Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I am happy to say it is spring, but I'm not really sure what the means here...  We've had this great weather pretty much since January, punctuated by brief snowstorms.  I guess the difference in March and April's spring weather is the abundance of greenery, flowers, and lizards!  Our small front 'lawn' area erupted in a sea of microscopic purple flowers.

All the fruit trees around our house are in bloom.

And lizards have started to appear, hopefully to eat the ants...
Work on the house is still progressing, although at a slower pace since we are all busy with school.
Shaun finally quit his job at El Gato Azul (yet another un-fulfilling restaurant job), and I finally got a job, which I'm happy to say is like a childhood fantasy come true for me.  I work at a little custom cake bakery called Sugared N Iced.  The walls are painted pink and covered with glitter. Although I could do without all the glitz and glam (like the crystal chandelier above our front counter)... I'm just not a girly-girl...  I get to bake cookies, add sprinkles to cupcakes, and eat frosting to my heart's content!  On top of all that, there's still occasionally time for me to do my homework, and if not, I get off work before 9 anyway.  It's really a fabulous job, made even better by my awesome boss.  She's the nicest person ever and when she's not baking wedding cakes and adding edible sparkle glitter to pink champagne cupcakes, she races motorcycles. Like knee-on-the-ground fast track racing. Yeah!  The only downside to this job is that it is located in food court in the mall (though it is a locally owned non-franchise establishment) so I get to watch real live Americans eat fast food all day long.

On the school side of things, things are going well.  We're all busy and struggling, constantly piled with homework...projects, reports and papers due around every corner, but we are learning.  I am in a class called Human Rights Seminar, where we have tons of discussions about things like 'cultural lens', 'Marxist dialectics', and 'human rights discourse'.  Half the time I feel way over my head reading so much political theorist philosophy, but I'm definitely understanding enough and working out enough concepts to leave the class inspired and enraged.  The really great thing is that I get to take all those human rights and cultural lens concepts straight in to my Kenya History and Culture class to examine the colonial and post-colonial atmosphere of Kenyan history and present day corruption.

And to prove that this school is working for me so far, I've been able to apply numerous concepts from last semester's classes.  Writing Workshop (which Shaun is taking this semester) prepared me for the constant research paper writing, but also gave me a good basis for critical thinking strategies and context evaluation.  Spiritual Landscapes of the Indigenous Southwest has served as a great background for applying my newly acquired human rights frameworks as well as being a parallel example to oppression in Kenya.

My other class is an independent study in Russian language.  As it turns out, the dean of the Resident Degree Program's wife, who is a math teacher at the school, lived in Russia for quite a few childhood and teenage years, so she speaks Russian fluently.  She is mentoring me and I am making progress quite well.  Although I'm getting into the grammar aspect of the language, which is fairly complicated compared to English, I feel confident that I could hold a simple conversation and that I will be adequately prepared to spend a month doing an independent study in Russia next fall.  It's such a fun language! Я говорю на русском плохо!

Needless to say, I think we're all ready for school to end soon so we can get on with other parts of life... like being outdoors instead of in front of the computer.  We would all like to spend more time in the garden, continuing our yard work, and watching my little chickens grow.  Also, my dad is making another visit, starting next Monday, and this time for a whole month!  He will definitely whip us into shape around here, so there will be tons of great new project pictures to post.

Check out photos from the last couple months HERE!


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