Wednesday, April 23, 2014

WOW and bad public transportation day...

Well this week has flown by!  Sitting here on the train from Krakow to Poznan and realized it has been a week since I've done a post on my blog.  I love that!  The busy part that is....

Easter was amazing - Budapest with Bob, Colleen and Josh.  Good Friday - nice tenebrae service and then Saturday Bob and Colleen hosted a big 'ol bar-b-que which was fun to be a part of...good food for sure!  Sunday started out right with an absolutely beautiful sunrise service on a hill overlooking Budapest.  Later in the morning was a service and brunch - nice.  That late afternoon several (including all four of us) were invited over to a Hungarian family's home. They are actually Bob and Colleen's landlords and the reason they rent out their house was due to a bad anurysm and accident that the Dad had.  It has debilitated him for life but all the doctors and rehabilitation people are amazed that he can even walk and function on his own.  Isn't that cool?!  Bob and Colleen have just loved, shared and prayed with them since day one and they are just drinking it all in.  Good stuff.

So then on Monday we drove to Krakow.  There are a group of 'big wigs' meeting here this week so I hitched a ride.  The fun part is that they requested to come to Poland so Bob set it all up since it is his area.  And guess who he worked with to arrange the details?...Joanna!  I have met many Joanna's since I came here but this one is the very first one from my very first day.  She helped me get a SIM card for my phone...remember?!  Isn't that awesome!?  She and her fiance are actually both working in England right now trying to make some money for their wedding in May but she came home for this week to make sure all the details ran smoothly.  She originally went to England to establish a company - a tour guide service!  So Bob and this group are her first 'real' clients... good stuff.  It was great to see her and catch up a bit.  I did work while in Krakow too...met with the accountant and worked on items for the meetings happening this week (in Krakow) and next week (in Budapest).  Oh - and I went to go see the other Joannas I met here...at the Polish Language School I attended!  I was signing some people up that are coming here in May - so that was fun to catch up with more Joanna's as well...they remembered me - how cool is that?!

I must admit it was nice to be back on Facebook Sunday.  Actually that was pretty funny.  Bob's wireless was whacked out all weekend so between the two services on Sunday we were at a coffee shop that had wireless!  Perfect.  I'm still catching up but it is good to be back in the loop a little bit anyway.  I find it simply amazing the tool that Facebook has become - so many people just go there to find events, places, people, communicate and publish information etc - I think that is kinda cool.  Yes, with the good comes the bad...but that is to be expected in this world and it seems to me that we can make those choices in our Facebook world so that is helpful.

Speaking of catching up and loops...my Dad - WOW.  It has now been decided that he will stay in Boise for 4 weeks!  He is in a rehab center - he is on IV for his infection plus will be starting physical therapy so apparently 24/7 care was decided upon.  That whole deal sounds pretty serious to me...I'm not sure if I would feel better about it if I was in California but I do think I would be in closer communication with Mom, Phyllis and Sue about it all.  So - that is one thing about being many miles and time zones apart - communicatin is a challenge and I can't just hop in my car and run up to Boise to check it all out for myself!  Mom has been great at sending daily emails so that certainly is appreciated.

Guess that's it - I'd appreciate your prayers for my Dad...he's a strong man but I think all these issues have taken their toll!  Pain is a weird phenomena...does crazy things to us physically, mentally and spirtually.  Life is good, I do believe and trust God is waaayy better.

Check that...not quite done.  I arrived back in Poznan...thunder and lightening storm going on!  It was great...from the train.  But I got off the train and the Giles family (who I rent my room from) was there to greet me - that was great.  They were headed to Krakow and their train left 10 minutes after I arrived :).  Anywho - went to the tram stop - any tram but #10 could get me home.  #8 pulls in - I get on - nope...didn't go to my stop.  Turned right the city block before my stop and went down that street for a bit.  I got off - but it was after 10:45 at night and...no more buses or trams in that neighborhood.  I hoofed it home - in the rain - in my sweatshirt - with my suitcase.  And let me just say - there were some flash flood little rivers going on.  So I'm home safe and sound (and wet) now - having ended my day about the same way I started my day. This morning I was supposed to meet Joanna to taste cakes with her...but alas I could NOT find the bus I was to transfer to get out to the area she was in.  Stink - not a good public transportation day!  Oh well - so it goes.  G'night:).

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dad and JIF!

It's a sad day here in Poznan, Poland.  Well - let me clarify - in my world here in Poznan, Poland:).  My Jif creamy peanut butter is goooooonnnne!  Yes - there is such a thing as peanut butter here but let me just tell you - it is NOT Jif!  Now we can get into the 'creamy' vs 'crunchy' argument or even the 'Jif' vs. 'Skippy' argument but I'm devastated.  JIF CREAMY wins hands down and I am totally out.  So - I did a mini-funeral prayer for the very cleaned out jar and laid it to rest in the recycle bin.  Sad, sad day.

I did get a worrisome email from my sister this morning (very late for them on Wednesday night) - Dad was going back into the hospital.  He had a fever during the day and they decided it was due to infection from the knee surgery.  He had an incision that was seeping and they were watching it etc but apparently it got infected. He may be having surgery again today - so please pray for my Daddy:).  On the other hand - it is Maunday Thursday and I'm headed to my brother's for Easter!  So that is good news.

Other than that - not much - just wanted to let you know my life today I guess!  It is good...and God is way better (yes...even more than Jif Creamy!).  Much love.



