Tuesday, September 27, 2011

First few days of training

We’ve only gone through 2 ½ days of training I’m already overwhelmed (in mostly good ways) and my brain is just reeling. In and of itself this training alone is going to be a life-altering experience. And I’m so excited for it.

Today both Chris and I individually had to give a 30-minute presentation on our “journey” to MKLM and this point in our lives. It was essentially a life story. I was up until after 11PM last night working on it, Chris until after midnight. So today was a long day of sitting all day listening to 9 people’s (1/2 the group) life stories. But, it was such a privilege to be allowed to hear how they got here. People shared such amazing journeys. I have this visual of 20 different roads all leading to the same convergent point and then breaking apart again. What I mean by this is that I feel like even though we all have vastly different stories, are varying ages and come from unique backgrounds, something has led all of us here today. And we will influence each other in amazing ways over the course of our training. Then, we’ll take that influence and use it in our work around the globe.

I’m off to bed now because we have another long day tomorrow. I was going to post some pictures from my Lifelines presentation today, but Flickr isn't working with me and I'm too tired to mess with it. I'll try again on another day.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

San Diego, Mississippi, and Alabama Visits

I'm still catching up on posts from our visits out west. Chris did a great post summarizing the last few days of our trip, so I figured I'd just link to his post rather than wait for me to actually get it together to post about the trip. This is kind of a cop-out, but at least I've gotten the San Diego and Gringo Star pictures on flickr.

Read here about the 2nd half of our out west trip.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Tour of Our Apartment

I know that I still have to post pictures and stories from all the visits we've been doing in the past few weeks, but I can't help but post a quick message about our living space at MKLM.

We arrived this morning and have spent the day getting settled, unpacking, and meeting the other candidates. Tomorrow starts our training and it will be JAM PACKED until December. Most of our nights and weekends are even going to be filled up! We weren't expecting that. But we're SUPER excited for everything to come and can't wait to jump right in.

It's totally surreal to be here. We've been talking about this ad nauseam for 10 years! It's so strange and wonderful and amazing to actually be doing it!

The Welcome Sign downstairs at Bethany House (our residence)
When we got here, this sign welcomed us by the elevators.

The sign on our door
There was also this sign on our door.

Our living area
Here is a view of our apartment as you walk through the door. The couples and families get suites with kitchenettes and private bathrooms. But the single folks have to share bathrooms and kitchens on each hallway.

A bad picture of me cooking in our tiny kitchen
Here's a bad shot of me cooking. The kitchenette is not the easiest thing to cook in. So we may be going to the end of the hall and using the communal kitchen a lot.

Dining area
Our little eating area. Need to get some light bulbs for that light.

Our private bathroom
Bathroom. Fairly standard.

Our bedroom

spare bedroom
We even have an extra bedroom. Guess that's so when we fight we have a place for one of us to sleep. Just kidding!

All in all, it's a very cozy, comfy place!

We made it!

We made it to our training center in NY! The true adventure starts now...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Must See

Chris's sister and her husband are amazingly talented people living in Chicago. For the past many years they have been part of the product team, Blewt. Blewt just put out a pilot TV episode of Don't Spit the Water, a crazy live game show they've done as a theater production for years. The episode is hilarious and brilliant. You've GOT to watch it. Then, go to the network's website and tell them how amazing it was and that they've GOT to make it a regular program. Seriously, folks, this is so funny.

Don't Spit the Water! Pilot Episode from Blewt! Productions on Vimeo.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Goodbye to Columbia

This past Saturday we officially moved from Columbia. It's very surreal that one day we're in our own home, sleeping in our bedroom and living in the same city we've lived for 8 1/2 years, and then the next morning, we wake up, (over) pack the car and roll out.

We're packed to the rafters!

After months of selling, donating, and get rid of stuff you'd think we'd have nothing to take with us. Plus, it gets really old going over and over and over again deciding what we should keep and what we get rid of. So, imagine our frustration at just how much stuff we had to to fit into the car.

Really? This much stuff to fit in the car!?

Luckily, we got most of it in. I'd rented a bag for the roof of our car, which fit a lot of stuff and in the end we only had to ditch a few last-minute things. And all things considered everything went well with the whole move. 

Before we left town we had another round of goodbyes. It was hard to say goodbye to everyone, but it actually was a really good process. It gave me time to appreciate all the amazing friends that we have in Columbia. We have the most amazing support system that anyone could ask for. If you're reading this blog then you're a friend (or family--same thing). So give yourself a big hug and a pat on the back with a big THANK YOU for being so amazing. It's because of your support that Chris and I are embarking on the adventure of a lifetime. We are going to need your continued support and prayers, so don't give up now! ;)

Here are pictures of some of our last Columbia goodbyes:
Goodbye to Allyson
Allyson, neighbor of a lifetime!

Playing with Iggy one last time
Iggy Pup!

Goodbye to Travis and Julia
Travis and Julia, the new parents to our kitties!

Goodbye to Hanne, Brent and Ellie
Hanne, Brent and Ellie

Showing some love for Carrie
Showing Carrie some love on our last night in town

Our sexy faces
Being sexy with Jenah.

Saying "see you soon" to the Magandas
The Magandas are from the area of Tanzania that we'll be living. In fact, we stayed with their family when we visited in 2006!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Arizona Days 3, 4 & 5

I’m still catching up on blog posts from our trip out west. Meanwhile, the rest of life just keeps moving on. I’ll post soon about the move and all the craziness as we were leaving town. But for now, here’s the remainder of our trip to Arizona.

