Colorado Update!

Well, we are here and finally moved into a house. It’s been a long process with lots of twists and turns, but we’ve finally landed. I’ll get to it and try to tell you as much about the last 3 crazy weeks as possible. A list will help:

The Journey
It took us about 19 hours spread over two days. We drove from Klamath Falls to Salt Lake City the first day (about 630 miles) and then Salt Lake to Colorado Springs the next day (via Grand Junction and the Rocky mountains – about 600 miles). The trip was surprisingly easy and we’ve even talked of trying to do it in one day straight next time.

We thought we had a house picked out, but when we got here the house was not at all what we thought and was way too small for our stuff (and the rent price didn’t reflect the size!). So, we called a realtor named Steve Kenney here in town on a recommendation from eMi and Steve was a godsend. He cleared his schedule and took us around town the very next day and by days end we had found a house that would work well for our family. The catch – it wasn’t available for another two weeks! So Steve made some calls and found us a place to stay for the next week. I should mention here that Alisha’s parents flew into town the day we arrived, intending to help us get settled. So this very nice couple named Laurel and Fred Beck took all 7 of us into their home and let us stay with them. They offered to house us the full two weeks, but we didn’t want to wear out our welcome. So, we moved into the Residence Inn and split a one bedroom suite – 7 people with 1 bed and 1 bathroom was not ideal!

Alisha’s work
The Monday after moving into the hotel, Alisha started a two-week long college course required by her new job. On that day, she met with the principal who asked her if she would be willing to teach 5th grade full time right from the beginning of the year! Coupled with the huge amount of work the class was, Alisha was overwhelmed to say the least! (If you didn’t know, she was supposed to teach 2nd grade part-time until November, before moving over to the full time 5th grade position.) After much thought and talk, we felt like God had brought this her way and that she should accept – even though it was a huge increase in stress! To make matters a bit more challenging, the college class had 3-5 hours of homework the first few nights, so by the end of that first week she had just about hit her limit (on Friday morning of that week, the moving truck showed up with our stuff so she wasn’t able to be there when the truck was unloaded.)

Moving in
We took possession of the rental house on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning at 9am the moving truck arrived with our stuff. By 1pm, the place was full of boxes and ‘stuff’ that we hadn’t seen in two and half years. It was very surreal. The movers would ask us where something went, and even after they unwrapped it from the packing sometimes we had no idea what it was! But over the next 2 days and nights, we stayed up until after 2am unpacking and arranging. Seeing how much ‘stuff’ we had after living fairly simply over the past two years gave us a heightened motivation to purge, so we started a rapidly growing pile of stuff that’s going to either be sold or given away. But come Monday morning when I was ready to start work and Alisha was set to return to her class, we had 98% of the boxes opened and unpacked and most rooms in the house set up.

Brad’s job
I started work in the office this past Monday, though I have been working remotely for sometime now preparing for my project trip to Zambia departing September 1st. I am really excited that I have a full team for the trip, and in fact, on my first day in the office I purchased 10 plane tickets for my team’s travel! We’re designing a new campus for an existing bible school that has been in operation for a few decades. Their buildings are beyond the point of repair, and their partnering church in New Zealand is going to help them tear down their existing buildings and rebuild a new campus. I’ll be writing more about that trip of course when it happens! But the team is two architects, two civil engineers, an agricultural engineer, an electrical engineer and his wife, two eMi interns and myself. I’ve had two of the volunteers on previous trips and one of the interns was an intern in Uganda this past winter so I’m excited to be working with a few familiar faces.

The boys
The boys are adjusting well to their new hometown. We have taken them to a few of the touristy places in town to help them get acquainted a bit. They are so used to new places now that I think in some ways they are citizens of the road! It has been nice to be in a place where food for Brodie’s special diet is so easy to find in a grocery store, though we’ve noticed (surprisingly) that it’s more difficult to eat out here for him. I think the difference is, in Uganda, a chef at even a modest restaurant views his/her job as a career, so the challenge of being able to make food for anyone who comes in is something they take very seriously. Here, it seems that most places we eat at (which admittedly aren’t 4-star restaurants!) are more interested in sticking to their normal menu and the efficiency of mass production. That’s just my hunch of what’s going on, but it could just be the culture too, since Ugandans want to please people (especially guests to their country) whenever possible so they will go to great lengths, even at a high personal cost to themselves, to make you happy.
But back to the boys, they are looking forward to starting their new school on August 19th, and meeting new friends. We have been warning them that soccer is not as popular here as it is in Africa, so they may not be able to play it at every recess, every day!

What’s next
1) The boys start school (and Alisha starts teaching) August 19th.
2) Brad’s project trip goes out September 1st.
3) New intern orientation the week of August 15th-23rd (Brad will be training to lead the discussion on culture (two nights, from 5pm to 11pm) as the current intern coordinator is leaving).
4) Alisha’s parents just left and Brad’s parents just arrived to help with childcare before school starts. Thank you grandparents - these few weeks would not have been possible without them.
5) Getting fully unpacked and settled and purging as much ‘stuff’ as possible!
6) Alisha's class ends Monday - it has really stretched her to the limit with all that's going on in our lives. She'll then have a week and a half to figure out how to teach 5th grade, which is an all new grade for her. Needless to say, she could use prayer right now as she's going through a pretty rough period. I think once school starts, she'll feel better because the boys will be at the school with her and the looming task of learning a new grade level will be underway.

(Sorry there are no pictures this time, in moving around we lost our camera charger so we can't turn it on at the moment!).


DellaRose said…
Praying, wow that is crazy...hey I taught 5th grade for 5 years...i would love to be of help if I could
5Crawfords said…
Thanks! ...who is this? :)
terri said…
oh man I feel exhausted just reading about your past 3 weeks!I am praying for you all, much peace, endurance, health, perseverance and lots of grace!!! love you and will keep the prayers a comin! xoxo
Stacia said…
Alisha will do great with 5th Grade! Love your guts lady! Praying for you! Hugs to all...miss you guys!
brian c. berry said…
love you guys. the berrytribe is praying for you and that re-entry into the U.S. finds some place of calm in the near future once all the new stuff settles in. Can't wait to find a time to come visit with you!

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