Monday, February 23, 2009

And I actually have to do work here.

A sad realization has overcome me the last few weeks: I'm here to go to school. Yes, I knew this, but when I dreamed of what London would be like a few months ago, did it really include the library? I've finished two midterms (got one's OKAY, not fantastic) and one paper, and i'm onto the last one, but still as I look at my schedule its just a rolling list of due dates! It seems like some huge thing is due just about every two weeks. So, I'm a bit overwhelmed and not exactly all that happy to be studying, but there have been some cool things going on here in London.

I went to my first rugby match on Saturday. They're absolutely fantastic. I felt like I should go hit something afterward. They have MASSIVE legs- huge really, and it is so much more complex than you would imagine it initially. Katie and I described it as a mix between soccer/football/hockey/gymnastics/cheer leading. I have a ton of pictures to day, but the game was great and for once London enjoyed a beautiful sunny day. British people don't "woo" know, the way you would chear in America. My "woo" was very out of place. No more wooing in Britain.

Friday we had a trip to Portsmouth and Winchester where I saw a crazy-old boat, a beautiful cathedral, and Jane Austen's house/grave. I also had my first pasty- they're SO good. Mine tasted like chicken pot pie, which just totally made my day. And we found a bakery- as we always do. That night I went to Leicester Square to listen to Rob preach. It's open air preaching, and I was initially a little nervous because I think it can be done really wrongly, and to great detriment. I was really pleased to see that the gospel was laid out very clearly and that people weren't screamed at in an opportunity to induce fear, but they were spoken to. They were talked to, and loved, as they should be. I think i'm going back this Friday.

Yesterday I decided to go to the morning service at TRC as well, and I ended up spending the entire day downtown. Barney and his wife were kind enough to have some of us over for lunch, and I really got to meet everyone a lot better. Barney has two kids- and they're adorable- they reminded me so much of Maylee. I talked to Rob about a lot of the questions I thought people might bring up, or just general objections to christianity. It was a great conversation and I really think he'll be someone I can bring questions to. Everyone at the house was so friendly and nice- I felt at home, and even more so when I had my first homemade meal in ages. It was delicious! Pancakes- but not the pancakes you're thinking of (if you're american that is.) They were thin and spongy, and had meat on them, and we had mash and vegetables and desert to. I was in heaven on earth. It was fantastic. I probably could have eaten the entire table of food had I not been too busy talking. Afterward I discovered more biscuits and candy from Britain which was also a highlight of the day. We all went to evening church and I got to catch up with everyone. I am falling in love with this church and the people in it- I already wish I could bring them back home with me when I leave!

Tuesday is my first football match or I would be going to FEAST again- wish us luck...should be interesting, though it doesn't sound like the league is all that competitive...

Back to the books-

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Some more lessons...

A few things my new British friends have been teaching me about London:
*Proper is an adjective for EVERYTHING. For instance: "We should get you a proper cup of tea!". "Are we going to play a proper game of cricket?" I consider it a swap for our use of real.
*British people are astounded by the fact that I don't sound like I'm from east Texas. I don't have a huge Texas twang, so I'm apparently not from Texas. Also, I walk fast. I attribute that to New York, but they find it odd.
*People from Liverpool have completely different accents and they're AWESOME. Think a new level of British accent.
*We spell aluminum wrong. It's really aluminium. The british are right on this one. They spell sulfur wrong though (with a ph). Also, Tire is spelled tyre. A lot of things that we would just put an o for, they put ou for. Also, zs are mistreated in this country and highly underused. Everything is spelled with an s.
*Tea isn't just tea here. I thought I was all cool drinking my british breakfast tea. Matt has informed me I haven't lived yet. I'm going to come back home a tea-snob.
*This british library isn't a normal library. It's hard-core security. You have to get a pass to get into a super secret room I haven't yet found to get to a few books...which you have to previously have told them you want. It's all a bit fishy and scary to me.
*I'm completely convinced that rainy days were put into our lives to make us appreciate sunlight. When the sun shines here, my life completely brightens up now. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen to often lol!

That's it for now, but after a reference to my first post, I realized I have been neglecting the purpose of this blog in posting my those are just a few.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


So. What to say. I feel like it has been ages since I last posted and I can't really remember what all has gone on!
Last Tuesday was the Brazil v Italy game. (Has it only been a week since then?) It was fantastic! I have never seen that many people in a stadium, let alone going absolutely crazy about football! (Or as they say here, bonkers...?) It was packed and Emirates stadium is just about the most beautiful place I've ever been. I'm hooked. I hope to go back, but with the price of tickets, I don't know if that's going to happen lol. All the same, it has made my english trip complete!

I've spent almost every waking moment since then studying for my Biology and Chemistry exams, aside from a trip to a tiki lounge for my friend Katie's birthday and an evening out to a bbq restaurant on valentine's day with my friends and cait's brother Ian. I also had my first football practice on Sunday, It was pretty fun. Hopefully we'll be pretty good. The guys got slammed 18-3...yeesh. We also have a soon to be match against five british guys (the ones I mentioned earlier.) They talk a good talk, so we'll see if they can actually play! I'm looking forward to it win or lose.

I'm pretty sure for once studying paid off and I did well on both of my biology and organic chemistry midterms. It was hard to study after meeting a girl my age who is already in medical school and doing medically related studying (they don't have to do undergraduate degrees in Britain!) but I finished, and now I only have two ten page papers to write before next week. (ha, only, please note the sarcasm!)

