17 August 2008

Next stop: Washington D.C.

I've been putting off writing this one for a while now, partly because you probably already know and partly because it makes me sad, but in a good way. OK, kind of in a bad way, too.

Heather interviewed for a job in June with the National Cancer Institute in Washington D.C. She found out just a couple days later that she was hired. The only bad news was that she had to start August 4, while we had been looking for a January '09 start date. By the time she got back to Sydney she only had a few weeks to say goodbye to this city.

Meanwhile, I have a semester to go on my masters degree. I looked into finishing it there--George Washington University has a program--but I would have to wait until next July to continue my coursework. So instead, I'm still here in Sydney, while Heather left three weeks ago. I will make a two week visit in the beginning of October and move over for good right after Thanksgiving.

It's tough being away, but it has made the move easier in some ways. We scouted the internet for an apartment and picked out a car before she left, so in her first two days she had an apartment lease and bought a car. Shipping will be easier than it was three years ago, too. I'll be here to pack up, and she'll be there ready for delivery. Of course, having the government pay for it all helps--the movers will pack everything, as well as unpack it all there. All we have to do is point.

So that's all well and good. But for now, I miss my wife. I had a couple papers to write the first two weeks that kept me busy, but now I'm just bored. Heather stays occupied getting settled in to a new place and a new job, but she misses me, too.

As for Washington D.C., we are both excited. Heather's job is a great opportunity, and there are a lot of NGOs in D.C. that are potential employers for me when I finish my Development Studies degree. Besides that, we both like Washington. When Heather began applying for jobs, we were very selective. We love Sydney and weren't going to leave it unless a great opportunity in an equally great city presented itself.

Now for the important stuff: I've been partial to the Washington Nationals for a while now, with the Texas Rangers history in the capital, so that's a natural fit. I'm intrigued by the Capitals and their young talent. The Wizards leave me completely apathetic for now, but I have already looked up their schedule to see when Dallas will be visiting. As for the Washington Redskins--well, it'll be fun rubbing it in when the Cowboys win the Super Bowl.

08 August 2008

Lucky Sevens (Late again): Australia/New Zealand Rugby

Once again, I must beg for your apologies for being a day late. Perhaps I should consider just renaming this "Lucky Eights" so I'd be on time.

Two weeks ago, Heather and I attended an event that we have waited three years for: the rugby union test between the Wallabies and the All Blacks. The last time they played in Sydney was in 2005, one week after we arrived here. Needless to say, we have anticipated this event for quite a while.

Not only is this a great rivalry between neighbours, it is also some of the best rugby played in the world. Include South Africa, a fellow competitor in the Tri-Nations Series, and you have the top three sides in the International Rugby Board World Rankings. There is talk of Argentina joining the Tri-Nations in the next few years. Guess what? They are ranked number four.

I'll give a full report in the next few days, but for now, here is your Lucky Sevens question for August: As stated Australia, New Zealand and South Africa compete in the Tri-Nations Series. But within that, what special prize do the Wallabies and All Blacks complete for in their annual rugby union test series?