Header image  
Berkeley/Los Angeles/Ireland  
    home | newsletter archive | previous newsletter

Newsletter June 2008

Kitchen   Adjustments of moving to a different culture

It gets dark at 10:30 p.m. and the weather is a nice 16° C (60° F) with little rain.  This is THE best weather with some days even warm.  The paper is size A4 which is a wee bit narrower and longer than our letter sized paper in the States.  I’m guessing on ALL the measurements.  Who said we use the English system of weights and measures? American recipes use cups and here they use grams or liters.  Their gallon is bigger and their billion is a different number! 

This is all part of the adjustments of moving to a different culture.  In answer to some of the earlier concerns, we did get our car insurance approved for the year, did get telephone and broadband service, did get utilities in our name, online banking and a debit card, library, Ikea and Tesco cards, cleaners, haircuts, and mobile phone service. Marda has the driving cinched but Ward is still turning onto oncoming traffic and panicking towards the wrong side of the road.  Continuing to pray often.

Marda and sister Vidda had a respite in New York City.  They planned this trip last year to celebrate one of the big zero birthdays.  I won’t tell you whose or which one.  In their true “super achiever” manner they breakfasted daily at Zabar’s, saw 4 plays: Shakespeare (Hamlet), opera (Phantom), drama (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) and musical (Mama Mia), explored 3 large museums (Met, MOMA and Natural History/Planetarium), walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, toured Ellis Island, Circleline cruised around Manhattan, browsed three separate street fairs, paused at the WTC, worshipped at First Presbyterian, strolled Central Park, the Village, Mott and Mulberry Streets, ate well and shopped.  Sadly Marda discovered that her long time friend, Bob Hong died on May 30th.  Bob provided Marda’s first web presence at www.iwantchinesefood.com. Bob loved New York and Marda honored him by enjoying everything she could.

Back at home in Belfast, Ward was attending PCI (Presbyterian Church of Ireland) General Assembly and enjoying the calls for renewal, revival, and reformation.  Eleven members of the church attended the evening session and others attended the day sessions.  The PCI headquarters for both Northern Ireland and the Republic is in Belfast at Church House.  Ward has started the second round of visitations and learning what each person might enjoy.  He’s met with a young man who suffers from depression, and we encourage specifically 3 of the church leaders, in addition to the elderly that we visit.

Dora, a nurse, lives directly across the street and came over last Saturday to get acquainted.  She came with Dixon, who lives down the street.  They are from Zambia, are Christian, and have lived here for five years, enough to obtain permanent residency.  The graffiti went up “blacks out” but it was sprayed over and they stayed.  They go to New Life City Church pastored by Jack McKee, who Ward met in S.F. iYesterday, the current YWAM (Youth With a Mission) team came to the church and cleaned out the tower and a room we want to open as a prayer room.  We met them last month in their coffee shop on the Shankill Road and discovered, Lori Bapp was from Pleasanton, 30 miles from Berkeley, and she volunteered her team to come to the church for a project.  2 Canadians, 2 Americans, and 2 South Africans.  Such a generous gift of service!  Keith and Deborah coordinated since Ward had an appointment at the diabetic clinic.  We are déjà vu in a Michael Moore movie saying “no charge?”; Ward gets free meds and medical service!

So after 10 weeks, we are settling into our work of coming alongside and enlivening the community.

Email: wardstothers@cten.org
New Phone: (028) 90 291986  From US 01144.2890.291986

Print or email our newsletter