Friday, May 7, 2010

Exams, New Friends, Job Prospects

Time for rapid fire updates!

School: One month left! I negotiated my exam topics this week. I'll have oral exams covering Land Reform in South Africa, Christianity in Africa post 1960, and Hydro-politics in Southern Africa. I have 9 books and 11 articles to read to prepare, so I'll be a bit busy. Oh, but, I'm pretty enthusiastic about the reading list. African Gifts of the Spirit: Pentecostalism and the Rise of a Zimbabwean Transnational Religious Movement, and Social Power and the Urbanization of Water: Flows of Power and "'After Years in the Wilderness': the discourse of land claims in the new South Africa," just to name a couple. I know you guys secretly wish you could spend your days learning this stuff. Oral exams work like this: 20 minutes per topic, and they can ask anything.

Work: I have an interview on Monday for a writing job in Basel. This interview was originally scheduled for May 5th, then canceled because they thought they couldn't work with my Visa, and now it's back on. It'll be five hours long. Almost 2 hours is one on one time with ze boss-to-be. I can't imagine what we'll talk about for two hours, but so far in our telephone conversations, I've found her easy to talk to (not that I have much trouble talking to people in general). I'm looking forward to the interview, but of course I'll be nervous on Monday. If you can pray that I'll just be myself and be able to articulate my thoughts well, that would be nice.

Big plans: Amy and I are goin' on a trip. We don't know just where, just yet, but give us 24 hours or so and we'll have it allll sorted out. Destination: Ticino! Also, my parents are coming to visit this summer. How fantastic is that? This will be a very family-filled summer (a good remedy to a rather family-lite year). First Chelsea and Lara will be here in June (woohoo!) and we'll do some traveling, and then I'll work a little in the first part of July and then Mom and Dad will be here!

Interesting People:Even though school has been busy, I've been trying to take time to chat with people at school and get to know new people. This is really aided by the fact that half of my friends have, for various legitimate and illegitimate reasons, more or less fallen off the face of the planet in recent months (that's right. you know who you are), leaving my free time schedule wide open. I've been filling it up with lots of long talks and nail-painting sessions with Amy, dining with the neighbors in Pfeffingen, and getting to know peeps from school. Yesterday I got to visit with a nice Swiss lady named Marianne from my sustainable development class. She's relatively new to Basel, and as she shared some home-made potato-onion tortilla with me yesterday, she noted that food is still a good way to make friends. She's coming over for dinner on Monday now to see my paintings and just to visit. Later I had an impromptu lunch with João, a guy from Portugal who is in a few of my classes (and who not only knows where Oregon is, but knows some things about the place, too!). And thanks to landing on the same project team a few weeks back, I have a new friend named Dominik. He's studying Theology, has spent extended time in Africa and has intriguing thoughts about worship, culture, and church.

And that, friends, is what's going on. I'm almost done house-sitting (hurray!), and I'm looking forward to being back in my own cozy house, with my own things, my own hazelnut coffee creamer, and my own woods just out my own front door.


  1. Busy, busy, busy as usual. I don't share your enthusiasm about your book list but am glad you seem to be excited about it. That should help as you wade through the reading. Hope you have a great time in Ticino! Looking forward to seeing your cozy house and the woods just out your front door. And, we will be praying about your interview. Five hours! Does a meal or some type of snack come with the interview?
    Best wishes, love you lots.

  2. Hey! I'm back on the face of the earth! Let me know when you and your woods are ready for a walk. It's been far too long!

  3. Mom, you're cool.
    Janet, perhaps a walk nächsti woche?

  4. I'm glad the Basel writing job is on again as a possibility! Sorry for stealing Janet from you...but not very sorry.

    I wish you as wonderful a time in the Ticino as we had, and better weather. (Not that I minded cool -- very much nicer than the temperatures in the 90's we have now. But the view will be better if you skip the rain.)