108-Marina. Marina refers to the specific residential area we live in (so called after a popular restaurant located close by), within the broader 108 (Mia Wa Thmanyia) district of Ankawa, a region within the city of Erbil. While there are Christians and Churches in the broader area of Erbil, the majority of the Christians and most of the Church facilities, including numerous parishes, the Cathedral (St. Joseph’s), the Bishop’s residence and offices, the seminary, and Mar Qardakh – the new Catholic school we work in – are all within Ankawa. This means that most of our life, including home, Church, work, doctor visits and regular errands all falls within a comfortable 2 mile radius. Occasionally, we do need to go outside of our little area. On the feast of the Epiphany, Eddy and I missed the morning masses held at the Cathedral and Churches in Ankawa, so we had to go to the “far” parish in Erbil – it takes all of 15 minutes to get there. We also need to drive 15 or 20 minutes when we want to visit the one-stop shopping centers or western malls. Clearly, it’s nothing to complain about – the distances are quite convenient.
We arrived in Northern Iraq (Kurdistan), in early October, and moved into our home by the end of the same month. It then took us two or three weeks to settle in, and has taken me the remaining two months to get pictures taken and downloaded to the computer – hence the delay in writing a blog post about our new home. We don’t live a desert tent, adobe hut, or sultan’s palace. We live in a “normal” home that probably, in many ways, resembles the homes most of you live in and are accustomed to. Here’s a virtual tour.
Starting upstairs… Right at the top of the stairs, we have a sitting area that we’ve transformed into a home office, and the master bedroom (please excuse the visible clutter).
Off to the left, there’s the boys’ bedroom and laundry room (it’s the first time we’ve had a separate laundry room, and I’m really appreciating it!). We took the pictures in the evening when Charbel was sleeping, so the lighting is dim in the boys’ room (so called because little Paul is due next month and will be sharing the room with Charbel), but it’s clear enough to get an idea…
The downstairs opens into an extended living/dining room (enjoy the Christmas decor – it’s about to be taken down!).
Then, off of a small hall, there’s the guest bedroom, which we have double functioning as a play room as well, and the kitchen (with plenty of counter space!).
We have very much enjoyed our first months in our new home, and look forward to making many beautiful family memories while here!