I know, I know. It’s been a while. I would apologize and go on about how I plan to keep better tabs on this blog and post witty comments 12 times a week and think ALL THE THOUGHTS and then tell you about them…but we all know that’s not going to happen. So lets just be happy that I thought some thoughts today and managed to share them with you right now. Living in the moment and all that.
As many of you know, Sweet Hubby and Patrick and I were in the US for Christmas for the first time in 11 years. It was glorious. I had forgotten how much fun it was to be with our families and laugh ’til we cry and eat…Sweet fancy Moses did I eat. I ate like it was my JOB. And before you all try to help me out here by telling me that it was just because I hadn’t been in the US for so long and I missed Christmas cookies and such, let me just say that we don’t do without food here in Ecuador. At Christmas we bake cookies and have cookie exchanges and Christmas parties and office parties…and we eat. Unfortunately, my brain forgot this convenient little fact, and so I spent the last three weeks of December eating like there was never going to be another Christmas ever and so I needed to eat ALL THE THINGS like RIGHT NOW. And just when we got to January, and I thought I was safe…Girl Scout cookies showed up. It’s like the food universe had it in for me.
Rest assured people…I was up for the challenge. Ice cream to be eaten? I’ve got this. Thin mints? Those puppies come in single-serving boxes. Check. Cheese and crackers and dips and chips and hams and turkeys and on and on and on…
Had we just been in the US through December, I might have come off a little better, but we took the month of January for a mini-sabbatical, which is a fancy way of saying “We’re not working, but we’re thinking about work, which is driving us nuts…so we’ll eat”. Or at least it was in my case. Plus, we were in Fresno, California in January. There’s nothing to do there BUT eat. And we went to San Francisco one weekend and stayed on Fisherman’s Wharf…
We finally escaped this 7-week long food fest and came home on February 11th. We arrived back home eagerly anticipating seeing all of our friends, being back in our own home and getting our lives back to normal. This was a great plan, until Dan walked in after work on Wednesday (two days ago) and goes “Honey, I need for you to sit down”. Now I am not the fainting type, so I thought he was being a little overly dramatic. Then I noticed that he was steering me to the end of the kitchen that didn’t have any knives within reach, and I started to get a little worried. He said (and God bless him, he was cool as a cucumber) “Our landlord called today. He’s selling this apartment and we have to move”.
Did I mention that we’ve lived here for SEVEN MONTHS? We haven’t even unpacked everything from the LAST move yet (which is going to come in handy, when you think about it).
All I could do was sit there and stare at him blankly. I could not have been more shocked if he had told me he was uprooting us and moving us to the moon.
I hate looking for an apartment. There has been a construction boom over the past several years, and there are apartment buildings everywhere…with the tiniest apartments you’ve ever seen. Some of the places we looked at last time were 3 bedroom apartments with 65 sq. meters. That’s less than 700 sq. feet. There is more room in the backseat of our car. The bedrooms followed a strict pattern–one master bedroom that was fairly good sized…as long as Dan and I don’t mind sharing a crib mattress. The children, on the other hand, don’t even get that. The other two bedrooms were usually so small that sleeping in them would have involved curling yourself into a ball with your left foot wrapped around your ear and both arms tucked under you in a football carry…and sleeping on a kitchen sponge. The kitchens were too small for a stove and full size refrigerator, so you make due with a Rubbermaid cooler and a hot plate. All this for only $900 a month.
When we found the apartment that we’re currently living in, we were ecstatic. It has three bedrooms that are fairly large by today’s standards, a separate living and dining area, and we don’t have to store the washing machine in the shower. In short, it’s perfect.
And we have to leave.
We went and looked at an apartment in the building behind us yesterday morning. It wasn’t too bad. Large kitchen, big living room, good sized bedrooms…crazy landlady who lives on the second floor. Back to the drawing board. In the meantime, our current landlord comes to the office to see us and “discuss our options”. Our “options” turned out to be another apartment that he owns, in the next neighborhood over. We went and looked, and Hallelujah. We’re moving. As apartment hunting goes, this was by far the easiest we’ve ever had it.
But we still have to move.
I am pretty sure that in the “friendship/fellow missionary” manual that they don’t give you but should, there is a limit as to how many times you can ask someone to help you carry your king-sized mattress that won’t fit in the elevator up the stairs. Or move your refrigerator. These are the things that they don’t tell you in orientation. “Oh, by the way, when you get to the field you become part of the missionary family, and with rare exceptions you’re all you’ve got. Your annoying but useful brother-in-law isn’t there to move the refrigerator, so be nice to the people you work with. You’ll need them.”
So, in about a week, we’re going to pack up and move AGAIN. I swore when we moved here that I wouldn’t move again until we left the field, but you know how things go when you tell God your plans. Stay tuned. I’m sure it will be memorable.
Because we did it so well the last time.