During the last half of our trip, we did a nice balance of chilling out at the house, mixed with sightseeing. On Sunday we pretty much stayed around town because the hubby and I wanted to go to Church and we had a slew of laundry to do. I always enjoy going to churches in other parts of the country (and world) to see their local and cultural spin on Mass. As to be expected, the Church in Dad’s neighborhood was very modern. Though it didn’t have much of a Latino flair to it, so that was surprising. The rest of the day was spent going in and out of funky little shops in an area of town not too far from Dad and Holly’s place.

Around Phoenix
Cool iron sculpture of a horse outside a store.

Goofing around Phoenix
Messing around in the shops.

On Monday we took the afternoon to go to Sedona. I visited Sedona when I was last in AZ to see the parents, but Chris hadn’t been. So we took a Pink Jeep Tour to look at the beautiful red rocks and take in the spectacular natural sights. We also enjoyed a delicious Mexican meal, which was our main staple both in AZ and in CA. We couldn’t get enough of it!

In the Pink Jeep
Stealing the pink jeep for a quick getaway into the mountains.

The Christmas Card Shot
Overlooking Sedona.

A Scene of the Cow Pies Trail
A view of what is known as "The Cow Pies Trail" because of the rounded rocks. We loved how you can see the layers of different types of rock in the formations.

We had a few hours on Tuesday before our late afternoon flight to San Diego, so Dad took us down to Scottsdale to show us the building where he works and take us around to some of the art studios. Did you know that Scottsdale has works of art by Picasso, Renoir, Miro, Warhol and Hunter S. Thompson? I didn’t even know you could have those things for sale! We were just walking around, checking out the artwork and we turned around and saw a Renior statue. Then we walked around the corner and saw Picasso. Our jaws dropped. Then we went to another store that had a bunch more fantastic, famous artists. They didn’t have price tags on them. And our saying is “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.” Needless to say, we didn’t buy anything.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

House for Rent

Having not sold our house, we're now listing it for rent. We have it listed with Columbia Property Management, so if anyone is interested they can contact them directly at 803-931-0044.

Here is the link to the house listing on Craigslist. Please spread the word!

Oh! And if you were thinking of buying it but hadn't made your move, you can still make an offer but you better do it quick. As soon as the house is rented we'll be taking it off the market! Here's a reminder about the listing for sale!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Back in Columbia

We've been in Columbia since Sunday night, but we've pretty much been go, go, go-ing since we got home, so I've had little time to post the rest of my pictures or tell the remaining stories from our trip. We're only here until Saturday, at which time we'll head up north toward our training ground.

I've been slowly putting up a few shots onto Flickr, so I'll leave you with this video from our visit to the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. Can you tell we were having fun?

Friday, September 09, 2011

San Diego Unplugged 2011

We've been in San Diego for the past 2 1/2 days and last night we experienced the big power outage that spanned from Mexico to Orange County and into parts of New Mexico and Arizona. It doesn't seem like national media made too big a deal out of it, but it was a huge deal here. Millions of people without power. All of San Diego in the dark.

We were out in Escondido at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park when the power went out. So we headed back "home" again, made a quick stop at Target to pick up supplies (this is when big box stores really come in handy), and then had a cookout in Jeremy's backyard.

Loading up on Supplies

Bonfire in Jeremy's Backyard

On the walk back to our hotel we stopped at a bar (the only bar open on the strip) to ride out the power outage a little longer. I have to say, it was pretty cool to be hanging out in the complete dark. Gave a neat air to things. (Maybe it's good that I liked it because we'll definitely experience rolling blackouts in Africa. Though, they'll be more equipped to deal with them there.)

The power went back on again around 1:15 this morning. We were asleep by then, but I woke up to the sound of cheers as power was restored.

I'll write more about our travels soon!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Arizona, Days 1 and 2

We're not even 1/2 way through out Arizona trip and it's been jam-packed so far! We're visiting my dad and stepmom and they always make sure to show us a great time! My sister was also out here for the first day and a half that we were here. But she had to head home yesterday morning. And, unfortunately Chris and I left our camera in the car in Mississippi, so I've had to take most of my pictures on my Blackberry phone. I'll have more photos later once I get the pictures that my dad has taken with his camera.

On the first day we visited the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. Man, what an awesome museum! We spent 7 hours walking around, listening to music and playing on instruments from around the world. It was such a well organized and beautiful museum. You just walk from station to station listening to music and instruments from around the world.

The Africa section of the MIM
Chris spent a lot of time in the Africa section, as to be expected.

And, the food they had in their cafe was AMAZING! I said jokingly that Chris's head was going to explode because of all the awesome world music, but my head was going to explode from the delicious food! Organic. Local ingredients. Healthy. Fresh. My belly AND my ears were happy.

Lunch at the MIM
Sandwich with local cucumbers, squash, kale, goat cheese, and a spread of pesto. Homemade potato chips. Locally made birch beer.

Yesterday we took a day trip to THE GRAND CANYON! LOVE IT! I've seen it a couple of times, but Chris had never been there. So I was really happy to be able to share this place with him.

Grand Canyon

We ate lunch and then took a short hike down a portion of the Bright Angel Trail.

On the Bright Angel Trail

Dad and Holly on the Bright Angel Trail

I'd really like to hike to the bottom and back at some point in my life. But it's pretty amazing how tired I got even from just the small bit of hiking we did! We were all pretty exhausted last night.

Me and Holly on the Bright Angel Trail

A View from the Trail

One of the highlights of the day was spotting some elk eating by the road out of the park.

I look forward to figuring out what more is in store for us for the remainder of the visit!