A Surprisingly Hectic & Productive Day

On the last day before Ramadan fasting kicks in we managed to have one of the most productive work days setting up our house...!

A quiet day soon becomes buzzing with activity... Pictured are the kitchen installers, plumber and my landlord.

With the Summer heat beginning to really kick in and everyone in town on the verge of spending their days depriving themselves of food and water (some refusing to swallow their own spit!), we knew we needed to get as much accomplished as possible in the days leading up to Ramadan. I just never thought it would happen just like this - out of nowhere and in such flurry of activity.

Fifteen minutes before heading out the door to have some good 'ole fellowship with a few other "ex-pat" families in Soran, I got a phone call saying that the plumber was at the house ready to install our toilets. Now this was an opportunity I didn't want to miss... an operational toilet was essential before moving in!

The only problem was that we had no power at our house. It would be another 2 hours before we would gain power again since we were not yet hooked up to the back up community generator. And so just as the plumber was about to leave the house I got another phone call that our kitchen cabinets were on the way over... 1 day ahead of schedule! 

Our kitchen cabinets arrive 1 day ahead of schedule

Our kitchen cabinets arrive 1 day ahead of schedule

Now I was starting to feel a mix of emotions -- happy (things were happening) and somewhat at a loss (without power any further progress just seemed impossible). The plumber checked out and was planning to come back later in the afternoon. The cabinet maker, on the other hand, swung into action and started prepping everything in anticipation for the power to come back on. 

We took a trip to the Bazaar in town to pick up an important drill bit that was necessary to pierce the delicate tile that lined the kitchen wall. The more I talked with the cabinet maker (through broken English & Kurdish), the more I started to really like this guy. Not only was he excellent at what he did, you could tell he had a kind heart and an incredible work ethic.

Installing the kitchen cabinets like a master cabinet maker!

Installing the kitchen cabinets like a master cabinet maker!

We made it back to the house and 20 minutes later.. wallah... we had power. All I can say is that I have never seen a kitchen so articulately put together in such a short period of time. He truly was amazing... Don't worry, I'll reveal the final product tomorrow when I get the chance to snap a good photo.

Not only did my new "cabinet maker" friend install a beautiful kitchen for my lovely Sarah, he helped install our swamp cooler, our oven and treated me to an amazing kebab feast at his uncle's kebab shop. Not to mention the impromptu tour of his cabinet making factory and a short visit to his home to eat some fresh tomatoes from his garden. And what an amazing home and garden, complete with a stunning water-feature and lawn area. 

Sarah having the time of her life designing her new kitchen 2 weeks ago... most homes are completed without any kitchen cabinets (or blinds, carpets, fans and air-conditioners etc..)

Sarah having the time of her life designing her new kitchen 2 weeks ago... most homes are completed without any kitchen cabinets (or blinds, carpets, fans and air-conditioners etc..)

After meeting his family and hearing some moving stories of how Saddam Hussein's war against the Kurds impacted his father and relatives, I felt truly honored for our family to be invited over to his home for dinner one night in the next week or so. Our first invitation into a Kurdish home since arriving here in Soran -- I was blown away.

What was also remarkable about this day was the fact that the plumber did indeed return to install our toilets, meanwhile Billy and our landlord were working hard to hook us up to the back up community generator. Although one of the toilets still needs a little more work tomorrow, I just couldn't believe that we would get so much done in just one day!

Our goal of moving into our home tomorrow is unbelievably obtainable. We have truly been amazed by the goodness of God and his unfathomable favor and grace towards us. We can't wait to be finally in our own home. We poor vagabonds have been blessed beyond measure with a beautiful home, wonderful neighbors and a bunch of new friends along the way. 

To all of you who are praying for us and supporting our efforts, we feel truly grateful. We just can't wait to see how God uses our home to be a blessing to the beautiful people of Kurdistan.

Thanks for journeying with us - Tim