Monday, July 28, 2014

Broken In

When I last posted, a little over a week ago, I figured I'd write again soon and show some vacation pictures and the paint job we had done on the house while we were gone (it looks really good, by the way, which now doesn't really matter).  Our house was a little crazy and it took a while to get unpacked and get everything back together post paint-job.  We were pretty well adjusted by the weekend.

But then that Saturday night we were broken into.  

We were in the house, but we slept through it.  And while some electronics are gone and some credit cards have been cancelled and passwords changed, we are all OK.  Initially we were a little shaken up and Micah and I were both a little scared, but now we are doing much better.  The school put some more bars on the windows and Owen's been pulling his mattress into the hall at night to be keep an eye on the kids--so now I am sleeping again.  

We heard some things about our neighborhood after we were robbed (or burglared, as Cath tells me I'm supposed to say) that made us feel like this would be repeated and it wasn't safe for us to stay.  So we immediately started house-hunting for a new rental in a safer neighborhood.  And because we want to move right away, we basically started packing as soon as we found one we liked (even though we haven't actually signed any papers or anything yet--we are praying that they get signed tomorrow and that we get moved by the end of this week).  So my house is once again (flashback to Philly two years ago) bare and bagged and in varying stages of clutter/packed-ness without us knowing for sure when we will be moving out.  It has been quite a week.

The two things that bothered me the most were my stolen blender (it was a good one, and I use it all the time) and my purse.  I thought they could have had the consideration to take the wallet and leave the purse (or, even better, just take the cash).  And already feeling vulnerable and a little in shock, it was so weird to have nothing to pick up on the way out of the door.  No keys, no license, no nothing.  

And seriously, they needed a nice blender to do what?  It felt like one last jab.  It somehow made it more personal.  I blend all the time.  OK, I realize I can't really explain my attachment to my blender, you'll just have to take my word on my sense of loss.  I should also mention that I didn't realize the blender was gone until a few days had passed--which made it feel like I was robbed a second time.

So it was ironic when our landlord found those two items on our roof this morning investigating a water issue.  I guess they went through my purse on the roof.  And I guess they decided the blender was too heavy to toss to the next roof (it's a heavy base).  It was also great that they left the keys, and, hilariously, Micah's hat that he'd been looking for (I'm guessing one guy said to another, "Seriously, you're really going to take that hat?" only in Spanish.  It's a Dominican Republic hat, patriotic perhaps, but I can't imagine it would help anyone's street cred.  

It was such an encouragement to me, like God was giving me very personal and direct comfort in the midst of all of the drama and chaos--he returned the two things that made it hard for me to get past the break-in.  And somehow after a week on the roof in the hot tropical sun and after a shower or two, nothing seems any worse for wear.  

He is so faithful, and so specifically so.  It was like he was saying, "Here Val, I know this has been hard.  I've had your back.  Look!"

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Fam: Stateside and Back

We've pretty much given up on getting all family members to look forward and smile all at once, it's just not worth it.  By the time everyone is looking ahead, not blinking, smiling, etc. both parents have veins popping out of our necks from all the yelling through gritted grinning teeth.

So the very long silence was caused by our visit to the States.  My cousin let me know that it is not cool to leave such a very long silence--so this one's for you, Darin.  :)

We had a blast visiting with family, and even got to do some sight-seeing (hello, Plymouth Plantation and Mount Washington).    Lots of World Cup watching (sorry, Argentina, we pulled for you, along with all the Spanish-speaking teams), lots of kids up late and eating desserts every night--real ones, not Mommy's healthy alternatives, lots of time with my parents and Owen's and the cousins and the aunts and uncles.

While we were gone, our apartment was painted.  Now our home is not all-yellow as it was before, it's got other bright colors to keep yellow company.  We have a creamy yellow, a bright yellow, and a bright avocado green in the entryway, dining room, living room, and kitchen.  Lavender in the laundry room/guest suite and office, a muted greeny-turquoise in our room, yellow-orange in Abigail's, and green in the boys'.  I'm so ecstatic.  The paint is not pealing, there are no hand prints, no furniture or water damage has scraped or bubbled up any paint.  We should probably just live on the balcony so it will stay so beautiful.

Apparently I told everyone I knew here in the D.R. that I was getting back a week from now, so it was like, "Surprise!  We're back early!"  I'm not always on top of the details.

This year I'll be teaching one Bible class a day while Abigail is in class.  I did not see it coming, I wasn't looking for anything yet in the every day department, but I'm really excited about.  And slightly stunned, as I've only ever taught English.  So in addition to some initial planning, I bought a really pretty binder (cloth-covered, from Target) to help ease my transition back into work.  Floral, pinks and greens and I think some yellow, totally worth whatever ridiculous price I paid I'm sure--it's out of character for me, but I think I'm a little intimidated about going back.  It's just an hour and a half a day, but actually it seems crazy to me that I'll be working every day!  I mean, it's been 9 years!  At least it's only an hour and a half a day.  I mean, that's the length of a Disney movie.  And I'll have that pretty binder.

It was a little hit or miss with our return flight, because (naturally) the Dominican Embassy waited until the last minute to mail us back our passports with the visas.  And so we were scheduled to get them after we'd have already had to leave to catch our flight.  So a big thanks goes out to the lovely and  reasonable Fed Ex worker who was there on a Saturday, willing to dig through the next business day mail pile so Owen could drive an hour to pick it up early.

Never a dull moment.  It is a cultural requirement to absolutely wait until the last minute to do anything, pretty much across the board.

Anyway, more blogs to come.  But I am back.  And again, apologies to Darin and anyone else aggrieved by the long silence.  :)