Tag Archives: U.S.

A Voyage without Immediate Results

Stephen helps decorate our family Christmas tree on the weekend before his trip to the U.S.

Two days after Thanksgiving break, Stephen was taking an international trip to the U.S. He had two major destinations.  First, he was traveling to Naples, Florida, where he was being considered as a possible candidate for high school administrator at a church-based school there.  He was to spend two days there and then he would drive up to Atlanta, Georgia, to attend a job recruitment conference hosted by the AASSA international association of schools located in central and South America.  Basically, several schools from countries in central and South America, would be sending representatives to this fair to recruit people for different administrative positions at their schools. 

Stephen had already connected with several of the schools through the recruitment website, and was highly confident that he would receive several job offers while attending the conference.  However, the fair did not turn out quite as he had hoped.  Although he was able to make some valuable connections with other administrators there, he was not officially offered a job position by any of them.  There are still a few schools who are still “considering” Stephen among their top candidates.  But Stephen is learning that even if one is considered “second” among the candidates, it makes no difference if the person considered “first” accepts the job.

Such was the case with the Christian school in Naples.  Stephen was told that he was a definite “second” choice, but they were waiting to hear back from their number one choice.  Two weeks later, they received their confirmation from that candidate and told Stephen that the position had been filled. 

So, here we are, once again, wondering where God will send us next year.  The only thing we know for sure is that we will be leaving the Alliance Academy International.  Stephen’s replacement has already been chosen and announced to the current faculty and staff.  There is no turning back.

Our biggest challenge right now is finding positions that will offer Stephen enough of a salary that we can pay off our loans and mortgage, and so that Cristina does not have to work for at least a couple years while their children are under school age. 

One school in Honduras was at the point of offering a position to Stephen, but he found out that we would need to rely on donations and financial support gifts.  Raising support has been increasingly difficult in this past year as many of our friends and supporters struggle to meet their own financial burdens.

There is another recruitment fair in Chicago, Illinois during the second week of February.  Stephen is still considering whether he should attend, because we really don’t have the funds to send him on another week long trip to the U.S.  However, he may have to attend if nothing opens up between now and then.

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Stephen’s Upcoming Recruitment Voyage

Stephen has been very busy the past few months, but not just with his administrative duties at the Alliance Academy International. He has been searching for jobs at other international and/ or Christian schools that are looking for secondary administrators.

We have been feeling for quite some time that God was going to pull us out of our present ministry and locate us in a new ministry.  We just keep praying to find out where exactly that is.

So far, he has applied to several schools both in and outside the U.S. and has had a few interviews.  However, we have not had any solid offers at this time.  Therefore, he decided to sign up for a conference that helps bring new staff to international schools located across South America.  The association’s name is AASSA (Association of American Schools in South America).  The job fair takes place from December 2-5 in Atlanta, Georgia (Link: http://www.aassa.com/recruiting_fair_schedule_2010.asp).

As part of his trip to this conference, Stephen is also planning to visit a school in Naples, Florida that has been interested in looking at the possibility of hiring him as a secondary principal.  Stephen plans to fly to Miami, Florida on Tuesday, November 30 and drive to Naples.  He will stay there until the morning of December 2 and then drive to Atlanta, Georgia to participate in the job fair.  He will drive back to Florida on the afternoon of December 5 when he hopes to visit with Cristina’s side of the family for one evening before returning to Quito on the afternoon of December 6.

If you wish to get in touch with him during his time in the U.S., he will have the following cell phone number – 352-215-4524.

Meier Family Travel Plans – July 2010

Yes, we finally purchased tickets to leave Ecuador for three weeks of July. We will be flying out of Quito on July 3 (Sat) and we return on July 24 (Sat); which is exactly three weeks.

Here is our tentative schedule:

July 3 – Leave Quito at 8:20am on LAN 1505. After a brief stop and change of planes in Guayaquil (AA 958) and again in Miami, we arrive in Orlando on American Airlines 588 at 8pm.

*We plan to drive to Gainesville, Florida that evening.

July 4-5 – Spend time with family in Gainesville.

July 6 – Drive to Northern Virginia (Winchester, Stephens City area).

