Friday, February 29, 2008

You know you're busy when...

You plan what day to shave your legs depending on how much longer you expect the shower to take and what day you can spare those extra two minutes.

I've been incredibly busy!!!
I quit one of my jobs, so now I only have two jobs.

I enjoy both, but really enjoy my full-time job. I get to do both administration and retail/processing.
I'm still learning, but its a great environment and I get all the free donuts I want!
However, my work shirts smell strongly of donuts, which is not a pleasant sent in clothing, as much as the donuts themselves taste great.

The job I quit... Well, I had planned on telling them I was quitting on Friday of last week. However, it was not a good night for that. 2 cooks had quit on the spot and walked out. The managers were not in good moods. Not to mention that the hot water was out, making it impossible to wash any dishes! And the computers kept going off and shutting down while we were trying to send in orders or process bills. And I'm not sure what other electrical problems we were having, as I heard the toasters were having problems, too.
It was a TERRIBLE night. They actually shut down the resturaunt early and we got to go home.

However, my next shift wasn't... well, it wasn't.
I was somewhat nervous about quitting, as I have never really quit a job, I have simply moved away and had to end my employment based on that. This was different.
On my way to work I stopped by the library to print of a copy of something. I happened to check my email and found out that a young boy who lived across the street from me in Winnipeg was recently shot and killed.
So I didn't work that night.

And I didn't go home. That would mean helping Manny with his homework, cooking dinner, probably arguing with Toto, changing diapers and not getting a moment's rest or quiet.
Instead, I spent some time talking with Biruk. But our talk left me with alot of wonderings.
I'm not scared of asking questions, even ones that might seem to be 'dangerous'.
- Are all sins the same in God's perspective? Are some sins 'worse' than others?
This boy was murdered, some one aimed a gun at him and shot him. He had not even reached high school! So much of his life was robbed of him. This will impact his family, this will change their lives. His little brothers are going to be different because their older brother is dead. There will be investigations and trails trying to get the one responsible, again making it harder for the family to heal and move on. Is that really on par with lying?
I realize there are different consequences for sins, but I just wonder about murder and how that seems so much worse.

I wonder if there was something I could have done when I lived near them. I know it might be pointless to think of these things, to worry myself or make it worse when it's too late. However, I just can't help thinking 'what if?'.
And I am going to keep from publishing those 'what if's for several reasons.
Thinking of these things doesn't make it easier, but writing them gets them out of my head.

Sleepless in Seattle just came on.
In the begining Tom Hanks says to his son, as they stand over his wife's grave that 'Mommy just got sick and there was nothing anybody could do. And if we start asking why we'll go crazy.'

It's a good line. But I still want to ask it. But I don't actually want an answer.
I want justice. I hope that the family can forgive.
But a reason? I get so pissed off when people try to explain horrific things like murder, child abductions, or slavery. As if God wants to teach people something, that it was His plan all along. I believe God can change things for the better, that He can and does take the bad and make it new and good. But God intending for the bad? Him having a reason for something like a young boy being murdered?
No. It wasn't supposed to happen. I ask why because I have other questions connected, I ask why to pray for the family, I ask why because it was wrong, I ask why because he should still be alive. But I don't want a reason, because there is no reason for his death.

I worked 14 hours yesterday and 13 hours today... I'm TIRED.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Interviews and Smoke

Wednesday:
Job interview, sort of. He was short on time, so he simply threw me in with the others he was training and offered me the job with hardly even knowing my name!
It was good-paying, however I wasn't interested for a number of reasons. So I turned it down.

Then I walked around down-town as I waited for my friend to meet me there. I walked into two coffe-shops that had 'Hiring' signs out front. To one of the places, I was hired on the spot! I spoke to the manager and he had me return the next day to begin.

As soon as I got home, I had a phone call for an interview as a donut store that I love. I was so excited, as I knew it would be so much fun to work there.

