Hello All --
First, a huge apology for not posting in such a long time. There is so much I want to write about, too! The race went well -- I ran it in under an hour (59minuntes and 45seconds, thank you very much), and I'm really glad I did it.
Life has been busy, busy, busy in Esslingen. Yesterday was the last day of school ( I know, can you believe they go so late into July), everyone got their report cards, and now it's time to enjoy the SUMMER.
I, for one, will be thoroughly enjoying it --
I'm currently working on an exchange/peace project with a group of Israeli and Palestinian students visiting German students in Esslingen. It has been an interesting experience, to say the least. I am learning a lot first-hand about inter cultural communication, which is a good thing.
Tomorrow, we are leaving to visit Heidelberg and Strasbourg, and live together in a big house for a few days. Pray that the group will be able to understand each other despite language barriers -- we generally speak English, but I'm the ONLY one in the group whose first language is English (I've been asking myself a lot lately, "why don't I speak Arabic?!!?!). Pray that everyone will take home something significant from the experience.
After our trip to Strasbourg together, I will be taking the train to Geneva, where I will be visiting a graduate school for international conflict transformation, and hopefully seeing my friend Traci, who spends her summers writing in the Alps (dream job, right? I know). From Geneva I will be flying to Chicago, and Michigan, where I'll be visiting friends and family. Here's my itinerary, in case you want to hook up:
August 5-8 - Chicago
8th-12th-Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids, Michigan
12th or 13th to 16th- Chicago
When I return home from Chicago, I'll go directly to "SommerCamp" -- a camp I've been helping to plan on Lake Constance for about 60 kids between 13 and 15. PRAY FOR US!!
My trip home is only a short visit for a friend's wedding (I'll be reading scripture in the ceremony) and to see friends and family. I am looking forward to seeing what my house looks like empty!
Life is about to take another turn, I think. With school ending, three of my roommates and very good friends will be moving out of the apartment I have grown to trust and love, and new "Zivis and Praktis" as we call them will be moving in. A few friends of mine from my Bible Study have also recently left to study abroad, so I will be getting to know new friends in Esslingen. About a month ago, my parents made the official "big move" to the Netherlands, where they now live. They were very wonderful and came to visit me last week, (brining me a few things I had sent abroad with the container). It was good to be with family.
In addition to all this flux around me, I'm spending some time thinking about my future. A friend of mine has recently asked me to write an article for a publication she's guest editing about a passion that drives me. As I look into graduate schools, the job field, and possibly staying in Germany a little longer, I'm having a hard time deciding the answer to that question myself! Pray that I continue to feel God's presence as I wind my way through this journey toward my future.
I am SO excited about visiting Geneva, seeing friends, and enjoying Chicago and Michigan in summer. PLEASE e-mail me if you will be around!
See you after the summer break!
p.s. there are more pictures on my Picasa web album (click the link at the right titled "Pictures are here!" to see them)