Monday, January 12, 2009

Discovering our new world

C-Bear and I went for a walk down the main drag here and explored a bit. There are a few restaurants, car sales lots and Friites (french fry stands) and nice brick houses. Across the street from our hotel is SHAPE.

Before we got here I had a difficult time figuring out what was what. What exactly is SHAPE? Is it an organization or a place? Where is the military base? is it on SHAPE? Where would My-Army-Guy actually work? I didn't even know where to look online for housing. I've figured some stuff out. Here's the deal...

S.H.A.P.E. stands for Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe and it is the military headquarters for N.A.T.O. (which is located in Brussels). SHAPE is located in Mons, Belgium (40 minutes south of Brussels). So, to answer my question SHAPE is both an organization and a place. My-Army-Guy's office is on SHAPE.

Chievres, which I have mentioned previously as our new location, is actually a U.S. air base 20 minutes north of SHAPE. It is the location of many U.S. service like the commissary, PX (military department store) and other military amenities. I will be visiting Chievres often to take advantage of the shopping but we won't live there.

We will probably search for housing somewhere between SHAPE  and Chievres. We may also be forced to live in military housing. I won't know for certain until we visit the housing office.

After today, we have to search for housing aggressively. This means looking at at least 2 houses this week and then 5 a week thereafter until we have found a home. The military requires this so that we don't rest on our laurels indefinitely while they pay our hotel bill.

Also on my mental list... school for the kids. My goal is to have them enrolled and attending by the end of the week. Insert evil laughter here.

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