Archive for September, 2007

on My Almost-Twin

Andrew of ONE/Northwest

For those of you reading this who don’t work for ONE/Northwest, I’d like to introduce you to Andrew, my new colleague and office-mate and one of the two people I work with most closely on Plone-based projects. Sorry, Jon B., but Andrew gets all the attention here because, as we quickly discovered, we are basically the same person.

Cases in point:

  • Andrew and I both grew up in Goshen, IN and attended the same middle school and high school.
  • We both got our undergrad degrees at Goshen College, where we each participated in the chamber choir and the environmental club.
  • We both were raised in the Mennonite Church, and attended Assembly Mennonite Church in Goshen for at least a brief period.
  • We both entered the Mennonite Voluntary Service just after graduating from college and took placements in Seattle at ONE/Northwest…
  • …and now we share an office and (largely) a job description.

Pretty crazy, huh? Of course there are distinguishing factors between us. (For instance, Andrew is married. I was disappointed to learn that his wife Sarah does not have a younger sister, which would have helped keep the trend on track.) But it was pretty freaky to learn that apparently we also both enjoy baking the same bread recipe (oatmeal bread from More With Less). Speaking of which, I just took two loaves of that out of the oven, and had better go see if it has cooled down.

on Another Week in Washington

This weekend was spent at Camp Camrec, the Mennonite camp to the east across Stevens Pass. It was a chance to get to know the Seattle MVS support committee, interact more with housemates, and see some of rural Washington state.


Deception Falls

Treebeard? Treebeard?

new life

Life is good. At work, I feel like I am starting to get a leg up on the learning curve, and I’ve already written a bit of code that is running on a live site. At home, we drafted a house covenant and have just figured out the room situation — my real room (commonly known as “the womb”) has just been emptied out and I can move in tomorrow. Tonight I just cooked my first house meal (groundnut stew), which was a success. It really is amazing how quickly one can settle down in a new place and start to feel the rhythms of a routine…I guess that is something we can’t live without, even as we need new and exciting things alongside.

on Unexpected Graces

Oh yes, I almost forgot to brag about the view from my 10th-story downtown office window:
Puget Sound from my office

on My First Days in Seattle

Whew, the past few days have been a whirlwind. I got here around 9 p.m. Saturday evening, was picked up and brought to the MVS house on Capitol Hill, where I met lots of people and moved into my temporary abode in the TV room (until the end of this week when some of the old VSers move to their new residence). On Sunday I spent the morning unpacking, then wandered around the neighborhood for a bit before getting picked up for the Grand Tour of Seattle.

Jill, the local MVS coordinator, ended up taking us on a 5-hour tour of many parts of Seattle. We started by heading a ways south down Rainier Ave. to visit a couple peoples’ assignments (including a quick detour to see Lake Washington),
Lake Washington
then swung past the stadiums,
stopped at the Uwajimaya market,
fish at Uwajimaya
headed on through downtown,
downtown Seattle
past the Space Needle,
the Space Needle
and up to Queen Anne hill which offers a gorgeous panoramic view.
Then on up across the canals, past the Fremont troll,
to the Ten Thousand Villages in Roosevelt. And then west to Ballard and the Chittenden locks
before swinging back past the University and home again.
On Sunday evening I walked to Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral for its well-known Compline service, where I met a friend from Goshen who I brought back to see the MVS house. And then today was my first day at ONE/Northwest–a day of meeting neat people who are passionate about technology and about helping environmental agencies engage their constituents, of setting up a new computer and learning about how this organization does things, and of actually diving into a bit of programming alongside my illustrious colleague Andrew. Oh, and I can’t forget this evening…one of my housemates managed to get some free tickets to the Mariners game from her work, so we headed down to Soldier field to see the game. Sadly, the results were not as desired (Oakland had two grand slams…TWO!), but it was still a fun end to some exciting first days in the Emerald City.

on the Transition

Greetings from Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita, Kansas. I just finished my week at Camp Mennoscah, just outside of the bustling metropolis of Murdock, KS (population 378), where I was oriented for the Mennonite Voluntary Service program I am beginning. The orientation sessions themselves were fairly good, although a fair amount of review for this Goshen College graduate who’s been muttering core values like “servant leaders,” “global citizens,” and “compassionate peacemakers” for the past 4 years. The really wonderful parts of the week were the surroundings (contrary to expectations, the Kansas prairie has so much LIFE), the food (our meals were home-cooked by former VSers), the people (what can I say…people who decide to give up a year of income in order to help change the world are pretty sweet).

Now I’m sitting here waiting for my flight back to Chicago, where I will spend the night at the Last Homely Home of the East (many thanks to Abby, Becca, Steph, and Jess, who are my gracious hosts and guardians of two of my bags for this week). Tomorrow afternoon I’ll catch another flight from Chicago on to Seattle, where I’ll be reunited with the one housemate I know from college, the three housemates I met this week, 5 or so continuing housemates whose terms are ending in a month who I met briefly in February but haven’t really gotten to know, and 1 other new housemate. (Did I mention the living situation for the next month looks a tad crowded? Ah well, here’s to intentional community.)

By the way, welcome to those of you from ONE/Northwest who found this blog. Thanks for the words of encouragement, and I’m looking forward to meeting all of you first thing on Monday morning!