Germany Week 1

fullsizeoutput_4cf6Hello friends! I apologize for the radio silence around here lately– I’ve been busy readjusting to life in Germany. My brain is on over-drive trying to speak German and remember all the little ins and outs of another culture. It’s been both challenging and rewarding. Below are a few photos from the last week and a half in Frankfurt if you’d like to see 🙂IMG_4409Strollin’ around the Altstadt with a friend. Are those building gorgeous or what?IMG_4429IMG_4467IMG_4469I love the mix of old and new architecture in Frankfurt. Fun fact: it is the only city in Germany with a big, recognizable skyline.fullsizeoutput_4cf7Processed with VSCO with b1 presetThe Alter Oper, or old opera, is one of my favorite spots in town.IMG_4506IMG_4507My friend and I at the indoor market. IMG_4509IMG_4510IMG_4511IMG_4512IMG_4513The flower market is so beautiful. It made me want to have a garden like a good German!IMG_4515IMG_4525IMG_4527Friends at small group. It was so nice to reconnect. The little boy above has grown so much in the last year and his German is better than mine now. It blew my mind.IMG_4529IMG_4546This kiddo turned one years old. I went with a friend to his birthday party in a small town just outside Frankfurt. I want a cake like that for my 23rd birthday this year!IMG_4555Now I’m off to Cologne for a week of Fulbright orientation. Wish me luck!

Aufwiedersehen Frankfurt!

 

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The day has finally come to say goodbye to Frankfurt. Who knows what the future holds after my graduation in May, but for now I need to return to school to finish what I started! This summer has exceeded my every expectation. And if leaving people and relationships can break a person’s heart, I’m certain leaving a place you love can too. Though I’m looking forward to seeing family and friends again, I can’t help but cry over leaving the new family and friends I’ve made here the past three months. But God is infinitely good and sovereign, he already has a good plan for me. I think this C.S. Lewis quote from The Four Loves fits my current situation quite well:

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

I know it was worth every bit of pain, because I loved these people and this place deeply. I was vulnerable, I shared my life with them, and it made all the difference. Aufwiedersehen beautiful country, thank you for everything, again.

^A video I made of the entire summer!

Lions, Tigers, Bears– Oh My!

IMG_5740Yesterday I ventured to the Frankfurt Zoo! Although there were only lions (no tigers or bears per say), I thoroughly enjoyed this outing. The zoo is just big enough to have interesting animals and houses, but small enough to see everything in just a few hours. I hadn’t been to a zoo in ages (probably since childhood) and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed myself. Below are a few pictures if you’d like see:IMG_5619^The front of the Zoo- isn’t it classy?! I love the architecture in this city.IMG_5624IMG_5627IMG_5641IMG_5652^Is it just me, or do camels look incredibly uncomfortable to ride?IMG_5661^These sea lions were so graceful in the water!IMG_5664IMG_5673^Just when I began to believe I was in Africa, I saw a wood house like this and was reminded I’m still in Germany!IMG_5685IMG_5687IMG_5697IMG_5710^I love that you can see the downtown skyline from inside the zoo!IMG_5719IMG_5720IMG_5728^I was obsessed with this baby monkey. I spent way too long watching him just sit there.IMG_5734IMG_5739IMG_5743^Leave it to Lufthansa to meet all your animal transporting needs…IMG_5746IMG_5749IMG_5752IMG_5754IMG_5758Have I inspired you to take a trip to your local zoo?!

Have a great day friends.

A Prayer to Remember

IMG_4810As I mentioned in this post, I am a part of a weekly small group made up of nine or ten Iranians and Afghanis, my internship supervisor, one other American missionary and myself. We were having a great time singing, talking, and praying last night. Towards the end the leader turned to the three Americans and said something in english to the effect of, “We want to pray over the three of you and ask forgiveness for our country’s hatred towards America. We were taught from an early age that America and all Americans are evil. You three are ambassadors of your people, and this small group is an example of the inter-cultural love and unity that is possible when God is involved.”

We stood in the middle of the circle and the group prayed over us in Farsi. Though I couldn’t understand the meaning of the words they were speaking, I could understand their hearts. Soon enough, big fat tears sprang into my eyes and began to roll down my cheeks. I just kept thinking, This is what the world needs more ofnot political peace talks or conferences or charismatic leadersbut God. If we could all interact with one another as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ instead of adversaries, how much pain, suffering, hatred and death could be avoided? How many misunderstandings could be sorted out through the power of the Holy Spirit? 

When you travel, power is automatically bestowed upon you as an ambassador of your country, whether you realize it or not. Your behavior is a reflection of your culture and it absolutely does matter. I am just glad that although I am an American, I am a Christian first and foremost, and therefor am filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, who is infinitely greater and wiser than I could ever be in my human weakness.

Last night was powerful. I will remember it always and carry it with me where ever I go, reminding me of the only true healer and best politician this world will ever know.IMG_4823IMG_4904

Exploring Frankfurt

IMG_5341The day was overcast, rainy and actually quite chilly for June. As a native Californian, I am not used to even the slightest variation in weather– heck, anything below 70 degrees is frigid in my book! But I actually really enjoyed exploring the fog covered city, ducking into a cafe for a warm drink every now and again or meandering  through the mall when it began to drizzle. Below are a few photos from the day if care to peruse!IMG_5174IMG_5344IMG_5170IMG_5360^There is a beautiful park right next to my apartment that will be perfect for laying out when the sun returns!IMG_5189IMG_5193IMG_5199IMG_5203^Frankfurt is the banking capital of Europe, so there is no shortage of men in suits running around the city. I’m not complaining…IMG_5210IMG_5194^The Old Opera HouseIMG_5212IMG_5241IMG_5262IMG_5269^I love the seamless blending of old and new architectureIMG_5292IMG_5293IMG_5300IMG_5301IMG_5311IMG_5313IMG_5319IMG_5321IMG_5324IMG_5325IMG_5326IMG_5327^City Hall in the historic Altstadt (old town) areaIMG_5328IMG_5330IMG_5332IMG_5334Well, that’s all for today! I can’t wait to explore even more in the months to come. Now I’m cozied up at home with a cup of tea and a good book. What are you up to?