I LOVE SKYPE. Skype has been great already. I have talked to my whole family on it, and it is really wonderful. At one point the other night the computer was on the family table and they kind of forgot I was there and were just talking to one another... I loved it! I felt like I was back at home.
Moving away from your family and friends is challenging but it's also life changing. This will be a great time of growth for me and I know that I need that... it's just hard at times. I am so lucky that I am able to have this opportunity - SO LUCKY.
So right when I said goodbye to my parents I came up to my apartment to be greeted by my roomie, Dave N. He gave me a little bit more of a tour and then I sulked in my room for a bit. The only thing that could cure such a thing was TARGET! Thank you so much to all of my friends and family who gave me a Target gift card (or money), because I needed a lot of stuff, and I also needed some retail therapy.
I got lost going there but this is what I found:
For all the Target fans out there, I had to take a picture of the check out lines because it is so similar to the DMV:
You pick a line A - F, and then on the TV screens it calls out your turn and tells you what number to go too. As I looked behind me the place was PACKED, so it's probably a good thing they set it up this way.
I have made 2 target runs this week already (so comforting), and an ikea run with my roomie Dave B. The Ikea is right by this little town called Emeryville (which is right by Berkeley), and it is so random because all around it are run down buildings and Oakland, and then the next you know - there's a "Coach" store, J-Crew and a bunch of high end stores in this outdoor shopping strip. Random.
I have been setting up my room to make it feel more like home and I am almost finished. Setting up my bookcase was the BEST part. It feels SO good to have my books out and looking at me again.
I have an extra poster of John Lennon and I asked my roomies if I could hang it in the hallway and Dave N. said only if I hang a Beyonce one on the other side. Don't tempt me, Dave N.
My roomies have been really great. We made it through our first big roomie meeting and 75% of it was discussing how to split up the fridge (standard).
Heidi - The only other girl roomie - she went to BIOLA!!! She also went to USC. She is up here getting a PhD in Lunar Science. NASA has already offered her a job. Pretty cool. Everytime I talk about it with her I want to watch Apollo 13. I want to watch it so bad. It is her birthday today - we WALKED to yogurtland. So fun living downtown. She is from San Diego and she is a twin. She is also 6'1 so I love feeling short.
Brad - Studying for a PhD in computer science. He had an internship at Google this summer so that is super cool in my book(Fun fact: Not only does Google offer free meals to their employees, they also get a free shuttle ride to and from work!). He loves to organize everything on a google spreadsheet which I hate but am learning to love. He is a leader at Veritas (Actually, all the boy roomies are leaders) which is the graduate student group through First Pres Church (also down the street). He is super patient and organized this whole house!
Dave B. - PhD student in economics. Ridiculously smart. Talks a lot about running codes on his computer and I hear a "NO!!!" come out of his room a lot when things don't go well with the code. He is famous for being the guy that rollerblades around Berkeley, and he also plays really intense board games down the street with other board game people. He plays the harmonica very well and has great stories.
Dave N. - Graduated last May with a PhD in endocrinology. He works at a lab and is basically trying to find a cure for Breast Cancer (ummm, seriously? I know you?). He says so far all of his rats/mice are dying. Dave is super down to earth. Just the other night I found out he was an elder at First Pres church. Note: He doesn't want people calling him "Elder Dave" - I tried. Dave is also very devoted to doing early morning devotions with all the housemates - so far I haven't woken up for one, but when school starts I will.
My week has been filled with exploring my little city. Walking a block to grab sushi is an amazing feeling. I am also right by Blockbuster, thai food, pizza, burgers, cvs, staples, a bunch of bars - you name it, I am right by it. It's wonderful. It takes about 10 minutes to walk to campus as well. My building is a little further - 20 minutes - so I will probably take the bus there because it's only a 7 minute commute by bus and walking combined.
The greatest exploration day was Pub Crawl day. I went with Heidi because all the science people she studies with do this famous pub crawl every year. I was nervous about it, but I had a really good time. We crawled for a good 5 hours and I am happy to know of so many good places to eat and drink. One of my favorite places is called Thalassa. It is literally a 3 minute walk from my house. There is no sign on the front of it so I never would have known what it was. When you walk in there is a huge bar and a few pool tables and some lounge furniture to sit on. I hear this place gets packed on the weekend. Then you walk into the other room and it's a HUGE place with a TON of pool tables. It's got a great vibe and great music. Love it.
I also loved meeting new people. This one student had just gotten in from China - first time in America. I taught him how to hold pizza! I love having the opportunity to talk with such a wide variety of people. That night alone I met 3 people from China, 1 from Chile, 1 from Holland, and people from all over the US. The diversity here is SO refreshing.
Today I met with Dan and Deb who are the campus crusade directors for Cal. I would also like to say we had reeeeally good gyro's for lunch. Such good food out here!
Dan and Deb are really great people, and their kids are super cute. My heart has always been for evangelism, and especially here at Berkeley... I would love to say the word "revival" around here, but I am hesitant because that feels so unreachable. This is definitely a "darker" place to live in. I am lucky because my house is full of light, but outside of that it is different. It's a different kind of dark than orange county where the cities are full of wealth and greed etc. ... up here there is a kind of academic darkness - where logically it doesn't make sense for their to be a God. I am honestly still trying to figure the whole thing out but what I am sure of is that my heart is in a state where it feels called to love and protect. I think mainly this has to do with undergraduate females. Being an undergrad at a secular school must be very difficult at times, and I would love to be present in peoples lives when those difficulties hit.
I'm rambling... SO, Dan and Deb were so incredibly welcoming to me and I love their ministry. I am going to be praying about how I am supposed to get involved out here in Berkeley, and whether it's with Cru at Cal or somewhere else.
Another prayer request: I have been having so many dental difficulties over this past year. I think that I would have been really better off not doing as much work as I did because I literally feel like every single tooth my dentist has touched, there is something wrong with it. In other words, I have been having a lot of pain. The dentist is so expensive and I am also really scared of getting dental work because the numbing medication doesn't work well for me. With that said, if you could pray for me that I would find the right dentist to go to that would help me with all of my dental troubles I would really appreciate it. This has been a very frustrating situation in my life. I almost feel like maybe my dentist has been taking advantage of me, and I am really scared at what another doctor would have to say about the work that has been done.
Thanks for reading, friends. Today I was thinking - I wish all my friends lived here... we would have so much fun! Miss you all!