I am HERE!! This past month has been a little crazy with travel but I am finally in Columbia and settled-ish into my new community! I have to say I love a lot of things down here but the HEAT and HUMIDITY I could do without. AC has become my physical form of salvation!! I have done a little outdoor early morning running but am opting right now to stay inside on treadmills where the AC is until my body adjusts.
Enough about the weather...I am living on campus in grad housing with 3 other incredible women. We live in a big ranch style house with more furniture than we know what to do with. I think we have 5 small tables in our living room. We rearranged some but it looks a little...well like college housing!
Kristin is from SC and went to USC downtown for her undergrad. She has more energy than anyone I have ever met. She is our social planner, we've already had two house parties in less than one week! By party I mean game night with anyone on campus who is interested in coming. Great way to meet new people.
Jenn is from Georgia and went to Tacoa Falls with Jenny and Kris Howell. How small world is that! There are half a dozen or so people I've met that graduated from there. She's awesome and has introduced me to other Tacoa people here...one being a friend who loves bikes and put my bike together for me for FREE! He wants to work at a bike shop and was eager to piece my bike back together for me (for inquiring minds that want to know, he's married). I had it boxed at the shop back home and brought it down on the plane.
Krissy is from California and has been at CIU in the past so she has been a great source of "inside scoop" what is where, when stuff happens, etc.
I'm registered for 5 classes (15 credits) this semester which will definitely keep me on my toes. I decided to jump in heavy b/c I will likely be working all following semesters. I've tackled 15 at the grad level before but it's been 5 years so hopefully "school" will come back to me quickly! My classes include Genesis to Song of Solomon, The Gospels, Systematic Theology I, Understanding Cultures and Worldviews and Foundations of Spiritual Development.
Overall impressions about CIU? The staff are great. They REALLY ARE missions minded which is a new experience for me. People are PASSIONATE about the SAME things I am passionate about!! There are people who have been EVERYWHERE and had numerous cross-cultural experiences. I am blessed to have this opportunity to learn, be encouraged, challenged and to be a part of a community that is LIKE MINDED.
I went to a Chinese Church with another Anita this past weekend and will probably make that my "home" church for now. Anita and I are in a class together where we are partnering with two other guys (Asians) to do an ethnographic semester long project with this church. There is a lot involved, but I am excited about all the components and all that I will learn. My heart is for Asian people and this is a good way to get plugged in to their community in Columbia.
Internet is a little crazy here, frustrating actually but I will post pictures when all that comes together. I hope ya'll are doing well and that you are enjoying COOLER weather back in AK!! No worries, I do not have a southern accent...at least not this early in the game.