Monday, July 28, 2008

Prague and Venice were nice.
Switzerland was picture-perfect.
Most of the trip was a blur.
Everything happened very fast, sometimes we traveled to three countries in one day!
I remember that Prague was beautiful and we were all surprised by how wonderful the Czech food was, because you don't often hear of Czech chefs or popular restaurants serving Czech food- but it was amazing... so, so good.
The statues lining the Charles Bridge were blackened by pollution, but still great to look at.
Venice only stank a little, and it was very beautiful. The glass making we witnessed was fascinating and there were too many tourists. Our room in Venice was beautiful and the whole hotel made me feel like royalty.

Apparently Milan was terrible, people were rude to us there and we had to spend the night there because we missed our train.
I got some homework done, but not as much as I had hoped. Perhaps I was punishing myself a bit to assign homework to myself while I was supposed to be vacationing. However, I really do need to get it done, and I'm trying to discipline myself so I don't end up killing myself when I'm full-time in school.

And this trip has also been good for my relationship with God. Taking a break from my normal routine helps me to get a better view, sort of look at that relationship from a new angle. And also, God has been speaking to me through my adventurous personality and my wandering spirit.
When did I feel the closest to God?
When did I feel the most alive?
Where did I feel at home?

Well... Calgary was a transitional place and started to feel like my home at the end... but still, I consider my home church in Winnipeg, my closest friends reside in Winnipeg and most of my 'homes' are stationed in that city. And for the other questions, I would say Winnipeg continues to be the answer to them.
When I moved to Winnipeg I did not expect it to be exciting or adventurous, however, as I travel around in Europe I continue to be reminded of that city.
I don't need to be some place exciting or exotic, I just need to be where God wants me. His plans for me are exciting, more challenging and adventurous than I would pick for myself. Yes, living in Winnipeg was not dull. And Calgary was the change I needed at the time I needed it.
And I know that God's plan for me is best, however when I follow it I often still long for something 'more exciting'- being somewhere warm and tropical or interesting. However, the most exciting is not in where I am on the globe, but simply in living my life.
I have a few more weeks before I start school in a city I have never been in, to a school I have never visited and I don't know a soul at. It's not that I'm nervous, it's just the strain of starting all over AGAIN.
A new city, a new residence, new friends, new schedule, ect. I am glad that I transfered, however sometimes part of me wishes that I had transfered to a school in a city I had lived in previously, because that might make the transition easier. But no regrets- I'm running at this full-force.
I'm getting a cell phone and a Rebtell number. I'm buying plenty of calling cards to keep in contact with friends all around. I am going to look over my travel plans for the next few years to see what fits in where. I am going to make friends and get to know my new city. I am going to church hunt and find a place to volunteer.
I'm going to mix all of my lives (my Spencer life, my other college life, my Calgary life and my Winnipeg life, and now my Fort Wayne life) and stay in touch better than I have done before. And my life is going to be exciting and wonderful! It's not based on what country I am in or what title I currently have- I am still me and if it's where I've been called, there is something for me there. And so far, God's plans have never been boring.
The only question now is- how many semesters will I stay at this school? (I might be joking...)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

For now, the bread

My mom, younger sister and I are going to Switzerland the day after tomorrow.

I haven't really had much time to get excited about it, having just moved and all. I haven't even adjusted to the reality that I have moved away from Calgary. I will probably go back for visits, we will go to Banff, go camping, that sort of thing- but I won't live there anymore. I'm not sad, its just that strange feeling of being in the middle, a transition. Almost like being on a road trip and you don't know the destination; mostly just watching the landscape wiz by. Sunday night I arrived back in Indiana. Monday morning was shopping for our trip. So to actually let myself get excited might just happen on the airplane. I am trying to get excited- packing my bags and 'helping' others pack their bags is seeming a promising way to get myself excited (not that it has completely worked yet).

While I was eating toast this morning for breakfast; that awful, pre-sliced, full of preservatives and plenty off things- kind of bread I wanted REAL bread, bakery bread, homemade bread!

