Wednesday, November 16, 2005

An Introduction Post from Angela

(Happy Anniversary to us today, the 16th of November)

Dan and I have been married 3 years now and finally we have decided to create a blog. We feel the need to share our exciting Dan + Angela Adventures (DAng-Adventures) with those of you who are interested. To catch you up to date, we are currently in the middle of a program for Dan's work where they transform him from a simple Software Engineer into an exciting Systems Engineer.

The Program: Basically 5 young engineers are selected each year for this program. Initially Dan was selected as the 6th person on this list, not making it into the program. We went out to celebrate the fact that Dan was a fairly cool guy and almost made it. However, someone dropped out so he made it! Rather than celebrating again, we quickly dropped everything going on in our lives in Falls Church, VA in October of 2004. As he was a late entry, we didn't have as much time as everyone else to wrap up our personal/professional lives.

My Work Situation: I asked my work if they would be willing to change my status from full-time Arlington, VA employee to part time contractor working remotely. They said no. So two weeks later, I became unemployed-Angela.

Dan's First Assignment: Redondo Beach, CA; October 2004 - March 2005. While it was very nice to spend the winter living and working in sunny California, we experienced the second rainiest winter on record. However, it was awesome. The weather was beautiful most of the time. We met great people at Rolling Hills Church who were involved in a young-married couples' group. We traveled to Joshua Tree National Park, Death Valley National Park, Big Bear, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Monterey. An amazing first location.

My Work Situation: After 5 months of being bored and unemployed-Angela, my work decided that they would hire me back as a part-time contractor. To get around the "no contractors working remotely" rule, I agreed to commute to the Irvine office 1 time per week. It was an hour to an hour and a half drive, but not bad once a week. Plus, we were almost done in Redondo Beach.

Dan's Second Assignment: Melbourne, FL; March 2005 to October 2005. Perhaps it was not the best idea to spend the summer in central Florida during the worst hurricane season on record. It was sooo hot. We tried not to go outside. Fortunately we were not hit by any hurricanes. Melbourne is an interesting town. It is basically a suburb without a metropolitan area. This assignment helped us to realize 2 main things. 1) We are city people and enjoy having stuff within walking distance; 2) We do not wish to live in Florida, it is too hot.

My Work Situation: As we were nowhere near an office (3 hour drive to Miami), my agency allowed me to work from home all the time. I did end up visiting some of our offices, in Minneapolis, DC, and Dallas. This worked pretty well.

Dan's Third Assignment: Tokyo, Japan; November 2005 - April 2005. We are just getting started here in Tokyo. It will test our theory about being city people.

My Work Situation: A foreign country was pushing it a bit for my agency to keep me on. They put up with remote locations in the United States, but couldn't quite justify Tokyo. So, I once again found myself to be unemployed-Angela. However, that lasted less than a week as I started working for a Canadian company that will allow me to work remotely from Tokyo. :)

Our Family Situation: That just about brings us up to date. The only additional note to make the situation even more unusual than it could possibly be is that we will have our first kid in March. This means that I am in-between doctors right now, but am in the process of finding one here in Japan. It is possible that I may decide to give birth at the "Aqua Birth House" here in Tokyo. I will be going to visit it and check it out on December 1st. Until then, I have joined an email list-serv that includes other foreign women giving birth here. They are most helpful with questions that I have about where to start. I should be having lunch with some of them near the end of the month.

This seems to be the most exciting time of our lives. We plan on enjoying it. We are trying to learn some Japanese, try new foods (I started eating bananas), and expand our world-view. Of course, we miss our friends back in the United States, but also invite you to visit. Please email us and/or give us a call (we still have a Virginia phone number thru Vonage).


Angela Hines said...

Way to branch out, Angela! Go bananas!! :)

tonytkchen said...

I am so excited to hear about the the new "family" status and the anticipation of a new baby!! I am also glad to hear about your assignment there in Japan. Thanks for the blog to keep us updated. Will remember you in our prayers. Tony

Anonymous said...

Yeah you are pregnant!! We are so happy for you both. :) Kipp and February

Angela said...

Thanks for the good wishes. This is a fun way to keep in contact. It also makes me less bored as I wait for work assignments.