Thursday, March 23, 2006

Our New Abode

We searched on the internet,
we scoured the local papers,
we visited a rental agency,
we looked by car and even by foot and at long last we found our new home.

Thanks to mom for being such an objective voice through what turned out to be such an emotional house-hunting week. Thanks to Joel for being patient as mom and I had our discussions about the “issues” that came with each house that we looked at.

A typical post-house tour conversation featuring the issue of safety:

Joel:” Looks good to me. Jenny, why are you so quiet?”

Jenny: “Well, I love the wood floors and cute little oven, but something about the neighborhood just doesn’t feel safe.”

Joel: “Are you serious? Look at the kids riding their bikes home from school, look at the cute bungalow houses everywhere. It looks pretty safe to me.”

Joyce: “No, I feel it too Jenny. Let’s drive around the block and get a feel for the area.”

Joel sighs and gets into the driver seat. We make a block and while Joel continues to see the cute kids walking happily down the sidewalk, mom and I see a corner store with huge beer advertisements and two shady looking characters pulling away on their bicycles. We look at each other in agreement, Joel catches the hint and says “ Well, I want you to feel safe so lets try the next one on the list,” and off we go.

Other “issues” frequently discussed were location to the University, cleanliness of the building, storage space, overall character and charm, distance to grocery stores and other shopping, and of course, price.

We ended up with great location close to the University, a huge park and shopping, good character, not an apartment, not so great in the storage department though it does have 2 bedrooms, and an okay price. Overall we are pretty excited, especially about living on our own and not sharing our space with anyone.

So there's a housing update for ya:)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

First Impression

Beautiful, earthy goodness. That's my first impression of Utah. The kind of place that makes you feel quite silly for staying inside when there is so much adventure just outside your doorstep. Unless, of course, you are sitting inside a wonderfully warm coffee shop looking outside the window at snow falling heavily on the sidewalks. Either way:)

What a wonderful first day in this soon-to-be-our-new-home state. We are staying in Moab until the snow clears off the roads so we can head on to SLC to look for housing. We hiked, we shopped, we drank coffee and chai and read books and watched people. We were surrounded by unbelievable rock formations and I saw Joel come alive in this outdoor mecca that is literally heaven on earth for him. That makes me happy. I'll give another update soon.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A Sad Goodbye

Pray before you teach.
Teach with your love
and love those you teach.

This is a quote one of my students gave to me and I love and believe in it with all my heart. Teaching these students is one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done in my life--and I got to do it twice every week for a whole year! I will miss our conversations, I'll miss hearing Blanca's heels "click clacking" down the wood floor hallway and into the classroom and her elegant way of saying "Good evening" with a calm wave of her hand before sitting down. I'll even miss Emmanuel coming in late, always with a funny comment or a crazy shirt (can you find him in the picture?:) , making us smile and roll our eyes. Such individuals, and so precious to me each one. My heart was full after each time we met and no class will ever replace this most precious group of people who I was privleged to have call me "Teacher".