July 6- 11 – Visit friends and our home church (Shenandoah Valley Baptist Church).

July 12 – Return to Florida (or make some stops along the way with friends and family.

July 13 – 23 – Spend time with family in Florida.

July 24 – Return to Orlando airport and fly to Quito on a 2:30 flight on AA (1485). We have a brief layover and change of planes in Miami and then arrive in Quito at 7:40 on AA931. This is still a very tentative schedule. Let us know if it might be possible to visit with you in our travels, especially if you live somewhere along the east coast between Florida and Virginia.

A Three Week Visit “Home”

It only took three weeks and two days for this Meier family to travel between two different continents to visit the West Coast, the East Coast, three different time zones and eight different states (as well as the District of Columbia).  This travel included four days of air travel and eight days of car travel.  The longest day of car travel was 14 hours between the Northern Virginia area and Jacksonville, Florida.

Needless to say, the infant Meier boys (Jared and Luke) became expert travel companions during that time. Many visits were made between those traveling days. 

Our journey began when we flew out of Quito, Ecuador on June 23 and arrived in Miami, Florida.  We spent one night at a hotel before flying out the next day in the direction of Portland, Oregon and the home of Stephen’s parents (Rudy and Linda Meier). 

Stephen’s parents retired from the mission field in October of 2008 and had never seen their grandchildren in person.  We spent a week with them, as well as with Stephen’s sister, Lisa, his brother, Kurt, and some of his other relatives to took the time to visit.  While in Portland, we were able to go to the beach and visit the zoo. 

At Cannon Beach in front of "Haystack" Rock

At Cannon Beach in front of "Haystack" Rock

On July 1st, we traveled back to Orlando, Florida, where Cristina’s sister, Anita Gamblin, picked us up from the airport.  We spent the July 4th weekend visiting with her and her husband, Nick; with Cristina’s brother, Philip Cobb and his wife, Chrissy; and with Cristina’s brother Tim Cobb (who had recently returned home from a year’s service in Iraq).

We stayed with them through the weekend.  We attended Anita and Nick’s church where we had the privilege of hearing the pastor announce Anita’s first pregnancy to the entire congregation. She is due January 28.

We began our car traveling adventures on the morning of July 6th.  Stephen picked up our “premium” car rental, which had enough room in the back for two car seats and “Mamma.” We traveled to the Mobile, Alabama area to visit Stephen’s sister, Susan Blanton and her family.  Susan and Shannon have three kids.  Their oldest daughter is almost eight. Connor is about a year and a month older that Jared and their son, Gavin, is almost a month older than Luke.  The cousins had a lot of fun together. 

We left Mobile on the 8th of July to travel to Georgia and stay with some friends of Cristina’s, Liz and Dave Hansen.  The next morning, we traveled to Virginia Beach to spend one night there with another of Cristina’s friends, Kelly Head and her husband Jason.  They have two girls, Julianna (4) and Victoria (1), who entertained our boys quite well for the evening. We also managed to visit some of Stephen and Cristina’s friends the following morning.  We met up with Ken and Betty Dahm for breakfast and Jeff Anderson for lunch.  After lunch, we traveled to the Northern Virginia area to visit our church family for the weekend. 

While we were in Stephens City, Stephen wanted to run a race.  He found one in the heart of D.C. that was taking place on Saturday, July 11th at Rock Creek Park.  We all woke up at 4:30 am so that Stephen could make it to D.C. for his 7:30 race.  While we were there, we visited some good friends of ours that we had met while living in South Korea (Alex and Teresa Harrington).  We spent some time with them after the race and then ate lunch together before heading back to Stephens City. 

The following morning, we spent most of our time at church.  We spoke at both church services, the Sunday school class and the 6pm evening service.  We did manage to fit some time in during the afternoon to visit with some dear friends who used to be next-door neighbors to us during our first year of marriage (Brooke and Darrell Frick).  They had recently had the addition of their first baby to the family.  So, we got to meet little three-month-old Jacob while we were there.

