Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Grand Adventures of...Yours Truly : )

A little more than a year ago began this little adventure of mine.

I don't remember the exact place I was sitting or what I was doing but I decided I wanted to try and go to Germany for the Spring Semester of 2010.  Now, being the lover of socialization that I am I had reasons for going in the Spring rather than the Fall. These were mainly...I was not a Junior or a Senior so I wouldn't miss the Spring Jr/Sr and I would not miss the Winter Formal.  That was basically my reasoning.  So, I talked to Mr. Auld, he thought the idea was brilliant and off I went.  Over the summer I filled out the application and began talking with the program I wanted to go with.

Now, fast forward to Fall 2010.  I had decided I would go in the Spring and would hopefully live in England for the summer and work as a nanny for some friends of ours who live outside London.  Now, my  to-do checklist began.  Most importantly: Get my British Passport.  Let me tell you. Confusing.  Well, I spend Thanksgiving with my Dad and he helped me greatly!  We phoned the Embassy and figured out the proper form I would need.  Then, one afternoon he and I chatted about other options.  What if, instead of going in the Spring, I went in the Fall?  Thus began agonizing over what God's will for this part of my life. I prayed, I journaled pros and cons for both situations, I charted out my class schedule for the rest of my Undergrad career and STILL did not know.  I had many conversations with my parents and Grampaw.  I discussed it with a friend on the way back to school after Thanksgiving, and when I finally got back to school I discussed it with my advisor.  See, I was lacking finances, an English passport, and I would be missing key classes I needed if I went in the Spring.  I was feeling guilty because I felt as if I was not trusting God enough with my circumstances and decision making.  My advisor (who, by the way, is amazing!) told me that I was using wisdom to make my decision.  It was not lack of trust (ok, I don't remember what else he said but that was the basic jist).  I left with a weight off my shoulders.  I knew what I was doing and could relax and take a little more time.

Well, I was still dreaming big about all the places I would visit while in Germany because in my mind, Germany is a whole lot closer than the US to the rest of the world.  I mean really, we are kind of isolated.  My friends teased me greatly when I mentioned trying to make it to China and Japan.  Well, it's true, I want to go! South Africa did not work out either...oh well. There is always another year (although I am running out of summers between school years).  Pretty soon the real world starts (a JOB).

Well, I began making calls to the British Embassy in March I believe trying to figure out if I WAS a citizen of England or not.  Let me tell you.  It is practically impossible to get a live voice at that place!  Well, after being told it would cost at least £800 (I think that is what they said)=$1300 approx I was phoned back and they told me I WAS a citizen!!!!! The elation I felt was marvelous! I told everyone!!!  Next, I had to fill out the form and figure out everything I had to send with it to prove I was an English citizen since I had not been born there.  So, on March 29 ( I think) I posted my forms! However, I am still waiting to receive my passport and must phone the Embassy this week to see what is holding them up!

So, I was then facing needing to buy a ticket...I may have already bought it actually...I don't remember.  Anyway, I didn't want to spend more than $700.  I had searched and searched! Seriously, ask my roommate how many hours I wasted on airline websites!  Anyway, I finally found one from Newark for $625.  I thought, brilliant! So, I bought it only to discover right after I would not get back until 11 PM. Ok, that is dumb! SO, I called, canceled, and rebought for $25ish more.  Later, I felt so dumb for flying from Newark, but Mama and I were able to make memories and travel back to where we used to live : )  I have always wanted to go "Traveling Abroad Shopping." I finally got to!  I was SO picky because I did not want to just buy anything.  I was worried also because the first day I did not find very much.  Yet, as always, God provided so much more than I expected!  This whole trip (planning and the actual thing) have been God showing time and time again how faithful he is, AND he knows the little things that make me happy!

SO...the week after school ended was a whirlwind of fast visits and au revoirs to family and friends!  May 24, 2010 found me leaving my house 2 hours later than planned to embark on my newest adventure!!!  May 25, 2010 found me at the airport bright and early boarding a plane to London, England!  I will not be returning until December 28, 2010!  Wow....that is a long time!

