Thursday, May 16, 2013

Finally out of suitcases

After living out of a suitcase for nearly 3 ½ weeks we have finally moved into our flat.  (For you “yanks”, a flat is an apartment).  The flat has two bedrooms and two baths and is full of IKEA furniture.  J  It is not luxurious, but it will be home for the next 18 months.  We are getting used to being careful what we plug into the wall socket.  All the power outlets are 220 volt and everything we brought with us needs either an adapter plug to fit the wall socket or a converter/adapter to fit the wall socket and adjust from 110 volt to the 220 volt power.   The flat is located about 20 minutes from downtown Edinburgh.  It is adjacent to a major grocery store and petro (gas) station.  We picked up our car (a Vauxhall) tonight.  It is fairly new – 20,000 miles.  We don’t have to pay rent on the car – only the gas (diesel) and maintenance.  We have been driving around the area for the last few days with Elder & Sister Hambelton (the couple we are replacing) so I am getting used to riding on the left side of the road.  I’m not too worried about beginning to drive, but the biggest challenge will be finding our way around town.  The Hambelton’s have been driving about 1,500 miles per month.

In traveling around the Edinburgh area on Friday and Saturday, and traveling to Glasgow, it became clear that we will be relying heavily on our “SatNav” (a Garmin GPS) to help us find where things are located throughout the country.  We will be traveling between Paisley, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, on a regular basis.  We will also be visiting Aberdeen, Belfast, Dublin, and Limerick at least quarterly.

Friday we were orientated on the operation of the Edinburgh Employment Resource Centre.  We had dinner with the Stake Employment Specialists (SES) – Brother & Sister Nelson - from the Dundee Stake.  They are a very nice couple with a great sense of humor.  It will be fun to work with them.  Saturday we drove to Glasgow to meet the SES – Brother Mair (we have not yet met his wife) - from the Paisley Stake.  Brother Mair will also be a wonderful fellow to work with.  Today after church we met the SES from Edinburgh – Brother & Sister McMillan.  They are doing a grand job in the Edinburgh area and we look forward to working with them.

Our main tasks while we are here will be to support the Stake Leaders with training the Stake Employment Specialists who in turn will be training the Ward Employment Specialists.  The work will include conducting Work Choice Profiles –(a psychometric test used to assess your interests and preferences on several common dimensions related to work), conduct Career Workshops – (designed to help candidates identify their strengths and skills and prepare them for employment interviews), individual coaching of candidates who are looking for work or looking to upgrade their current employment, assisting the candidates in writing their Curriculum Vitae (CV), using to track a candidates progress and search for available jobs, and operating the Employment Resource Centre in Edinburgh.  Because of the distance to other Stakes, we will assist the SES in all of the above activities in their local areas.

Birmingham Mission office & Employment Centre

Scotland/Ireland Mission Home & Office
This home was build in the 1860's.  The office on the left was added on in the 1960's

Edinburgh Stake Building & Employment Centre
This is our "office" three day each week.  The rest of the time we will be here or traveling

Our Flat for the next 18 months.
We have a ground floor unit - 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, Kitchen & Living room

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