September 27th, 2004

Hey everyone!
First off, apologies for the mass email. I really do mean to send
personal notes to everyone and sometimes it actually happens, but lately things have been crazy around here and so I beg everyones'
forgiveness :)

Our neighborhood is amazing--besides our wonderful, hilarious family of three next door (Luther, his mother, whose name we still don't know, and his sister Andrea) there are three girls two doors down a little older than Emily and I who are all working. Their landlord's name is Elvis, of all things, and he's hilarious. Then there is the old Portuguese woman across the street who washes her car about 4
times a week and gets in waterfights with her friend and neighbor.
Emily and I often sit on the porch and watch them and giggle to ourselves. There are no end of little, non-English-speaking children running around and they are a joy to watch--playing hide- and-go-seek behind parked cars while the younger ones watch from the porch and point to where their older siblings are hiding. Across the street there is a man who's car alarm goes off 2 to 3 times a day--we never can figure out if it's actually being broken into or if he just can't figure out how to open it without setting off the bells and whistles.

Speaking of bells and whistles, there is an icecream truck that makes the rounds here at about 10 pm--the song it plays is nothing short of creepy, it reminds me of something that should be on the TV version of "IT."

I am starting to really get into my classes--getting to know the professors and other students, re-learning my learning styles and study habits, teaching myself to write papers all over again. The more I practice, the easier it becomes.......

Next week will be our one-month anniversary in our house and hopefully things will settle down a little as of then. My student loan documents got "lost" in the mail and I had to fill out a form to get them reissued--that was on Wednesday. Unfortunately, when I called today to get the status of the re-issue, they informed me
that they never received my fax, so I had to run home and get the form and refax that as well. Now it should take two days to have it reissued, another day to have it couriered here, and then a week to cash it. We are hoping that our landlord will be lenient with us this month because....

....to add insult to injury, when I arrived home to grab the papers I needed today, I found Emily in the kitchen with her feet up off the floor. Apparantly there is a mouse living in the living room sofa--it came with the house--and this fuzzy thing decided to hop up through the cushions while she was sitting on the couch studying!
After that, emboldened by the fact that she was terrified of it, it took to popping up and running the length of the back of the couch, rustling through the little garbage pail at the end of the room, and running around through the wires behind the CD player. Emily will sleep in my room tonight (I'm upstairs) and Jeff is bringing home mouse poison and an extra trap or two, for which Farley assured me we will be reimbursed. We are entertaining the idea of a pair of kittens to help keep our living quarters rodent-free, but we'll have to wait until we're in a position to take proper care of them!

The next month or so will be ultra-busy--all of my professors seem to have given us assignments due the first week of November, which is crap, most of them are worth no less than 15% of our final grades. But I'm excited about one of them in particular--a Cultural Diversity study on a place called the Adam House, which is close to where I live. It's a half-way house of sorts for refugees who have been in Canada less than 2 days. Our job is to find out as much as we can about how nurses would be able to help people in this situation--do they have immediate health concerns when they come into the country? Do they speak the language well enough to enter a health center and be sure that they will be understood and well- provided for? Do they have emotional health issues that need to be addressed, perhaps coming from areas of strife in the world?
Hopefully we will be able to do it justice. I have an interesting group to work with--assigned by our professor--which consists of 3 18 year olds and a girl named Sarah who is about my age, perhaps a little older.
Anyhoo. Lots and lots going on. I've heard from some of you, some of you have been out of touch for a while. I'd love to hear everyones' news!
Big hugs from

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