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Tuesday, 31 August 2010 20:56 by mcd002

I'm home. I don't know how else to put it. It sounds crazy and I'm not saying I'm happy, I'm not saying I'm unhappy. I'm home. This feels right. As my mom drove up to the school, I felt the same excitement I did the first time I stepped on campus. I'm in love with this campus, these people. 

Although, I love it I wonder why I am in a dorm. I went from leaving in random places being incredibly independent to a building where there is about five RAs and an AC. What the heck? Really? I just got myself from the US to Germany and back again. Not to mention everything that happened in those 67 days that I was there. 

Although, my trip has changed my thought process in what is important and what I can do with my life, I know my experience is going to help inside the classroom. I showed up to my first class a bit confused by my schedule. Anyway, got it figured it out! And guess what we are talking about for the semester -yes, teaching English. Wow! I walked away from the class speechless! What a crazy God moment. (I'm listening closely. I just don't know what it means!) 

Alright, I think this will be my last blog. I might have to vent at points with my frustration of culture, dorm life, etc. (etc = as my sisters would say "all the other stuff in life") But it won't be a daily log-in like when I was away. I hope you have enjoyed this adventure. Best wishes! 

 

P.S. Still wondering if it was worth it. 

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Last First Day

Tuesday, 17 August 2010 00:19 by mcd002

Last first day of camp and it couldn’t have started any stranger! Last night, my coworkers decided they were going to stay up and drink. Alright- I can handle that. I thought eventually they would be too exhausted to take another shot. Well, the next thing I know they are going out at about 2:30AM. This is where I start to panic! Three things could happen and one did…

Three Options:

1. I wake up and they are gone.

2. I wake up and they are here passed out.

3. I wake up and they are incredibly, surprisingly awake and ready to work morning circle.

Well, I called my parents. I’ve never been in a state where I am a bit dependable on someone because they speak another langue in a job atmosphere. If there is a chance someone is going to let me down on a project or job, I fix it. In this case, I wasn’t going to be able to learn German in 4 hours.  For one, if I get lost finding my way to camp. Second, to speak with parents and kiddos in an emergency.

Well, I took my family and Cathi’s advice -sleep and pray.

Sleeping took a bit longer than I wanted because of the pressure of knowing I only have 2 hours and 35 minutes to sleep, the thunderstorm outside my many windows, and the fact that the Boy Scout House is crazy.

Crazes’ of B.H.S.

  • The floors are lined with rugs that would be in Grammy Cookie’s house.
  • There is a guitar in every room
  • Light switches overlap one another and connect to one another.
  • In one room there is beds, a ping-pong table (I’m pretty good), a cow hide, and about 50 candles.
  • Oh, it smells of vomit.

Finally, did get to sleep when I woke I realized my prayer and fear came true. My prayer to be energized for the day (it was such a deep sleep!) and the fear of someone missing. My coworker woke me up announcing the disappearance. We called the police station and we had to go down (around the corner) to file a report. Almost there we spot the counselor. The counselor is OK just got dropped off at the wrong stop and was wondering all morning.

We walked back to let them clean up and we turned back around for our last first day of camp.

My group is a bit jumpy -4 boys and 3 girls. Lucky, it is a small group. During the day, I just think I will be home at this time next week. And I have to explain for such an unexpected break in the lesson.

Anyway, I have called home today and made more plans. Feels great!

Oh saddest moment ever on a campsite. We show up and find out that we will always be safe because there is a police officer outside all the time. Not because of us. But because the neighboring building is a nursing home for Jewish elders. Can you believe there is still people who are full of hate? I can’t. Please pray for the country of Germany. It has opened my eyes on a new level. Pray for salvation to come.

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Update.

Sunday, 15 August 2010 23:04 by mcd002

Sorry, I continually forget to blog on this site.... This is what you missed.My deepest apologizes!

 

August 6: One Blessed Girl

At this point, all I can say is WOW! I can’t believe the past three days are incredibly, honestly true. Nicoletta and her family took in with open arms and I experienced more than I ever thought! I have blessed many times on this trip. I know, I don’t always show it or recognize it but I have been blessed so very much. I’m sorry if it sounds like I’m complaining at any point. It’s just hard but I’ve been OK.

Anyway, on my last day we woke up early to travel about 40 minutes to a mining site. The region was known for mining. There we took a little train about one kilometer to an opening that looked out on to the sea from the cliffs. It was beautiful!

