Looking for a Home and School

Photo:  Yet another blurry photo brought to you courtesy of Three-Worlds.com.  Wouldn't it be awesome if I learned how to work my camera one day.  I will, I will....but remember the old days, when there weren't even photos ever on our website.  Count your blessings...or not.   The view from the Varner's Apartment where we are staying.

We are busy looking for a home in the Berlin area.  At the moment we are staying in the apartment of our teammates Aaron and Nicole Varner.  They will be returning to Berlin August 31st, so for at least 5 more weeks or so, we have a place to stay for free as we hunt for homes.

We are looking for a home that is somewhat close to Marco's future school.  However, we are still not sure which school he has been accepted to.  He has been accepted to one school which is VERY expensive.  Then there is another school which is FREE, but says they have no space.  So they are telling us that we will have to wait until the week before school starts before we can find out whether Marco will be accepted to the FREE school which we prefer.

Meanwhile, we are looking for a home somewhere in the areas close to the schools.  This means that most days, we are visiting several homes or apartments looking for the right fit for our family and our job.  We will be working out of our home so we need office space.  And we expect that we will have many visitors:  Three-Worlds teammates from other countries, supporters, German pastors, European/Middle Eastern leaders, interns, youth groups, and friends wanting to visit us and Europe.  So we need extra space to house all the visitors.

Then we need to be relatively close to a subway or bus line that our visitors can use when living with us here in Berlin.  And we need to keep in mind that for much of the year, it will be cold and rainy so our visitors will not want to walk for miles to the bus or subway.  So there's a lot more to consider.

Today we found a place that was pretty nice---except that it was deathly far from a subway line and a decent bus route.  Our visitors would find it way too difficult to get around from there.  It's too bad, because we liked many other things about it.

Then there was a place that was absolutely perfect and the realitor said that we could have it--but then the next day called and said it was a mistake.  That the house was already taken.  That was disappointing.

Most all the homes and apartments are really well kept up.  The neighborhoods are lovely and the people friendly.  And there's lots of green areas which we love.  In most homes, we can all picture ourselves living there.  But usually something doesn't feel quite right.  So we keep looking.  After living in a Hong Kong apartment with 35,000 other people, pretty much any place we find is going to be great, quiet, private, and relaxing.

You would think that not having a home, a car, all of our stuff, or a school would be super stressful.  But I think all 3 of us are more relaxed right now than we have been in four years.  We are in our element in these kinds of situations as weird as that may sound.

Meanwhile, we continue to live in Kreuzberg close to the center of Berlin in this artsy, hip, cool neighborhood filled with young people and people from all over the world.  We're greatly enjoying walking around, eating out, and visiting the local shops.  I've gotten to speak more Spanish in Berlin than I have in a two years in Hong Kong.  So that's fun.  There are two Spanish places just within a 1 minute walk from here.  Very cool.  As I mentioned before, this is a neighborhood I have stayed in a few times before on previous visits to Berlin, but it's nice to be kind of "settled" here this time around.  The other day we went to a Thai Restaurant called "Phuket"--which of course was the name of our favorite family vacation spot in Asia.

I was hoping that "Phuket" would have the same spicy fish dish that I loved getting in Phuket---and they do!  So I'm planning on visiting that place A LOT.  Pretty much anytime I come down to visit the Varners and the Philips, I may need to say to them--"meet me at Phuket."  Just finding my favorite dish is absolutely lovely, and there's much more to discover in and around this place.

So say a little prayer for us as we continue looking for a home and a school.  But we're doing great.