This "weekend" I went with Timothy Sound (Part of YFC Slovakia) to work the main stage at a music festival. They picked me up at the ranch on wednesday around 5. we drove two hours and then worked till about midnight or so unpacking the trucks. Thursday we got to the festival site at 8 and worked till around 11 that night getting the stage and all the wires and monitors stuff set up. We headed back Friday morning around 9 to finish setting up the lights and projector and screen and checking everything. Volnost nad Nevolnom (Freedom in Nevolnom - name of the town) started at 3 that afternoon and went till about 2AM. We slept in till around 10 on Saturday and walked around Kremnica for a bit. We headed to the festival around 2PM and worked till 3AM and then got up at 6 AM (3 hours later) on sunday to tear everything down we finished up around 3PM, and then drove back to the ranch. I did not help unload the truck since once it's all boxed up it's too heavy for me.

It was a great weekend. I enjoyed almost every minute. I came home VERY tired. Micah said he's going to talk to the "powers that be" and ask that they not return me next time until i've had a full night's sleep. I get kind of grumpy when i'm tired. (understatement)

All that to say that i have today free!!
I realized that having the day off to do what i want looks a lot like what i do when i work. (aside from the fact that I slept in till 10 and pent the rest of the morning in bed with the kitten and a good book) I have written a few personal e-mails that i've been putting off. I uploaded and played with some pictures in photoshop. I called the bank. I updated my blog. I uploaded some photoshop brushes. I have not bought any yarn yet so i didn't knit anything. and it's raining so i couldn't go for a walk or anything.

Basically i sat at the computer most of the afternoon, just like a regular day. But i didn't do anything i didn't want to or even anything requiring much thought. i'll work tomorrow, and it will look a lot like this afternoon.

I am either very lucky to have a job that i mostly enjoy, or i am very dull and have no personal boundaries.


Buying a car in a foreign country

our new car

This is our newest car. In the past year and a half, I have had 3 new cars. Well, none of them were new, but new to me anyway... Also, the front ends of the other cars got smashed up. I'm hoping against that for this one. I have bad luck with cars.
one story after another41771.jpg

buying a used car is a simple and straightforward procedure or so we were told. Let me sum it up for you....

The first thing you must do to buy a used car in a foreign country is have money to pay cash. In order to do this, you had to request a temporary salary increase at least 2 weeks in advance. No one told us this. If you did not already request the temporary salary increase, you have two options. You can wait two weeks, stranded at the remote location where you are staying temporarily because you can't live anywhere else without a vehicle. Or you can just empty your bank account and borrow money from people you work with. and then pray that no big expenses come up before the next payday.

The second thing you must do is speak the language. If you don't speak the language, you have to find someone who does. Preferably someone who also speaks English and knows a little about cars. This person should also be willing to give up his free day to drive you around looking for a car. (Paly Biros has put up with more trouble on my behalf than any one person should ever have to. I believe he will get an extra crown in heaven just for that)

The third thing you must have is a temporary stay permit (this is a cluster of a process itself). If you do not have a temporary stay permit yet, you must find a Slovak willing to let you put the car in his name. This person will also have to go to the police station at 5 in the morning to transfer all sorts of paperwork. You will have to go with him. He will also have to do something about insurance (still not clear what or how much it will cost).

After you have gathered these things, you will have to drive your car home. If you buy your car 2 hours from where you live, and you do not know what the road signs mean, this will be a stressful thing.

If you get it home, you must be sure and communicate with the man whose name it is in so that all the bureaucracy will be satisfied. This will be complicated by the fact that he does not speak English.

So we have a car. It is sitting in the parking lot. We have no clue when we will be allowed to actually drive it again. It's ok though, we dont have anywhere else to go.


the brain is a wonderful and mysterious place.

I stood up to go down to the bathrooms and take some pictures. (that sounds funny...because this is a retreat center/campground, they are building extra bathrooms outside...oh never mind)
Anyway, As i stood up, i looked at the clock and the thought that occured to me was,

It is quarter to eleven, do you know where your chickens are?

yeah, i'm a bit confused and surprised too.


dum dun duuunnn

creative control strikes again. and on the first day. lets just say that my morning was a total waste because not only is the great idea i had thrown out the window, i am having trouble wiping the slate clean and starting my brain over on a new track :(


I'm in Slovakia!!!

i have waited over a year to type those words again. It feels good! It is nice to be here. Micah doesn't speak any Slovak so i feel really good about what i remember. Tomorrow when we meet with Milos who doesn't speak much English i may feel differently.
It was 24 hours from when we got to the airport until we landed in Kosice. 13 of those hours were spent sitting in airports. Yes, more time on the ground than in the air. i hate airport chairs. that is all i will say on that subject. period.

I thought we might be in trouble when a couple with a baby sat down next to us on the flight from DC to Germany. I consider it God's very big gift to us that the baby didn't cry once during the whole 8 hour flight. She looked like she was about Claire's age. I think Abi might consider it a very big gift if Claire went 8 hours without crying.

I thought we were really in trouble again when the security guard in Germany told Micah there was a pocket knife in his bag. Micah was 100% sure he put that knife in his checked bag. They emptied his bag, found the knife and threw it away for us (no strip searches or anything). I am not sure wether the knife moved itself to the carry-on before or after we left home. All I know is that it didn't show up when we went through security in Pittsburgh. I'm just saying :)

So to summarize, 13 hours of layovers, 11 hours of turbulence free flights, 1 baby who didn't cry, 1 confiscated pocket knife, 2 Henrys in Slovakia. I count this a successful trip so far!!