Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The trek West -- or North-East, rather. It certainly feels more Western though.

We are alive and well in Casper, Wyoming. It's still a little odd to think that this will be our home for the next three plus years... the city has 55 000 people, but it's the only real city for hundreds of miles around, so every once in a while if you look up you realize how easily nature could just press in a little more and snuff out any trace of civilization. No, I'm not being dramatic...

But let's start from the beginning. We were sad to leave Provo :(

The drive itself went quite well, other than the fact that the moving van Andrew drove couldn't go over 50 mph -- we were kind of slowing down traffic. Oh well. Communicating via walkie-talkie was fun though :) And I'll add that it was quite necessary because we didn't have any reception for a large part of the trip!

This is what the last third of our trek looked like:

We started to worry we were moving to a complete desert, but then we finally rounded a few bends (they call them mountains but they're more like hills) and arrived in Casper. It's not bad at all, quite green especially on the mountain, and it's almost always sunny. The North Platter River runs throughout the city and there's a path for several miles so we're itching to get some bikes now.

All sorts of critters live in our backyard: squirrels, rabbits, geese... it's a bit dusty, but the river makes up for it. We're excited to go rafting and also explore Casper Mountain. The city's not huge, for sure, and the lone mall is a bit... well, dead. But there are worse things. Hey, at least we have a Target!

look who came to visit!

Right now we're living in a house that belongs to the city - they rent out rooms to interns and incoming employees. So far we only have two roommates (another couple) and they're very nice. It's a bit on the edge of town but it's only a five minute drive anyway, and we're kind of liking living in the wild - it's very peaceful. As soon as Andrew signs a full-time contract though we'll get into an apartment (or potentially rent a house, but I hear that's near impossible to find around here). We have one place in mind that we really like, but for now we need to wait and see.  

Andrew started his internship on Monday and things are going well so far. He gets along just fine with the people in his office and he also found out there are more full-time positions opening up soon, so his chances of getting a full-time position just got better -- and he could have more options.

We went to city council meeting last night and boy was that fun!

It was the first hearing for a proposed smoking ban (an extension of a current public smoking ban) and some interesting characters came crawling out of the woodwork. Hitler and God were both brought into the discussion, and one lady accused the city council of using the same methods as Nazi Germany... there were reasonable people there too though, and honestly it was kind of fun to get a glimpse at the heart of Casper.

And you're probably wondering how my interview went. I think it went well. I could have maybe said more or something, but I believe I got my point across and he seemed impressed by my resume. I said one thing that may have come across awkwardly but otherwise it wasn't bad. He was very friendly at least. I left him my material and told him I was ready and just waiting to get to work... he seemed to like the fact that Andrew and I will likely be here more than just two years, too. There aren't any openings until July though, so now I just sort of have to wait... forced vacation I guess! And here I was all ready to get going. In the meantime I'll keep translating from home, and then call back as soon as they officially post the opening.

So overall, not a bad start. We're settling in nicely, and we really enjoyed church on Sunday - the people were very nice and welcoming, and it's just awesome to be in a family ward, finally. Well, I will add that we giggled when one lady quoted Mitt Romney in her talk...

So bottom line is things are not bad at all here. It still feels kind of small-town ish, which is a bit scary to me, but things couldn't be going much better for the both of us at this point, so it's all good. And we're going to have so much fun this summer rafting, hiking, biking and generally experiencing the great outdoors! (Let's not talk about winter yet, ok?)

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