However, I know that any bread we make will go bad because we are leaving so soon and the nearest bakery is probably a half an hour away... so for now, I will let the idea of fresh, wonderful, GOOD bread be my anticipation that leads to my excitement.

However- Jenna, you should be glad to know I am looking at this trip as a vacation instead of a trip or an adventure. Therefore, I am planning on taking way more things (clothing items, shoes, toiletries) than I would normally take on a trip lasting for a much longer time. That's my plan- take more than I need, because it's not about being simplistic or simple right now, its about relaxing and enjoying myself. I don't need light bags because I'm taking planes and trains instead of trucks and vans. Hiking would be day trips, so no need to be able to carry my bag long distances.

Also, yesterday I decided to play soccer for the Univeristy I am transferring to in August. I hadn't decided on it totally, but was leaning that way. The coach called me and as soon as I learned how short their season was (Sep-Oct) I agreed.
This makes my schedule more hectic than previously: now I return from Switzerland/Italy/Germany, have a week's rest (or busy getting all I need for college) then I visit relatives and go to a concert with my brother and return on the day I was supposed to arrive for soccer camp/training. However, the coach said that it would be fine if I showed up a few days late, so I will probably give myself 2 days and then go up to school/soccer camp. Previously, I had a week and a half to prepare for college before going up. So goes life.

I'm sure I will enjoy playing soccer- it's a small, small school. I haven't really played on an all-girls team (in highschool it felt like I still played on the boys team sometimes and most of the girls were much younger than me). Besides, I like new experiences and if I don't enjoy it- its only 2 months and then I don't have to do it again.

Now I just need to find somewhere in Fort Wayne, IN to take contemporary dance classes- know of any?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Ready to pack up again...

I have now moved 3 times in 6 months- not to mention 3 countries in that same time frame!

Moving was a relief. I now don't have to hide my toothbrush or wonder where my shoes went off to. My parents and I were joking about it, but I really did have 'unidentifiable substances' on my toothbrush, TWICE! So, it was thrown away. One of the times, my brand-new toothbrush just went missing- I could not find it anywhere. I guess that is better than going to use it and discovering something like hardened pink wax coating the end of your toothbrush.
I think living there has made me more protective of my belongings. Hopefully I will let it pass and not care when people bother my stuff or use my things- but now, I am very picky.

My phychology classes, and my recent course on family therapy have taught me that this is a normal reaction when someone breaks personal barriers (like using your toothbrush for who knows what!), so I'm just gonna go with this seemingly phobic obsession of not letting others use anything of mine without asking- okay, maybe its not phobic or and obsession, but it's not that normal of me.

The move was interesting- a bunch of boys helped unload everything and then it just sat in the house for about 4 days. To get to the kitchen, one must squeeze past the washing machine by the front door, or step over and around several suit cases through the back door. Then wind through a maze of book shelves and suddenly- the kitchen! uncluttered and accessable. The same with going upstairs- the 2nd floor was clear and less smothering, but it was an adventure or hopping over this, squeezing through that and remembering that that bag has something that hurts when stepped on...

Then, Biruk's mom came one day and had (mostly) everything put where she wanted it. Now only the kitchen has boxes and bags cluttering it- but there are couches to sit on and a table to eat at (although no food has been cooked because that would require being able to freely move in the kitchen).

So, now all of my stuff was packed to move from one house to another. And now I need to repack to move back the the US in a few days.

Tomorrow begins my last week in Calgary. While the boys all watched an Ultimate Fight show, I've been looking up the things I want to do in my last week here. Picnics, rock climbing, hiking and going to the Calgary Stampede are all on the list. I wanted to make it to the weekend farmer's market as well, but with the Stampede being here, I doubt it will be happening. The whole city is bustling with the Stampede: businesses slacken the dress code to; cowboy hats, flannel-looking shirts, boots and anything else that looks 'western'. Police man on patrol walk by in uniforms- and black cowboy hats showing off silver badges in the front. Waitresses make extra tips by wearing 'bandana shirts' that are really just bandanas. The transit trains are packed to full capasity and people are out and about till 7 am, many of which are still drunk. And that was just the first day, before the weekend was in full swing!