Yesterday we had a busy day. I think we decided we walked over 4 miles yesterday -- that was round trip to the store that is essentially Super Wal-Mart (!) and round trip to see the University where Mark will be studying. Also part of the walking was finding the two flats that we had viewings for. We were grateful both flats were nice and in good locations, though they were a little more than we had hoped to pay.
The second flat was too nice and too good for my needs to pass up, so we asked the landlord to take less than he had asked for. It seemed he and his wife were believers and had also gone through a PhD program and remembered the hardships financially. They had mercy on us and dropped the price as we asked! Praise God for this blessing. Also a blessing is the flat is newly remodeled with laminate floors and clean furniture and walls. There is also a good size refrigerator and freezer (most fridges here have very tiny freezers, more like what you would find in a dorm fridge). This apartment seems even more than we had dared hope for, so thank you for your prayers! We rejoice that the Lord is opening up the way for us to stay in this flat, at least for the length of our 6 month contract.
The hard part is that now we are stuck in the lovely bureaucracy of "letting a flat." They need all kinds of references, which we brought with us, but they still might have to verify that they are true and came from the sources we said they came from. We have been praying that this will be a speedy process. We honestly hoped it would be completed by the close of this working day, but since it's 10 minutes from then now, we think it will be Monday before we are approved. This may not seem like a big deal, but because the flat has a current tenant, and the landlord has to give them 3 days notice (which can't legally start until after we are approved), so it's probably going to be late next week before we can get in. This is frustrating, especially since I really have no kitchen to cook my food in. However, we are now at a Bed & Breakfast until we can get into our flat and will see if the owner will let us use her kitchen a little. Please pray with us about this situation. We pray that somehow we can get into the place earlier than first expected.
As for my health, it has been so-so since arriving. I can tell certain foods that are being cooked still bother me. At the guest house here there is also something (fabric softener?) or other bothering me in the room. It could be a long few days!
Now for something more fun! Here are a few photos from our first look around part of the university's campus yesterday. The above left picture is the road you walk down to get to the university. We were able to fit in a quick trip there between apartment viewings. It is set in the old part of town, and it really is like stepping back in time!