Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Doctoring Differences

On Wednesday we took Esther for the second of her "six month old" vaccinations (she is nine months old today). They are on a slightly different schedule here.
In the states, we went to the health department for shots for the girls. Here you go to a doctor (not our regular pediatrician here)who examines the baby then gives the shot. They do two patients at a time to speed the process up, so there was another baby and his parents at the next exam table during our appointment (they don't seem to have Hippa regulations here). The exam and shot cost 8 euro total-so about $10.50. The previous one was just under 20 euro (about $26) because there were several vaccines in that shot. I was told that if/when our girls are enrolled in school here, their shots will be free. Now she doesn't need more shots until she's a year old.
Ruth is on a daily anti-biotic because of a minor kidney defect. We brought a three-month's supply with us from the states, but knew that we would need a Montenegrin doctor's prescription to get more here. When we took Esther for her six-month well baby check up, we asked that doctor to write Ruth a prescription, which she did (she did examine Ruth's medical history first).
In America, a 30 days supply costs $20 after insurance. Here, a 20 days supply was 1 euro (about $1.30)!

Before you think that everything here is cheaper though, a baby-monitor is over 100 euros, and a simple rattle or teething toy (that you could find for $1 in the states) is about 5 or 6 euros.

I threw in a few pictures of the girls, just for fun

Monday, December 17, 2012

Gearing up for Christmas

Our Christmas decorating (along with the size of our tree) were downsized quite a bit this year. In Montenegro, Christmas is celebrated on January 7th, and New Year is January 14th because they follow the Orthodox calendar for holidays. They also celebrate January 1st, so there are two new year celebrations. The two malls are decorated for the holidays, but most shops aren't, nor do people deck their halls to the extent done in America.
From our time before, we noticed that people put a dead oak branch (with leaves intact) outside their homes-and sometimes on the grill of their cars-before Christmas, and then took these branches to a designated spot by an old Orthodox chapel, on Christmas Eve, where they are burned. The tradition, as we understand it, is that the evil spirits trying to enter a home (or car) will get caught in the leaves and then be burned up. We actually visited the area where the bonfire was taking place, and saw that it was like a big party, there was music playing and food and drink were being sold.
What Christmas traditions do you and your family celebrate that might look strange to someone from another culture? Did you "invent" any family customs for yourselves?
Steve and I (Laura) started a custom back when we were dating which still continues, we exchange our gifts on Santa Claus Day (December 6th), since he is associated with gift giving, and then Christmas Day can be devoted to Jesus birth.
Interestingly, in most former communist countries, Santa is associated with New Year rather than Christmas-I guess since they didn't celebrate religious holidays, but wanted a winter figurehead.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

How to line dry clothes when it's snowing

The weather reports for today were that it was going to be raining and snowing today. But by 1:30 last night it was already snowing quite a bit (still haven't seen the rain)-I was up because Esther was up. Since we have to pretty much do laundry every day, regardless of the weather, and we don't own a clothes drier-they are very rare here-we had to come up with other ways to get our clothes dry. So here is one way-hang the clothes on a drying rack in front of a heater.
In case you're wondering why we need to do so much laundry, you should know that our washer only holds 6 kilo (about 12 pounds) at a time, so between our clothes, the girls clothes, diapers (washed every three days) and things like towels and sheets, it is a rare holiday when nothing needs washing.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mediterranean Babies

Both Ruth and Esther seem to be adjusting well to the Mediterranean climate/culture. Ruth is enjoying some new foods like olives, feta cheese, clementines and chocobananas (a chocolate covered banana flavored candy).
Esther can hardly leave the house without someone saying how sweet she is and giving her a kiss on the forehead (this seems to be where babies are kissed here). Unfortunately she also seems to attract mosquitoes, if I forget to put the net over her bed at night.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

internet at last

rejoice with us!  yesterday, our friend, Lazar, after much trying, was able to set up internet in our home! :) Exactly two months after our arrival we are finally able to check email, facebook, and post to our blog without walkijg around looking for unsecured wifi service or buying tiny bottles of Coke at internet  cafes.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Shipping update

we were finally able to aquire our tubs on Monday, almost a full week after they arrived here. Now we wait on getting home internet.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Waiting game

Some of our belongings (seven tubs worth) were shipped to us here. It took longer than we expected for them to be be shipped, then it took one week from the time they were picked up in America until they arrived at the airport here, this past Tuesday. We received a call yesterday that they were at the airport, Steve went yesterday, the customs office was closed, come back tomorrow. So Steve went today, there is still more things that need to be processed, come back tomorrow. I really hope we get them tomorrow.  Most of the girls toys and books are in the shipment. Ruth has almost memorized the six books we have (which is a good thing).

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Why we clothe diaper

(We should have internet at home in the next few days-hooray! Then I'll be able to post pictures.)
We have been mostly using clothe diapers on the girls since they were about a month old each. We brought our stock of diapers and covers along when we came here. Boy are we glad we did. In a recent super market circular, the cost of a 50 pack Pampers on sale (admittedly not the cheapest brand at home either) was over 18 euro. With the exchange rate what it is (it takes about $1.30 to "buy" one euro) it's almost $25 to buy 50 diapers.  Both girls go through about 5 diapers a day each, so in one month we would need to spend $300 on Pampers! Well worth washing diapers every third day!

Friday, September 21, 2012

The girls are growing, Esther will be six months old on Tuesday, she just started rolling over and she babbles something that sounds like "mama". Ruth enjoys trying new foods like "lentos," "fireflies," "fatsos," and ''yummies" lentils, french fries, pretzels and gummies.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

we've been here two whole weeks now. Still without home internet. Soon we hope. It was a cooler, wet, windy day today.

Friday, September 14, 2012

We have attended services on both Sunday and Wednesday and made contact with a former English student. Most of our time is spent settling in and setting up housekeeping. Our Serbian lessons start next week or the week after.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

We are back!

The Campbell family has arrived safely. More info to come. When we get Internet at home.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Introducing Ruth (almost 2) and Esther (2 months). We consider our family "complete" now.