I’m a little behind on posting my pics and recaps for NYC, so I thought I’d do a big photo post to catch myself up. I’ve made it my job this month to document what we’re doing (both in pictures and in writing) so that we can remember it down the road when I look back and say, “I cant even remember what it was like to prepare for the field…it’s all a big blur!” Hopefully this will help. And I’m also going to take the chance to try to get a little better in my photography skills while I’m at it. (Except for those taken by ghetto camera phones…they don’t count!) So here’s how we have spent the past several days….
We started out with a family trip to the grocery store (which is difficult because the aisles aren’t nice and wide like in my Madison Kroger). It takes a long time, I can’t find half the stuff on my list, and the boys can reach everything by sticking their hands out either side of the cart. Needless to say, we were ready to get out of there. Afterward I took the boys to the park so Nate could head back to the apartment and get some work done in peace.
When we got home, we discovered that we had packages waiting for us at the front desk of our building. My mom was going to ship me a cheap crock pot since we’re in class till 5:30 every day, so I assumed that’s what it was. “I threw in a couple extra little things for the boys,” she told me. I was not expecting to pick up 6 BOXES of stuff from Amazon! What a happy surprise!! In addition to the crock pot, she sent toy taxis, Buzz Lightyear and Woody toys, two big packages of individual cereal boxes, 4 boxes of Capris Suns, a big case of Nabisco individual snacks, and a Latch Board. The boys thought it was Christmas.
I dumped all of the food items into a big box and dubbed it “Nannys Snack Box.” Whenever we’re about to leave the house and they’re going to have to sit in their strollers for awhile, I let them each pick a snack from the box. It’s a big hit.
And of course, the toys immediately turned into the new favorites. The taxis have been driven all over the apartment, and Buzz and Woody now accompany us on every outing we take. Although I might have to get another Buzz because he gets fought over on a regular basis.
The afternoon brought an amazing lecture on prayer by an amazing woman on the field in Germany. A fellow missionary summed it up well when he said (via tweet): “Today we heard from a prayer warrior. I’m a prayer wimp.” I have definitely spent alot of time since Friday examining my own prayer life.
Saturday was our day off. In the morning we met Nate’s cousin, Karilee, for breakfast at a little Greek restaurant called Zante’s. She lives in DC but was in town for a friend’s bachelorette party, so we made a plan to get together since it had been years since she and Nate had seen each other, and the boys and I had never had the chance to meet her. We had a fun breakfast, then walked back to the apartment where the boys taught her all about their cars, trains, trucks, and brand new Buzz/Woody toys. We were so thankful for some time with her before we leave for Colombia in a few weeks.
Around lunchtime, we decided to take the boys halfway across the Queensboro Bridge to see the view and get a look at some boats. They loved being able to stand on the railing to see the ferries and tugboats from way up high.
For some reason, we decided just to keep on walking. We ended up walking all the way to Central Park and up to 81st street in the middle of the day. Talk about HOT! After about 2 hours of walking, we jumped on a subway and arrived at home just in time for naps.
That evening, we had our first date night in the city. One of our missionary friends who is staying in our building came down and babysat while we met Josh and Emily in Times Square for a night on the town. We walked around for awhile and finally ducked into a little pub-style restaurant for dinner….which ended up being a huge mistake because the AC was broken. We sweated all the way through our meal, and 3 out of the 4 of us hated our food. (Mine was delicious, but the other 3 couldn’t say the same) Combine that with the fact that Josh got us pulled over on the sidewalk for carrying a weapon (click here to read that story!), and I’d say our double-date night was memorable! Of course, we didn’t stay out late because we had our first Sunday at our new church the next morning. But it was a fun night!
The Greek Evangelical Church doesn’t have it’s own building, so they “borrow” a building on Sunday mornings from another church. Since the other church meets there first, the Greek church doesn’t start until 11:45…which means we were able to have a really leisurely morning instead of trying to get up and out the door in a hurry like normal. So we bought some yummy Dunkin Donuts for breakfast and headed up to the roof to enjoy our Sunday morning treat with an awesome view. We let the boys run around in their pajamas and soaked in the beautiful morning.
Then we headed to church to meet the congregation and get settled in before the service started. There aren’t really any kids in the congregation, so there isn’t a nursery available during the service. The boys will get lots of practice learning how to sit in worship this month! Josh preached (through a Greek translator), and afterwards we had a little fellowship/snack time downstairs while we chatted with our new Greek friends. I learned one thing about Greeks really quickly: they sure can cook!
After church, Petros (one of the elders at the church) invited us back to his house to swim. We bravely decided to forego naps and accepted his invitation to hang out. The boys had an awesome time despite their tiredness, and we spent several hours hanging out by his pool and visiting with his family. We ordered pizzas for dinner, hung out a little more, and headed home around bedtime. EARLY bedtime! And since we had assignments due for our training on Monday, Nate and I spent the evening compiling notes and writing up our papers.
I got up and took the boys to the park with my new friend Laura Kate, another missionary also headed to Colombia who is staying here in our building, while Nate finished up his assignments for class. Believe it or not, no pictures! We had class all afternoon where we discussed our “cultural intelligence” based on some testing we had done a few months ago. Then after dinner, Nate and I headed back up to the roof to let the boys run off some extra energy while we relaxed.
On Tuesday morning we had plans to go visit the 9/11 memorial. The memorial is free, but you have to reserve passes because they limit the number of people allowed on site at a time since it’s still a construction zone. Our time slot fell for Tuesday morning, so we decided to make a point to see that whole area of town while we were at it.
The last time I was in NYC was on the 6-month anniversary of 9/11, and the city had a light memorial in honor and remembrance of the victims and their families. It was neat to come back 10 years later and see how that light memorial has been replaced with a physical, permanent one.
Since it wasn’t far, we decided to walk over to Wall Street and down by the riverfront….partly to sight-see, partly to search for some Mexican food.
And of course we succeeded in satisfying our craving for Mexican food… Tajin Restaurant fit the bill! Although we took two 2-yr-olds into a tiny restaurant frequented by Wall Street bankers on their lunch hour!
The afternoon brought an awesome class on effective cross-cultural evangelism. We ate a quick dinner at the apartment, then Nate had to head out for a mens group meeting led by Petros in Astoria. In the meantime, I practiced my sunset photography on our balcony…I will get it figured out before this month is over!!
And there you have it. 5 days in a nutshell. Hopefully I’ll keep up better from here on out!