Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Windows, music, flowers, and driving!

Face timing with book club friends, weeding planter boxes and garden areas, going to an AMAZING flower market with Sweet Surrender employees and thus planting the garden etc, washing windows (really high windows!) -  these are a few of my activities this week!  Northwest Nazarene University in Idaho is sending an 'ensemble' over so that starts Saturday for me.  We have been getting ready!  There is an apartment above the coffee shop that is recently empty (no renter) and part of the choir is staying there along with other teams coming over here this summer.  So working up there has been fun. Setting up all the details for transporting this group of 8 folks...worked out that Bob and I will be driving two cars to Germany to pick them up and then back to Poznan via a few sightseeing adventures in Berlin.  Then on Wednesday we will head to Krakow and they fly out of there next Saturday.  So we have visiting schools for music, speaking English and concerts all over town this week in Poznan - and even a radio interview set up for Sunday night!  That just came through today so that was great news:).
Well - that was written on May 22nd....and it is now May 28th - I'm slacking:).  Just a funny thought - I drove in Germany...you know- everybody dreams of driving with no speed limit on their autobahn right?!!!  Well - I'm in a station wagon Opel that starts to shake at about 120 kmh (75 mph)  Funny!  So I go 140-150 (86-93mph) to stay up with Bob anyway - love it!

I am sitting in a little resteaurant in Oswiecimia...next to Auschwitz/Birkenau.  There is a group of 11 people (ensemble from NNU and 2 students from Trevecca along with Bob) going through with a guide.  I went through in December and am just not ready to go through again so I came to find wi-fi!  So I hope they have a good guide and learn lots.  It is definitely sobering.  We will be in Krakow over the next few days.  I will be moving out of my apartment and taking the car back to Poznan along with one of the students from Trevecca and then head to Budapest.  I fly out of there in 2 weeks...holy moly.

The choir has been a lot of fun - troopers for sure.  They sing so nicely - I have heard their songs several times and they are really good!  The day they sang at the church off the Old Town Square in Poznan was so fun - acoustics were hard to beat.  They just wanted to sing and sing...it was cute.  After the 'audience' left,  the ensemble did a couple songs that they had sung earlier in the year as part of the bigger choir - it was nice.  So we got to connect with a lot of people in Poznan - schools, church and the radio interview was great!  We got a tour of the station (very old and awesome) and then got some live radio too since we were in the studio the lady let us talk and she gave a 'pitch' for the upcoming concerts etc- good stuff!

Colleen will be in Krakow when we get there so that will be good - she is so good with meeting and connecting with people.  That will go well I'm sure.  I don't really know much more I guess - I know that I've had to say good-bye to several folks in Poznan already and it's not easy!  How do you tell people that you may never come back?---it is a complete mystery to me right now where I will be come September.  I'm quite thankful for social media in this instance...I think I've said that before.  So...life is good and God is waaaaayyy better....I'm not worried about September - that is not my own doing:).

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

JIF and trams in a small world :)

Well - I don't know exactly where my brother got the peanut butter...who brought it over the ocean for he and his family but he shared!  I got a big 'ol jar of JIF Creamy to bring back to Poznan.  So - I'm happy:).  It is Tuesday and I'm actually drinking a warm vanilla latte!  I always drink iced drinks but I got chilled today so I'm warming up with a warm latte - yummm!

There is a lady here in Poznan that I just met, Kamila, and she does interviews for the 'International Poznan' show.  She does this on a volunteer basis -  she meets with people living in Poznan from all over the world (I would imagine) and listens to their stories.  Why they are here, what are their dreams etc etc.  So she is the 'pre-interviewer' and then she types up the notes and hands them into to the show to see how/what/when it may be used.  I met Kamila because she did a pre-interview on me which was interesting.  First of all - I enjoyed the chance to hear a little of her life - she spent 2 years in the States as an au pair so I think her English is amazing (she doesn't think so).  She has her Masters in Speech Pathology and is trying to get approved for a Fellowship in the States and get her PhD.  WOW - she is the one that should be interviewed!  I enjoyed talking with her very much.  We talked of my previous work..that I left, what I'm doing now, what and why of Sweet Surrender, some about the places I've traveled and life in general.  Besides, we met at this great little restaurant that serves chocolate everything...can you imagine raspberries and white chocolate warmed up?  Oh my...all around a great way to spend a few hours in Poland :)!!!

