Tonight I unpacked some of the boxes I managed to load into the car before I left Austin. Way back when I had time to read, I read in some of our pre-departure literature that it was helpful to bring some familiar things from home to make your temporary housing feel a little more cozy. Well, I packed in quite a hurry. It was more than a challenge to organize HHE (house hold effects that go in temporary storage, HHE2 (items that will be shipped to me overseas eventually) and UAB (unaccompanied Air Baggage), and keep everything straight. Needless to say, the stuff I threw into the car was very last on the packing list as well as the priority list. Somehow, I managed to lose half of my business clothes and my favorite yellow coat. (and believe me, you need a coat this time of year in Washington DC....but that story has a happy ending so more on that later) I also forgot to bring a long sleeved running shirt and since I run 5 days a week, and it's C-O-L-D here, that would have been most helpful. But as I unpacked tonight, I had to smile at some of the things that DID make it into the car. I somehow ended up with not one but TWO yo-yo's! Now, I'm not a yo-yo champion or anything, but I like to play with them for stress relief. I guess God thought I would need lots of stress relief. I brought a string of "star" lights that I bought at IKEA before I left. I had never opened them and just threw them in at the last minute. I hung them over the patio door and they look great! I think I'm ready for a party so I may invite my classmates over this weekend. I brought three random glass paperweights. Don't know why I did, only maybe I wanted the place to have some color? I must have brought like a million post-it note pads. Why? Did I think there might be a shortage in the DC area? (now if I could only find the stapler and tape that I thought I packed!) Something that really made me smile was when I unwrapped the few pieces of Polish pottery that I brought. I used the bright blue bowls and coffee cups every day back in Austin and now they look quite cheery in my new apartment. (especially since everything here is decorated in brown and beige) Oh, this is for Pam. I unwrapped the special turtle that Marty gave me and it arrived safely. It now sits on my counter right near the only plant I managed to transport in the car from Austin. They look great together. It feels a little more like home now.
Class is getting a little easier. Today we learned about how important our EER (Employee Evaluation Review) is to our career, and how to prepare for one. We also learned our personality types from the Myers Briggs test. (MBTI) The personality types help us to learn about ourselves (ENFP for me) but also how to interact at work with people who have types different than we do. Tomorrow we are "off-site" for a training exercise. We will be outside all day in teams. I imagine a typical team building scenario. I'm looking forward to being outside and away from the classroom for a change. Bonus?? We get to wear jeans and tennis shoes!!
I'm settling in here and still feel good about the job. I feel like I'm in the right place. It's been an adjustment getting used to an efficiency apartment compared to a 2000 s.f. house, but I have found I really don't need much. Besides, living like this will get us used to the accommodations overseas, so I won't expect a mansion when I get to Africa.
Hope all is well with everyone in your corner of the world.