Monday, July 23, 2007
Home and Back Again
Less than a week after arriving home from my 1-month stint in Canada, I've made travel arrangements to be back again in mere months. My 3 days of unpaid leave have been approved, and I'm booked on 7 different flights to get there and back, but there are some important events that I just can't miss.
Riccardo will unfortunately be in Brazil for work during this time, so it's still pretty unlikely that he'll be able to join me. :(
So, I'll be back from Friday, October 5 until Sunday, October 7 and look forward to a go-go-go wedding-a-thon. Can't wait to see yas!
In other matters: I am dismayed to report that England is now boasting it's wettest July in about 55 years. Seriously. It made the headlines. I think there's been about 2.5 hours of sunshine since I returned from Canada, and it SUCKS. It's really horrible. The worst part is: this is supposed to be the dry season, so I can't imagine what we're in for come Fall. Ugh.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Must Grow Gills
Riccardo and I almost had to swim home from work today. Literally. England had record rainfall today, and for England, that means a LOT of rain. Some places had a month's worth of rain in under an hour.
Since we're both off at 3pm on Fridays, and since we're sharing a car these days, I agreed to pick Riccardo up from work. It had been pouring furiously all day, but I didn't understand the extent of it until I was on a back road about halfway between my school and Riccardo's work (about 45 minutes apart) and had to turn around because a portion of the road was under a good 3 feet of water. No exaggeration. Cars attempting to go through the "puddle" were finding themselves immersed almost to the window.
I turned around and took another route, only to find various washouts elsewhere. By the time I reached Riccardo's work, traffic was at a standstill on all routes. The radios going mad with reports of gridlock and flooding. Most of the major highways clogged to a stop because vehicles couldn't pass the flooding.
What should have been a total of a 1.25 hours drive for me, took over 3 hours, and we were lucky. We saw many vehicles stalled out in the middle of newfound lakes, many others stranded in between two such lakes, and were forced to try about 6 different routes before we got one that worked. We are counting our blessings that we didn't end up like so many others: wading our way through waist-deep water while trying to think of a way to convince our insurance company to pay for the car we just submerged.
Upon arriving home, we turned on the news and heard a comical anecdote about a lady in our area who, upon looking out her window this morning, realized the situation was critical as she witnessed her cat swimming across the back garden!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
For those of you who haven't heard already,
I AM ENGAGED!!!
Riccardo popped the question on Sunday night. Everything was perfect. I couldn't stop laughing and crying long enough to tell him yes, but the smile on my face and my shower of kisses must have got my point across because we are officially engaged. The ring, though I couldn't even calm down long enough to look at it when it was in the box he presented, still leaves me breathless. It is more beautiful than I ever dreamed, and he picked it out himself!! We will marry in August of 2008; preparations are already underway.
In other news, I have commenced my employment as an English and Psychology teacher in a nearby secondary school. I am but four days into my training, and I am already feeling stressed out. The preparation I will need to do over the summer is immense, especially for Psychology.
Myself and another "New Starter" at the school, Naomi, comprise the Psych department. She has possibly less teaching experience than me, but thankfully hers is in a related field. Together, we will teach 10-15 weekly units of Psychology to senior students based on a curriculum we must design ourselves. The Examination Board has provided us with a rough outline of what the kids will be tested on, but how we teach the material and conduct the lessons is up to us. The Psych department at our school is in its infancy, and as such, we do not even have texts for the students (let alone ourselves!) as of yet - we have to allocate the start-up budget for the department ourselves! Yes, it is all a bit daunting, but at least my English lessons have all been pre-planned...
... then again, it would be a great help if I get my company laptop before the start of September so that I can even access said English lessons before I must teach them! No promises there, says our Techy. Ugh.
Did I mention that my school is home to the so-called "ghetto" population of students in the district? Perhaps I should get used to calling myself Crystal Pfeiffer, instead of Crystal Weber?
Canada was a great time. Spent lots of time relaxing - this time, without infectious diseases. Got a fabulous tan in the perfect weather. Achieved a large number of points on my To-Do List. Spent much time with friends, and even more time with family. AND, got my visa with ZERO problems. Actually, in case I forgot to mention it, my visa application was approved in a matter of HOURS, and took no more than a week from the time I posted it, until the time it was received back in my hot little hands. YAY!
One of the highlights of my time in Canada was Ashley Kanigan's Bachelorette Blowout. After much scrambling, Kim, Parker and I threw together a fun-filled evening of sex toys, martinis and shakin' our booties. Oh, the scandals!
The following is some incriminating evidence that girls can be as crazy as boys when it comes to exiting bachelorhood.
Don't forget to click on the pics for my comments! :)