I made dinner. It wasn't very good, but it was what I had to work with- nothing was thawed and everyone was hungry. So I made a casserol with frozen veggies, some cream of whatever soup and chicken nuggets. As I said, not that good, but everyone enjoyed it. What was good were the muffins I made. I picked out the dehydrated strawberries from the Special K cereal, dumped in some cranberry sauce with whole berries. They were all gone by this afternoon and I was asked to make them again.

Thursday:
Early morning, get ready, then get my 'little brother' ready for school.
Missed my bus because I was helping him get dressed, had to have Hanani drive me to the train station.
Try to remember what street the coffee shop is one, as I was wandering when I found it.
So my training starts today and instead of running the cash register as I had expected to, I was going to be trained as a barista.
Come to find out, these people are SERIOUS about their coffee, and with good reason- they have won several awards and I was being trained by a world-champion barista. Apparently, he has won 3 times in a row! Someone who was working with me was bragging about how people were talking about this champion making their coffee for them- a celeb I guess.
So, after my training I turned down the job- even with the offer to be trained by a champion barista!
All of this "it began dripping at 5 seconds, it should drip at 6 or 7 seconds" and "it is running too fast- 19 seconds instead of 23. You need to do it again."
Definately not my thing. I'm not a coffee lover, but still, I've had a good cup of coffee. I'm dating an Ethiopian for goodness sake! That's where coffee orignated from, so they know their espresso better than even the Italians.

Rush home and cuddled the crying baby- as her mom left for an interview. I put her to sleep for her nap and started my homework.

Go to my other job interview. Am super excited about this! They offer me a position that blends administration work, a bit of inventory and my fav- working with fundraising, as they sell donuts at a discount to non-profits for fundraising purposes. So I would work out the deals with charities where I can help them raise money: it's something worthwhile. And, when I'm not doing that, I get to work in the front- running the cash register or selecting the donuts. I take the job, and leave with a big smile on my face.

Walk out of the parking lot and a car infront of my spins around, doing a donut scarily close to me. Then he pulls up next to me- "Sorry to bother you, but I just wanted to let you know that I think you are incredibly attractive."
YIKES!
"I was wondering if I could get your phone number...I know this is a little strange, but I'm not a serial killer or anything."
Don't you think there's something wrong if you have to clarify that you are not a serial killer?
"Still- this is really weird. No, I don't give my phone number out to people who pull up next to me in a car." (Even if they are decent-looking men in nice cars and suits and ties!)

When I got home, I made dinner- fried chicken, mashed potatoes and broccoli.
And then I got a call for ANOTHER interview! well... I don't start my donut job until Monday, and I don't waitress until Saturday night, so I'm free tomorrow at 4 pm. If they offer me better than my waitressing job I would consider it as part-time job. Hanani thinks I'm crazy.
Besides... I think going for interviews are fun.
My recent record was that every job I applied for I was hired for. Since arriving in Calgary, I lost that record. But maybe I can say that every interview I've had I was hired for the job... atleast for a little while still.

The 1 year old is driving me crazy!!!
She doesn't play with toys- only with objects that are dangerous for small children; forks, staplers, attempting to eat vaseline and bashing objects and people with a broom which is two times her size. And she loves getting into my stuff!!! I always say to keep my bedroom door closed, but the 6 year old forgets and I find my necklaces and deodorant all over the floor. Not to mention that she enjoys squirting her milk all over the sofa instead of drinking it and the little boy stands beside her and says "look what she is doing!" instead of attempting to stop her.

And my 'older brother' recently bought a guitar. Which he insists on playing only at 11-12 at night.
Not to mention the 'bbq' with cooking 20 some hamburgers in the oven late last night. There were only 5 people awake at the time, and he knew I wasn't going to eat- so 5 burgers per person??? They decided not to use a baking pan, just slap them on the racks which meant an amazing puddle of grease at the bottom of the oven and a house so full of smoke I'm still coughing today!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Update

I like Calgary. I have a job, but I want another one because I don't love it, and its really far from where I live. It takes me 45 min to travel there in the day, and 1 hr 15 min on my way back in the evening, that's just too long. I could handle it a few nights a week, not on a regular basis.
I took a 'test' to be a cashier today. I failed! But it's funny- the test asked ridiculous questions, such as
"Do you have
More
Less
About the same amount
-----of close friends as others who you know?"

