Archive for September, 2009

Well, well…the first post for the Madison MVS unit.  Those of us in the unit are going to take turns posting to this blog as a way to update you on what has happened throughout our year in mvs and continuing on with future Madison groups.

The unit has been complete for a couple of weeks now, Ben Ryan Laura Andrew and Annie (Andrew and Annie are the married couple), and we are all trying to get into the swing of things.  With this being a new unit everything we do is new from finances and creating a budget to finding things to do for fun around the city.  This is exciting but also creates challenges.  We live in a two apartment house, the first floor is one apartment, and we have the second and third floors which are the second apartment.  Though the apartment isn’t  exactly in pristine condition, the location of the apartment is good as we are only one block from Willy St. which holds many different restaurants, shops, the local co-op etc.

Madison as a city is interesting, although it is the state capital it does not have a big city feel, but there are constantly things happening from free music at the UW union terrace (big student center) to a huge farmers market every Saturday morning on the capital square.  For the most part we have all found the Madison natives to be friendly, and maybe the best example of this would be Madison Mennonite Church (our host church) who not only welcomed us as a new unit to Madison but as a congregation donated basically everything that the apartment needed to function from bedding to kitchen wear, towels…

To wrap up this initial post I will tell you about what you might call our first couple of group activities (the pictures attached show a glimpse of these events).  Sunday September 13, 2009 dawn broke crisp and clear along with everyone in the group waking up by 6:30 am to take in the festivities of the 8th running of the Ironman Wisconsin.  To those that are ignorant…the Ironman is a race that involves swimming 2.4miles, biking 112miles, and then the race finishes off with a full marathon 26.2miles.  We watched the swimming and transfer to biking and then headed home to have a delicious brunch…but not before we snapped a few crucial pictures!!

Laura watched the transfer from biking to running, and also the first few professional finishers, Ryan and I joined her around 10:30pm to cheer on the final few finishers before the official cutoff time of midnight.  We ended up with some free Ironman hats, and I managed to score a pair of officially used participant goggles (don’t ask how I got them cause it involved un-Mennonite like violence…just kidding – but I had you all squirming in your seats).

The next group event involved the Willy Street fair.  There are many musical acts, food vendors, and being Wisconsin…plenty of places to buy all of the brews.  Our group activity included watching the parade, and running into some of the Madison Mennonite church members, along with using some of our activity money to grab a snack of whatever delicious tasting food we could find.

Be sure to check in every once in a while to see the updates that I and everyone else in the group will be adding.  I hope you all enjoy reading about and hopefully seeing pictures of many of the events that we go through as a group in the next year.  Enjoy the photos and have a great day!

Ben Martin

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