Monday, August 31, 2009

Random Videos of My Beloved Wife! Part 2

Suzy summing up the beginning of our day into the city centre.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Random Videos of My Beloved Wife! Part 1

Suzanne's First Attempt at An Irish Accent! Super cute, I know.

More to come...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Slowly, But Surely!

The past few days we have been bustling around trying to accomplish some of the things that we have previously taken for granted in the states. Yippee! After several trips to the bank, we were finally able to open a "current account", or a checking account for Ross. This doesn't seem like a huge deal, but it is considering that you can't do anything else here without one. That night we celebrate our small victory with delicious American style hamburgers from a restaurant called "Gourmet Burger". Each day we try to hold on to the little successes so that we don't get discouraged with how S...L...O...W things are here.

For the past three days we have enjoyed looking at different flats (apartments) to let (rent) in the various districts of Dublin. The city of Dublin is comprised of 13 different postal districts, each with a different feel and culture. We have been familiarizing ourselves with the area to decide where we want to call home. While walking miles and miles to get to one flat viewing, we stumbled upon the most adorable little district (6 to be precise) called Ranelagh (RON-A-LAH). We quickly decided that this was the area for us. Whenever we talk about it, the word "charming" seems to suit it perfectly. Here are some pics.

On our way to the next flat viewing for the day we were ecstatic to discover that the flat was right on the corner of the street we fell in love with. Here is an aerial view of our new place (the green arrow is our complex):

View Larger Map

We were offered a one bedroom flat to let for 650Euro, an absolute steal for the area! It is in a period house with five other units. Ours is on the garden level which basically means it is submerged in the ground (our windows are right above the grass line). It is super cozy, meaning tiny... but a place we feel we can make homey. The location is incredible, as it is within a 30 second walk to the LUAS station, a train that goes directly to Trinity College, and yet it is still a part of a quite neighborhood. It is right across the street from an upscale market and a tasty Italian market called Best of Italy with fresh meat, gelato, fruit, and veggies that are reasonably priced. Directly down the street is a gothic style church, whose spires always inspire Ross with one glance. Right after viewing this flat we knew we had to jump on it immediately. With tons of students looking for housing at the moment, cute places to live for cheap are gone in a flash.

Another blessing we have been graced with is the Dublin Vineyard Church. We had been in previous contact with a member from the church, Katie, before we left the states. Since every Vineyard church is very unique, we were unsure that we would find Dublin Vineyard to be a good fit, but we went this past Sunday and were pleasantly surprised. Here is where we meet on Sunday.

It reminded us very much of our beloved church back home. Katie invited us to her small group last night. We felt so welcome by the couples there and were overjoyed at how similar it was to the small group we had attended in La Mirada. The Lord is so good! We have been here only a week, and already we feel connected through the church.

A few things that you can be praying for...

We are going to the GARDA station soon to inquire about extending my (Suzanne) holiday visa for a year. Please pray that they will grant us this request. Once we have successfully done this, I will have a year to find a job, which will allow me to apply for a work visa.

Also, I (Suzanne) have been asking the Lord to reveal to me what my place is here in Dublin. I know that supporting Ross in his work at Trinity is a huge role I will be playing here, but I also truly desire to find my place here and how the Lord wants to use me. I desire to find a job where my gifts are being utilized and where I feel that I am ministering to others. At church on Sunday I met a lady who worked for the YMCA. She told me about a few job vacancies they had. I have contacted the HR person, but have not yet heard back. One area of the YMCA that I would love to work in is their STEP program. It is helping young adults (18-25), who have not finished their schooling and are homeless, get back on their feet, get temporary housing and work. I would help mentor/tutor them. This sounds really interesting to me. I would also love to nanny for a family. Please pray that I meet someone that knows a great family that lives within walking distance to our flat.

