Monday, February 4, 2008

my life here

It's hard to believe that it's now been well over a month since I was overseas. The culture shock has worn off, and certainly the jetlag as well... and I'm quite settled into my life back in Fairborn, Ohio.

I recently realized that not many of you guys know much about my life here. Well, I'm happy to tell you all about it.

I live in a house that has been divided into 5 two bedroom apartments... I live in one of those apartments with two other guys (Kyle and Josh). The house is right off of campus (about a 4 minute walk to most of my classes), and only a 5-10 minute drive from the restaurant I work at. The house is owned by Chi Alpha Christian Ministries, a campus group that I've been a part of for the past three years, and everyone who lives in it is on the upper leadership team of the group.

I love my apartment. A lot. It is truly the place that I feel most at-home in the world. It's not huge, but it's nice. We have some art hung up in the living room (which, I admit, is a bit of a mess at the moment), a moderately large kitchen and dining room, a bathroom (of course!) that is painted bright blue. All three of us share one bedroom (I know it sounds crazy, but it works out great!), that happens to be painted BRIGHT ORANGE. Like... safety hazard warning orange. We chose the color. It makes it easy to wake up in the mornings :). The other bedroom, we have converted into a den/study room/prayer room. The walls are a dark mahogany, with some tan accents, and we hand-painted a map of the world on one of the walls... pictures of my apartment will be up with the next update (which will NOT take me another month to write... i promise!)

I serve tables at Don Pablos... I used to work full time 40+ hours a week bartending, but I have given up a lot of that and now only work 10-15 hours a week, and never bartending. I love my job, and I love the flexibility that it gives me. Management lets me set my own schedule, even to the point of just showing up whenever I want to work and they find a place for me to work. It's truly a huge blessing from the LORD. I'm also a full-time student, studying French (language, history, commerce, literature).

My friends comprise most of my life.

This is Kyle. Kyle is my best friend, roommate for two years now... he is the person that I can talk to when things are good or bad, and one of the few people in the world that I think I can say honestly knows me better than I know myself. I'm looking forward to another year and a half of being blessed by sharing this apartment with him. Incidentally, he's the president of the Ministry here...

It's a shame that my eyes are closed and that we look so goofy here, but this is me Kyle and Josh (my other roommate). Josh is an amazing friend of mine who moved in just this past fall. The three of us live together very well (there's surprisingly no drama considering the close quarters and all). It was Josh's idea to paint the map on the wall (man, I can't wait till I get a picture of that uploaded!)

Jason... there are very few words to describe Jason. He is brilliant, funny, incredibly talented, and nearly fluent in French as well. Jason's a senior biomedical-engineering major, and I'm proud to call him one of my best friends. Very few people in the world can combine engineering, jazz, coffee, squirrel hunting (yes... he hunts squirrels in our back yard), and French into their personality. Jason lives in the apartment just above mine. He and I lead worship together here at Wright State (he is an incredible guitarist... I stick to the piano.)

Dan. My authentic Indian friend. Once again, he just plain rocks my world. He is chill and relaxed and knows how to have a good time. He's graduating this year too (mechanical engineering... what is it with me and my engineer friends!)... I'm sad to see him go. He was the friend that I went to Paris to visit at the very beginning of December (he was there with a class trip... yes, he also speaks French). Dan has been a constant presence in my life over the past 3 years. He lives with Jason, just above my apartment.

Bethany lives in Texas. Bizarre, I know. A list of my best friends could not be complete without her though. There are just no words for how much she has affected my life, all of the things that she has taught me about friendship and how to give and receive love, and all of the countless hours that we have spent geeking out over ridiculous things that nobody else seems to ever understand. She's also quite the singer. Somewhere in the world, there is a DVD of the two of us singing "Mr. Jones" by Counting Crows... it will go down in history as one of the best performances of the song EVER (perhaps, I'll upload it to youtube?) Like I said, she lives in Texas now, where she is doing an internship learning how to be a campus pastor so that she can work with Chi Alpha Ministries for the rest of her life. Her passion is inexplainable. I miss her dearly, but thank the LORD often for the miracle of cell phones.

Brittany lives in Costa Rica now. She works with Book of Hope Ministries, and just spent 6 months working in indigenous tribes in South Africa (yes, I did mean to say South Africa). Now she's in language school in Costa Rica, followed by two years of touring various countries in South America. She was here in Dayton on leave when I got home from France, so I was very thankful to get to spend some time with her to reconnect. She and I have been through a lot together in the past three years. I love her dearly. (And hey! She was the one who got me the job at Don Pablo's!)

Ashley. again, there are no words. Only lots of music. She and I sing together and record together a lot. That's all I can really say... because there really are just no words for her. She's truly like a second sister to me. (This is a picture from her 21st birthday party that I "bar-tended").

My life is pretty much perfect right now. I can't think of a single thing that I would change! And, just to make the update complete, I feel that I should tell you all that since the last time I've seen most of you (which is, regrettably, a long long time ago), I have fallen 100% head-over-heels in love with Jesus. He has changed my life in so many ways, and it is only through Him that I can say I even have a life now.

For now, it's 3:00 AM and I must go to bed. I love you all very much!