Gloria and I met seven years ago in Benin, West Africa. We became great friends during our DTS aboard the Mercy Ship Anastasis. We were both a little quiet, kind of reserved (at least initially) and I think that's what drew us to each other. We would meet together during our free time to talk and pray and process together everything that the Lord was trying to teach us during those intense months. We were thrilled to learn that we were in the same outreach team so we would continue to be each other's biggest support and encouragement.
Seven years later and a lot has changed! Gloria has spent the last seven years in NYC going to medical school and becoming a doctor. I've spent the last seven years getting married and having a kid. Completely different worlds, but the friendship has remained. I was thrilled when Gloria emailed me that she was considering a move to Cleveland to do a fellowship. Despite all of our talk of a trip to visit her, one had not yet happened and we'd only been able to see each other a handful of times in the last several years. The thought of only being 3.5 hours a way delighted me. Actually I was, and still am, much more excited about the prospect of Cleveland then she is! But she's coming anyways!
So this past weekend we drove up there to meet Gloria and help her apartment hunt and find the lay of the land. We looked at probably 20 different apartments and got our cardio workout done for the day as many of them were on the 4th floor. The morning hunt was somewhat dismal and definitely had Gloria wondering what exactly she had agreed to do, but our last stop turned out to be a winner. We found a lovely place for her that is walking distance to a grocery store, restaurants and to her, the ever important Starb*cks. In fact, when we walked into her new neighborhood's Starb*cks and saw how big and nice it was she said, "I think I just made up my mind!"
It was a whirlwind trip that was spent largely in the car driving around from apartment to apartment, but it was worth every second and every dollar we spent of $4/gallon gas!