Back in the States
Trip Start Sep 18, 2005
25Trip End Dec 03, 2007
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I was thrilled to be back in the states but discovered cold and flu season might not be the best environment with such a weak immune system. I got a hold of my advisor and graduate school and made plans to take the spring semester off to recover physically (and a bit mentally too) while working on my Masters in California. Plus, the Upper Peninsula winter is not the greatest environment for me to recover. My best friend and now roommate came to the coast for Christmas and we partied it up at the Holiday Inn on the beach...okay, we sat around watching Christmas shows then drove around to see Christmas lights but it was fun. We also met up with Erin, a good friend whom I used to baby-sit.
Well, I knew I needed a change of environment from where I grew up to work and recover so I moved to Redding, California. I think it is helping a lot with having less re-entry also which is great...not that re-entry hasn't hit. I still have the high level of personal security I had in El Salvador, which more annoys the people I am with than is an issue for me. I also find myself in a mental state of needing to be ready to move at a moment's notice which can get stressful while I am trying to settle down a bit in this country (at least for the next couple of years).
So, settling into my new apartment has been a bit of an adventure. We moved in in early January. I had planned to come for New Years but it had Bronchitis and the flu and couldn't make it. My mom was in Germany so I had the house to myself to rest. Not going into the difficulty of getting the rental agency to get into gear and getting the paperwork approved we finally got the apartment. They told us we would have electricity so we were thrilled we wouldn't have to stay in a motel again that night. Well, there was no electricity, not to mention the place was filthy. Jen had to go to work so I moved all my stuff into the apartment in the cold rain with my Bronchitis. We had to pay to have the electricity turned on that day but it was worth not staying in a motel again. We discovered we had no hot water so we called again to the rental agency. After three days of calling and complaining they finally sent someone to deal with the water heater. Soon after we got hot water we discovered the pipe was leaking and the carpet was soaked.
We had the pipe replaced and the floor dried overnight. During the evening our downstairs neighbor came upstairs worried about the noise. She told us the water heater had exploded a few months ago and had gotten very loud right before it exploded. Not only was the apartment we moved into flooded but hers was as well and she had over 300 books ruined (many not replaceable). That cued us into why we had new carpet and linoleum...not to mention warped doors. Getting all the repairs done (our front door is slanted, the screen in the kitchen wasn't on, the closet door wasn't on, etc...) was made even more difficult due to our issues with the phone. We paid for our phone but were surprised to find the number different from the one we chose. Soon after we plugged in the phone the phone was turned off
Life in Redding has been pretty good thus far. I started a little herb garden (yes, actual herbs): basil, oregano, sage, mint, catnip and rosemary. It has been a good way to de-stress. Jen's birthday was Feb 2nd (Groundhogs Day) so I threw her a pirate surprise birthday party. Her parents and some friends from work, including one on maternity leave, came to celebrate her 24th bday. Thankfully Jen had no idea so after about half an hour of total shock and confusion she began to get into the party. Unfortunately Jen has had Bronchitis for a while so it wore her out a bit. Hopefully she will be able to get better soon.