Sunday August 22nd.
Hot water: So, we've learned a thing or two about the hot water situation. Apparently our “hot water booster” is not so much a booster at all. The buildings have central hot water. Some have indicated that the city provides this hot water to everyone (it does provide steam heat to everyone in the winter, so this is a possibility) but I'll have to confirm that. Anyway, the hot water is available for 11 months out of the year, and many people have these small water heaters to use when the city/central water is not provided hot. In our case, the central hot water is very much there for us, but we're not used to it taking so long to arrive at the tap. Perhaps we're the first one's using it in the morning and it has to come down the block and up 6 floors, hence the long wait.
Katie and I went to church this morning. It was great. It's a small-ish church filled with people from all over the world. A nice lady from Japan saw us looking for the church and quickly said, “Are you going to the church?” We responded “yes” and she quickly engaged us in conversation and told us she'd show us the way. We met a very energetic lady from Australia (Melbourne) who's a teacher here at a different school (Hope Academy). Very cool people, and it'll be fun to get to know more of them.
Katie's Note: Church this morning was an emotional experience for me. There is something so amazing, so sweet about worshipping the same God with people from all over the world. They have felt His goodness, just like I have, despite our different cultures and journeys.
After church we met up with Cate, a new teacher at our school, for lunch and to see some sights. She had quite the trip to get here. She came from northern MN, and ended up spending the night in Chicago due to weather, and another night in Istanbul, Turkey, due to pretty standard airline travel issues. She's here alone for the time being, but her husband will be flying over in a month or two. Later in the afternoon, we briefly met Chris and Claire Wauters, another new teaching couple at our school. They were thoroughly jet-lagged and we felt kinda bad disrupting them. We'll get to have proper first-meetings in due course, I'm sure.
Anyway, Katie and I finished our strawberries this afternoon, then had some of the leftover pasta and chicken and veggies. Very delicious. I think we'll head out in a bit for some ice cream and to pick up some apricots.
We are walking so much! It's going to take some getting used to, but that'll be great. The weather is supposed to change tomorrow. It was near 100 today, and it is only supposed to be 75 tomorrow, with some showers. I'm hoping it'll knock down some of the terrible air pollution. I have been developing a bit of a sore throat in the evenings, I believe, due to the bad air. I also hope to get my first good look at those amazingly beautiful mountains. Again, in due course, I'm sure.