Thursday, May 31, 2007

Packing and To Do Lists

While sitting here in the chaos that is packing, I thought I'd blog and let you know what's going through my mind. We've got random things we didn't even remember we had laying all over the floor, begging not to be filed, wrapped up in newspaper, shoved into boxes and put away in a dark corner for who knows how long. With a 20 kg (44 lbs) each weight limit, there's tons of things that we'd love to bring but we just can't. My worship music notebook alone weighbs 10 lbs! That would be about a quarter of the total weight I can bring, so that will have to get stored away. The coffee maker, heavy but a possibility. It's hard to find inexpensive quality coffee machines in Pakistan, as most people drink tea. I wanted to bring my riding boots and helmet, but that would have had to have been at the expense of my that will have to stay. I hope I can find a helmet over there if I ever take up riding again! Most times I've seen people ride they didn't have helmets on.

There's my winter coat, which I really want to bring, but it just takes up so much space and it doesn't get cold enough in Lahore to justify bringing it. There's Duarte's soccer ball, which doesn't seem to really let all the air out, and the pump for the soccer ball. There's a ton of CDs, that we won't bring with us and I'm trying to get imported into iTunes so we can still listen to them. There's things I borrowed from people that I need to return, some of which never got returned last year before I left for Pakistan. It got put int a box and there it stayed until I came back. I'm wondering if those things will only make their way to boxes yet again. Which microphone should we bring, and which wires? How many pairs of socks do you really need? Should I buy more shampoo because I can never find the right kind over there, or should I not bring the shampoo because it's so heavy? Really do you need that many sweaters or jackets? I guess I probably don't need that many pairs of pants either.

And besides the packing, there's the to-do lists. Have we called this company to cancel the phone? And how do they want us to prove that we've moved? A lease agreement or a utility bill, I lived in Pakistan for a year and I never had any of those things. will we prove that we've moved so we can get $175 back? Did we ever get the refund from the tango lessons which were cancelled? Who do we need to see? Dont' forget to change our address at the post office!

Now the fun part is all the things that we want to do before we go, not that we have to do. We wrote down our lists last week and we're working on them amidst the busyness.

In no particular order

1. Eat wings at the Hangar - honey mustard & honey barbecue flavor (check!)
2. Drink coffee coolattas
3. Eat Trader Joe's veggie tortilla chips (check!)
4. Go bowling with Duarte's bowling ball
5. Go waterskiing with Dad (Heather)
6. Enjoy an American BBQ (thanks Walts family & Veej!)

Ok, I've taken too much time on this, back to packing!

Monday, May 28, 2007

BBC: Pakistan Christians Demand Help

An article from BBC news describes the threat to the Christian minority in some areas of NWFP

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Why I Can't SEE my Blog

Many people find it surprising when I told them that I can not see my blog or any other blogspot sites while overseas. When I tell them it is because of censorship, most people assume I am being paranoid. Well, after living in two countries where I've had this problem, to varying degrees, I'm sure that certain websites are censored.

One day the New York Times had an article about the situation of homosexual Muslim men. I could not access this article at all! I could search for it and get the title, but I could not get to the article. I could access all the other NYTimes articles that day. This kind of thing happens all the time. I never know if it's a problem with the net or if it's censorship. Sometimes when I start using a new computer, I can access blogspot sites for a few days. I catch up on all my friends blogs. Then after that, those sites are blocked. They come up as if there is nothing there. When I come back to the US or to Europe I have no problem accessing blogs.

Read more about internet censorship here

Spring in Amherst

We've been enjoying spring in Amherst as we get ready to go back to Pakistan this summer. Our travel plans are coming together! We'll be spending the month of June in the Azores, where Duarte grew up. Then we're off to Germany for a few days so we can catch a flight to Karachi, and then on to Lahore. We'll be arriving in Punjab in the heat of summer, likely before the monsoon rains have set in to help cool things off. Needless to say that now we're enjoying life without AC, walking outside, not having to wear SPF 60 sunscreen, rain, cool fresh air,and spring flowers!

Time for us to start counting how many days are left, and to make our "Must Do Before Leaving America" list. I think I'd like to have one last french vanilla coffee coolatta with whip cream, go jogging, wear shorts, and go waterskiing.

Check out my latest pics by clicking on the link below any of the photos:
From Spring in Amh...

From Spring in Amh...

From Spring in Amh...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Through the Years

At our wedding we played a slide show with picture of Duarte and I from when we were born to when we were planning our wedding. You can see the slide show on Picasa.

From Wedding Slide...

From Wedding Slide...

From Wedding Slide...

Worship at the Beach

How I love the ocean! Praise the Lord that His glory will cover the whole earth as the waters cover the sea.

From Horseneck Beach

From Horseneck Beach

From Horseneck Beach

Visiting Jen

Duarte and I went to visit Jen a few weeks ago to see her receive an award for being an "Outstanding Freshman"

Congrats Jen - Miss President of the Class of 2010 :)