|Happy Birthday Tina girlie! We love you!|
|Loving on her little brother!|
|Working hard in Spokane!|
Dear Family and Friends,
I know I have kept quiet for a long time. My excuse is that I have been trying to get back into routine. I was gone for quite a while and its good to be back.
I hope this email finds you well. I am physically well. I am not sure about my emotional well being. I guess I am still going up and down.
I will catch up with you about what I have been up to and maybe what’s coming up. And yes it was so wonderful to see many of you around Christmas time. What a treat.
I started my adventures on December 16th right after I was done with my fall semester to go to San Diego to introduce myself to Luke (He was the only reason I went there)… It was good to see my family too but I really fell in love with Luke. He is such a sweet baby. The second reason why I went to SD might be my birthday. It was wonderful to celebrate a new year in warm SD.
So I left San Diego right after my family left for Malawi. It was so sad to see them go. I had bonded really well with Lukey, so easy to babysit. Its so sad I will not get to see him everyday but I guess everything has its own season. I am so thankful for the two weeks I got to know him and he got to know me (He asked me why I did not come to Malawi with them).
To be specific I left San Diego on Dec 31st. I took the train to LA then a bus to Porterville. I stayed with my friend’s parents (The Halemeiers) for a night. My friend’s name is Michelle and she is a missionary in Malawi. Michelle’s sister Kristin picked me up for a visit to her house in Apple valley (3hrs drive from Porterville). I stayed with Kristin and her Husband for three days then I went back to Porterville with Michelle’s parents. I stayed there for a week. It was such a great week cause I got to sleep each day. It was such a restful week. Then I took the train and bus to the bay area. My friends Lydia and George picked me up in San Jose and I spent 9 days at their house in Los Altos.
While I was in the bay area, I visited a lot of the friends that I made in the summer of 2009 at the internship. It was good to see all of them and actually meet a couple more people. I also went back to San Francisco and walked the golden gate bridge. It was really fun to be back, see things that I saw in 2009 and eat real sea food. After my 9 days there, I took the bus and train back to Porterville. I stayed there Friday and Saturday. My plane was from LA to San Francisco then to Spokane. So that day a lot of the planes were delayed because of bad weather. In San Francisco our plane could not land for about 45 minutes then my next plane was delayed by an hour. I made it home safely and I went to bed at 5pm that day and I slept 13.5hrs straight.
It was a great break and it was sad/NICE to come back to cold Spokane. There was about 10 inches of snow on the ground when I landed that day. Its all melted away now and its not as freezing as I thought it would be.
I started school well (feb 1st) and its been a week and half into serious lessons. I am still taking my Swahili class and my teacher is still fabulous. He teaches with a passion and he always corrects and encourages us when we are wrong or getting discouraged. Last semester he had about 30 students split between two classes but this semester he only has 10. The majority of the students took the class in the fall because they went to Tanzania for January term. A lot of them gave positive feedback and said it was a very helpful class for them to take. So I am encouraged and my Swahili is improving each and everyday. Also the teacher decided that this semester we will only use Swahili in class and we only get two time outs where we can speak English. It’s been fun but stretching. I guess its true that “what doesn’t kill you strengthens you”….do they say it like that?...i bet you know what I am trying to say. So this Swahili class is considered my independent study for my masters in international management requirement.
The next class for my graduate studies is integrated marketing. I hope to enjoy this class and its starting on Monday feb 13th. It is always hard for me to start a new class and I am pretty nervous because I don’t really know the teacher. And as you know my classes go really fast. So this class will be a 2 credit class. This means we will finish the module in 8 sessions. We will meet each Monday and Wednesday night from 6pm to 9:30pm. They are always long classes with a lot of homework. My prayer is the Lord continues to give me more grace to understand the material and be able to be on top of things. My teacher I heard is originally from Italy and we will also be doing a simulation in the class. I anticipate to be done with this class by March 6th.
