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Archive for September, 2008

A Job

Tonight I applied for eight jobs via edinburgh.gumtree.com.  Of course, since I can’t (legally) work for pay, all the apps. were signed “Thank you, Jackie Bechtel”.  I figured that I would do all I really can to put bread on the table.  To be clear, Jack currently does have a job through a temp agency.  On Friday she logged 8 hours and another 5.5 today, but this afternoon the agency unceremoniously informed her that, though they had promised a full slate of work for this week, they actually had nothing to offer until Saturday evening.  We’re grateful to have 13.5 hours of pay on the way to the bank, but we need more steady income. And, Jackie would like to have something to do all day besides tidy the flat, read books, drink tea, nap, shop, etc.  With eight new applications complete with CV (i.e. curriculum vitae: Scottish for resume), perhaps by the end of the week we’ll report that Jackie has landed a position with Le Monde Guest House on swanky George Street or with powerhouse Sodexo’s catering team, or one of the other six jobs.  We’d be grateful for your prayers.

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Pictures of our Flat

As promised, here are some pictures of our new flat. For a larger view, click the pic.

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Home?

That’s right, we’re home now…home in Edinburgh, Scotland.  It’s been a very full week and two days since we arrived and there is so much to say, but since we just got internet at our flat today, it’s been difficult to write.  After only two nights in a hostel, we were grateful to secure a flat in a very reasonable price range that’s not toooo far from the University. Christopher’s current record walking time (with a school bag and a sweater on) is 21 minutes, but I believe it took him 45 minutes to cool off afterwards so maybe 25 minutes will be a more…comfortable goal?  It’s a lovely little flat with big windows that let in lots of light, and plenty of space for our needs.  There’s even a little box room which will help with some additional space needs come February.  We’ll post pictures soon.  

In general though, we have found it very strange to be in Edinburgh.  I guess it’s not so much strange to be here as it is strange that this is our new home, that is, that we’re staying.  To look around at all these old stone buildings and monuments and to see all the people bustling around–to smell different smells and adjust to walking everywhere–it’s hard to believe that all that is novel and scary and beautiful about this place will soon feel familiar, even comfortable and that soon we will belong.  In the meantime, we are soaking it all in as best we can and trying to avoid getting run over as we do so.

We hope to post more specifics and some pictures soon, but I wanted to be sure to write something tonight now that we have internet access.

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And, we’re off!

Just a little update.  Our extended stay in Orlando has finally come to a close.  We’re now sitting at the airport waiting to catch the first flight of our journey, and if all goes according to plan, we’ll be in Edinburgh at this time tomorrow.  Our first great relief of the day is that our bags were successfully checked all the way through, and the lady who helped us at the airline even let us exceed our weight limits by a few pounds.  She kept encouraging us to empty heavy things from our carry-ons into our checked luggage so we’d have less to carry around!  I for one am really grateful that my carry-on bags are now possible for me to lift.  

Many thanks for the kind comments so far!

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Starting Somewhere

Well, we’ve told many of you that we intended to start a blog but weren’t sure where to start.  This week has provided an excellent opportunity.  Today marks day one of a new countdown for us: this is the first day that we were supposed to be gone already.  We have five to go.  Yes, this is the long-awaited day when we were supposed to be on a plane flying over the Atlantic on our way to our new life in Edinburgh, a day which we’ve been anticipating for months.    But, due to ambiguity on the UK visa website which led to significant complications with our visa applications we’re still in the States. While we have good reason to think we’ll receive the visas within a couple of days, that’s unfortunately not quite soon enough to make our flight that was supposed to leave today at 1700.

So, we called CheapoAir on Saturday to change our plane tickets (as soon as we were sure we wouldn’t have our visas in time) and were disappointed to learn that not only was the price for making the change going to be about five times what we were hoping it would be (seriously), but that the earliest flight they could arrange for us was on Saturday the 13th.  I know that latter part doesn’t sound tragic, and really it’s not.  I guess we were just so ready to go that at this point waiting five more days FEELS like an eternity.  Thankfully, we are in very good hands.  We have been staying for the last several days in Orlando with Joe and Darcee (my sister and brother-in-law) and they are taking very good care of us and our ruffled nerves.  We had initially arranged this visit to be only for an extended weekend since we had found cheaper tickets from Orlando to the UK than from Seattle.  It has now turned into a week-and-a-half long reunion!  (We keep teasing them that we’re the relatives that just won’t leave.)  Anyway, we’re having a lovely time with them and are glad, at the least, for the longer Florida vacation, not to mention time with Joe and Darcee.

Another advantage of unexpectedly having a week with an empty schedule is that we have been able to get things done which we have needed/wanted to do and which the busyness of the summer just didn’t allow.  Exhibit A: this blog.  I at least wanted it to be in place before we get over there so that we could write as soon as we’re able.  Exhibit B: the hot, Florida summer.  The Washington summer underwhelmed us, especially with a near-record setting low of 43 degrees in late August.  Maybe we can soak up enough sun and warmth (we hope) to last us for the next three years.  Wouldn’t that be nice…  

Finally, since it’s so easy for me just to communicate the woes of this situation, I wanted to be sure to communicate God’s kindness to us throughout this whole process.  Not that it’s been easy, but it would be faithless of me not to point out how many times he has answered our prayers over the last several weeks and provided for us in really remarkable ways.  The wonderful thing is that Christopher and I still get to travel over together (there was a short time when we thought we’d have to go separately), and honestly, the fact that the Consulate didn’t reject our visa applications is a really big answer to prayer.  We are grateful to have the comfort of knowing that God is trustworthy even when things aren’t going as we had hoped, and that in the process of praying for what we want, we find ourselves coming to know him better.   We’re grateful for that.  Now all we have to do is pray that these hurricanes don’t keep our plane from taking off!

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