Thursday, September 2, 2010

Home away from home...Croatia!

 Beautiful Croatia! We are finally in Croatia. After a very long exhausting trip, via New York, Vienna, and Slovenia we are home. Flying into Slovenia was just amazing. Little clusters of homes with red roofs and beautiful old churches spotting the landscape. It reminded me of reading "Heidi" when I was a girl and all my imaginations of the Swiss Alps. Although I didn't see any goat boy with goats in tow. The A.P.'s met us at the air port with Sis, Hill (The mission Pres, wife ) and the missionary couple that takes care of the office,(The Robinsons from up Park City way). We stayed with the Robinsons for the rest of the day, They took us on a little sight seeing jaunt to see an old castle. I forgot my camera and was so disappointed to not get a picture! Maybe we will get back that way sometime in the next two years! Anyway we finally got to sleep, but I'm afraid I have to admit that I slept on Jim's shoulder during most of the three meetings on Sunday. Some great missionary I am! After church the A.P.'s brought us across the boarder into Croatia. It is also very beautiful, but Varazdin is a bigger city and so far we have not strayed far from our apt.
   We have been so blessed! While we were in the M.T.C. we found out that we had gotten a car. Yeah! We will be so much more effective with our own transportation. Then when we got here we found out that Sister Hill and the A.P.'s had worked overtime looking at apartments for us. And my did they do it up right! Our apt. is just awesome! Very modern, European, clean and safe. What more could we ask for? It's in a good location in the city. With little shops with in walking distance and even a park by the police station.,  Every wall in the house is painted a different color. When you walk in, the entry way is lime green, our bedroom is YELLOW! Yeah! I love yellow. A different shade on each wall. Living room is blue and orange. Kitchen is black and white. It all makes for a very cheerful and European feel. Windows are huge so we get lots of fresh air and sunshine and all the floors are wood except kitchen and bath and they are ceramic tile. We never hear our neighbors. Jim thinks the floors and ceilings must all be made of cement, no sound of feet walking over head. That's all good and well, just hope we don't have an earthquake!
   This week we have been told to nothing but rest and get ourselves settled. So that is what we have done so far. Some how that has eevolved into some pretty fun adventures! The best adventure so far started with us waking up the first morning with backs that felt like we had been sleeping on rocks! I have absolutely no problems with my back, Jim however does have a back that we baby a little. But Monday morning came around and yikes! both of us were walking around like the old people we are. Where was our wonderful Simmons pillow top? We determined that we would go look for a store that perhaps would have some memory foam, or foam of any kind to put over the mattress.  We looked and looked, couldn't find a thing. Then we found a store that had the memory foam mattress pad, but they only had one and we needed two. And it was $200. that stuff is pricey! So anyway, we gave up on that and went to another store that ended up being a store much like IKEA. At that store we bought blanket, sheets and pillows. The night before Jim used a towel and I used a sweat shirt and slept on bare mattress. As we were leaving the store we saw that they sold mattresses as well. Well, the rest is history! We bought each of us a new mattress made of memory foam. They were $250. each. Now we had to get them home in the littlest car you can imagine. We stuffed the first one in over the car seats, mattress sitting on our heads as we crouched down to see out of the windshield.. We drove home in a raging rain storm, giggling and feeling like college students! Brought the first one up the stairs and repeated the process again with the second one. We now have a wonderful bed! The side benefit is that by the time we stacked the new mattress on top of the old one, we now have a bed that is a normal (for Americans) height. They don't use box springs here so most beds are very low to the floor. What a day!
   Yesterday we did a little wash, no dryers, no chlorine bleach either. Guess I will have to get over my whites fetish quick huh?
   Today we found a dry cleaners, and a new and better grocery store. We have tried three different stores now and this one is the best. It had a few spices that I have been looking for. Chicken seasoning, chili powder, steak seasoning, garlic and cinnamon. I soaked some beans overnight for chili and have made some for dinner tonight, but it's a little strange. Chili powder just isn't the same. It will do though. One thing they do not have here is Splenda. Some one told us that at the M.T.C. so our son, Russ, brought us two big bags of it to the airport. We squeezed it in and are sure glad we did. (Thanks Russ) They also have no Crystal light, sugar free hot cocoa, or spray butter. We both gained so much weight at the M.T.C. that we really are working on getting it off. Keeping to our missionary schedule, getting up at 6:30 and exercising will help, we already are feeling a difference.
      Next week the Area Welfare President and his wife will be here for 5 days training us. We are looking forward to getting that training and starting our work. We also are thinking of driving back to Slovenia to be at a member fireside that Elder Nielson is going to be speaking at. Not sure if I feel comfortable with that, but we are considering it. The young missionaries here are delightful and hard working. We will enjoy working with them and getting to know them better. The weeks ahead will be challenging as we feel our way through the Humanitarian work ahead. One of our first projects will be in Bosnia as we will help with a neo-natal resuscitation training up at one of the hospitals there.
   I tried to download some pictures for you, but for some reason could not get it accomplished. Jim said it might be that the computer is on a wireless Internet. He will look for some new cords, wires or whatever they are to hook it up directly to the source. We are just grateful that we managed to get Blogger into English. It kept defaulting to Croatian and we don't know enough Croatian to read the directions on how to change the default. I love that I have a family full of computer people! Thanks again Rusty!


sara said...

I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes! So glad you made it safe and sound and that you have a wonderful apartment, and that you are on such an amazing adventure!!! Love you!

April said...

Hi! Sounds like you guys are enjoying it so far:) We miss you guys! Tanner has informed me that he wants to be just like Grandpa Erickson, I think it's great and I encouage him to do so, but BUT He thinks he can now drink out of the milk carton cuz Grandpa Erickson does! So he now has his OWN gallon of milk with his name on it:) anyways, I really like all the colors in your house:)

cynphil6 said...

This is so fun to read and I love seeing your pictures! Sending love and prayers your way!