Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Transitioning (As Always)

I'm just blogging because I know I need to do a less formal update for all of  mi familia y amigos out there.. I'm usually a perfectionist about writing and stuff. But I'm not right now, just unloading stuff from my brain.

I think it's healthy to accept that sometimes life is always in a state of perpetual transition.
Over the last several years, my life has been anything but stable. It was on purpose.
There were leaps of faith involved, and organizations and ministries founded and grown. Under the Same Tree has grown, required lots and lots of work, and is full of potential. There was (and is) continuous fundraising, months in Africa, months in the US, living outside, staying with friends around the United States and around Saint Louis.. It was wonderful. It was exciting, and fun, filled with crazy stories. At some point, though, I started becoming tired. It was time to find a place to live again.

So here's what's happening:

1. David and I are working to increase our stability in life. A few years back, he left his job to have the flexibility to travel with me for UTST stuff. We accepted that meant we would have to be living on my less-than-enough-for-one-person income, making lots and lots of sacrifices. After a while, though, we couldn't keep up financially with car repairs, my normally strong immune system started to falter after literal years of eating not much other than rice and ramen noodles, and prolonged periods of sleeping on camper beds, air mattresses, and floors makes you start aging prematurely. That's just terrible!

These past two years of living in crazy ways was necessary to enable a healthy launch for UTST. It happened wonderfully!  Now we need to be healthy too.

So, David is transitioning away from UTST and resuming employment working as a property manager for a Saint Louis based ministry (Love the Lou). Over the Holidays, he has also picked up some work at World Market.. (Oh how I love that store).

I am continuing to work as the director of Under the Same Tree. I raise support for my salary, and it is incredibly, exhaustingly difficult. (Just to be honest). With that in mind, if you could please send a few $5 bills (or more) per month to help maintain my employment, it would sure help me sleep better at night, and maybe work some extra vegetables into my ramen noodle diet. Please help UTST to continue to have a healthy director! And you can do that here: https://underthesametree.cloverdonations.com/staff-support/

2. We got an apartment!

I know, that's some super big news. We signed a lease with a really good friend, and get to move on over in the new year. It's in South City. If you know me, you know I have struggled with enjoying Saint Louis for the entirety of the time that I have been here. But a few years ago, I worked with a refugee resettlement organization in South Saint Louis, and was surprised to realize that I love South City. So, the new apartment is really close to Tower Grove Park, and I am SO relieved that I actually have a place to live!

Also, the camper will be up for sale in the Spring. (Yes, the one that we have been living in. It's vintage and cute and spacious and I hand painted the details and I really do love it a LOT). Any takers?

3. We are on our way back to East Africa

From here on out, it is likely that I will be traveling to Kenya and Uganda twice a year, and taking travelers! This time, we have 6 travelers coming, spaced out over 6 weeks (not including David and I), so I'm really excited about that. We are sending all of our travelers back home with the story of a specific family that they will spend time with, and hoping that this gives UTST the opportunity to expand our base of supporters.

I'll be back at the end of Feb, and most likely heading back in the late summer. Want to come?

So, Merry Christmas!