Monday, March 21, 2011

Birthday List!

As tradition, I have compiled a list of 23 things from the past year, and 24 for the year to come.

23 Things from Last Year:

1. Earned my Bachelor's degree in Justice and Ministry *

2. Completed my Internship at the women's prison in the chaplaincy department *

3. Began volunteering with Young Life *

4. Received a phone call from a four year old

5. Testified in court, swore on the Bible and the whole bit

6. Played 'broom ball' which is like hockey, except with an inflatable ball and broom handles

7. Had a few puffs of a cigar (it was disgusting)

8. Framed my art and put it up on our walls *

9. Learned how to make biscuits and gravy *

10. Submitted poetry for a contest

11. Bought a car

12. Bought another car

13. Had a wedding anniversary with my husband

14. Opened a small business

15. Tried my hand at bookkeeping

16. Got a job in social services (that I love!)

17. Got a second job in social services (that I hated)

18. Quit my second job in social services

19. Learned CPR

20. Began the process for permanent residency

21. Got my own cell phone (but it's still pre-paid, I just can't sign a contract!)

22. Went to Cuba for my honeymoon*

23. Watched a performance at Havana's Tropicana

24 Things for the Future:

1. Get regular massages + (they are more regular, but Biruk isn't a therapist, so it doesn't count)

2. Surf (or, at least try, because I've heard its really hard and I want to try at least once)

3. Meet my new niece (I know, it's terrible that I haven't met her yet)

4. Meet my new brother-in-law (I know, it's terrible that I haven't met him yet)

5. Play soccer again + (well, I did play soccer last summer, but it didn't really count)

6. Get a work visa/ be allowed to work in Canada again

7. Get a job in the criminal justice field +

8. Move from Canada +

9. Speak Amheric fluently +

10. Get another tattoo

11. Touch a dolphin +

12. Learn how to make yogurt +

13. Go to Spain +

14. Be more conversant in Spanish +

15. Go hiking in Banff +

16. Drive a standard/stick-shift vehicle + (I started to learn, but it just made me too nervous)

17. Return to Phi Phi Island +

18. Have a wedding anniversary with my husband every year + (So, I did accomplish this, but it's an anniversary, so by the definition, it will be on this list every year)

19. Record our own answering machine message + (I cannot believe that something that simple I still haven't done!)

20. Go to California/San Francisco

21. Lead a program for groups of teens

22. Submit a story for publishing + (the first step of this has begun, hopefully this will be completed next year)

23. Go white-water rafting

24. Be happy! (yes, this was on the list last year, too, but I think it's a pretty good goal, right?)

* denotes on my list from last year that I completed
+ denotes on my list from last year that I still haven't completed

I'm excited to turn 24.
I feel like I am headed toward so many good things; my recent jobs have all been in positions in my career field, and my job this summer is going to give me great experience for my goals in the future and I feel like so many things are coming toward a point, aiming at my goals and what God has called me to. I'm doing going on rabbit trails as much.
Well, besides the whole 9 months of not working because I don't have a work visa, I guess that is kind of a huge thing, but I'm trying to think positively!

Biruk and I have been talking a lot about when we move from Edmonton, and where we want to go and making plans and decisions that will help enable us to travel and live overseas. That is so exciting for us!

And, I am glad to say that I look older now. For such a long time, people assumed I was still in high school, or entering college. Maybe it is because I dress better now, instead of just T-shirts and jeans, or because I got a hair cut- but I look older and people react differently to me now.

So, 24 is going to be a good year for me. I am prepared for a good year, expecting a good year.
Happy Birthday to me!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


Working full-time for YWAM (which was often more than a 40 hour a week job, considering a month in Uganda, leading the Discipleship Training School, and the summer program in addition to community outreach and visiting people in prison)
Volunteering on Tuesdays and Thursdays at a church drop-in center
Volunteering on Tuesday evenings, and some weekends with a youth program
Volunteering on Wednesday afternoons with a program to persons involved in prostitution
In the summer, playing soccer 3 times a week for 2 hours or more

2007 Fall:
Full-time student
Working part-time at a grocery store

2008 Spring:
Working full-time at a doughnut factory
Working part-time at a clothing store
Taking classes online (part-time student)
Helping babysit for my friend and her children

2008 Fall:
Full-time student on-campus
Part-time student on-line
Played soccer for the university
Had a lot of fun
Worked as the score keeper for the basketball games

2009 Spring:
Full-time student on-campus
Full-time student online
(combined credit hours: 25. 12-15 is regular full-time)

2009 Fall:
Full-time online student
Worked twice a week baby-sitting
Monday evenings volunteered at the prison
Spent a month in Ethiopia

2010 Spring:
Internship at prison (30 hours a week)
Part-time online student
Working part-time as a youth worker

2010 Summer/Fall:
Being a care-giver to my husband
Helping start up a small business
Renovating for the restaurant
Part-time student
Working part-time as a youth worker
For a very short time working full-time at a group home

And then, everything screeched to a halt when I was notified that I was no longer eligible to work in Canada.
Is it any wonder I don't know what to do with myself?
Even the summer when I was 18, I worked a full-time and a part-time job. Even when I was in high school, I was a student, I played sports, and I worked part-time.
I don't know how to just... not work.
If any of you have ever met my mother- who has, on several occasions vacuumed at midnight, and owns her own wheat grinder, just in case, and never, ever just sits down. She is busy constantly. While I can sit down for more than five minutes, I cannot stand loafing.
And yet, I feel that I have become a loaf because I have not worked, really, really worked in six months.
I hate it. I want to work so badly.
Maybe some would like to trade with me, who hate their jobs, would love to lounge on the couch all day and eat bon bons?

So, I applied for several positions working with summer camps over the summer (in the US, of course, because I cannot work in Canada). It fits well, because almost all the positions are for 2-2.5 months, and I would be back in Canada by mid-August, hopefully to meet up with my work permit. And, all the positions include housing and food, because why would I bother renting a place for 2 months?
And, Biruk and I think that 2 months is just enough that we won't lose our minds, but would help me feel like I was able to live an actual warm summer and get away from Edmonton for a bit.

The down-side, is that I applied at the tail-end of the application deadlines and already received some responses that all the female staff positions had been filled. I did a phone interview this morning for an interesting summer program for youth with ADHD and learning disabilities, which included excursions and over-night camping. I think that program would give me wonderful experience for my long-term goals working with young offenders. However, I need to be first-aid wilderness certified. I'm not sure how that's so different from regular first aid, would we learn how to make a splint from trees? Or put pressure on a puncture wound with something other than a towel?
But, if I don't get employed at any of these summer camps, then I still have a Plan B and a Plan C.

It should be a good, hopefully very busy, summer.