Oh - I have to write about my tram experience when I got back to Poznan.  I have a routine in the morning of taking tram #2 or #9...they both stop by Sweet Surrender.  So the first one to come by was #9 and we were two stops away from 'Most Teatralny' (stop closest to Sweet Surrender) and the tram turns a different way!  Well...that's a bit tough to take on a Monday morning.  I leave Poznan for a week and they change the route of tram #9...what is THAT about?!  So of course I hopped off at the next stop and walked my way to the shop but what?...really?!  Then - Marybeth and I were headed to the bicycle statue guy to take a picture with the home made biscotti I received (yummm...thank you Pamela! - see the side picture!) and so there is a stop right by there and we jumped on the tram and I expected it to turn to the statue and it went straight!  Marybeth said my face just showed shock...and when we got off the tram - crossing the street heading to the statue a tram was coming right at us and I didn't even see it.  So we called yesterday my tram travesty day....yikes...route changes and almost getting hit - nice day huh?  We laughed pretty hard actually....good times.

Last week - Josh's musical was very good.  He did great and it was good to see some other high school kids perform that I knew as well!  I'm getting to know some people here and it's fun to see their families involved in school activities etc.  Several people would greet me and say 'you are the one that would bring Dude to the basketball tournament right'?  Ha!...funny - yep...that's me...the Budapest dog sitter.

I told Kamila about my blog and that my dream was to turn the post/ideas etc into a book some day - I need to start working on that.  I'm not sure what it will be or look like but it has almost been a year now since I started the blog so I may have enough thoughts/stories etc for something right?  Anyway - great to write things down and share with others - helps keep me thinking:).  Life is good, God is waaayy better and I'm very thankful for friends and family in my life and new friends that I meet on different continents - what a great (small) world that God created!

PS...my Dad is home!  He was released early and doing his IV and physical therapy in John Day.  Bob and I talked to both Mom and Dad last Friday and it seemed they were doing well.  Dad definitely needs to build his strength up more but doing okay...so that was good news.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Flying by...

One month left in Poland! Crazy...six months goes by fast and especially when I'm down to the last month and it will be pretty packed!  I will basically be in Poznan for a couple weeks, Krakow for a couple weeks and then head back to Budapest to fly home.  There is a choir coming from Northwest Nazarene University in Idaho so we will be picking them up in Germany and heading to Poznan - they will sing and speak at various schools, churches, locations around Poznan and then we all head to Krakow.  They will be performing etc in Krakow as well so it will be a great 8 days with that team.

Then I will need to move out of my loft in Krakow...sad but true.  There will be a couple girls staying there from Trevecca Nazarene University doing a culturall immersion study so that is nice the loft is available and they can live there.  We all are preparing for a few teams coming to Poland this summer - they will work on projects at each Sweet Surrender shop and then do a kids day camp in the parks around town during the afternoon.  Plus all the activities at the shop in the evening...I think it will be a good experience.  Camps are a big deal here in the summer...and English is desired so I think it should go well - we shall see!

So - all that to say that momentum is building and word is getting out about the church and Sweet Surrender in Poland!  It was great this weekend as we had a Central European Field conference...so people from 8-10 different countries were represented.  Each team presented what is going on in their area and it was amazing to hear it all (and in all different languages...Romanian, Albanian, Bulgarian, Danish etc - awesome!).  Poland was kind of fun to do - we did a coffee cupping and correlated coffee shop ministry to that...aroma, taste, identification, and satisfaction!  For my California/wine friends and family...coffee cupping is really like a wine tasting...but you get to slurp:).

Once again it has been 90 days since I left the European Union so I found really cheap flights to London.  I went to London on Tuesday and met up with Joanna - that was fun!  We did quite a bit in the 13 hours I was there....she is great to come and meet me for the day.  Now I am back in Krakow to welcome/orient the students that came in from Nashville.  Bob is here in Krakow as well so I will go home with him and see Joshua in the school musical this year.  I'm excited for that....he does have a great voice so I hope he sings loudly :).  The school is performing 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers' - Josh is Benjamin so brother #2.

I don't know much else - my summer is filling up quickly!...so come August we will see where I land.  I still am not sure and don't think I will make a decision until after I return home.  I will be traveling quite a bit until August and then we'll see where/what etc.  Exciting times!  I am certain that life is good and even more certain that God is waaaay better :).