Friday, November 30, 2012

the hardest thing

stepanie. i miss you!
 people often ask me what i miss the most about living in the good old u.s of a. and the answer is... not much.

i miss real pizza, hoagies and tastykakes. i miss my family, obviously, and most of the events that are important - like my grandfather had heart surgery at the same time my eldest cousin gave birth to twins a few weeks early and my goddaughter broke her back. it would have been nice to be there, right?

i miss hot water and never having to worry about if the lights will turn off when i'm doing something important. and i never ever thought i'd say this - but i miss SEPTA and the CTA.

but what is most difficult is not what i miss from home... but what i miss from here.
not everyone who decides to pick up and move to another country plans to stay there forever... or even for a very long time. so, sometimes you meet amazing people, spend time with them, and then. well. then you're left to find new friends.

well, not quite.
but it is really hard to let people go - there is way more coming and going than there would be in a stateside life. and, believe me, when new people come around, you have to deal with a lot of newcomer crap. so, i've found, it's about figuring out how to choose people. which is not necessarily about choosing the people who are coolest, or richest or the most fun - sometimes the crazy is good, too. and sometimes you get it right and you know that the time that you spent with that person was worth it... and, well, sometimes you get it wrong and you feel like you've wasted a lot of time.

working at the university has brought a lot of newcomers in and out. working in ministry is also a revolving door. but, i think my life is enhanced by these "visitors" even if it sucks when they leave.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

are we there yet?

this has been a crazy past few months. new job, old job, new projects, old commitments. at one point i bit off more than i could chew, and had to re-evaluate.

in fact, i think i'll be in constant re-evaluation. what is too much? what is not enough?

now, this first semester is winding down... and in sheer craziness, i signed up for more classes at the university next semester (because i think... maybe... i'm ready to jump into that? for a semester? maybe?)

i'm preparing a ton of materials in hopes to kind of swim through the semester instead of doggy paddling along. and it's made my past few days kind of hectic in my mind.

not in my real life because i've just been pre-planning all the stuff i'm supposed to do. not actually doing it. and tomorrow i plan to dive in and get it going.

and all i keep thinking is.... are we at christmas vacation yet?

Friday, November 23, 2012

hitting the wall

i spent a good chunk of my morning in this hospital today.

and i'd like to reiterate here how horrible the public health conditions are.

i avoid public hospitals when i can – not because of the doctors, but visiting is just an exercise in futility. this morning we took a student for a fairly routine visit, but every where we turned we hit a brick wall. first stop, emergency room to get a referral.

i’m sorry, we can’t do that. you’ll need to go to pediatrics.

there are no appointments left today, you’ll need to come back on monday.

look lady, this is kind of urgent. could you please just indicate the analysis that she’ll need? maybe some medicine? something?

no, ma’am, you’ll need to go the pediatrician.

i don’t really know how we did it, but we got the indication for analysis and headed up to the pediatricians. after arguing with the secretary about why we needed to see the pediatrician – eventhough she was “full” – we got permission to “talk to the doctor” to see if she’d made an exception…. except when we made it to the doctor’s door, she had already gone home for the day. nice. and no doctors were available for the afternoon, either.

they drew some blood and did the obligatory pee test (had they given her an iv drip, the visit would have been complete!) and sent us on our way, ready to see the doctor on monday, test results in hand. we head to the pharmacy only to find they have nothing that was prescribed.

we spent two hours in the hospital and accomplished nothing.

sometimes it’s like that. hurry up to wait. break through the red tape just to get held back by something else. luckily we don’t have to do this every day.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

the wicked witch returns.

remember when i first told you about the wicked witch? i almost peed my pants trying to hold in my laughter... but over the past few months, i've confronted beliefs that scare me. the absolute lack of light in some of the things i've seen and heard hurt my heart. so i'm always trying to infuse some humor into my days.

this morning, as i stood welcoming students and speaking to our doorman, i noticed the local witch standing across the baseball field - she usually walks her granddaughter just far enough and then watches her until she reaches school. i waved, eventhough she wasn't looking in our direction.

a mom standing at the door says, "she can't see you. she's probably flying".

um, excuse me?

"yeah, she's probably flying."

but she's standing right there, i can see her.

"no no, she leaves her body while she's flying. it's her soul that floats around."

ok. so, does that mean she doesn't really need a broom to fly?

Monday, November 12, 2012

the menagerie.

it's no secret that my husband loves animals. and plants.
i think that the last seven years, stuck living in a third floor apartment sucked life out of him.
we joke about how the day after the big move, the house was filled with stacks of boxes, but all of the plants from the apartment were already lovingly planted in the backyard.
it wasn't more than ten days when henry and mickey came to live with us - and two japanese chickens that flew away (or were stolen) within the first 24 hours. the morning doves we had in the apartment came along, and soon we had a little dog, pongo, as well.

mickey the hen dropped some eggs within the first month, but they weren't viable and never hatched. when she started dropping eggs this time, amalio ran to the campo and picked up some that were sure to hatch.
he claims that mickey was depressed because she lost the last batch and didn't want her to be disappointed again. (i am not kidding).
welcome to the zoo, henny penny (yellow - and รค girl"according to amely), bambi and brownie.
up next? a rabbit for samil.