Thursday, May 28, 2009

Shrimp and chairs

Most recently: I just made the BOMB deep fried shrimp.

Never made or attempted them before, but Biruk bought shrimp at the grocery store the other day. And we didn't have the ingredients for the shrimp meal that I do know how to make, so I decided to make fried shrimp instead.

dry pancake batter
poultry seasoning of some sort (all that was in the house)
salt
meet-meeta (Ethiopian spice)

I was amazed myself when I tried it... I wish I could have made it fresh for Biruk, but he'll have to re-heat it tomorrow at lunch. But they were soo soo soo good.

A little later: We just got back from our date.
We ended by driving around the neighborhood. The houses to the east (I think) are only a few, mostly apartment buildings, but a few shabby houses. While the houses to the west (I think) are beautiful, it's a historic architectural area.
So we drove around and looked at the houses and made up things about the people who lived in them.
A pink house with tons of bright flowers in the front yard has to have friendly people living in it.
Biruk says that the tiny grey house with a perfect lawn has two little old men living in it.
The yellow house with almost every light shining making the little house glow has to have happy people living there, right?


We don't want to live in a house, we want an apartment. There are plenty of reasons for wanting an apartment, but I did see one beautiful, tiny house that if I were to live in a house, I would want to live there. It was stone, with an arched front door that was not attached right in the middle, but was put on an angle... not crooked, I can't properly explain it.

We didn't decide what kind of family lived in that house, but we both really like it.

Before that: We had gelato and some other italian desert
It was the cutest little coffee and snacks shop.
Yellow and red walls. Framed blackboards to tell prices and drink options. No matching chairs, sofas, or any other kind of furniture. The small end tables all had drawers and inside the drawers were napkins. People wrote poems or tips to live by on them. Someone wrote something about how he was in love with the woman drinking coffee with him.

Biruk and I both wrote something on our napkin- he in Amharic and me Spanish and English (If I couldn't read his, I didn't want him to be able to read mine. But later we told eachother what we wrote). And then we left the napkin in the drawer along with the others.

And... the gelato was fantastic. I had a scoop of mango and a scoop of pineapple. Whatever Biruk had as his dessert was good, too. Tusca? Toscu? Tusco? one of those was what we had.


Earlier: We walked around Whyte Ave. Which is the 17 Ave of Calgary, Kirkwood of Bloomington, Corydon of Winnipeg... ect.

We walked past a few overflowing resturaunts, looked in the windows of several stores and even found a few that were still open. At a gift shop we found the best bright red chairs... too bad they were owned by the store and not for sale. But we did find where they got their chairs. At the remaining stores that were open, we pretended to decorate and furnish our house.

The only thing is finding a landlord that will allow us to paint our walls, because we want anything but white walls! (or pink walls, that might be just as bad).

Tomorrow we might go to Calgary, and maybe Banff, which would be awesome. Even if we don't, I'm sure we'll have fun. Writing on napkins, driving through neighborhoods, no matter what we do we have fun. But it would be really fun to go to the mountains!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Edmonton

Today I woke up early and made Biruk breakfast.
Pancakes and bacon.
Then I said good-bye as he headed off to work and I went back to sleep. The bed feels so comfortable and I feel that I could sleep forever on it...
Then I remember that I've been sleeping on a dorm bed since August, except the other nights when I slept on a slightly deflating air mattress or straight on the floor... so yeah, this bed feels so comfortable!
Only it has made someone sleep on the couch.... I only feel slighlty bad about that. And then not bad at all when I sleep so soundly.

It's been so great to spend time with Biruk.
I wish he didn't have to work, but he just got this job, so I understand he can't ask off.
We might go to Calgary this weekend to pick up his car, wchich might mean that I have to drive one car back... which I really do not want to do! But Biruk promised to go the speed limit or lower, which will make me more comfortable.

I really like Edmonton in the spring/summer. There is a flea market within walking distance that I want to check out on Sunday, and an another market place to visit this weekend. And of course, the West Edmonton Mall. And plenty of parks to visit.
But I don't care that much what we do, as long as I get to spend time with Biruk.

Now I need to stop procrastinating and do that homework I've been putting off.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sleeping places

I currently only have 1 key on my key chain. It's a house key, but not to any house where I will be sleeping.
It is for the house where I baby sit a little boy after school.
I was so tired yesterday from playing 'guns' for nearly two hours.
Finally, I just rested on the couch while he ran around me saying that he was invisible. I got to sit, relaxed on the couch, only moving my arm to pretend to shoot at him with a toy pistol while he aimed a NERF gun at me. The little yellow 'bullets' stuck to the window behind me by small purple suction cups.

Then, I went to visit my old dorm room and sit on my old, now bare bed. It was easy for that room to immediately stop feeling like any sort of home. I took down my pictures a while ago, and that took away a 'homey' feel. Then, as I packed up the rest of my stuff, it became just an empty dorm room.