Tonight I went to the first FEAST which is Trinity's young adult's night. It was really cool, we're studying Amos and I really enjoyed just meeting with a small gorup of people my age. I'm really grateful God gave me such a great group of people to hang out with. REALLY grateful. I don't think you can really fathom how happy I am to get to hang out with these people. They're really aweosme. Can't wait until Sunday.

Oh, and some cool things about TRC. One, Charles Spurgeon laid the first stone. They have a cool little plaque outside with the date that I've since forgotten, and they have the trowel that is engraved and everything. Two, one of the pews has the figure of a bomb dented in it. Apparently the area was bomed during the second World War and the bomb fell into the church but didn't go off, someone saw it crash through, came in, and got rid of it or something (I forgot the end of the story...) Thirdly, Matt walked me by Charle's Spurgeons old house. It's pretty cool. I LOVE the history of this area! I got to Feast a little early tonight and got to meet the pastor of TRC (Matt's Dad) and his mom and his brother. They're really nice, and it was good to be in a home again! His mom gave me a cookie and I drank espresso to keep myself awake after all the studying...they even have a lab (which of course made me miss beans)...but, like I said, it was nice to be in a home!

I better get back to working on those papers, but I thought I'd throw a bit about life in hopes that I don't forget it lol

BTW I promise I'll eventually send out post cards...please be patient :-D


Saturday, February 14, 2009

My next book...

Hey-this post will be short, and while I promise to eventually blog about the exciting things going on here in London, this week and the weeks ahead are going to be heavily demanding on me for school, so blogging will have to wait.

But what cannot wait is suggestions for my next book. So far I have tackled Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I'm still working through a Lee Strobel book, and of course the bible, but I always like to have a book I read a chapter out of every night and I'm almost done with this for this time, and this time only, comments requested!


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Month

I can't believe I've almost been here a month. My head just reels when I think about it. It's ironic that people see a christian lifestyle as confined and boring...the more I give my life to Christ, the more he seems to make it the biggest adventure I've ever been on.

I found a church on Sunday. Trinity road chapel. It took me one hour and forty five minutes to find the place, and it was rainy and absolutely miserable...but I found it, and even when I wanted to turn back, God kept me pressing on. I'm glad I did. I met some fantastic people, and I'm really excited to go back next week!

Tonight is the Brazil v. Italy game which I get to attend IN I'm ecstatic. My first football game in London, should be a blast. Plus, the sun is out right now (though it's going down) and that is a very rare occurrence these days! The past weekend just held studying, as will most of this weekend, but Katie's birthday is on Thursday so at least there is one planned break. Raquel visited last weekend, we cooked tacos, and everyone ate until they could hardly move. I had missed Mexican food, in fact, left overs for dinner tonight. I'm seeing more of London every day, and i'm liking what I see!

I heard back from the host program, and i'll be going to SCOTLAND march 25-27. I am so excited! A retired couple of about age sixty will be taking me in for a weekend, but don't let their age fool you, apparently the woman does yoga! Should be fun. I love meeting old married people, they seem to have the best stories to tell. I googled the area (outside of Inverness) and it look absolutely beautiful. Should be a fantastic weekend.

Hopefully Paris on February 27, but we'll see if I make it through midterms next week first!

Miss you all-

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A very busy weekend.

Time in London seems to be flying by. In two weeks I have my first set of midterms and papers due! It's crazy, I've already been here three weeks.

This past weekend Stephanie came to visit following my trip to Cambridge.

Cambridge was absolutely beautiful, and I will eventually get around to posting the pictures on Dacebook. It is such a peaceful town and I met some really cool new people. We had traditional english tea (with scones and sandwiches), found a fudge shop, explored the university, and took some pictures over the river cam. It was really a great and relaxing trip outside of the city.

So, Stephanie came, and due to her worship of Ghandi at the park on the previous day, the entire city of London was covered in snow and the city shut down...All the same, we accomplished quite a lot in the weekend:

Ah, what did we not do that weekend? We saw Chicago, went to Portobello market, attempted to watch an Arsenal game at the pub (failure), went to the Tate Modern, St. Paul's Cathedral, Bar Italia and a small italian restaurant in SOHO, celebrated Chinese New Year in Chinatown, visited the National gallery, westiminster abbey, big ben and the area downtown, drank more tea, ate more chinese food, tried some odd chinese deserts, watched fireworks, attempted to watch British television (failure number two), saw the city close down from three inches of snow (and thus multiple places we wanted to go...), discovered new shops, drank coffee at Costa, drank wine and ate cheese at Gordon's wine bar, visited St. James's park, ate at the Rocket and watched football highlights, and returned home absolutely exhausted!

It was a really super busy weekend, so this one is going to be much more chill. I'm going to attempt to get A LOT of work done tomorrow and Saturday is taco night/ raquel visiting/ maybe our first British movie? We'll see! Oh, and I hear there is going to be a Birtish/American grudge match in football that i'll be participating in once weather permits- that should be fun.

I'm also training to run a 10k competitively in Britain before I leave. I thought it would be fun. We'll see how things go with all the work I'm supposed to be doing instead of posting here!!

Things are really shaping up quite nicely. I feel ALIVE and ready to go. I'm so excited for all of the adventures to be had here. There are places to see, things to eat, lives to change, music to be heard, monuments to sketch, pictures to take, conversations to be had...moments I can only imagine.

I heard back from the HOST program- looks like I might be spending a weekend in the Scottish Highlands!

Please be praying for me as I attempt to find a Church :-)