Psalm 9:1-2, 9-10
I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.
The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
I am blessed by the consistency of our God. He is here, he is in Nebraska, he is here, he is with me. He is near to us when we seek him. He waits for us when we don’t. My God, my Stronghold.
August 30 - September 1, 2011
Upon arrival in Dresden, I was really ready to leave Germany. Primarily out of homesickness and change of venue but also because I was a little frustrated with myself for poor planning.
Here’s what I did:
Berlin to Holzhausen (6 hour train). Holzhausen is only 3 or so hours from Amsterdam. Instead of going to Amsterdam, however, I went to Dresden (6 hour train), which is only a train ride from Krakow, Poland. But instead of going to Poland from there, I took a bus (2 hours) to Berlin to fly to Amsterdam. From Amsterdam I flew to London in order to fly to Krakow. From Krakow I flew back to London.
Bitter? Yes, a bit. I should have looked at a map before I planned my tour. Whoops.
So at this point I had figured out that my plans were jacked-up and was annoyed with myself for a couple days.
Not to mention, the whole walk from the train station to the hostel was about an 8.5 on the sketchy scale. My mom would probably freak, but I made it there (and out) safely. The rooms were really comfy and I bunked in an 8-girl room.
However - a ray of light - I made two new friends at my hostel in Dresden: Jessica (from Germany) and Emma (from Australia, studying in France for a year).
Emma and I went to Meissen the morning of my only day there. We trekked our way though the beautiful, medieval-style town. There were steep streets, cobblestone, picturesque views and a gothic-style church.
We got there just in time for a musical performance. Ohh, to soak in all the pipe organ music…. It was a perfect relief from all our walking and refreshing for our experiences in Germany.
Click on the church above to listen to what we heard :)
Later that day I toured the main sites of Dresden solo. The most spectacular sight was this church:
Dresden was part of Communist East Germany and this church was destroyed during WWII by a British bomber. When my relative Elisabeth visited in 1977, it was still in its ruined state. They have since taking time and effort to rebuild it. They salvaged what stones they could, numbering them based on location, so when they rebuilt it, the stones from the original building went back where they had been! According to Elisabeth, the British donated the bell that holds as a way to show their apology for the devastation they had caused.
Another cool fact about Dresden is that during Communism, they did not suffer from lack of equality between men and women. This is plainly visible on their street signs. Whereas most of the signs are of boys, you can also spot little girls too!
After two nights and one day in Dresden, I left the morning of Friday, September 2, 2011 for Amsterdam!
So I found a church that I’ve been going to in Kingston for two weeks now.
The church is Cornerstone Church and we meet in a elementary school on Sunday nights at 6:30pm for a contemporary service. They also have a traditional service in the mornings, but I have yet to be in town for a Sunday morning.
Luckily I got here just in time for a new series: Fullness and Freedom.
Click below to access the sermon from 18 September 2011, “Trash or Treasure.”
I love how this message makes you consider where your trust truly lies.
August 25-31, 2011
So for those of you that don’t know, I really like taking pictures of my food. Maybe it’s the historian in me, but I really like showing off my meals. Or snacks. Or desserts. Or whatever.
It might seem mundane, but I didn’t ask you, now did I?
Elisabeth got me sweets, even though she hasn’t eaten sweets in years! How nice!
carbonated apple juice. strange, but good
the most expensive pizza I’ve ever eaten. and it really wan’t great, that’s for sure.
I got this breakfast two days in a row! delicious!
Ground beef sandwich with cream cheese in the middle. so good. so German.
I miss my straightener, Dr. Pepper (the stuff they have here is missing a few of the 23 flavors), Ramen Noodles, my car, and my @beachhouse4 roomies (Lexi, Jenna, Amanda, Maureen, and Izzie).
Joseph Marcell - Geoffrey from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - in the flesh! He walked right by me - only two feet away!
He played Coriolanus in Shakespeare’s play, “Much Ado About Nothing.”
It was at the Globe Theatre (technically “Shakespeare’s Globe”). For real. Well, the latest building since the original burnt down in the London fires — but still.
It was wonderful!
I got to stand (for three hours) in the outdoor theatre as actors walked by, interacted with the audience and portrayed such beautiful characters as to make us all fall in love.
Mark this in the record books, friends. Now I’m hoping to see Kate Winslet…or Jude Law…
August 29-30, 2011
My two hardest nights were when I was in Holzhausen. Less than one week after leaving Nebraska (and all my loved ones), I fell into some deep homesickness. I’m the girl that could live in Florida for two summers and go to summer camps since I could spend the night, but one week away from the family and I was a mess!
To aid in the “illness,” as Elisabeth and I were flipping through her scrapbook from when she visited Nebraska in 1990…what did we come across but at young Allea Grummert?! I saw it and said, “Wait…is that me?”
Seriously. She and I never knew that we [well, kind of] “knew” each other before! The feet in the picture are those of my dad’s…which leads me to my next point…
Here is what I attribute as causes to my homesickness:
Germany looks like Nebraska.
My family in Holzhausen know my Dad and Grandpa, therefore they talk about them.
Everything had changed so quickly in such a short amount of time.
I bawled myself to sleep both nights, unable to shake the hole in my chest.
I called my dad at work the night of the 30th, just needing to let him let me cry for a bit. He said something to the effect, “You’re over there and I’m at work, why don’t you try and make me laugh?” - Gosh, I love my dad. It worked though…I don’t remember what exactly, but I’m sure some trace of my ditzy-ness made him giggle. I felt better but still soaked my pillow.
Now that I’ve traveled since being in Germany, I’ve noticed only minor bits of homesickness. There was some during my time in Amsterdam, but not much other than that.
My theory: With my life changing rapidly, moving quickly from one place to another, not feeling stable or situated in any one place, I subconsciously worried that the same instability was happening at home. Once I got to Skype with the family while in Amsterdam, I saw that everything was the same. Whew! Mom and Dad go to work, the boys off to school, the house is still standing…
I only have a few months of being gone, which is nothing in the scheme of things, so I plan to use each opportunity I can to live it up and get out of my comfort zone (with pictures to prove it).
September 20, 2011
Click this photo for a video of my latest adventures in London.
It’s 57 and cloudy. Warm hot chocolate, please.
A pigeon woke me up today outside my window.
Scary business, those pigeons.
I’d prefer my alarm, but I guess this works too.