Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tennesee, Tennesee, There Ain't No Place That I'd Rather Be...

We're now officially Tennessee residents again! We got our driver licenses, registered to vote, and gifted our car. My parents are so happy that we're now living with them again -- on paper. haha. Only in the south would the DMV worker tell you "Welcome back to Vol country" when receiving your license.

We said goodbye to our immediate family and Sophie's extended family -- but, it's really kinda strange. It's pretty much like we're moving to LA, as far as how far away it is. It even has some of the same gangs as LA.

We're still waiting for pictures of our place -- apparently we may not be in the apartment complex I posted before. Instead, we may be in townhouses that are in the same area.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pack out date and housing

We received our 'pack out date!' This is the date that the moving people are going to come to our place in Clarendon and pack it all up for shipment to San Salvador. It's May 20th... so, we'll be leaving some time after that. We're still waiting to get our travel authorization, which will give us an exact date of departure.

We also got our housing assignment -- I'll be posting some pictures soon enough, but, I believe we'll be living here (link removed).

The car's still in the shop -- needed a new transfer case. Nothing like spending $2700 on car repairs!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fun with Differentials

Well, glad we have one potential disaster out of the way. We bought a 2002 Rav4 about 3 months ago off of Craigslist for a great deal -- the minor dents were an added bonus for us. The guy had a CarMax report saying that it checked out OK, and, I believe him. Anyway -- we're on our way to West Virginia to have one of our last full weekends outdoors and we start to feel a little vibration, like it's rough road. Then it gradually gets worse, so, we pull off to the shoulder. The engine's smoking and there's a terrible smell. The T1000, Eric, Sophie, and I all look at the engine, as if it's going to have a sign saying what's wrong with it. So, we did what any clueless person would do in this situation -- we started the engine up -- sounds great -- and then we tried to move. Terrible noise. We should stop.

While waiting for the tow truck, Ryan called the number for Jackass Amusements (found by GPS) in Hagerstown to see what amusements that had in store for us. Rather than hang up on him (like I would have) the woman on the other end had him repeat his story for why he was calling before telling us that city park in Hagerstown would be a fun place to go.

After lots of waiting, we found out that we needed a new rear differential, which, is not a simple task. So, gracious Whitney picked us up and took us back to DC.

If there's a lesson to be learned here... it's that you should always break down where there's an outlet mall nearby. Otherwise, you may never buy that Lodge cast iron skillet you've had your eye on. And you should probably get your differential oil levels checked regularly.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Su español es mejor de que mi español

Sophie passed her FSI exam today, paving the way for us to get our move out date! We should hopefully find out next week when we're heading out.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Time's Getting Short

There could be as little as a month left until we leave for El Salvador! With that in mind, we decided to get a feel for what we're getting into by attending a Spanish church service for Easter. We both set off with the expectation that this would be fun, but, I quickly found myself utterly lost about 1 minute in. My head was racing as I drifted between moments of daydreaming and moments of complete confusion as the preacher and congregation burst into song or prayer at (what seemed like) a moment's notice. Man do I need to learn Spanish better -- traveler's Spanish just isn't going to cut it. If only I had studied Spanish full time for the past 5 months :)

Tomorrow I'm getting a rabies shot. My mom asked if I expected to be bitten by a dog. That kind of makes me wonder why I'm getting a rabies shot. Oh well -- if dogs are chasing me, I will now have one less thing to worry about.