Friday, May 29, 2009


It's hard to believe in a little over 2 weeks I'll be home. I'm seeing the end of my last full week in Dresden. I feel like these last 5 months have been twice as long as most because, as my teammate Jennifer put it so perfectly, when God is teaching and changing you, time passes very slowly. We've got much lying ahead of us in these 2 weeks. First off, we're going to have to finish ministry work. That specifically involves saying good-bye to our conversation partners. We have four with whom we regularly meet, and we'll have to say bye to them all. I hate this part of leaving. What's even weirder is the fact that I'll probably never see any of them again. After we leave them, we just have to pray that we made some sort of impact on their lives and that they won't easily forget us.

You may be wondering why I won't have a full week in Dresden next week. Well, we do have a full week here in Germany next week, but that full week won't be in Dresden... because we're getting to go visit Bavaria for 5 days! For those who don't know where Bavaria is, it's the largest state in Germany, located in the southeast corner, and its capital in Munich. Most of the stereotypes people have for Germany come from Munich--including lederhosen. We'll see sites like Neuschwanstein Castle (the one Walt Disney used to model the Cinderella Castle), Dachau concentration camp, and maybe even a little of Austria. I cannot wait to see what some consider to be the most beautiful area of Germany. We'll let you know what we think--but I have a feeling that seeing the Alps on a crisp and clear day probably won't be disappointing. 

In other news, our language tutor is recovering very quickly from her stroke. She has now moved out of the hospital and is in rehab. This is great news, but it also means that we probably won't see her again. We will continue to pray for her, and thank you all for your continued prayers for her as well as my team and I. I'll be back to post pictures of next week. Cannot wait!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

This is STILL not Mississippi

Here's the rest of my list of differences. Be it a European thing, a German thing, or just a Saxony thing--it's different than what I know back in the good ol' Mississippi.

24. You have to pay or tip to use most public restrooms.

25. You have to ask for your ticket to pay at a restaurant.

26. Their ketchup here is usually a lot sweeter than ours.

27. Peanut Butter isn’t used much. Even worse, PB&Js… thought of as weird. As a major fan of peanut butter, this hurts a little.

28. Warning: their water served in restaurants and in plastic bottles—do not, under any circumstances, drink it. It’s almost always carbonated. Even if you get "still water," it may "still" taste funny. Oivay.

29. Smiling at people for no reason apparently makes people think you’re “of weak mind”?

30. Dresden is not the fashion capital of the world--that’s for sure. :)

31. They don’t have any get-everything-you-need-in-one-stop stores.

32. Their mustard is full of horse radish (which I particularly like).

33. Public Transportation is absolutely amazing all over the country. Trams, metros, trains, buses, ferries...

34. Not only do you need to watch out for car traffic but also bike traffic!

35. When you are paying for a meal, they bring a change purse to the table with them and make your change right there.

36. Indecent exposure in movies—nothing to bat an eye at in Germany. Violence in movies—only if you’re old enough! Backwards, huh?

37. Their calendars start the week on Monday.

38. They have a shelf milk option that’s very common—you can keep it for as long as you want. You don’t even have to refrigerate it. That is, of course, if you don’t open it.

39. Speaking of refrigerating, they don’t refrigerate their eggs at the grocery store. They let them sit on the shelf.

40. Their chedder cheese is white?

41. Many German buildings, even those with 4 or 5 floors, have no elevators.

42. Even when the road is clear of all moving vehicles, people still don’t cross if the Ampelmann (the pedestrian crosswalk symbol) says not to.

43. The option for having an apartment without a kitchen is quite common.

And lastly,

44. ..... prostitution is legal.

Outside a bathroom in the mall.. 50 Euro cents first, please!

Wow, I must be of weak mind.

The Ampelmann says no, so we don't go.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Well, I have to admit, this past week was superb. Within a dot over a week, my team and I went to Berlin, Hamburg, and Prague. I wrote a little about Berlin in the last post. It was an unplanned, decided at the last minute kind of outing.

Our experience in Hamburg was fantastic. It was nice to see what western Germany looks like. Yes, the wall fell 20 years ago, but there are still differences between the East and the West. Hamburg is quite an international city, and it was nice to hear English on their metros. We talked to several university students during our 2 full days there, and we even had one join us for dinner and games our last night! His name is Ivan, and he is from France. He's been to America before and thoroughly enjoyed it. He had a great time playing Connect Four and the Wii. It was a good trip!

On Saturday, our supervisor's wife took us to Prague. Let me tell you--it did NOT disappoint. If you ever have the chance to go there, do it. I would say it's the most beautiful city I have visited. We spent all day there, taking pictures, shopping, and watching an interesting "Zombie Walk." I hope I can go back there one day!

This week is back to beautiful Dresden and time for us to focus our efforts on the local University. Also, please keep our German "tutor" in your prayers. She suffered from a stroke on Friday (she is 86), and she is still in the hospital. We visited her today and she seems to be recovering well. I can only pray and hope she will fully recover. That's all for now. Tschuess!

German word:
die Gesundheit--health

Hamburg Rathaus

Hamburg city

Prague Church of Our Lady Before Tyn

View from Charles' Bridge

View of Prague

Prague Museum

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Hello to all!!

Just wanted to say a big thank you to those of you who sent me cards, facebook messages, emails, etc. to wish me a happy birthday! I had the opportunity to go back to Berlin on a beautiful day and for a beautiful price. AND I was able to use my brand new Nikon D60 to take some more pictures (Thanks Mom and Dad.. and Caitlyn)!

I am currently in Hamburg, learning some tricks of the trade from a family who lives here. We're hoping to take some tips about talking with University students back to Dresden. When we return on Thursday, we'll have Friday in Dresden and then we're off to Prague for the day on Saturday. Looks like we'll be all over the place these next few days! More details and pictures to come later. And I haven't said this recently, but thank you for your continued prayers.

Victory Column in Berlin

My homemade strawberry birthday cake

German word:

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

American Love

I love my family. I do believe I've written something like 2 blog posts about them already. I love my friends. I don't know if I've ever written a blog about them. It's high time for that to be fixed.

After being away from those whom I love, I’ve come to a point in my life that could (most likely) only have been reached by leaving them. When I set out for this 5 month long excursion, I had no idea what was in store for me. I just assumed I'd live in Germany, doing... well honestly, I hadn’t much of an idea what I would be doing. I just knew that I would be in one of the most beautiful countries in Europe, a place where I've always felt drawn.

After having many of my expectations tossed to the wind (we were warned about this in orientation), I’ve had to do a little adjusting. And by a little, I mean a lot. Sometimes adjusting to things is hard. And you know whom I’ve always had around me when I have hard times? My family. My friends. Going through this experience without them has shown me several things. Here are a few of them:

1. I need to rely on God much more than people. God never lets you down. In HIM I need to find my strength and hope first and foremost.
2. I have one of the best families in the universe. They always know when to talk and when to listen. They know what to say and how to encourage me. They make me laugh, and they love me.
3. My friends are truly a gift from God. He has placed some of the most compassionate, caring people in my path for me to lean on when I need support. Distance tests friendships, and mine have aced the trial. (My family is also included in the friend category).

So here’s to those of you to whom I am referring. I’m not going to sit and write a list of names, but I think most people will know if I am talking about them or not ☺. I cannot express how much I have taken for granted, but never again! I am eager to see your faces when I return to America in just a little over a month. Expect a big bear hug!

As no post is complete without pictures, I’ve decided to make a collage of several friends, and all family members included. I only had the ones on my computer to choose from, so I hope no one is offended if not pictured.