So I called the immigration office here in Spokane and I had a good visit with them just figuring out what I can do about my visa (It expires May 1st). They told me to go back to my country if I need to renew it. So this needs to happen before May 1st. I really need to go home visit extended family and friends. After being gone for a while I think there is always a point you need to go back and reboot. I think that’s what I need. So I will go from March 10th through the 29th. Guess who I will see again??? LUKE, Nya and Analise (I hope the parent will be home too).
I talked to my advisor and he said that’s valid for me to go. I also talked to my Swahili teacher and my international economics teacher (next class am taking) and that will be March 26th through April. The teachers will give me extra work to make up for the classes that I will miss. I will only miss a week of class.
While in Malawi on top of seeing family, friends and getting my papers straight, I want to go back to my former high (secondary) school and see how the ministry that I was involved with is doing. I used to go there with some girl friends to do Bible studies every Wednesday with an organization called The Navigator. It was such a neat opportunity to encourage and get encouraged. Also I can’t wait to eat and see things that are familiar and speak Chichewa.
Also after my trip from California, I talked to my advisor about my career direction. At that point I had decided that I was going to take any internship that came my way. And for now I want to do sales and Marketing. The assistant director to the MBA program recommended an internship the Junior Achievement (JA). It’s a non paid internship (which works great for me as an international student) and they need two interns they can train what JA is all about. So I applied for this internship and had an interview this week on Monday. The interview was more like a chat and it was good to meet Suzie (she is the president). She said they were going to get back to me. Yesterday she emailed me and asked me to make an appointment to go see her Marketing manager and Events Director. So I am scheduled to do that on Monday. Then at the end of the email she said she was looking forward to working with me. I guess I got the position..so thank you Lord. We will see what develops from this.
The great thing about this organization is that it will give me a lot of connections with business people in the area and they will teach me how a nonprofit organization works. At this point the experience I will get is what matters so much. So please keep that in the back of your mind as you pray for me (actually keep it in the front).
I am still the president of the international club this semester. We have great plans and our first activity will be a bowling night on the 17th then a pizza party. It’s a great time to connect with friends and meet new people. Each semester we also plan a trip. In the fall we went to Seattle and this semester our options were Portland or Nelson, Canada. We cannot do Nelson because a lot of us need visas and that’s an extra cost. So we asked the members if they want to do Portland and most of them said they think there is nothing much to see in Portland. So one of the students suggested that we go to San Francisco…a lot of them agreed to this and they like it but it does not look realistic to me so we are still working on trying to convince them to go to a place that is affordable. San Francisco is pretty far and also it will cost them a lot. So this week we will try see and finalize what we will really do for Spring break.
Other activities for this semester include “cooking around the world” where an international student teaches how to make something from their country then we share the food. It’s always fun. We will also do a community service. We have a lot of options on this one. We might go to a retirement home, go to a local school and help with their garden, help at an elementary school with a cultural night or go tutor at a public school. So again I am meeting with my officers to see what we really want to do.
Since I have been back I have been able to catch up with a couple friends. Just today I had lunch a friend from the MBA class. She just had her last class yesterday and she is graduating in May. She got laid off two weeks ago and she is still trusting that the Lord will give her another job. We are praying. It was good to see her keeping the faith.
I am also in one of my friend’s wedding in August. The other day we went dress shopping and it was fun. I tried on three dressed I liked and they all look great on me but we did not buy them yet. I think it will be fun.
This semester they reduced the hours I work on campus. I had about 17 hours a week last semester and now I have fourteen. Its been different. So Tuesdays and Thursdays my day starts at 10:30am. It used to start at 9. So I decided to join a water aerobics class. I have attended two classes so far and I love it. All the people in the class are at least 70 and above. I love them and they are kind to me.. So I am looking forward to next week and see what this class brings.
I know it was a long email (blog). Thanks for your support, love and friendship. I appreciate you so much. I know the Lord continues to be faithful and evident in our lives. So lets keep on trusting.
God bless you.
Sending you some hugs from cold Spokane.