Although we are truly enjoying this wonderful city, we do miss you all tons! Keep in touch with us. We love hearing from you!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Our First Trip Into The Dublin City Centre

Suz and I just got back from our first trip into the Dublin City Centre where Trinity College Dublin is located along with the famous Grafton Street and the Temple Bar district. We had a blast with our new friends Katie and Sara. They pointed us to the various shops (including to Suzanne's excitement H&M, TK Max (yeah, that's right, not TJ Max but TK Max) as well as various products like MAC and Bobbie Brown makeup (Oh yes, this is truly exciting!). Katie and Sara also helped us set up our cell phones on a pay-as-you-go plan with O2 (well, Suzanne's works and mine doesn't. We have to go back down to O2 to get my SIM card reactivated). It turns out that if you (supposing you are in the states) call us here in Dublin, we can talk for free. So feel free to email me or Suzanne and we will send you our new phone numbers so we can chat.

Dublin is such a charming little city. For starters, Suz and I began our trip with a bus ride into the heart of Dublin, the city centre. The very first thing we noticed
was that the majority of homes and apartments have different colored doors (pink, yellow, blue, green). If you don't believe me, just google image "dublin
doors" and you'll see the variety of photos. But to save you some time, here they are:

We also noticed that most of the buildings on the way to the city centre were red brick. The city centre is filled with stone buildings (the kind that are dirty a
nd filled with ivy) dating back to the 1500's (Trinity College having been founded in 1592). For those of you who know me (Ross) well, I was in heaven. Here are some pics of my school.

The city is very lively and, as we expected, the people are young and fashionable. At one point during our trip, I sincerely felt as though I was no longer in a foreign country as the city feels very safe, warm, and welcoming. We are very excited to get acquainted with such a beautiful and historic place. We can honestly say that we are beginning to feel very blessed to be here. Here are some more pics of Dublin and Trinity College.

Until next time, we love you all and miss all of you dearly.

Our Temporary Place

Here is another video of the place we are temporarily renting from a wonderful woman named Bethan until we can secure housing.

The precise location of our place is here (feel free to zoom and what not):

A Wee Little Path...

Here is a video of Suzanne and I on our way back from buying our first groceries. We found a sweet little nook of a path along a river. Sorry for the sideways video as we are still learning to shoot video on the iphone. Rene, I totally thought of you when I said "A Wee Man Path". It just sounds like something we would say. Love you!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Adventures upon arriving!

So the adventures have started already! After a long and cramped flight, endured by watching three movies, reading, and sleeping, we made our way to the dreaded customs lines. We had been told that because of the sluggish economy that they are being very strict as to who they are letting in. A friend from Ireland had told us to say that I was coming to "support" Ross. Unfortunately, she meant emotionally and the customs man interpreted that as financial. So the first thing he says to me (Suz) is, "Well, do you have a work permit?" (something I didn't have since I didn't have a company already sponsoring me to work). So I respond that I don't and he tells Ross that he is going to have to deport his dear wife back to the states! Oh dear! The hearts were racing and pumping! We smoothly attempted to back ourselves out of that corner by showing that we had the funds to support both of us without me working here for awhile. So all in all, he let me into the country with a three month holiday visa. We now have to go into the Garda Station and try to extend my visa using a better story.

So to say the least, we DEFINITELY need your prayers for us to find favor with the customs department. Also, that I (Suz) am able to find a company that will sponsor me to work for them so that I can apply for a work visa. Nothing is ever easy:)

After we made it through customs we gathered all of our HUGE luggage. Katie, a girl over here that we were connected with through Dublin Vineyard picked us up from the airport. We crammed our luggage into her teeny car, with only a tiny spot for me to sit in the back with my legs folded up to my chest! But surprisingly everyone and everything fit.

We met Bethan, the lady we are staying with for a few weeks until we are able to find housing. She is great and has been super helpful. It is hilarious just how different things are over here. To bad we couldn't even figure out how to flush the toilet! The light switches and door handles are opposite, you drive on the left hand side of the road, and the normal sized refrigerator is the size of a bar refrigerator in the states. Say adios to costco runs and 1 stop grocery runs for the week!

Soon we will be looking for housing, setting up our phone service and bank account. Pray that all goes smoothly! We love you and miss you all already.

Much love from the Emerald Isle,
Ross and Suz