Monday, May 31, 2010

Sleep: Not JUST for losers!

I got a full night's sleep last night, and it's amazing how much better I feel! I still have a stack of articles to read and learn before Wednesday, and I still have things on my mind, but it seems I might have to shed my "sleep is for losers" motto. This rest bit could really prove addictive. I'm sure I'll still try it from time to time, but I reckon my days of 5 hours of a sleep a night for weeks on end are probably coming to a close (I haven't really been doing that regularly in a while--not since Fox--but at least until this year I could do it when I needed it. It's getting harder though).

One more week of grad school! I've been at the Uni Basel now longer than I was at Fox or PCC. In the spring of 2004, Kerry Irish, a history professor at Fox, read "George Fox Seniors, Will You Please Go Now!" to us in class (Marvin K. Mooney, Will You Please Go Now): "The time has come. The time has come. The time is now. Just go, go, go! I don't care how..."

:) alright, already! I'm going!

Friday, May 28, 2010

May is Busy

Just a really quick note about a couple things. First, I'm sure some of you will be pleased to hear that I didn't ONLY apply for a job in Rwanda. I also have applications out for jobs in Boston, New York, and, as of yesterday, Geneva. (These three cities pop up a lot in my job search. Clearly, we need to work on building Portland's presence in the humanitarian Aid/International research scene, so I can come work there). I found a desk job (see Gregg? safe!) as a Reporting Officer (writer/editor/researcher) with the International Committee of the Red Cross. I hope that will turn into an interview! I think I'd like the work: it's the type of work I enjoy, on subjects that interest me. It would also be good for my French, and I think if I could figure out a way, I would jump right into intensive courses from the very beginning. I don't currently like Geneva very well, but I would learn to like it, I suppose. I do, however, like Nyon, and if living in da big city started to get to me, I'd just go sit on the castle wall at Nyon for a while, and look out over the rooftops and the lake, and it would be alright. Also, I'm applying for a job with the Oregon Child Development Coalition as the Education Coordinator for the Migrant Head Start program in Cornelius. So-there are a few interesting possibilities out there!

It's busy here. Baby showers and going away parties and papers to write and exams to study much going on, as always, at the start of the summer. I've been running again lately. Now that the weather is nice, I look forward to going. There is a field of sheep on my running route, and in the evenings when I jog past, the old ones just look at me as they munch their grass, the babies hop around a lot, and I think of Psalm 100: Know that the Lord himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are his people and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him; bless his name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, and his faithfulness to all generations.

Friday, May 21, 2010

That's the way that the world goes 'round

That's the way that the world goes 'round
You're up one day, the next you're down
It's a half an inch of water; you think you're gonna drown
That's the way that the world goes around.

And when it comes to jobs: ya win some; ya lose some.
I'm doing translating work for a new client in Zurich this weekend. I didn't get the Roche job. I just applied for a job with an organization called Partners in Health as the Assistant to the Director in Rwanda. Yes, it's based in Rwanda. Hold on, hold on...I'll count to three so you can all object in unison: 1, 2,...3. Ok, objections noted.

Applying for new jobs is the secret to not being too bummed about not getting jobs I applied for last month.

And peppy tunes help too.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Check out this bug!

This is the second little critter like this I've found in my apartment. They attach themselves by the mouth-end to fabric, or in this case, toilet paper. They could easily be mistaken for little peices of plant matter, if they didn't choose to hang off the upper portions of my drapes, or lounge around on piles of clean laundry that haven't been near any plants. I put this little dude outside after our photo session. Does anyone know what these are called?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bellinzona 2

Travel partner, who is about to flee the country for the Carolinas. Who am I gonna discover old fortresses with then?

The three castles at Bellinzona are collectively a UNESCO World Heritage site. They're worth seeing, even in the rain.

If it rains too much, you can experiment with your camera in the church.


Amy and I are back from Bellinzona (in Ticino, waaaay down close to Italy, but still Switzerland). Just two pictures until I get a few more important things done.

It rained. But a little precipitation wasn't going to keep us from eating ice cream and chips for dinner outside under a tree.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Why proof readers are valuable

Amy and I are leaving soon for our miniature Swiss vacation, and as I was reading up on one of the places we're going, I found this paragraph:
Well, as you see, dead readers, the past ist there for all our visitors who wish to have a closer acquaintance with our town and the region as a whole, accompanied by these pages that invite reflection on the future and its relationship with reality.

So, dead readers, what do you think? Is that a threat?

Sunday, May 9, 2010


One cat I'm babysitting sits for ages looking at me and purring. nothing else. Just watching with a contented little rumble. She's doing it right now. It's very endearing until she decides that isn't quite adoration enough, and starts licking my legs.

Honestly, cat. Gross.

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.