Thursday, August 19, 2010

Almost a week in

I can't believe that I have been in New Jersey for only a week, it's strange for me to say that it has felt like it has been a lot longer than that! And I mean that in a good way.

I arrived last Saturday around 4:30pm eastern. The drive was nice, except going through Chicago, I could not find it within me to enjoy the 96 degree heat in bumper to bumper traffic with no air conditioning. But after that it was pretty smooth, I stopped at Notre Dame with me teammate Anthony, we walked around campus but could not get in the chapel because there was a wedding. From there we drove to Pittsburgh and spent the night with a fellow FOCUS missionary. It was neat driving into Pittsburgh at night, for whatever reason the football stadium lights were on and it lit up a good portion of the city, my favorite was the light up Heinz Ketchup bottle being poured out on the side of a building. Anthony and I left Pittsburgh at about 10am. I really enjoyed the drive through Pennsylvania going through tunnels beneath some mountain ranges, very beautiful.

Once we were in New Jersey we had less than an hour to South Orange, my immediate thought was surprised at how green it was. For whatever reason I was envisioning more of a city type of place, but after all New Jersey is the Garden State.

We arrived at our home in South Orange, New Jersey, Ora Manor, campus housing about a mile off campus. It's a two bedroom apartment with a bathroom, kitchen, and a living room. I spent most of Saturday unpacking and getting settled in to my new room. Sunday my 5 teammates and I went to mass at a church just a few blocks away. After that we did some shopping for things we did not have in the apartment and for food.

On Monday myself and the two other new staff members got a campus tour. Campus is very nice, everything is close and it is a beautiful campus. We were introduced to the RAs and the rest of the housing staff. We have a beautiful chapel on campus which I will be sharing a picture of in a future post.

Tuesday was interesting, we went to New York City, my first time in the big city. We took a train to New York (the train station is about 4 blocks from our apartment) from there we jumped on the subway and ended up at Central Park. We walked around there for a bit and then went to the Frick Art Museum. Then we wandered down past the Trump Towers and the Rockefeller Center. We saw CBS and NBC Studios and Radio City Music Hall. We went to mass at St. Patrick's which is located right in the heart of the city, only about a block from the places I just mentioned. Then we met up with some fellow missionaries that live in the city and we grabbed a slice of pizza at Fat Sal's. From there we stopped by young adult bible study of sorts where we discussed Catholic Christian dating and relationships.

Wednesday morning my Varsity Catholic teammate, Melissa Stadelman and I started to meet with coaches. There are 14 varsity sports at Seton Hall, and on Wednesday we met with 2, the men's and women's golf coaches. They were both excited to welcome us and happy to give us access to their teams.

And that's life in the big city for now! Some of the students involved with FOCUS arrive Monday afternoon, all students move in next Thursday, and school starts on the 31st.

Please keep my teammates Teddy, Anthony, Rosabel, Katie, Melissa, and I in your prayers at the beginning of this school year. That we will trust in the Lord, that He will give us the words to speak, and that we would be fearless in sharing the gospel with the students at Seton Hall University.


  1. Chicago, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, NYC, -- NICE! (I would add NJ -- but I have never been) Next time through Chicago - you MUST MUST MUST do it around 4:30am. That my friend is the only time you want to go through Chicago -- and then you go straight through downtown Chicago. Enjoy the ride :-)

    Peace and Prayers to you and all of your teammates AJ.

  2. You might need to make another trip back to NYC next week!

  3. AJ,
    Your room is looking a little messy.

  4. AJ,
    I'm going to politely disagree with your Uncle Al. I think your room's looking great! :-)
    Miss you!