Last night I slept on the floor of my new apartment. Behind me is a small, black and brown kitten licking herself and staring at me with giant green eyes. She might just pounce on my fingers as I type this because she likes things that move quickly.
I'm going to get a key when I actually start living here.
I now own 2 pieces of furniture; a bright blue couch. More like a love seat, it would not be comfortable to sleep on. It is so cute and fits perfectly in its own little nook just beside the kitchen and the living room. Now the kitten is playing in the lamp shade... My other piece of furniture is a hammock, which I will sleep on this summer, after I buy hooks on which to keep it mounted.
People have already generously given me food. So all I will need to buy when I return is some fresh fruits and veggies and some milk.

I am all dressed up in a bright red dress, my hair done and make-up on.
I am about to graduate.

And then tonight, I will sleep at my friends house. She is having a 'schools out for the summer' party. But I keep telling her its really a graduation party for me. I've never been to her real house. During the school year she commutes from where she lives at her grandfather's house. But the party couldn't be there because of his crazy malicious neighbors, or something like that.

And then, in the morning I will board a plane and set off for Edmonton to visit Biruk for about a week!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

what title to put?

Finals start next week and things have started to wind down here.
Last week was busy, I had a lot of stuff due, but for finals, it is pretty quiet. I only have two real finals out of my 6 classes. The only thing I haven't started on is the project for my art class. I need to draw a picture; it has to look like a photograph and be in black and white (guess I'm going to use charcoals again).

I graduate in about a week. I'm really excited about this. When I tell people it is for my associates degree, they smile and a few students even say 'oh, so you're not really graduating'. No. I am really graduating, this is a big deal to me. I've had to work really hard for four years to earn this.
The school work hasn't been hard and sometimes I wonder if I really learn all that much in a classroom for my studies. Most of the learning I do is through volunteering and spending time with people, listening to stories and asking lots of questions. Reading text books and taking tests haven't taught me very much, except in psychology. I've learned a ton from books in psychology!
I do want my degree and getting my associates is something I am really proud of. I am really graduating, and I am proud to walk in the last graduating class of Taylor University Fort Wayne. I know I will cry at the ceremony.

My graduation, to me, isn't really about showing that I received an education or earned a degree; its about accomplishment. I finished something I started, when it got hard, I didn't quit. When I couldn't see Biruk for 5 months, I didn't skip out and leave. When I took a break, I went back. Even when I didn't want to go back, I did.
Hopefully next spring I will also get a degree. But even if I do go to that graduation, it won't mean as much to me. The degree might seem more prestigious to an employer, but not to me. I'm gonna have to be disciplined and keep a schedule to make sure that I finish my classes; but I really don't think that it is gonna be nearly as hard as these last four years have been for me to complete my associates.
I don't know if I will walk in that graduation, or just have it mailed to me. This graduation means much more to me.

On a different note; once we apply for permanent residency, I can't leave the country until I get it. This scared me. I considered how much I've traveled in the past years; since sometime in high school, I haven't stayed in the US for 6 months straight. I took a few deep breaths when learning this information.
Over the past few weeks, I've been reminded of how vast the country is: a business group from school went to Vancouver last weekend to help with marketing for a not-for-profit company. One of the girls I am living with this summer is currently in Prince Edward Island. And I just saw a photo of a friend of mine that was taken at Niagara Falls. It's a pretty big country; even if it takes three years; I think I can handle it and explore Canada.

God has been so good to us. The other day, I was considering the worst case scenario, what if I don't get accepted into Canada? What if they refuse me?
The world doesn't end. We can just go somewhere else. Ethiopia. The USA. I'll get a teaching job overseas. We'll do something in Thailand, or Kenya.
Once I thought about that, and was re-assured about the endless possibilities, I relaxed.
The worst-case scenario I can come up with has some pretty wonderful options.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Forgivness

It's a rumor, but I've heard it from reliable sources.
Ever heard of someone having their college loans forgiven?

Me neither, until last week. My roommate might have all of her college loans 'forgiven'. There is a clause in the loan that if your college closes and you aren't able to finish your degree, you don't have to pay back those loans. This doesn't count if you transferred before hand, graduated, or if Taylor Upland had your degree at their campus. However, counseling majors, criminal justice majors, justice and ministry majors, and pastoral ministry majors can be very happy to know that they can probably graduate with only 1-2 years of school to pay for! Even if we don't totally understand this, there aren't many undergrad degrees offered in counseling around here; psychology, yes, but not in counseling. Either way, for students in those majors listed, Taylor Upland does not offer their degree; I think it is the first good thing about the closing of the school people have been able to find!

She is now pretty pumped at the school closed, because it sounds like she won't have any loans to pay for!