Sunday, August 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Carrie!

We celebrated Carrie's birthday last Tuesday. I since it was the second day of school we were unsure of what to do. So, our friends Melissa, Leslie, RheaAnne, and Whitney invited Carrie and me over to Leslie and RheaAnne's home for dinner and dessert! RheaAnne and Leslie were in charge of the meal and Whitney and Melissa were in charge of dessert. Dinner was great and dessert was fun! The chocolate chip cookies for dessert were fun from the beginning. Melissa and Whitney brought their rack from their oven over to Leslie's to finish baking all of the cookies. That is when we figured out that the ovens were different sizes! The rack would not fit in! When the cookies were finished we had a choice between softer ones or harder ones. Thank you for the birthday party girls. Carrie had a great time!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The first day of school. . .

Carrie's students: L-R top row: Sonnia (Austria), Luke (USA), Samuel (Austria), middle row: Askalech (Ethiopia), Anouk (Holland), Daniel (S. Korea), front row: Mekensie (USA), Joseph (India), Malaika (S. Africa), me!

Amanda's classroom - I've rearranged the desks already! They are now in a U formation. This makes it easier for me to get to each and every student.

Amanda's beautiful students! Say hello to L - R top row: Selvin (Philippines), Esther (S. Korea), Timmy (Austria), Julia (Poland), Me! (USA) front row: Andrew (Kenya), Levi (USA-Colorado), Frank (Holland), Uendjipa (Namibia), and Maria (India).

I thought these backpacks were interesting and very cute!

They are great kids!! I already love teaching them. I have a few chatter boxes but other than that we are doing wonderfully! It is exciting to share the love of Christ with these students on a daily basis. We are truly enjoying ourselves!

Our Apartment..

Here are some pictures of our apartment. Enjoy!

This is the view from our living room windows to the hof (courtyard) below.

Our tiny but cute kitchen!

Our "hallway" between the front door, living room, and bathroom.

Our living room windows and the TV. We were watching Miss Congeniality.

Our toilet room with a sink. Apparently it is uncommon to have a sink in the toilet room. We like it!

Our beautiful washing machine! It's bright but it does the job!

Our bathtub. It is quite tall. I feel like I need a stool to be able to get out of it!

Our tiny fridge. Isn't it cute!!

Amanda's bedroom

Carrie's bedroom

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mayonnaise and Mustard. . .

This is our mayonnaise and mustard. The mayonnaise tastes just like we're used to but all of the mustard is more like a brown mustard.

An Austrian Tradition

So, we had a staff picnic (inside because it was raining) and they gave all of the new staff these things that look like huge cones. Carrie and I believe they are called tutens (this is probably not spelled correctly or even the correct word but this is what we heard several people say). Anyway, these tutens are traditionally given to first graders on their first day of school. Inside could be anything but probably candy and some school supplies. These tutens remind Carrie and me of Easter baskets only for the first day of school. Inside of our tutens we had house slippers, a Milka candy bar, a Mozart ball, a ginger ale type soda, some egg noodles, baking soda, baking powder, italian dressing mix, a soup mix, and some wafer candy that tastes like hazelnut. It was a wonderful suprise and fun to open!

Our first official mail from a dear friend!

Our friend Jennifer has the official title of first mail sender to our Vienna address!! It was wonderful to open the mail box and see a letter written in English and actually addressed to us!!! It was fun to read the postcard and letter inside. They made us laugh, cry and miss her even more. They were a wonderful highlight to our tired day!

Internet is here!!

I am excited to report that internet has been installed in our apartment!! This is certainly an answer to prayer! I prayed that internet would be installed by the end of the week and it was! I am excited to report that I was able to call my family and we had long conversations! It was wonderful! Our microphone doesn't seem to be working so I think that we will have to investigate the possibilities of purchasing a new one. UGH!! We'll see if we can get away from school before the electronic stores close on Monday.

So, here are some pictures. Enjoy!
Our U-bahn stop

On our way to IKEA on the bus

Another view of the bus

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Please Pray!

Hello faithful prayer partners and financial supporters!

Carrie and I are doing well. We are setting up our classrooms this week, and we’ve been putting in many hours getting them ready. The first day of school is quickly approaching as school starts next Monday (August 25).

We have been having meetings every morning and in one of these meetings we found out that the Austrian Government has just raised the amount that foreigners have to have coming in so they can stay in the country. Well, this amount is not encouraging but I know that the Lord has his hand on the whole situation and He will provide. We currently have to prove that we are raising $2,400 per person per month to make visa requirements. This is a $300 increase from the original amount. So, this means that we are currently struggling financially and will go into debt with RCE (our sending agency) rather quickly. We really need your prayers and any ideas about where we can turn to raise the needed monthly support. We have already heard many stories about the ways that children’s lives were changed last year, and we are so excited to start our ministry this school year.

God Bless,
Amanda and Carrie

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Hello from Vienna!!

Wow, I cannot believe that we are actually here! We arrived safely with all of our luggage. We had to literally run through the airport in Munich to make our flight to Vienna. It was a long run and interesting. Kind of like surprises around each corner! I never knew what to expect next.

We are just finishing our week of Vienna orientation. It works! I am confident about getting around Vienna, but I still need a bit of encouragment to order or buy anything. I kind of freeze when German comes out of their mouths and then I cannot remember what to say. I even ordered a sandwich at Spar (a grocery store) using a combination of German and Spanish. The lady looked at me a bit funny, but she understood what I said!! For that I was thankful! It is funny to me how I know I cannot use English so my back up language is Spanish and then I feel that Sign Language will come out.

Our apartment is nice. We love it and feel extremely safe here. We just purchased our beds yesterday and set them up today. It is wonderful to be able to say I have a bed and am not sleeping on the floor anymore. Our house is now starting to look like a home. We have a couch, table and chairs, beds, and shrunks (kind of like wardrobes).

We have our Austrian bank accounts, our cell phones (called a handy here), we've signed our rental contracts, we've registered our presence with the Austrian government, and registered our presence with the American Embassy in Vienna. That is a lot to get done but I am happy to get it all done. We still need to have the phone installed, internet hooked up, and get a yearly transportation pass. These things shouldn't take very long, but here in Austria things close early and are not open on Sundays so this hinders our process here a bit. I enjoyed having absolutely nothing to do after church on Sunday. It is a new concept to me that nothing is open on Sunday but I like it.

We've been walking everywhere. We anticipated this fact; however, our feet still hurt. Carrie's been wearing a pedometer the last few days, and for the last three days we walked over 18,000 steps. 10,000 per day is what is typically recommended, and is equal to roughly 5 miles. So, this means that we've been walking at least 9 miles each day. That's a lot, no wonder we're tired!

We will post interesting pictures soon. We forgot the camera! Sorry. Something to look forward to, I guess! Love you!