Perth Platform Rescue

I really will get back to the US soon but here’s a little Perth news.  Many Americans don’t ride public transportation often if at all.  Maybe if you’re in a big city but here’s a tip no matter how often you ride public transportation.  Mind the Gap.  The gap is the little area between the train and the platform.  It looks small and inconsequential… until you get stuck.  This man in Perth got his leg stuck after stepping wrong while boarding the train.

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But fortunately thanks to other passengers he didn’t have to stay that way for too long.  Check out the link here: Perth Platform Rescue and watch as fellow passengers push against the train to free his leg.  Thanks Missy for bring this to my attention.  And remember everyone- Mind the Gap!

The Kainantu Bridge has Fallen Down

We’ll get back to the Wisconsin recap in a bit but I figured I would share the latest and not-so-greatest from Papua New Guinea.  The bridge that connects Ukarumpa to the rmain road has finally fallen down.  It’s been out of commission a few times and precarious at all other times since before I was even in PNG.  The bank holding up the bridge on either side was eroding away so it was inevitable that the bridge would fall and this is what it looks like now (thanks Kelly for the picture).

Kainantu BridgePlease be in prayer for everyone in Ukarumpa and the Papua New Guineans in the surrounding area.  This is a main thoroughfare and it will impact food prices, travel and work for many people in addition to countless other inconveniences.  There use to be a ford a bit upstream but even if that reopens it still limits the types of vehicles that can cross and when, due to weather and time of day.  Hopefully the local government will be able to provide the materials and labor needed to fix the bridge sooner rather than later.  There are a lot of area politics that impact the decisions regarding what will or will not happen.  So pray for wisdom as the leadership in Ukarumpa participates in this discussion.

Our Journey

While I celebrated at the wedding shower of a friend today, I couldn’t help thinking through all the changes that come with marriage.  The anticipation of engagement and everything leading up to the wedding is very exciting.  The wedding itself is a joyous occasion and for Ryan and I the celebrations are continuing.  But the reality of life and the changes after I Do, are now part of the everyday.  This reality is still settling in 7 weeks into my marriage.  In my head I knew that things would change but living through these changes is another thing entirely.

IMG_0263One of the changes that I still have yet to wrap my head around is the idea that I am no longer making decisions for myself only.  We are now two, together, walking hand in hand.  Life is a journey and I now have a partner for this journey.  That journey seems to be a theme that our friends and family have picked up in their gifts and cards as well.

I’m especially intrigued with the tandem bike theme that keeps showing up.  We’ve had multiple friends who’ve recommended riding tandem bikes and written about how tandem bikes have helped their marriage.  And the tandem bike cards are some of my favorites.  I love the idea and the picture of riding together through life, both literally and figuratively.  However, I’m not sure that Ryan and I will be able to take their advice to heart anytime soon.  I’m not the best bike rider even on my own so the thought of hopping onto a tandem bike with Ryan scares me for the both of us.  Maybe in the future, once we’ve learned to walk together, we will eventually ride together.  But, at this point, the journey is challenging enough on foot.

Even with the challenging changes, I love the man who I get to face them with.  Love and Life are both journeys and I am thankful to have an amazing partner for both of them.

I Nailed It!

OK so that excitement is actually very sarcastic but it is interesting that I have yet another strange, fluke of a car problem.  Many of you read about my back window weirdness while on the way up to Washington.  If you aren’t familiar with the story then you can click HERE and read about how I managed to have my back windshield shattered while driving on the freeway.  I don’t know how it happened and I don’t know how I managed to get a nail in the side of my tire either.

IMG_9956Most tire punctures happen in the tread of the tire.  I mean that makes sense because you can easily roll over a nail and have it pushed into the tire.  But there are only a few ways to get a nail driven into the side of your tire in a way that can’t be patched or fixed.

IMG_9954You can see the nail sticking out of the left side of the tire.  The guys at the tire place said that they have seen very few punctures like this and it is not safe to be on the freeway with this type of puncture because if they nail gets loose then you will lose tire pressure right away.  Since I didn’t have a nail in my tire when I left Sacramento on Sunday and I didn’t notice the nail until yesterday, I am very happy that I didn’t have my tire blowout or lose pressure while I was between Sacramento and Southern California.  Praise God for his protection.

So now I have ordered a new tire and am stuck in Camarillo until it gets fixed.  Being stuck in Camarillo isn’t such a bad thing because I am even closer to Ryan and I am thankful for friends who are generously letting me stay longer at their home.  Hopefully the tire will arrive today or tomorrow so that I can continue on up to Santa Barbara.  But until then I am getting computer work done and enjoying the sunny and cool southern California winter weather.

