Friday, July 24, 2015

The conflicting Rhein River...

It’s the little things that bring great joy.  The Rhein River for example….if you look at a map – it actually flows south to north.  Starts in the Swiss Alps and makes its way to the North Sea in Rotterdam (766 miles total or 1232 km). The Rhein River is spelled differently depending on the country it flows through. It is spelled Rhein in Germany; Rhine in France and Rijn in Netherlands…and who knows the correct pronunciations; probably all different as well!  I happen to come into contact with this river in Schaffhausen, Germany…or rather a little village close by called Busingen.

This past week when I was in Busingen for some more finance training; it was HOT.  Now – if you know me at all – I don’t do hot.  So when it was suggested that the thing to do in the summer was to float the Rhein River; I was all in!  Did I have a swimsuit? – nope but shorts/t-shirt will have to doJ.  Did I have a floating device?– nope, the current carries you pretty well especially if you are out towards the middle of the river.  Did I have my Keens along to wear in the water since I don’t like ‘gunk’? – nope but the river is amazingly clean and clear so I wore my Toms insteadJ.  (I really don’t like gunk of any sort; even if it is just when you get outJ.)

We worked all day long – accomplished a lot (actually we did…was my favorite day…I think I get more of the big picture which is HUGE to me!).  And off to float the river for just a short period…enough to cool off, experience the Rhein and enjoy the company of four other people also in Busingen.  It was wonderful - the current really did carry us along quite well, water was clear so you could see the bottom,  it was a beautiful setting and I enjoyed it very much.  Then it got a bit more exciting…I FREAKED out.  I don’t know what happened but boy did I feel pretty dumb.  The guy with us that lives there was telling us where we would be getting out etc and so we all started making our way over to the side but for some reason I just didn’t think I was going to make it and started in panic mode swimming to the side and in the mean time I couldn’t breathe!  One of the ladies with our group is trained in water safety etc and she came over to help me.  She realized I was hyperventilating and got me all calmed down.  It was WEIRD…I just could not breathe.  Several years back I was scuba certified and the same thing happened on my first dive – I hyperventilated.  It was the toughest thing I’ve done to get certified but I am and I enjoy diving when I have the chance in warm waterJ.    So I’ve hyperventilated below the surface with an air tank on but never above surface. 

Anyway – long story and all is well but I must tell you – it was scary to me for a bit there.  Very thankful for AnneMarie being there to make sure I was ok!  I was oh so happy to make it out of the water, back to the guesthouse and into the shower to relax and BREATHE.  Just writing this today – my breathing is faster…weird right?!  So now I’m the proud (?) American that can say I have not only floated the beautiful Rhein River in Germany but also hyperventilated in the Rhein River!  Life is good – I do appreciate stil being here – and I truly believe God is waaaayyy better.  He’s got my backJ.

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Sunday, July 12, 2015

less is enough...

It’s been a while.  I wrote a whole long blog on the train last week as I was entering Denmark and going to camp for a week.  It didn’t sit right with me so never posted it.  So I’m trying again…a week later.

LESS IS ENOUGH.  A gentleman I met just over a week ago said that to me.  He and his wife are Hungarian and she was the person who had a dream to start an English Camp in a park of Budapest; and it's been going for 4 years now.  I am not sure how it all came together but I was honored to be the ‘English’ organizer part of the camp this year.  I met this gentleman at the bar-b-que on Friday night after camp.  We were talking about the kids and I told him how really quite good they were…very kind and good to me anyway all week long.  He was recalling his time as a teenager in Communist times.  It was different then – and now his conclusion for this generation is LESS IS ENOUGH.  I agree for all of us - all generations…I think I’m working on living that out right now in my life and I’m so very happy with it all.  I love it in fact.  I hope, trust and pray that I can do ‘LESS IS ENOUGH’ the rest of my life.  Truly – I want to be content with my circumstances no matter what.

So having said that…here is some ‘LESS IS ENOUGH’ newsJ.

--English Camp was amazing – 24 teenagers from 9-4 each day, it was very miraculous and fulfilling to be sure.  We did English, escape rooms, English, hiking, English, exploring caves, English, singing, English, devotions, and more English!  It did spur some thoughts and plans for taking a TEFL course (Teaching English as a Foreign Language).  English seems to be opening up some doors here and I want to be able to do that well!  I was very thankful for a friend that had some creative curriculum that I could use for the camp.

--On the 4th of July I was in Budapest and getting ready for my trip to Denmark but slipped downtown to see the air races.  Seriously quite cool – Budapest is on the Danube River and it has several bridges.  These planes had to fly under one bridge and through a course of tall cones anchored in the water and all around.  It was amazing to watch.  Then on the way home I stopped for Chinese food…so there I was – an American sitting in a restaurant in Hungary eating Chinese food on the 4th of July!  God Bless America!...I am proud of my country and pray for it very often…may each of our hearts and therefore our lives and actions honor God.

--This past week was a church camp in Denmark.   JOY was the theme – I like that.  My name has a meaning…’song of joy’.  My faith brings me joy – that is sure.  I’m glad my parents named me Carol…I want to truly live out that ‘song of joy’ to, with and for peopleJ.  My maternal great-grandfather/mother and paternal great grandfather were from Denmark so it has been amazing to experience this life.  Lots of Danish foods, cultures, sites and language experienced this week!  I hope to do more research on my roots and come back to find some of the exact places etc.  It really is quite odd to have people and food and just life in general feel/look so familiar!  Really!...people’s faces look familiar!

So that is what I know for now…having a great summer and trust you are as well.  I will need to buckle down and get some work done but it will be good – hard work, work done well, does a mind, body and soul good!  I enjoy that.  Take care and enjoy LESS IS ENOUGH todayJ.

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