Monday, February 11, 2008

sun and success

This officially ranks as the easiest job search I have ever undertaken. After 48 hours in Melbourne, I already have a respectable job at a very well-known and well-regarded international aide and development organization—exactly what I was looking for. World Vision is Australia’s largest humanitarian aide organization, employing about 500 people just in the Melbourne headquarters. They work globally, focusing in the Asia/Pacific region and parts of east and south Africa. The thing I really love about them is their focus on sustainability and community partnership.

Today was our first business day in Australia, and we put it to very good use: opening a bank account, registering with the taxation office (which is like getting a Social Security number), and visiting the Medicare office. My uncle John has been an expert on all things practical: he has been our financial advisor, translator, personal reference, proofreader, chauffer, chef, social coordinator, tour guide, etc., working non-stop since we arrived to get us set up. Some of this is perhaps motivated by his desire to get us ensconced somewhere other than his bedroom, which he has graciously lent us until we get our own place.

Having taken care of the job search, we’ve thrown ourselves into the much more exciting apartment search. We’ve been poring over maps of Melbourne and its many neighborhoods and surrounding suburbs to find the perfect place. Erika, whose love of maps is deep and abiding, has particularly enjoyed this. More news on the home front soon.

On the events side of things, yesterday we went to a festival in one of the hippest seaside suburbs, St. Kilda. 340,000 young people. Great music, fantastic food, incredible peoplewatching, lovely sandy beaches, gay men. We particularly liked a culturally-amalgamated band Direct Influence that was playing in the beer garden. Erika got a free straw hat and new sunglasses (fully covering with 100% UV protection, Lilli). Our sunscreen was in our luggage which was lost, but fortunately we remembered to pick some up before our toes got crispy. The sun is really intense here. It’s like winter sun with summer heat. The angle and brightness of the sharpest winter sky but the warmth and color of the summer sun. It can be a bit much—but we’re not complaining!

Oh, and yes, our bags arrived safe and whole. We’re good to go.


Sarah said...

CONGRATS on the job!! That is so wonderful! The organization looks phenomenal. I'm so sorry I missed the going-away-for-real party, but I'm loving the updates from down under and can't wait to hear more-- Australia sounds amazing! Pictures?

sylvia said...

Which job was that? What's your job going to include?


A'Llyn said...

Awesome! Congratulations--one cannot fail to love a job search so short and successful!

sally said...

Petra, congratulations on the job. Is this the one we were talking about? Will the foot in the door become more of you in the door?

Really looking forward to hearing how things go :o)

Emi said...

YEY PETRA!!!!!!!!!

<3<3 See? You win.

Luck on the home hunt!

Soda said...

oh my lord, you really are in Melbourne, THAT'S SO COOL!!! and now your little senegalese trinkets will have to have traveled all the way from there to here, and then find their way to an entirely new continent (super exciting, innit). please send me an/your addy when you get a chance
(good luck with the housing search). congrats on the job Petra. also, in keeping with our tradition of keeping each other reasonably periodically, i should begin saving up, like seriously, no? :-) happy to hear life is treating yall well and sending you both lots of love from Saint Louis!

M.J. Kramer said...

Yay yay yay!!! Congratulations on the job, Petra. That's one of my roommate's favorite organizations. I'm so glad you two have arrived safely. You both look as glowing as ever. Good luck with the apartment search!