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  • Writer's pictureaymexume

We moved to Algeria

Memorial of the martyr

On September 1, Hubs and I landed in Algiers after a 16-hour journey that began the previous day. We were tired, yet excited. The opportunity to uproot our lives in Canada and start a new one on the Continent—after a year and a half of an overly sedentary life—was simply too good to pass.

Sometime in March—or was it April? —Hubs received an offer for a position in Algiers. A two-year contract, with a probable one-year extension. A challenging job. A great jump career-wise. While Algiers wasn’t among the five cities (Mexico City, Manila, Bogota, Dar Es Salam and Dakar) we had selected earlier that year, it’s located on the Continent. Plus, it’s very close to Europe, where quite a few of our friends live. We said yes.

We had been discussing the possibility of moving abroad for years now, since the day Hubs was told that a foreign posting was in the cards for him. We talked about the cities we’d like to reside in, the type of life we’d have there. We dreamt out loud. From these conversations, we concluded two things: 1) we’d be willing to move almost anywhere, although we had preferences; 2) I would quit my job and move if he were posted for at least two years – we’ve done the long-distance thing before, we didn’t want to do it again.

A slew of medical tests, vaccines and other administrative steps later, our visa request dossier was sent to the Algerian Embassy in Canada. Then, we packed our condo. Our entire life—16 years’ worth of life—fit in about 75 boxes and 5 suitcases. We’ve left our furniture along with about 20 of these boxes behind. Our car and the remaining boxes are somewhere in Canada ready to be shipped.

We’ve been in Algeria for a week now. The walls of our new home are bare. I’ve got about a dozen and a half plants to take care of. When I step outside, sunshine and heat welcome me, along with three peacocks and three cats. The 40+ hours of Algerian Arabic lessons we took have not proven to be useful yet. Hubs is disappointed that he hasn’t used his favourite word yet: zoudj (2 in Algerian Arabic). I am looking for a class; I want to be able to converse.

We’re settling in slowly. Hubs has started his job the day following our arrival. The team here has done their best to make our transition here are smooth as possible. Upon our arrival, our beds were made, and fresh croissants were on our kitchen table. We’ve ventured outside the compound that houses our home as well as Hubs’ new office. There are restaurants, bakeries and a small shopping center at walking distance. The neighbourhood is nice.

My life has changed. I don’t have a job. I must dress a bit more conservatively than I’m used to. I have been advised not to walk around by myself—mainly because of street harassment. But I’m happy. I’m glad we’re here and I’m looking forward to our new life here. I’m also glad to dust off the blog and publish again.

Let me know what you’d like me to write about; I’ll be glad to answer all the questions I can.

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