I sat next to an interesting lady named Pam.  She works for Lifetime television station.  She was very nice!  Please pray for her though.  She needs Jesus.  This is her second or third time to the UK (I don't remember exactly).  Well, neither of the movies I wanted to see were showing, BUT my meal was very yummy AND they gave us tea cups...for tea. However, I drank Pepsi out of mine...and AFTER they brought tea.  Darn it, I should have asked.  Oh well, on my return flight I will know : )

Due to a late departure and odd winds we landed 45 minutes or so late.  If I had my British Passport I would have been through customs in a breeze....BUT I was not.  However, half way through they sent all who did not have visas to go through these new lines....where I was told after answering their questions, I could indeed have an English passport.  I told them it had not come.  I then walked through and picked up my luggage.  I wanted to leave a note for Pam but I didn't know which was hers and didn't want to get in trouble for checking the tags.  Yet, as I was walking out we passed and I said goodbye!  I walked through the doors, saw a sign with my name on it, met Tim (the husband of the lady my mom used to teach whom I am staying with for the summer) and Joe (the cab driver) and was taken to the cab and taken to my abode for the summer : )

The next day I awoke at 12:30, prepared myself a regular English Breakfast (tea and marmite included) and explored a little.  A bit after 2 PM Mary (the lady I am staying with) and Julia (her 3 year old daughter) and I went to pick up Jude (her almost 5 year old son) from school.  A good 20 minute or so walk later...we arrived (maybe only 15).  We then took Julia to dance class which is held in her school building which is actually an old estate that was turned into a community center! It is beautiful!  Then we returned home.  Needless to say....I was all turned about.  The next day Tim and I took Julia to school, picked her up, and later picked Jude up.  I was beginning to learn my way.  By the next day (Friday) I had learned my way about a good bit.

Now, Julia and Jude are quite funny.  Jude is always making funny little comments about Julia and Julia is always turning everything into a song or having conversations with herself...the other day as I was preparing lunch she was sitting at the counter saying, "No, don't take the covers, I'm not taking the covers (etc etc etc)." SOOO funny!

Mary's nephew, Nick, lives with them while he attends college an hours ride away.  He is going to culinary school.  He made quiche the night I arrived.  Very delectable.

I also found out that a girl from school is a 20 minute walk away from me for the summer so I walked down Saturday and surprised her with a visit.  Another girl from school is coming over tomorrow!  I am THRILLED because I was really rather missing CIU today : )

Now, today, we went to church.  They attend an Anglican church.  It was very nice.  The Vicar mentioned John Stott and had I not taken Romans I would not have known who he was : )

THEN we walked into Blackheath and saw the most wonderful shops!!! of them, if I was very wealthy, I would have done a good bit of damage!  Well, I will be going back!  Then we walked to Greenwich (the market is AMAZING!!! Helloooo Christmas shopping!)! I saw where all time begins, meaning our time is right and the rest of the world is slightly off ; P

After a long day full of fun (Oh, I had an ice cream cone with a chocolate flake in it like Daddy used to have when he was a kid!  Yes, it did come from the ice cream truck!) we finally arrived home.

In July I get to move into the upstairs room (for now I am in the kids room).  It is SO cute! At the very tippy top of the house (the 6th floor, essentially one room per floor).

Tomorrow is the Barbeque.
Lenae is coming.
Maybe Sarah.
I get another real hamburger (my first in ages was today).
I see my Uncle on tuesday.
LONDON 13 days from now = )

Well, I am really asking God to show me where He is calling me in the world during this trip.  Or at least rule out places.  Please pray that I would listen and hear God's voice.  That I would follow Him, know Him, and get in the Word like I have never done before!

The next chapter of my life will be written when I next take the time : )

Happy Bank Hol and Half Term ; )

PS.  The end of the story...As of now...Germany in September and England for Decemeber ; )


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