Afterwards, we headed back to the house for lunch. And like always I fell asleep in the car. it doesn’t seem to matter what type of transportation -I always seem to fall asleep. Once lunch was complete, Nico and I watched Letters to Juliet! Very good!

Soon after, we got ready to walk into town. We wandered from store to store and eventually wandered up some stairs for a drink. The place overlooked the town! We sat there and talked about how lucky we were to have another chance to really get to know one another. She told me about how hard it was for her and I wondered where I was? What was I doing? I didn’t even know her parents came to graduation (which we watched!). I missed so much and I wonder who else’s story I missed? Am missing?

We had dinner with her aunt and uncle, and of course, mom and dad! We had pizza that was bigger than my head. A personal pizza has a whole new meaning! Afterwards, I was once again asked to stay or come back and visit next summer.

Well, I am now in Germany… I will be visiting next summer. I am saving and I am planning to book my trip early! I hope someone can come with me!

Back in Germany we are all about waiting. Waiting for the train. Waiting for our plans. Waiting. Waiting to go home. And a counselor is waiting to get online! Got to go!

15 days family! And pictures soon.

 

August 7: Another Saturday in Michendorf

This time it is almost two in the afternoon. When we returned last night and found most of the group went out. They have just returned. Anyway, today I am planning to do what I am doing now –laying around. I want to save money and the best way to do it is to stay in Michendorf. I think I will sleep my day away or color. I bought a coloring book for my layovers in the airport; however, it will come in handy for the next two Saturdays and the overnight camp I’m working this week.

I received another letter today from Aunt Ellen and Evan! Thank you so much! I went to write back and realized I don’t have any envelopes. I’m not much for postcards because there isn’t enough room. Anyway, I want to say thank you! It means so much to get mail and hear from you! I hope we can do lunch or dinner in the weeks that I return. Maybe with Gram, Aunt Linn, and Mam too!

Oh, that reminds me… I’m not the only one wanting to go home anymore. However, for those who don’t –I realized the difference. I have plans. I have something almost every day I return home. I am still trying to make plans with people. I want to see everyone. Eat everything possible. Get my braces off. Plans. Those who are like let’s stay don’t. They are going back to work or school. They might see a friend here and there but as far as I can tell they don’t have a schedule. The big things are scheduled for me. However, I know I will be doing a few surprises when I have time in between the scheduled events!

Eating everything…

I’m looking forward to patty melts with Natosha, chocolate chip pancakes by my mom, cheeseburgers, Taco Bell, Whoopie Pies, Turkey Hill Ice Cream hopefully in front of the TV watching Seinfeld with my family, Poptarts before starting my crazy days, beef jerky from the butcher shop in Mt. Pleasant Mills, Taco Soup from Heidi, Anything and Everything Buffalo with RANCH dressing. Wings from the Tavern with friends. They don’t have Ranch here!!!! Ham Pot Pie from Grammy Deppen. Ketch-Up. Milkshakes from the Purple Cow. Oh how I wish I could go back to high school and have dunkers! That sounds delicious right now.

Who knows what will happen tonight. I hope I can go out to dinner and then come back to sleep. tomorrow I head to the overnight  camp at 1. Lucky for me it is one that is over on a Friday. Then Saturday is the going away party. I’m excited to see the counselors I haven’t seen in a couple of weeks; however, that will be it then. One counselor will leave Friday evening, others leave on Saturday, and I’m on Sunday.

 

August 13:Going to Berlin

One week to go. I am down to single digits. I can’t wait! However, I finally feel like I’m becoming familiar with everything. Always rushing like now. Rushing to announce I’m OK. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone. Really! I saw the kids get picked up and thought of my parents. I saw two women talking and I thought of the women in my life -Heidi, Patti, Steph, Ann. I saw sibling and thought of my girls. I saw a woman that looks like Beth and thought of church, and Beth -of course! :)

Going out to Berlin tonight. Last weekend together.

9 days.

 

August 14: Yadda, Yadda, Yadda

Sorry there is nothing to report. Life is going on. Day by day, Sally and I are counting. I finished my first and last overnight camp. By the end of it, the kids and parents were taking pictures of us and it was a good way to end the week. On Monday, I start my last week of camp. I am working with a guy named Dan. It should be an enjoyable week. I will be staying in a Boy Scott House where there has already been a party inside. I think I will be cleaning tomorrow so the rest of the week we can relax.

