Hey friends! How have you been? I for one have been trying to stay dry– it won’t stop raining here in Weinheim, Germany! My parents arrive this weekend, and I’m praying for some nice weather to be able to show them around properly. Below are a few photos from life lately, if you’d like to see. Enjoy!
My “university buddy” Ian and I got way lost the other night trying to find a certain cafe (my fault completely), so we decided to take a desperate SOS photo…send help, there’s a giant hairy man behind me!My friend Ruth visited me this weekend. She is also a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in a nearby town, and we’ve been able to connect a few times this fall. She is just the sweetest, and her outfit was perfectly color coordinated for my “autumn themed photos.”Kaffee und Kuchen to warm up.My colleague invited me to her village choir. Here they are singing “California Dreamin” which I found hilarious and also nostalgia inducing. By the end I wanted to stand up and shout I FREAKIN LOVE CALIFORNIA IT REALLY IS A DREAM OMG!I went for a walk in the forest behind my school during a break, and the beauty almost took my breath away…that, and the fact that it was freakin cold as all get out.My eighth graders and I made “American Food” during one lesson. I’m pretty dang proud of this bean dip, if I do say so myself. I hope I did the country proud ;p
Have a good one, friends!
I spent five days in London over fall break, visiting a dear friend from college who is killing it in her masters program at University College London. I spent one month in London after my freshman year of college, so I had already done most of the typical “touristy” things. This trip was all about immersing myself in life as a local. I tried to envision what my daily routine might look like if I lived there. It wasn’t hard to picture- I’ve always been drawn to the city and could easily imagine moving there one day. Who knows?! That seems to be a big theme in my life these days: who knows?
It was so wonderful to have deep, meaningful conversations with an old friend. I miss close friendships with peers. I know it takes time to develop these in a new place, and I just have to be patient, but it’s hard to wait. I want to have best friends here right now…and yet, I’m okay. Day by day, moment by moment. Trips like this sustain me until those new relationships take root and begin to grow. Can you relate?
Below are a few photos from my iPhone because I was too lazy to lug my nice camera around in the rain on that trip. There are also a few other photos from the past few days. Enjoy!Look at this smart lady! She could defend me and my human rights anywhere, anytime.Sometimes you just have to geek out and play tourist.If I look cold, it’s because I was.The Wheel of Fortune, otherwise known as the London Eye.Knotting Hill!Dr. Who fans, where you at? This is the location of the original Tartus in the show.My new university ID. Never mind that I look like a Chinese boy…
My new friend Ian, with whom I take classes at Uni. We are always struggling with Wifi connections but it makes for a funny time.My colleagues and I at a dinner during our trip to Flossenbürg, the concentration camp in Bavaria where Dietrich Bonhoeffer was killed.Famous Nurnberger sausagesI’m always on some train or other. This one was bound for Frankfurt, where I went out with a few friends for Halloween.This photo pretty much sums up how Halloween ended…yes, I do know this person. It was fun 🙂
Have a good week, friends!
- When you ask the hotel receptionist in German if you can fill up your waterbottle in the tap, and she says yes, then proceeds to take your waterbottle and fill it with scalding hot water from the coffee machine…thank you?
- Chatting with your colleague in German and asking what kind of guitar he plays, to which he answers that yes, his sister is a vegetarian too but she eats fish and he has been thinking about going vegetarian for some time now and blah blah blah…you soon realize he has mistaken the word guitar for vegetarian because of your mediocre accent and you now have to decide whether to correct him or to just go with it.
- Carrying a bouquet of flowers on the subway and accidentally poking your eye really hard with the wrapping. The man sitting next to you laughs and says, “Ouch!”
- Going out dancing with friends for Halloween (to a sala club, which you can’t dance) and accidentally missing the last train home, forcing you to sit in an empty bar for three hours and wait until the next one.
- Asking a colleague what her grandson will be for halloween, to which she responds that she in fact has no grandson…
- My colleagues and I took a trip to Flossenbürg, the concentration camp in Bavaria where Dietrich Bonhoeffer was imprissoned and ultimately killed. We work at Dietrich Bonhoeffer school, so at the end of our tour we held a small ceremony in his honor. We laid a wreath of flowers on his grave, sang a song set to lyrics he wrote, recited the Lord’s Prayer, and read a few words from his works. As difficult as it is to learn about this era in history, I was struck by the earnestess of the people standing next to me, and it filled me with a strange sort of hope for the future.