 

Computers and Cars- Welcome to October

It’s October 1st and a new start to a new month.  Let’s hope that it gets better from here.  I’m not even thinking of what is happening in politics and the news but personally my patience and resilience are both definitely being tested.  These may just be little things but they impact my work, my finances and many other aspects of my life.

The Computer Update:  It’s dead.  It’s gone.  I am mourning the loss.  Less then two years old and there is a problem with the hard drive once again.  But additionally the motherboard has failed.  It seems to have been an issue from the beginning which probably caused the hard drive to fail the first time.  This makes me sad.  So now, because replacing the motherboard is expensive and doesn’t guarantee a fix, I am in the market for a new computer.  Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated.  Living without a computer would be a wonderful thing but that’s not really an option.

The Car Update: It’s not dead.  It still runs just fine but there is a large lovely dent in the bumper because I was backed into last night while backing out of the parking lot after looking at computers with a family friend.  No one was injured and, other then the dent, both cars are fine.  However, this is one more thing to deal with.  Because I was out of my space already there is a chance that I would not be liable at all and therefore not have to pay a deductible but that’s hard to prove in these parking lot things so we will have to wait and see what the insurance figures out.  Please pray that it would be resolved quickly and that I would have to pay as little as possible to get it fixed.

I would say that I wish we could just skip October but there are a lot of good things on the schedule and so I am ready to let this month redeem itself.  Happy October 1st everyone!

 

 

My Chauffeur

I’ve been making the drive from Sacramento to Santa Barbara since college.  It doesn’t even seem that long anymore, just a mere 7 hours.  I have my routine, my talk radio as well as the necessary gas and In N Out break.

Today I will be making this drive once again but this time I will have my own chauffeur.  Fatigue is one of the major symptoms of mono which means that a 7 hour drive by myself (even though I am feeling much better) is probably not the best idea.  So my dad volunteered to drive me down and then fly back up to Sacramento.

I’m thankful for my thoughtful dad.  And I’m sure everyone else on the freeway today is thankful as well.

Visiting Vancouver

Random fact about me- in all of the time I have spent internationally, I have never driven outside of the US until now.  I even had a PNG driver’s licence but I never used it.  When overseas, I usually I use public transportation, my own two feet or someone else is driving.  But now Canada is the 31st country I have been to and it holds the higher distinction of being the first and (currently) the only country in which I have driven.

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Vancouver is such a lovely place and even though I just returned to the US today, I would love to go back and take more time exploring the beautiful city.  But as much as I enjoyed the city, what made this trip extra special was my visit with old friends and getting to meet their two darling kiddos.  I’d only read about them in newsletters and seen pictures so it was fun to finally see them in person.

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My friend Priska and I met in Kazakhstan while I was in college.  We also reconnected when she was visiting her family in Berlin and I happened to be there at the same time.  And we also visited each other a couple times in California.  And now Canada.  Definitely an international friendship but that’s what makes it fun!

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Queen Elizabeth’s Park was another highlight.  The grounds are beautiful and well maintained.  The views are spectacular.  Despite the other visitors, you can still find hidden nooks and crannies.  And the weather this time of year is just lovely.  Not too hot and not too cool.  I really enjoyed just exploring this park and seeing all the different areas.

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This included a beautiful little waterfall under a bridge.  The air was sweet and cool.  I definitely could bring a book and curl up on a bench nearby just enjoying the lovely scenery and the serene sound of the water.

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Visiting Vancouver wouldn’t be complete without a trip downtown.  We had a meal with the whole family and then I got the walking tour.  This included the sculpture where the Olympic flame burned in 2010.

IMG_9779We walked all the way to China town and I was impressed that the little legs with us made it the whole way.  This kids are city kids.  They love riding the bus and the train and even at 2 and 4, they know how to walk!

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Although a lot more sites were pointed out to me along the way, the last little gem before heading back home for a restful afternoon was the world’s narrowest building.  The Sam Kee building was built in 1913.  It is so narrow that you can stand and touch both walls.

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I certainly enjoyed playing tourist in the city as well as doing more local activities like our evening walk by the beach which was ringed in by the amazing mountains.  It was lovely to reconnect with old friends and be a part, even a little one, of their lives as a family now.  While it is certainly hard having friends spread out all over the world, this is definitely a benefit.  I hope to return to Vancouver someday and see even more of this beautiful city.

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