A week from now I will be in the Dominican Republic sussing out what my neighborhood is like. It is hard to believe this time is finally upon me and I am counting down the 'lasts' - last time I do laundry in my own place, last time I run the dishwasher, last few nights I sleep in my bed, last three days of work and of course, the last times I see people who have become very dear to me.
Many of you have asked me for the lowdown on where things stand. Well, several things have been accomplished over the past several months. I have received my replacement passport (to the best of my knowledge my previous one was stolen/misplaced and I am tending the believe the former as I have looked through heaven and hell to find it to no avail.) I have copies of all of my diplomas. I have cancelled contractual obligations here in the States (like telephone/internet/Y-membership, etc.) Things are coming together and I am encouraged that the list which was once encyclopedia-size is not relatively short. Just 6 days and a few odds and ends to finish up and I will have successfully relocated my existence.
The house is getting packed up, but is currently rather a mess. Empty closets and boxes remind me continuously of how much I have sorted, packed, tossed and given away. It feels good to purge and I am excited that God brings these times into my life to allow me to open my hands and grasp this world a little less tightly. There is still much to do, and Wed (August 1st) several of my friends are coming over to help me move the large items out of the house. After that I will take a deep breath and feel accomplished.(Bear with me as I figure out my html - its pretty rusty.)
Several of you have asked me about finances. I really hate discussing it, and I know that the distaste is largely my pride, so I am going to take this blog space to vomit out the situation.
I prayed, upon accepting this overseas position, that God would give me what I need and only what I need. There were three large money items I prayed for - a new laptop, money for a passola, and my plane ticket. The first and last I have received and feel mounds of gratitude. The passola I have not had the funds for. Perhaps it is not needed and I am better off without it. God certainly knows. I have been told I could purchase a used one for about $900 US. If I do manage to do so, it will stay at the school when I leave for the next person who takes the History position.
My monthly wage is $350 US. From that I will pay for my room, electricity, internet and food. I do not know the cost of food, so I cannot say how much I will actually have left over after meeting basic survival needs. I have been advised that it is not much. For those of you who have expressed an interest in financial supprt, my parents will be depositing monies into my savings account here in the States which I will be able to access online. None of the money for the trip will be spent on anything other than the trip, my needs there, and hopefully, when possible, I will be able to contribute to the needs of my community in Jarabacoa.
My parent's address is:
Christina Rich c/o Sara Rich
11533 Five Cedars Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28226
I HAVE A VONAGE ACCOUNT! Yay! This means that you can reach me while I am in the DR at 704-323-5589. I am very excited about this, as it means my friends and family can contact me at no additional charge to them, and I can call all of you without having to pay exorbitant international calling fees. I should also have internet (when power is available) and will be updating this blog at least weekly. I cannot wait to post pictures of my school, my classrooms, my students, my apartment, and the beautiful mountains that I will live in. I hope tomorrow to update this site with the pictures and information I currently have about Jarabacoa Christian School and the city I will be living in, so please keep checking back!
Lastly, I want to thank all of my friends who came out last night to wish me well. I had a blast, feel very loved and I have wonderful memories of spending time with all of you. To the girls who organized I want to add a special thank you - you are fantastic!