The morning of July 13 was another early one for us.  My Yahoo! map directions stated that it would take 12 hours to drive from Stephens City, VA to Jacksonville, Fl.  So, we left at 5:30am with the goal of making it to Jacksonville by dinnertime.  Even with multiple stops along the way, we made it by 6:30pm. 

We spent the night with Cristina’s cousin and her family.  She had also given birth to a second daughter about two weeks after Luke was born.  Her older daughter was already 5 years old.  We spent the following morning together and then drove down to Gainesville to spend two more nights with Cristina’s family.

During that time, Philip and Chrissy, closed on their home to become homeowners for the first time. We all came over to “pray over” their new home.  When we got to the second guest room, Philip and Chrissy mentioned that they weren’t sure what they how they would use it.  They said it might be another room for guests or “possibly a baby’s room sometime in the future.”

After eating dinner together on July 15, Stephen and Cristina came home to do all the final packing of their things.  The following morning, they would be driving to Miami, Florida and flying back to Quito on a 5:10pm flight.

We made our final long road trip on July 16th.  This trip was only five hours long.  After several days of six to twelve hour road trips, this trip seemed a lot faster.  At least, that is how Cristina felt.  Poor Stephen was definitely getting tired of the driving.  He wouldn’t let Cristina assist him with much of the driving, because she had forgotten her driver’s license in Ecuador and was driving illegally each time she got behind the wheel.

People have asked us various times how the boys handled the driving.  We have to respond with awe at how well they did.  Yes, there were some fussy moments as we neared the boy’s mealtime while on the road.  However, toys, games, occasional DVDs and snacks (for Jared), chew toys (for Luke) helped to keep them busy.  We also drove no more than three hours at a time, so that Jared could run around and stretch his legs and so that Mamma could feed baby Luke, who was still doing 95% Mamma’s milk for his daily meals.

I think one thing Cristina will never forget this particular trip was the challenge of having to change diapers for two babies.  She had a new appreciation for clean restrooms with quality diaper changing tables.  It was also the first time that she realized how few airplanes actually come equipped with a diaper changing table in their restrooms.  The airplanes that did had only one diaper-changing table on the entire plane. 

It is also the last flight that both boys will be “lap-riders.” Jared just turned two years old, which means he will no longer ride for free on an airplane.

This summer trip was an adventure that the entire family will not soon forget.

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The two pregnant aunts pose with their tired and fussy nephews.

The two aunts pose with their tired and fussy nephews.

Planning Our Summer Trip

As some of you already know, we have decided to come back to the U.S. this summer for about three weeks to visit our family and friends. 

We purchased our plane tickets at Easter and we are currently trying to nail down the details of our travel plans.  Below is our basic plan for travel.  We would love to visit as many friends and family as possible.  Please let us know if you are available and within traveling distance to the locations where we will be. 

**To Contact Us**
E-mail – crcmeier@yahoo.com
Vonage phone – 352-505-9276 

TRAVEL PLANS
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Tuesday, June 23 – Flying from Quito to Miami (stay in Miami overnight)

Wednesday, June 24 – Flying to Portland, Oregon

June 24-June 30 – Visiting Stephen’s family in Portland

Wednesday, July 1 – Flying to Orlando, Florida

July 1-5 – Staying with Cristina’s family in the central Florida area

Monday, July 6 – Driving to Mobile, AL
*driving through the Florida Panhandle toward Alabama

July 6-7 – Visiting with Stephen’s younger sister and her family

Wednesday, July 8 – Driving to GA (spend the night with friends)

Thursday, July 9 – Driving to Virginia Beach, VA to see some friends and visit Regent University
*driving through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia

Friday, July 10 – Driving to northern Virginia

July 10-12 – Visiting friends and our church (Shenandoah Valley Baptist Church)
*traveling around in Winchester, Stephens City, the eastern panhandle of West Virginia and possibly the D.C. area

July 13 – Drive back to Florida and spending the night in Jacksonville with Cristina’s cousin and her family
 driving through Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia

July 14 – Drive back down to Gainesville, FL

July 14-15 – Visiting with Cristina’s family in the central Florida area

July 16 – Traveling back to Miami to fly back to Quito in the late afternoon