even uses my Niger Driver's Permit as their piece of I.D. haha!

- Back to Paris for more appointments and some shopping. Wednesday is Bastille Day which is the biggest holiday of the year here in France.

- We try to go see the Parade. Ridiculous amount of people, we cant even see the street and it pours rain on us.

This picture is with the camera held high above my head and this is still all I could see!

- We are much happier in the afternoon watching the France premiere of Toy Story 3 followed by a Happy Meal!

- That night after a nap, we head out to the Eiffel Tower area for the fireworks show. We are smart this time and go two hours early to secure a prime spot on one of the bridges at the railing so Bennett can sit and we have no one in front of us. We hang out there for a few hours and then enjoy the show- which is spectacular!

- Find out my temporary passport will indeed be ready Friday afternoon. Glitch is I may have to go to Cote D'Ivoire in person within 60 days to trade in for my real one. Must find the loophole around that one. Cote D'Ivoire happens to be the closest full embassy to Niger.

So now tomorrow is Bennett's next x-ray and hopefully the day they will give us medical clearance to fly home Sunday night!

I have more to say at a later day about some of the things I have learned here, but it is late and tomorrow we have a very full day with x-rays, 2 doctors and hopefully a passport to pick up!

Will write more later. Thank you to many of you for all your encouragement and support. I leave you with some song verses that have encouraged me during this time in France!

There’s always going to be another mountain
I’m always going to want to make it move
Always going to be an uphill battle,
Sometimes I'm going to have to lose,
Ain’t about how fast I get there,
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb

The struggles I’m facing,
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes they might knock me down but
No I’m not breaking
I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I’m going to remember most
Just got to keep going
And I,
I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on



Ellie said...

Dealing with our own broken arm this week, growth plate break... still waiting to find out if there will be complications from that... not sure if surgery is needed or not.. Also dealing with a severe laceration on the other boy, I can empathize with you. Praying all goes well and you get clearance to fly and a passport easier.

We were also in transit with our injuries - one happened the day we were to leave. Wanting to ask why? But at least we do have reasonably good medical care where we are.

Di said...

Praying in Burnaby. God be with you, may it be with passport in hand and a ticket back to Niger!

saheldormparents said...

Why can't they do in France what would have to be done in Côte d'Ivoire? Doesn't Canada have an embassy in France?? If you have to travel to C.I. you may as well go to Canada, it will cost about the same! So sorry Chantelle, just glad that you will be back tomorrow!! LOve you!