Day 1

Well, I made it to Atlanta today!!! My brother was already planning on coming up the same day, so he came up a few hours earlier and scouted the place out for me. So when I got there, it was pretty painless to move in. I signed my life away (my needed my signature 12 different times), waited a while to get the right paperwork, then Chris and his friend Julia helped me load my stuff into the room. I unpacked completely in 20 minutes….that has to be some kind of a record!!! I love traveling light :). Many hours later, I still haven’t met any of my roommates :).

So, after throwing my stuff in my room, we went off to find somewhere to eat. We found a little hole-in-the-wall Italian place (with French waiters, it was great :])…we also found a Regions bank (necessary eventually), a Kroger (rather urgent), and a Barnes and Noble (exciting!!!) Then we returned to do some scouting, so I could figure out where the heck I’m supposed to go tomorrow morning….the instructions I received from the place where I’m working where not particularly helpful. So I found it, and got a very detailed map of the surrounding area from the ex-marine who worked at the front desk of my apartment – he made sure that it included the closest tanning salon, laundromat, clubs, opera, and three closest malls….apparently all the essentials for a girl of my age :D. So anyway, it looks like I’ll be riding United States public transportation for the first time in my life tomorrow.

For dinner, we met up with a friend of mine, Katrina, and feasted on high-class IKEA dining. Then we horsed around for a little bit (the link below will take you to pictures of our fun :]).

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=174416&id=571111848&l=6ad6478b60

I was going to put pictures of my apartment in that album, as well, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. My bed is calling me… Adieu for now! I’m sure I will have more updates soon :). Love you all and miss you tons!

Introduction

Well, for those of you who know me, I doubt it will surprise you that I would choose a literary reference to assist me in chronicling my adventures of the next 8 months. My blogs are chapters in this part of the story of my life; this is the introduction, or the prologue, take your pick :). For the purposes of my analogy and the title of my blog, I am Sinbad. For my dearly beloved friends and family who do not appreciate the reference, check out this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinbad_the_Sailor

(Yes, I am a college student and yes, I do believe that Wikipedia is a perfectly acceptable source. They teach us well up at Berry College…. :] )

In 107 days, I will embark on an adventure that, like Sinbad, most people cannot even dream of going on. True, I probably will not have epic run-ins with creatures of the deep, or be enthralled by beautiful and witty queens such as Scheherazade, or discover entire cities made of precious jewels like Sinbad did. But I will have incredible adventures nonetheless. And I cannot wait to share them with you!!!

The original plan of action was to start this blog on my departure date, September 1, 2010. Why September first? Well, on the first day of September, I will go to Seville, Spain, to study there for the entire semester. I will study Spanish language, dance, and grammar, as well as economics and politics. I will live with a native family and be totally immersed in the culture of Spain. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I am blessed enough to be able to say is my second-in-a-lifetime experience.

But then, several weeks ago, I got the opportunity to experience another foreign country during the summer before Spain: Atlanta, Georgia. Out of hundreds of applicants hailing from all over the country, I was given 1 of 10 positions to work at Georgia State University for 2 months during the summer. I will be doing research with a member of GSU’s international economic policy department. The 50-page article that I was asked to read in advance to prepare me for my job is entitled “Tanzania’s Fiscal Arrangements: Obstacles to Fiscal Decentralization or Structures of Union-Preserving Federalism?”. Sounds like fun, huh? 🙂

But that seems to be how God has been working in my life lately. He throws me something random, totally unexpected, and completely out of my arena, and sees if I will trust Him enough to let Him help me get through it. And, with that in mind, I think that Atlanta could be as much of an adventure as Spain! Whether I’m in the twisty streets of Seville, or the bustling metropolis of Atlanta; whether I’m speaking a foreign language of Spanish or speaking about Tanzania’s fiscal arrangements; whether I’m in a small native house on the outskirts of town or a posh condominium in midtown, God’s gonna take me to incredible places in the next 8 months. And that is why my chronicles start now, and not in 107 days.

I apologize for all of the literary analogies and flowery language…I’m in a writing sort of mood tonight! 🙂 Check back with me for updates on GSU, Atlanta, my job, my apartment, the quest for a visa, and all of the unimaginable adventures I’ll have once I’m finally in Spain!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 I’ll try to send you guys emails, as well, letting you know when I write a new post. I love you all dearly!!!!