First: Why look for a new place?
We are now living in an apartment that has been graciously opened up (free of charge!) to us by the owner, who also happens to be the man that started the missionary work here in Fresnillo. It has been God-sent, because without it we would not have been able to be here working.
That being said, it is a 3rd floor apartment... and the building is still under construction. This has meant Noah can't wander around outside without me physically with him, or with constant checking on his safety. There are a total of 8 stair wells--some leading to the 5th floor which does not have walls between you and the ground below. Noah now navigates stairs pretty well, but it was a major hassle up until about a month ago. Now, I know his little sister is revving up her engines to get her crawl on any day now--and the "stair drama" will begin again.
Noah loves, loves, loves being outside. I think his ideal day would involve only coming inside to eat. I also love being outside and doing all kinds of landscaping. Or maybe just sitting and staring at the clouds, without feeling like I am being stared out.
Which brings up the privacy issue: We share our place with a family on the first floor--and whoever the visitor(s) of the week happens to be. Now, I love people: but, this just means I constantly feel on edge that me and my family are encroaching on someone else's "territory". And, since the place isn't really "ours"--we don't have any say in how things go.
Since we've been married, we've never had our own plot of earth. Our own place to put out the lawn chairs and stare up at the stars. Our own place to let Noah explore and touch every nook and cranny. Our own place to roll around and be silly without feeling-- strange. So, there's the "why".
Onto the "how".
Though we are still trusting God to supply in the way of monthly support, we have come to a place we feel that we can make monthly rent payments. We may not have a table to eat off of or dressers to put our clothes in--but! We will have our own space. And that, my friend, will be priceless!
After coming to that decision--we began the hunt. Asked all our friends to hunt with us. Drove around several afternoons, looking for "For Rent" signs. Got online and checked around there.
Ah! Dontcha want to know my hopes/dreams/requirements for the new house?
Well, I was willing to bend many of these ideals, but they were as follows:
- A one-storey house
- A patio with grass (almost everything here is wall-to-wall concrete)
- Somewhere we could see the mountains--so on the edge of town
- 3-4 bedrooms
Other things I'd hoped for included an outdoor water faucet, lots of windows, permission to paint at will...
Back to the hunt: So, we were looking everywhere, and it seemed that people only wanted to sell--not rent. Went to check out a great-sounding ad, and the house turned out to be a dump. Kept checking. Saw another nice-sounding ad, but it was a little out of our price range, so we decided to skip it. Kept looking. Checked out several other different leads, nothing.
You know, in searching, we kept finding houses that weren't at all what we were looking for, but I kept saying to myself, "Well.... I could make it work..." I finally came to the decision that the house God had for me would be perfect. That when I saw it, I would know it. Kinda like when you meet the man of your life, and you just know it.
I don't remember exactly why--but that "a little too expensive house" came back to my mind again, so I found the ad again. I called the number several times over a couple days before the lady answered.
She said the lawyer was out of town, but we could call him Monday (this was Friday). Did I realize the house was on an unpaved road? she asked. I didn't, but honestly that made it sound even better. The ad stated the neighborhood the house was in, but nothing else.
Something that annoys me about myself is how I obsess over something until it has closure. So, Sunday afternoon, we all went out for a drive and just happened to find ourselves in the neighborhood the house was in. Ha! Like looking for a needle in a haystack. Almost all the streets in that neighborhood are unpaved.
So, we drove around looking for "For Rent" signs and seeing nothing. We drove by one house that Rey mentioned looked "uninhabited" because the grass was knee high and there were no cars out front. (There were actually quite a few like that) We drove around for about another 30 minutes.
"No," Rey said, "Really, the only house around here that I've liked is that one I thought looked empty."
"Then let's go back there and ask around," I said.
So, we did. Rey asked one neighbor, who referred him to another neighbor, who referred him back to neighbor #1 who then referred him to another guy down the street...and so it went. While Rey was getting ping-ponged back and forth, Aleni slept peacefully in the car, and Noah and I explored and fell in love with the surrounding area. I mean, hey--at the end of the street is a huge field with the mountains as a backdrop....
Rey didn't find anything too certain-sounding. We looked at the house through the fence and I said it was perfect. Remember that, "I just know it" feeling? I had it, and I giggled to Rey: "How crazy would it be if this house that we love is the same one that is in that ad we are going to call about tomorrow?"
Pretty crazy, Rey thought.
So, Monday morning we called. They gave us the address for the place and we drove out there to see it. We turned onto the street that the house from Sunday was on... and it was the name of the street the lawyer gave us! The excitement grew. Now to find the number.... It looked like the number was going to be a house at the end of the street--way past the house--but, I consoled myself, I still love this area.
Actually, we couldn't find the number at all. Rey called the lawyer and told him. The lawyer told him where the house was by describing the ones around it. We found ourselves standing in front of the house. It was the one! (Turns out "they" had come through and changed the house numbers).
Can you imagine how giddy I was? It was almost nauseating.
So, yes. That's the house story... of course now we are in the craziness of trying to get the house liveable around the schedules of a 2 yr old and a 8 month old. So far, we are doing shifts. I go from about 1 to 5 and Rey goes from about 6 to 10. Mornings are spent getting supplies, and tiring out the kids!
Hey--if you've got a good arm for painting or sanding, we could sure use you!