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A Big Week

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

This has been a big week. Julian turned 2 today, and last Thursday I (Allison) put in my notice at my job. My last day is July 31st. Today I sent mail to my group at work announcing that I’m leaving. A bunch of people stopped by to wish me luck, and I got a ton of e-mail from people wishing me well and saying I’ll be missed. I didn’t really anticipate that. I’ve known for a long time that my job was not where I wanted to stay, but today I saw that some of the people I work with are just plain decent people. However, I do still maintain that most of them are the biggest freakin’ wierdos you’ll ever meet, and the stories I take away with me will confirm that. However, it’s nice to leave on good terms with my employer and with my co-workers.

Today we celebrated Julian’s 2nd birthday. He had no idea that it was his birthday, but eventually he put together the words “Geburtstag” (German for “Birthday”) and “Kuchen” (German for “cake”). We’d say “birthday”, and he’d say “cake”! My Mom, Oma Joyce, always buys the boys a cake from Fred Meyer when it is their birthday and we have a party.  William helped cut and serve the cake, and Julian, with a fork in the right hand, shoveled cake in his mouth by the handful with his left. 

The neighbors have 2 kids, Tanner and Toby, whom William and Julian just adore. They are quite a bit older and often have friends over to play. Julian and William love to go over and peer through the trees when they are playing in their backyard. Today William took 2 chairs over, one for him and one for Julian and set them up. They brought sippy cups filled with juice and just sat and watched them play.

W & J

We also had dinner with Steven Notter, a friend Matthias used to work with. William and Julian had so much fun playing with his daughter Samaia (sp?). His wife Rahemma (sp?) had to work and joined us a little later. Steven bought a hammock in Mexico in the 80’s and we had a great time hanging out in it. It was 18 feet wide and the whole family fits in it perfectly. We might just have to pick one of those up if we make it to Mexico.

Steve Julian

First Practice Run:

Friday, July 14th, 2006

Written by Matthias.

at the camp site

We had about a week to practice before Allison needed to go back to work on July 5th.  Some of things that we needed to find out were:

  • Is our air-cooled van capable of driving us long distances in hot weather through mountain terrain.
  • How are the kids going to hold up in a small space in hot weather?
  • How are WE going to hold up in a small space in hot weather?
  • How much stuff can we bring with us? Etc.

In other words, we needed to get an idea of what the Yodavan and we are capable of.  We decided that the desert would be the perfect environment for our first practice run.  Sounds pretty simple, but there was one more big problem to solve. SOCCER!We are in the middle of the soccer world cup and we are still in an emotional soccer high, after being in Germany during the beginning of the tournament and witnessing the biggest party in Germany ever (that’s even counting the reunification in 1989). We couldn’t miss too many of the games and definitely not Germany against Argentina. So it took a lot of phone calls to find a camp site where we could watch the games. The best place we found was in Oliver, BC. They had cable hook up and thanks to our friends the Richards family who let us borrow their TV we were set to go. We loaded up all of our Germany flags, jerseys, t-shirts wigs etc. and hit the road. Our first stop was at Lake Chelan. In order to get there we had to drive up a pass in 100 degree weather and the van made it without any problems and luckily the kids and us also did very well despite not having air conditioning.Then we went on to the desert in Canada? Believe it or not, there is desert in Canada. It’s part of the Okanagon Valley and it was pretty damn hot there as well. After Wallis (Switzerland), Alsace (France), Wuertenberg (Germany) it was one more wine region we got to see in the last weeks. In Oliver there was really not too much to do except visit wineries (alcohol in general is really expensive in Canada) or pick cherries, but it was still a place we (especially William) will never forget.  William got his first girlfriend. Brittany! It was love at fist sight. No kidding! From the first time they saw each other they where inseparable. Both kids had the best time. We had the most kid friendly campsite I’ve ever seen. Everyone watched out for each others kids and all toys seemed to be communal. It also didn’t take too long until Allison and I were known to everyone at the camp site.  It only took until we had all of our Germany flags, wigs, towels, T-shirts all over our site. People saw that we were serious about the world cup and some of them asked if we minded if they watch the games with us. That was exactly what we wanted. Watching the games by ourselves would have been boring. At the Germany : Argentina game we were about 20 people, but the next day when England was playing Portugal there where between 40 – 50 people watching the game on our tiny TV (despite our neighbor, who had a $300,000.00 dollar RV with a TV twice the size of ours). Unfortunately we had to leave the camp site after 4 nights and head on home, but we were very pleased with our practice run. There are only minor modifications we have to do to the car and maybe some to the kids, but overall we are in good shape.Life was good when we came home from our short camping trip. Germany was still in the world cup. It was still ok to eat pizza (damn Italians). Now times are different. We can only look back at the greatest party Germany has ever seen (thank you Klinsmann), and be happy that we have been there for at least some part of it. World Cup at the camp site world cup at the camp site 2  

 

May & June

Monday, July 3rd, 2006

I (Allison) was granted a 2 month leave of absence from my job at Microsoft to participate in an exchange sponsored by the Rotary Club. On this exchange I traveled for 4 weeks with 5 other Americans, one Rotarian and ... [Continue reading this entry]