Tuesday, May 19, 2009

So... we thought we found a house, but...

...this is Central Asia.  Soooo... the house we thought we'd found (and were really excited about)-- just fell through.  Total bummer.  

Let me back up a bit.

We've been in our new country for 10 days now, and so far everything has been going really well.  We spent the first week in the major city, figuring out taxis and grocery stores and getting to know the family of teammates who live in the city.  Then yesterday we moved out here to a smaller town where another family of teammates live, and we'll be here for a week or so while we get our new house ready.  

Well, we thought we'd be getting our new house ready.  Our teammates found us a great house out in the little village next to where we're hoping to plant the orchard, and the Russian lady who owns it seemed willing to rent to us even though she actually wants to sell the house.  We even went and looked at it last week, and it's perfect: 3 bedrooms, a toilet & bathroom already installed, and it was beautiful and really well kept with a big garden and fruit trees.  The only drawback (which would apply to any house in the village) is that this village apparently only gets running water three times a day for two hours each time.  Yikes. 

Then today we heard that this Russian lady has a potential buyer for the house, which means she can't rent it to us at the moment.  And even if the buyer doesn't want the house, she can't guarantee us any definite length of time we can live there, as she's ready to sell it as soon as a buyer comes along.  Now, she's asking more than twice what anybody would pay for the house, so chances are she won't sell it.  But still, the possibility of being turned out at any moment is a serious deterrent to putting any money into the house and fixing it up, as well as the fact that we really do need something semi-permanent as we look forward to the arrival of this new baby and are planning to come back mid-winter.

So... we are really disappointed.  When we went to look at the house last week, I remember thinking, "This is too good to be true-- a house this good, this fast?!"  And... it was.

But ultimately we're still trusting God that He's got the perfect house for us with the right neighbors, and that He's going to provide for all our needs.  And we like the village-- people were friendly to us, and it's almost 100% U people, which is what we were praying for.

On a happier note, the local people have all been really friendly to us so far.  We've had several taxi drivers from the majority people group here who have been willing to talk to us and excited that we want to learn the majority language.  So compared to our last visit, where we felt like no one even smiled, our impressions this time have been really positive.

Thanks for praying for us!  We're having a wonderful time at the moment staying with our teammates-- Will loves playing with their dog and their three little kids (ages 7, 5 and 2.5).  I hardly see him all day-- they take such good care of him.  He's really tired from all the extra stimulus, though; he had a total meltdown tonight in the bath, which wound up with him basically begging us to put him straight to bed.  So you can pray for stamina for him, especially as now James and I need leave him with our friends as we make several trips out to this village to look at more houses.  Grrr.   More soon...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Safely in Bangkok!

We arrived safely here in Bangkok on Sunday night at 2am our time, but it was only about 10pm Bangkok time... so we all woke up at 4:30 in the morning, and Will thought it was time to rise & shine!  I changed him and gave him a few crackers, and told him it wasn't time to get up yet, and the good little guy obediently lay back down and went back to sleep until 6:30!  

I had a great birthday on Sunday, despite all the traveling: James found me a bacon & egg sandwich in the airport (I was craving McDonalds!), our Uncle met us at the Auckland airport and gave me a birthday present that paid for new sunglasses and a travel pillow, Thai Air only charged us $60 instead of $560!!! for our 30kg extra luggage, and best of all, Jesus gave me the birthday present I asked for: an extra seat for Will on our 12 hour flight from Auckland to Bangkok!  So he was able to have an hour nap, and then sleep for a 6 hour stretch, which meant James and I could get bit of rest too.  What a trooper.

We're glad for this respite of a few days in the "Land of Smiles" while our visa applications for Central Asia are being processed.  I'm having my tight neck & shoulders worked on at the little massage place up the street... wonderful.   Will is the hit of the party here-- a fan club everywhere he goes, and the hotel staff remembered him from when we stayed at this same hotel last September on our way back to pack up our stuff.  The Thais love him!  He can do no wrong.  Which is nice for a few days, but I'm glad we don't live in Thailand-- discipline might prove rather challenging.  :)  We took him over to a little park down the road yesterday, and he ran around on the grass and found a little hill to run up and down... great for getting over jetlag.  :)  He also loves Thai food-- he gobbles up little Thai bananas and papaya & pineapple, and has gamely tried all the new Thai flavors we offer him.   

Thanks for your prayers for us!  Please ask that our visa applications are processed without a hitch and we're able to get on our flight to Central Asia on Friday.  We will be house-sitting in a major city for about a week while we find a vehicle and do some house-hunting out in our village.  We hope to be moving out to the village about 2 weeks after arriving, Lord willing.  Keep thinking of us!