How would you answer that question? And why is it relevant for my job?
How about this one-

"I never get angry." Agree or Disagree
Followed by:
"I never lie." Agree or Disagree

Well, of course I get angry! everybody does- if I say that I never do, then I would be lying.

From the begining, I decided I didn't want this job. Pashley's aren't ones to deal with BS, we just want to do the job and be straightforward. All this, "I never get angry and I work well under pressure" business- when seriously, groceries aren't really stressful isn't our thing.
I do like my waitressing job, I think I'll do fine- I was reminding my trainer today of the various orders she needed to bring to tables.

Fortunately, Biruk never made it to Edmonton. He had a screw-up with the friend he was supposed to be staying with (his friend is moving soon). But why is this a good thing? Because he is staying with a friend here in Calgary, already has a job and I get to see him multiple times a week!
It's wonderful getting to see and spend time with him. Talking on the phone and a hundred letters are no match for spending time with the person you are in a relationship with.

And now its quarter to 11 and I've been up since 6 am and have been on my feet for 8 hours straight... I think I deserve some sleep...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

I cannot play the guitar

I made some cheese soup with the Cheeze Wiz- it went over well. The 6-year-old even approved! Apparently, he is also a really big fan of french toast and exclaimed he would eat it every day if allowed.
The 1 year old is sitting on my lap as I type, either playing with my face or with a plastic flip flop. She is one of those children that doesn't play with conventional toys- she likes to create her own toys out of everyday objects. Like yesterday when she came into the living room with a pot and a wooden spoon- banging away.

There is no cable, but there are a few random stations that come in- Thailand stations, Nigerian and Sudanese channels, a Russian station and a station for Aljazeera news in English. Also, there is a Christian children's network. It's the only children's program that comes on, so that's what the kids watch.
I smile at the irony of a little boy coming home for his Muslim Elementary school to watch Christian TV before doing his homework.
A few of the shows are decent, however the majority are pathetic and cheaply done. The characters are often puppets- and a random mixture at that. One show I saw this morning had an orangatang in a barnyard above a donkey and a sheep. Most of them have really lame songs that don't even have choruses- just try to tell an entire story in the one song. And sadly, the majority make Jesus out to be just a nice guy and Christians to be only moral people and nothing more. They attempt to tell a simple Bible story- but jump from character to character telling the story, from a bird puppet to a real human over-dressed grandma (she had a doiley shaw and a bonnet with fake flowers) making it hard to listen to and follow. Also- some of the puppeteers are worse than me!
When I volunteered at some kid`s camps, I was asked to use a puppet. Bad idea. I can do the voices, move the hands and body, but I am useless at moving the mouth to look anything like it is speaking. I just open the mouth really wide and close it really fast- not at all in time with the words. It looks like a really bad dub-over in another language. However- this is a television show that is aired for people to watch, I would expect that the puppeteers know a bit about what they are doing.
Despite all that, I really am grateful for the Christian TV shows, I just wish they were better done.

And I must share some of the funny conversations I`ve had recently:
I was asked if I knew how to play guitar.
"No."
"But the rest of your family knows, right?"
"Only my brother- why?"
"Well... I thought you were from the country."
" I am."
"Well.. I thought that the country was kind of boring, so you all sat around and played the guitar."

Another person:
"When you aren't working on the farm, do you all sit around and play country music?"

"No. Why would you think that?"
"Well... I just thought that you all played that music."
"I don't know anyone who plays that music. People listen to it on the radio- it's popular to listen to."

The mom kept relating living in the country to being in an African village.
"No, not really."
"Yeah- I'm sure it is."
"Well, for one we have electricity."
"Really?"

"Yes. And people have cars and can go into town whenever they want."
"Well, villages have bicycles, it's just the same."
"And the town has groceries and stores and places to hang out."
"Resturaunts?"

