We Live Somewhere Now

WohnzimmerThis, ladies and gentlemen, Herren und Damen, is our new apartment. She’s a beauty, if I do say so myself. It was a long time coming, for sure, complete with many frustrations, culture shocks and false starts. But we finally live somewhere at last, and we couldn’t be happier.

Molkereistraße

Our street

We live on Molkereistraße, which is an awesome name that happens to mean “Dairy Road”. The location (which is very important to me) could not be better for a young couple like us. We live a three minute walk away from the enormous Prater park, the Wurstelprater amusement park and an U-Bahn station. We live an eight minute walk away from Praterstern, a major train station and artery through the city. And we live a 15 minute walk (or five minute bike ride) from Vienna’s old 1st District, where pretty much anything of importance is located. We have restaurants, cafes and gelato stands steps away. In the evenings, we’ve taken to riding bikes along the Prater’s Hauptallee (main avenue) or strolling through the amusement park and people-watching.

Prater

Riding in the Prater

The apartment itself isn’t much; in fact it’s smaller than our apartment in Edmond. However it’s comfortable with a great view and the kitchen is enormous. The apartment looks especially good with the menagerie of IKEA furniture in every room.

Yeah, 95% of our furniture, decorations and kitchen stuff is from IKEA, 4% is stuff we brought with us, and 1% is Holly’s vase she bought at a thrift store. IKEA, love it or hate it, is simply the cheapest and most convenient option for apartment-dwellers on a limited budget here in Vienna. We’ve visited that Swedish wonderland at least eight times the past three weeks, and I know we still have one or two visits to go. I think the term “Stockholm Syndrome” is extremely applicable here.

leftovers

Leftovers from endless IKEA trips

However, despite our stomachs not being able to handle yet another IKEA hot dog as our entire meal, we’ve been extremely grateful to more than a few members of the church who have helped us move furniture and belongings all over Vienna, on more than a couple occasions. The church has stepped up to help many times, and each person is quickly becoming our friend.

Other than moving, our main focus is now German class. We’ve been attending over three weeks now – three hours a day, five days a week. It’s tough and intensive but so, so worth it. We are already seeing results as we interact with people around town. We’ll talk more about our classes in our next post.

The Keys

Look how happy we are

Our newest newsletter will be coming out the end of this month. If you aren’t subscribed, leave a comment below or email me at willkooi0@gmail.com. And lastly, thanks for all your prayers and encouragement for our apartment search. They obviously payed off!

Schlafzimmer

Küche

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Planning for EKC

We hope you all are doing well and staying out of the heat that appears to have struck the States head on once again. We ignorantly assumed we’d be unable to relate to the heat you’re experiencing and would be regularly posting pictures of a beautiful and consistent Viennese weather forecast, but we were terribly wrong. Apparently it gets very warm here too – pair that up with no AC and wooden floors that soak up heat like a plant soaks up water and we’ve got very, very hot living conditions. So, all that to say, we hear your dislike for the heat, and we understand.

Will and I wanted to give you all a quick update on what we’ve been focusing on these past couple of weeks. As HIM workers, our primary goal here is to be helpers to the team and to the church, and one of the ways we’ve learned we can help is to take on a leadership role in English Kids Club (EKC). English Kids Club is a program designed to teach English to kids free of charge for an hour once a week during the spring and fall semesters. This program has been very successful and continues to grow a little more each year. Since its existence, Kim and Amanda have done an amazing job balancing both mom-duties and teacher-duties but won’t hesitate to acknowledge that yes, running a household as well as a teaching program can get a little hectic. With Will and I here and only parenting a 4 year old cat, we can now help carry the load.

End of the year EKC

We began meeting with Kim and Amanda a couple of weeks ago and immediately started brainstorming about possible themes for the upcoming semester. Our overall goal of the year is to get the kids actually speaking English. The four of us thought for awhile about various possibilities for themes, then realized that when kids talk, they’re almost always talking about themselves – their favorite color, pet, sport, food, you name it. With that in mind, we dubbed “About Me” the main theme of the semester and came up with individual lesson plans that relate to the overall theme. We’ve got a lot of fantastic and fun things planned for the kids. To give you a brief teaser: we’re having puppets (which I am SO excited about I can hardly contain myself), decorating t-shirts, creating self-portraits, and putting together a “Me” book. That’s all we’re going to let you in on for now as we will be sure to keep you posted in full detail later on in the fall, but for now, we hope we’ve left you just as excited about this year’s EKC as we are. It’s going to be a great year!

We sent out our first newsletter this past Sunday to those who have provided us with their email addresses. If you would like to be added to the list in order to receive our monthly newsletter, don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll send the latest issue your way. Pray for us as we begin our German lessons next Monday – we’re asking the Lord to give us the confidence to practice what we learn and the ability to pick up the language quickly.