Sunday, April 13, 2014

Easter Week

Palm Sunday...I love today and the whole coming week.  It started off last night as I went to a play at the Citadel Park here in Poznan of the 'Passion of Christ'.  It was amazing - the actors performed in a HUGE area of the park so I enjoyed it - to see a pretty long procession of people with palms all the way to the road to Golgotha and the cross.  The sounds were very loud (good sound system) so each crack of the whip and hammering of the nail really made me flinch.  I thought it was done pretty well and made me stop and think for sure. Today I saw a parade of people on the street in Poznan - it seemed to be a Palm Sunday procession - and it sounded like people were reciting various Catholoc prayers.  I didn't understand what they were saying but it was interesting to watch and listen for a while.

I must admit; my church in Sacramento (Fremont Presbyterian) does Easter very well.  I will miss that this year but I have loved taking part in the past.  Today starts it all with Palm Sunday - then Tuesday they will have a demonstration of the Jewish Passover meal and traditions.  Thursday is the Last Supper (Maundy Thursday) which is amazing to take part in and Friday's Tenebrae service is very moving...leaving in mourning for Christ's death.  But the entire church is transformed for Sunday and Easter is absolutely beautiful and very 'victorious'!  Awesome to say the least.

Yesterday we had kids come to the craft and food event...that was pretty fun!  Not a lot of kids but we made our paper beads and empty tombs and the kids were amazing.  Everything turned out looking good so that was great fun.

Enjoy your Easter week...I certainly will!  I will miss going to my sister's and/or parent's house (or some coming to Sacramento) but instead I get to spend it at my brother's house!  I will definitely enjoy that :).

Life is good...God is waaaay better - much love to you all!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Polish Tuesday :)

Well what a great day!  It started out with a nice bowl of oatmeal...followed by a great vanilla latte:).  That was just the beginning but what an amazing start!

Moved on to interviewing two students to work at Sweet Surrender...both at the University of Art here in Poznan...one in photography and one in art.  Such talent these students have - love it.  Sweet Surrender hires all students so we have some that will be done with college this year so we are hiring in order to train and be ready for people leaving upon graduation.  One girl already got a job this week; very happy for her but sad for us, she was a great worker so I'm sure she will do well at the hospital that hired her.  The summer months are really a slow time for the coffee shop - we update our menu to more 'summer' food and drink items but the fact is that people like to be outside when nice weather comes!  So that is good news really but Sweet Surrender is closed for the entire month of August.  So things need to get done by July...some work to be done!

Next on the Tuesday agenda was working in the kitchen for a few hours...that always starts with vacuuming and mopping the 'back half' of the coffee shop.  Made some soup (not sure what it was...I'm not a huge fan of soup so...yeah...I think it was some carrot/ginger thing...whatever).  Ran to the little corner store; Netto. This is my favorite store in all of Poznan I'm quite sure of it.  If you know me at all...I'm not a shopper but I'll tell you what - I can spend some time rustling through the bargain bins at Netto.  Too funny...I have to force myself not to go down those aisles so I won't look!  Craziness.

Later in the afternoon today a lady came to the shop who is doing a kids workshop on Saturday.  Oh I can't wait!  From 11:00 - 1:00 on Saturday for kids from 7 -11 in age we will be doing a craft and cooking workshop at Sweet Surrender.  We are preparing some paper beads for the kids to use.  I actually rolled some beads myself today...soo exciting since I brought some necklaces back from Ethiopia made of paper beads - now I know how to make them myself!  The kids will make paper bead bracelets and then they will bake an 'empty tomb' (cresent roll dough and you wrap it around a marshmallow--marshmallow melts while cooking but the bread stays raised up and is 'empty'...clever huh?).  We will tell the Easter story (thank you Fremont Presbyterian for sending eggs over!) and then finish up the bracelets...all in 2 hours!  I'm so excited...Krakow had kids cooking classes once a month on Saturdays and it was just amazing to see pure glee on the kids' faces.  Saturday will be fun.

After that I had a meeting with Mis'ka...the gal that took me to the Fara Church that Saturday and we went on the tour of the crypts etc.  Amazing lady.  She does all the flyers, Facebook posts, emails, newsletters etc for Sweet Surrender Poznan...so we meet weekly to go over status and all that normal stuff.  I enjoy her very much...but she may be gone in July as well--going for her masters.  So that is tough but...what to do?

The final 'work' thing for the day was...a meeting with a gal from a gospel choir here in Poznan. Gospel choirs are really popular in Poland...it is quite amazing but true.  Well - Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho is sending a choir to Poland this May to sing, perform etc etc. So I'm working on the logistics for them - where to perform, when to perform, where to stay, how to get from point A to point B and onto point C - I thnk you get the idea.  I enjoy it all very much - but I don't have a lot of contacts so I get to work with Kasia who is Polish and knows more than I do about booking places/people and her choir has good contacts with local radio, TV etc!  So that meeting was awesome - it should be good....and I think the choir will have a lot of fun doing performances in some amazing venues as well as 'flash mob' type of things at malls, on the tram and in parks around town.  A little time on the radio or TV never hurt a choir either:)!

To top the whole day off - I got to Face Time with my Mom and Dad.  Dad is doing well with his new knee...had the surgery last Tuesday in Boise, went home on Thursday and has a follow up appointment this Thursday back in Boise.  Mom is working hard keeping him on the straight and narrow so she says she sleeps well at night but doing good.

Now I'm home and ready for bed...just thought I would share a bit of a Tuesday in Poznan, Poland.  Loving life, and loving God even more...He is very good to me.  Thank you to all of you for sharing this journey with me and being so encouraging/supportive.  Happy Tuesday to you wherever you may be!