"Yes, of course."

"I don't like Americans- except you, you're a nice one."
"What other Americans do you know?"
"Well... only you- but I don't like that American government!"

Join the club.

"You know how to drive a car?"
"Sure."
"But you're from the country."
"So?"
"Your family has a car?"
"My family has more than 1 car."
"Wow."


" I thought Americans were supposed to be so tough, look at what happened to the South all because of a little storm."
"There were tornados!"
"And they build their houses so flimsy just a little wind knocks them over."
"Did you see the pictures? How trees were ripped out of the ground?"

"They couldn't even stop a tornado!"
"Have you ever seen a tornado?"
"No, we don't have them in Uganda. It's just a storm- right?"

Monday, February 04, 2008

Cheese and hot sauce

"Addresse yangu ya nyumbani ni moja mbili sita Pine Hill Road." (The address of my house is 1 2 6 Pine Hill Road)
I feel so proud of my self that I can say where I live in Swahili!
And then I also feel like a little kid.

The mom sent the grocery list with me, not trusting her husband to remember.
She included "Cheese Wiz" with the other items, so what am I to do except get a jar of processed cheese food that has been dyed bright orange?
She meant Cheese Nips, but forgot the right name.

The husband wanted to buy the big jar, but I convinced him to get the small one. Even so- we are stuck with this, and the boy doesn't have the crackers for his lunches.
Anyone have some good recipes that use cheese wiz?
I'm thinking some sort of potato casserole with onions and sour cream...

I did everything I could to prevent getting sick. I felt my throat getting sore, so I drank tea with alot of lemon in it. Then I drank hot lemon water. Then I even took a pill for sinuses and colds.
I even took a shot of wiskey! It tasted terrible and burned my throat, so I figured anything that tasted that bad must kill germs.
Yesterday I ate this green paste which was homemade hot sauce- so hot even the Ethiopians were panting and shoving more rice in. I figured hot sauce must kill whatever what ailing me.

Nope... I guess it is inevitable that I get sick.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The snow is melting in Calgary

I made it safely to Calgary!
As soon as we crossed into Alberta I knew I would like it better than Winnipeg. For one- there are HILLS here! We drove into this beautiful valley, with hills rising up around us as the road wound around them.
Manitoba and Saskatchewan were both flat, horribly flat. I was so sick of looking at the fields with a few scattered trees, all covered in snow as we drove. Hills, uneven ground, and mountains are wonderful.

Monday I am applying for jobs, please wish me luck and please pray for me.
The family I am living with are great. I sleep in the same bedroom as the 6 year old, but he demanded that he gets top bunk, which is fine with me. The infant is a little over 1 years old and so beautiful, and hardly cries at all, which is a miracle. Supposedly she cried and cried all night, but I was so sleepy I didn't hear a thing and didn't stir until late this morning.

The mom wants us to get a job at the same place so that one of us can work a morning shift and the other an evening shift, leaving someone to always be watching the kids. I'm not too keen on telemarketing, or being an order picker. Then again, I have this feeling that I can't explain that I am supposed to be a waitress. Maybe its because I always enjoyed be a waitress, and the wages here are good... but my last 3 jobs I have known I was supposed to work there.
I even told one of my bosses (after I quit, of course) that God had directed me to work there. How He had said that I would get an unexpected job offer on Saturday, and first thing Saturday morning, this man offered me a job.
My other job was with YWAM, and that was alot of direction from God.
My job at Hutch's I had sensed that that was where I was supposed to work all the way back in May, when I didn't even go there until September! And sure enough, I applied and within a week had a job.
So me feeling like being a waitress is for me is more than just enjoying that line of work. Issa says to apply at Boston Pizza, but that's because its close and he likes their food.
I keep thinking a morning shift... which is weird because I'm not really a morning person. However, I do like having more spare time in the afternoon.

It's an interesting feeling starting a new life, living in a strange city. So far I like it, its exciting. But mostly, I am just glad to have a place to call home after all the flip flopping I've been doing.