Sunday, September 09, 2007


Happy Sunday!

So I've now been in Nashville for eight days and am starting to feel settled. I arrived at the "tool shed," which is somewhat appropriately named since it looks like a tool shed and is painted green, last Saturday before lunch. As you can imagine, a lot has happened in the last eight days, so in respect for brevity I'm going to "bullet."

* I met Susan the site coordinator, who is sort of like my liaison with the church and my job but really much more than that--I've seen her seven out of the last eight days. She's incredibly organized and thoughtful and picks up on "hints" really well. For example, I mentioned that I did not have any coffee filters nor did I know how to make coffee. So Susan shows up the next morning with filters and a lesson. I've been mentioning my fondness for jacuzzis, but no luck yet.

* I met my roommate Leslie. She's 23, from Charlotte, majored in biology at Chapel Hill, and spent the last year in this same program--except she spent 11 months in Guatemala. It sounds like it was an intense experience and that she formed some really strong friendships with her host family. Despite the fact that we're very different, we are getting along well. We both cut up a lot, like to eat, and enjoy exercise, so that's a good start:) Oh, she's never heard of Family Ties or Different Strokes, but I'm trying to get over that. She's on the far left in the photo above.

* I've been slightly "orientated" to this church (I actually live on the church property) and its staff, which has been a bit of culture shock. This is easily the most liberal church I'm aware of (after all I've lived in Georgia my entire life), much less a part of, so I've been "processing" a lot. I'm looking forward to understanding more about why some people believe what they believe, etc. In addition, this is the most socially aware and engaged church I've ever attended. I LOVE how this church is sharing Christ's love with the world with programs like A Room in the Inn (providing a meal and place to sleep for homeless people in the winter), Habitat for Humanity work days, an upcoming mission trip to help Katrina victims, annual trips to Guatemala, letter writing campaigns for Darfur, etc. Plus a lot of the members are personally volunteering through mentoring programs, Meals on Wheels, etc.

* I joined a gym. And it has 18,000 members, a parking deck, and is sponsoring a COOKIE fun run this next Saturday. Yes, you read correctly. It's like my two passions are merging together to raise money for a good cause. Since I'm watching the spending, I'll be getting cookies and a free tee shirt by volunteering (calling out split times) instead of actually running the race. Sweet deal except for that entire 7:00 a.m. report time.

* I got a library card, which is only notable because the libraries here are awesome. You can check out your own books; they have everything under the sun; and you can return your books/DVDs (checking out The West Wing soon, assuming I become motivated enough to hook up the DVD player) at any branch.

* Completed a scavenger hunt with my lovely roomie. See how thoughtful I look in the Civil Rights Room of the downtown branch of the public library? We added a stop at the Pied Piper Creamery, which serves delicious homemade ice cream including fun flavors like "White Trash" and "Are you there God? It's me Margarita." Plus they give lots of free samples and big scoops.

* Met my boss, who seems great and very enthusiastic, and toured my new place of work. I asked where my secretary would sit, but at this time office space seems to be limited:) Anyway, I start work tomorrow and am to report at 8:45.

* Went to the Greek Festival with the former NEPs (the people who did this program last year) and saw some cool dancing and ate a yummy dessert.

* Watched UGA lose and ate sushi with a high school friend who lives here.

* Was commissioned today at church and enjoyed a reception afterwards. I've met a lot of nice people and am doing my best to remember names.

* Attended FIVE church services in seven days.

* Had my first guest blogger.

Bottom Line: I've received a super warm welcome, am adjusting well despite a little reluctance to return to working tomorrow, and think this is going to be an awesome year.

p.s. I'm grateful for all of the free food we received this week. We had lots of lunches, dinners, and cookouts--and food was given to us (i.e. a huge bag of cheese cubes from the reception today:)


Anonymous said...

I have an Bat into the jacuzzi thing and I promise you can come over ANYTIME to use it!!

I'm glad you're adjusting to this GREAT city. It has so much to offer. I'm gonna have to try that ice cream shop, sounds like my kinda place.

Where did you get sushi from? I've only had Goten from the downtown area.

Have a great week!

Ys said...

It sounds like you're having an amazing time! I'm a little jealous ;)

Good luck with the start of the new job - I hope it goes great!

AaroN said...

...with pics!

Nice update. You took a few minutes out of your morning to harass me, so I made a lame attempt at blogging.

Happy Monday!

allbilly said...

be CAREFUL...i grew up going to a church three days a week...and church folk LOVE to eat....gluttons aren't generally scorned like drunks or be careful. lol

sounds like all is well. your description of nashvegas makes it sound like you never lived in the atl.....did you do anything fun in atl????

who are the other folks in the photo? is the guy in the middle the guest blogger? is the other girl that scared him in this photo?

cdp said...

Yay for updates! Sounds like you are off to a great start. Billy is right about the food. But damn, church food is always good, isn't it?

So glad to hear you're doing so well. Look forward to hearing about your first days at work!

Scotty said...

Sounds like you have had a great start there, glad to hear it!

Bethany said...

Awesome update! I thought about you all weekend and wanted to be sure to get an update today. While I am still in amazement that your new roomie has no clue what Family Ties is, I know you'll pull through and teach her the joys of Michael J Fox back in the day! :) Good luck at work! Love you and miss you!! ~ B

icadle said...

I can't comment via the blackberry because it doesn't do the image comment verification thing real well. I haven't posted lately because the bby is cumbersome in that regard. I'm being issued a computer so maybe i can get back into the blog thing soon.

PS - sounds like you are having a good time!!

Clearlykels said...

Sounds like things are going really well. That is wonderful that you and your roomie have enough in common adn that you are really getting settled in.

ella said...

And you managed to do it all with PERFECT hair!

Ally said...

Bethany: I miss you too! Wish we could meet at Jenoely's this week:)

Billy & CDP: Remember--this is Presbyterian church food, and while still good, it's not like Baptist church food. There's been no fried chicken, angel biscuits, sweet potato casserole, or the like. It's been along a much healthier line--chicken fajitas, lots of hummus, grapes, sandwiches, and the like. And that's probably a very good thing.

As for Atlanta, through the week it was pretty tough to make it anywhere in a timely manner because the traffic was so horrendous. Sometimes on Fridays it would take close to 30 minutes to travel one mile, so it sort of took the fun out of events. Plus I never really made a core group of friends in the ATL and having some buddies to do stuff with is usually helpful in exploring new things.

As for the photo, the guy in the photo is the guest blogger's brother--who did this program last year. The two girls closest to me also did this program last year and are still here in Nashville.

FC&F: The sushi was just from a place called Toyko in a strip mall in Bellevue. We just needed something quick during halftime. As for Bat, I'm not sure I'd have much pull with him:)

Pam said...

What? Your roommate has never heard of Family Ties and Different Strokes?

Sounds like you are settling in just fine and having tons of fun. Nashville is an awesome city (I lived there for a 1 1/2 years) and I look forward to hearing about it through your eyes.

brandy said...

Wow lady! It sounds like you are off to a great start. Sushi and ice cream and cookies are all mentioned (it's lunch here and I'm hungry and thus noticing the food references). But I also love that your roomie seems great, that you love the library/gym and that you seem like you are enjoying yourself. Fantastic! Oh, and the fact that you mentioned the West wing when it's my current love, extra fantastic!

B said...

sounds like things are going well for you! glad to hear