Monday, January 26, 2009

A party for Obama...A job for Nate...A new city for us

Since we returned from Uganda mid-December, we've been working hard to find jobs, but not forgetting to enjoy this time off. We've been back and forth between Washington DC and Madison, WI. You'll recall that these were two out of three of our top choices for places to live. While in DC we remembered why we grew to love it here - political excitement, walkability, ethnic diversity and a mild climate. We enjoyed participating in the Obamania. The inaugural concert, "We Are One," was fast-paced and motivational. And Bono was pretty dang cool - not sure if I know of a celebrity that uses his fame better than Bono does. With only 1 day in-between to rest up, we also walked down to the National Mall for the swearing in ceremony. It was awesome to be there. I'm not sure if I've ever seen 1-2 million people stand more peacefully together.

(Click on this picture to see more from the inaugural festivities!)

Rewinding a bit, we also spent some good time in Madison with Nate's family and good friends from college. We also met Kip - Marcia's adorable 50 lb puppy. The allure of Madison is just as strong as that of DC, but different. It's more about family, old friends, a small town feel, the chance to become more of a hippie (in all the good ways of course) and more affordable living. So which did we pick?...

Well, since we clearly couldn't make up our minds, we let the job market do the deciding. Nate talked to lots of recruiters and did lots of cold-calling, trying to find someone that needed a smart, good looking mechanical engineer. Just this past Friday, he received an offer from a small company in Madison! He has not accepted yet, but intends to. You'll have to email him to ask for a job description, cause its really high-tech and uses the prefix "nano" - that's one-millionth of a millimeter.

So, we're moving back to Madison! I'm pumped. I'm going to find a job too...hopefully one that requires knowledge of kilocalories instead of nanometers. If I can't find something public health related, I may try to work at one of my favorite stores - Trader Joe's or REI. I mean, why not?

See you in Madison!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Climbing Volcanos and a Safari

We were able to write about most of our experiences in Uganda, but here is one more...

The week before we left to fly home to DC, we drove approximately 1000 miles to southwestern Uganda and back. We visited our first Ugandan National Park - Queen Elizabeth, searched for tree-climbing lions, slept in a geo-dome on an island and enjoyed the company of Phil and Bethany - two med students from Minnesota. It was a super low budget trip - lots of camping and pre-planned meals - but so fun nonetheless!

The only animals we half expected to see that we didn't see were leopards and lions. We saw lots of elephants, hipps, crocodiles, warthogs, mongooses, and gazel-like animals. It was awesome having our own own big, rugged SUV (thanks Sarah and Dan!) because we had so much more freedom than some of the big tour groups that escort people from park to park.

The highlight for me was our last 2 days/1 night. We paddled across Lake Bunyonyi to a small island where we made green curry on our camping stove and slept under a mosquito net. The lake and the island are beautiful and peaceful.

Another highlight, now that its over, was our crazy hike up an extinct volcano with three peaks. The top half of the 9 hour hike required climbing vertical ladders nailed into the side of the mountain. I was scared. Apparently lots of people turn around and quit before they reach the third peak. We didn't know this until we returned back to the lodge, otherwise we might have turned around too. Well, maybe. Actually, probably not.

DSC_4236, originally uploaded by Nate Bosscher.

There sure are some beautiful places on this earth! Click on the picture to see our other pics from this trip.

See Where Our Pictures Were Taken