Monday, December 21, 2009
Settling into Portland
Ghaith and I have been back in the U.S. for two months now. I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas already! Although neither of us has been able to start work yet, we’ve been plenty busy.
It's been fun to explore the Northwest with Ghaith, and watch his delight as he discovers new joys in nature, food, and the people we are blessed to have in our lives. Mom and I took him up to Parkdale, close to Mt. Hood last month. There was about 4" of snow on the ground, the most snow Ghaith had ever seen! It was so fun watching him. He picked up on sneaky snowball throwing pretty fast :) As for Portland, he likes it well enough, but is eager for the rain to stop.
Ghaith isn't yet allowed to work here, and it could take another 3 or 4 months for the paperwork to process. That is, AFTER we've come up with the money to pay the fees for all that paperwork! Ghaith is the kind of man who NEEDS to provide for his family, and to have a place to spend his energy. We’ve signed him up for a gym membership, English classes, and eventually joining a soccer team. That should help! We've also been in regular contact with the Christian Arabic community here, via church, Bible study and social events - which has been really good for him/us. They are an incredibly supportive community.
I’ve got a job with Portland Public Schools in a Spanish immersion program again. This time I’ll cover for a maternity leave in a 2nd grade classroom. I’m looking forward to getting back into teaching, now that I’ve had such a long break. I’ve slowly gotten back into my work with Scarlet Cord here in Portland. It is so good to be back with our amazing colleagues, volunteers and guests.
Ghaith and I are both really happy to be living at my grandma's house with her. Grandpa died 2 years ago, and Grandma had been lonely, but not wanting to have just anyone live with her. She is calling us her answer to prayer, and she certainly is that for us too! Ghaith prefers to live with family, as that is the norm in his culture. We cook dinner and eat with her almost every night, I talk and pray with her lots, and Ghaith cleans and fixes things around the house w/o being asked. I’m learning how to cook Iraqi food, and Ghaith is learning how to load a dishwasher. ;) (He’s never used one before.) It's a pretty good situation for all!