- Thai food with an old friend who now lives 15 minutes from me!
- Finishing the book “Exit West” by Mohsin Hamid. Tears were shed Reader, tears were shed.
- Waiting for the Straßenbahn when an acquaintance from Syria walks up. Strike up a conversation and end of having a great time. He lets you ride on his ticket so you don’t have to buy one and invites you over for dinner next week.
- German coffee.
P.s. Photo of the chapel in Flossenbürg that was built by former prisoners years after the war.
Here’s a little video I made to capture my time in Salzburg, Austria and Bavaria, Germany. Enjoy!
This week and next week I have Fall break, so two other Fulbright ETAs and I hoped a bus down to Salzburg, Austria for a few days of fun. The trip didn’t start out so fun, however, as our train was late, which meant we had to SPRINT to catch our bus at the station. It was pulling out as I reached the door and pounded on it with big puppy eyes begging please let us on! Luckily, the driver was a really nice Jordanian who laughed and said “We arabs aren’t very punctual either” and opened the door. My heart was racing for the next twenty minutes but it was worth the work out. We made it down to Salzburg that afternoon and began exploring. It is such a pristine city filled with elegant facades and castles perched on hills. I think my favorite part of the city was the cathedral in the Altstadt.
We stayed in a hostel that showed The Sound of Music movie every night at 8pm. Every. Single. Night. I asked the receptionist if he stilled liked the movie and he just rolled his eyes no– ha! Below are a few photos if you’d like to see 😉That domed building is the cathedral!Casual castle on a hill.It’s always IceZeit (ice cream time). Love Lock bridge, like in Paris!One day we went to Berchtesgaden, a town in Bavaria where Hitler held his summer residence. The actual residence is called Berghof/Eagle’s Nest, and you can take a bus up the side of a HUGE Alp to the tippy top. The view is other-worldly. This is at the Königsee, a lake in the national park just below Berghof/Eaglesnest.The next day we went to Fuschlsee, a dreamy alpine lake near Salzburg. It almost looks like a green screen or some sort of party photo booth backdrop! I was speechless.SmolderWHAAAATTTTTTWe were color coordinated for these photos apparently!
This trip did the soul some good. Now I’m headed to London for a few days to visit my dear friend who is getting her Masters in Human Rights there because she is a boss who will change the world.
Have a good one, friends!
Hey friends, how are you? I finally got around to compiling my video clips from the last month into a complete video. I really enjoy capturing my life in this format, but I must admit this time around I’m feeling a little wary of posting. Not because these clips aren’t great or accurately representative of my life, but they simply don’t tell the full story. Sometimes I decide not to post photos or videos to Facebook because I don’t want anyone to feel like their life is less than or negatively compare their story to mine. While living and working abroad has been an incredible experience this far that I wouldn’t trade for the world, I also just want to be honest and mention a few of the many things that aren’t featured in this video, such as:
Frustrations with Visa paperwork
An endless struggle to get internet at home
More than a few missed trains and buses
Trying to decipher utility bills in German
Insecurity about my language ability
And so much more. So while I hope you thoroughly enjoy this video, I just wanted to say that whatever you’re going through, you are not alone. Everyone, without exception, struggles. Social media may make life look shiny, but at the end of the day we are all trying our best to make it one step at a time 🙂 Wishing you a good one, friends!
you know my favorite thing about you? yes, i think you do, i’ve told you many times. it’s your eyebrows. why, you ask? well, i’ll tell you.
mostly because i’m jealous. that’s right, I’m positively green with jealousy. they are so thick and luscious and brooding. about five years ago, society became hyper aware of people’s eyebrows and it became stylish to have thick ones which, unfortunately, i do not. stupid off-trend genes. anyhow, i think yours are just fabulous and it makes me angry that you don’t properly appreciate them. if i were you, i would stare at them in the mirror everyday and thank the eyebrow gods for their generosity. no one else in our family is as blessed in this regard, so please don’t take them for granted.
but on a slightly deeper note (though perhaps not as important), i have many more favorite things about you. for example, your creativity. or your kind disposition, or your heart for social justice and desire to understand the bible and to really see people and learn how they function. you are always my favorite company, and i miss you quite a lot.
oh, and don’t even get me started on your long eyelashes, which you also don’t properly appreciate. that would just make me all sorts of mad.