Oh, this weekend was our Going Away Party. We went to a bunker in Berlin. It was interesting and I can’t wait to share my facts with my history teachers and Mr. Dietz. If I remember correctly he likes that stuff. Anyway, the rest of the time we had a BBQ which we said the worst and best part of the summer. Yadda, Yadda, Yadda. No point in boring you. Now I am on a slow working internet connection, but I wanted to post something quick and let you know I’m OK.

I’ll see you soon!

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Worth it All

Thursday, 5 August 2010 02:35 by mcd002

First off I want to apologize. I don't have time to read and delete comments right now. So if you see spam I am sorry. My apologizes but I am trying to enjoy every moment I can in Italy.

So far today has been worth the 47 days I havent been home. Please enjoy the pictures. I would love to write more but I'm with Nicoletta and her family and they are the some of the sweetest people. I don't want to be gone too long.

 

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From Germany.

Friday, 30 July 2010 19:57 by mcd002

This could be my last entry for a week. I almost hope so but at the same time it would be nice to update everyone and hear from you! I am currently waiting for Mike to drop off another counselor then we are headed towards the train station. There we will meet someone going to Michendorf. I will be in Michendorf this weekend, where I will be able to go a church. I’m very excited to attend a church service. It has been six weeks since I stepped foot in a church. Not that it’s the only place I meet with God but I am very excited to mingle and chat with other believers.

Then, I will be flying to Italy. I haven’t decided if I will take my computer yet. I am only taking one carry on. Which has saved me money but room will be lacking. When I am once again with all of my belongings tonight I’ll know what I want to take with. Oh gosh! I just realized the next week I’ll be at an overnight camp. I could have no internet for two weeks. Well, in that case… take care. I’ll be praying for you! I hope you are enjoying your summer and the next time I write, I will see you in a week! Crazy exciting!

P.S. What I wrote is probably a lie. I tend to find a way to send an e-mail, write a blog, call if I get the chance. So don’t go away for two weeks. I will most likely surprise you.

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Childhood Time.

Thursday, 29 July 2010 22:24 by mcd002

Honestly, I have reloaded my facebook page 10 times, checked my e-mails twice, checked my blog count (which, if 10 people view my blog today I will reach 1,000!); even after all of that I have been thinking of one thing. I am a little nervous about putting this out there but -here it goes... Actually, I'll start out slow.

I have been tossed back into my childhood. Repeatedly, I have been playing kickball, 4-square, heads-up-seven-up, and wink murder. All games I played while I attended elementary school in central PA. It truly surprises me that it has been about seven years since I attended an elementary school. It feels like ages ago; however, so does the first day here in Germany. Although, it seems like ages ago that I peaked my head out from underneath my arm to look down at my thumb-pressers shoes, the time has gone fast.

Time. Such an odd thing to think about. The time spent here or there. However, we don't actually remember the time on the clock. I have never said at 2:04 pm we... Then at 12:00 we moved. (I'm more of a date person.)  We remember the moments spent. Those moments much up our time.

It's odd to me that time has been on my mind. Not in the sense of going home but just in general. Knowing my time on Earth is numbered. While I was reading last night, I came upon this Remind me that my days are numbered -how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. [Psalm 39: 4-5] I don't know about you but my hands are small. I can fit four of my hands on the width of my computer screen and our lives are just one of them.

I think of how I should not regret and to live freely in God. I think of it when I wonder why I don't pray more. I think of it when I get upset so easily. I think of this when I hang up to soon instead of taking a moment longer to say I love you. I think of it when I am rushing. Always rushing. I know I can't be the only one rushing.

The other part of this that I need to remember is that my time here is only the width of my hand and my actions here control the rest. Is the width of my hand really worth spending the rest of my eternity...

Well, there it is. I've been thinking about time and the width of my hand.



 

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Back of My Hand

Tuesday, 27 July 2010 22:46 by mcd002

So, by the end of my week in Hannover, I will know Hannover and every way possible to get home like the back of my hand. Last night, we took the bus in the wrong direction. End result, 3 hours to get home. Tonight, took another bus that heads in the right direction but missed our stop because it didn’t look familiar. Lucky for us, a nice English-speaking man showed us the way.

Therefore, I do not feel like writing. However, overall today went very well. And news on my trip, there is none. I am waiting for Mike to let me know if I have a chance of staying with his friend. If she is OK with it; then, I will be there. If not, I will be in Michendrof, Germany for a week with limited internet access.

Please pray things work for Italy. Actually, please pray that whatever God has planned happens and that I hear his voice clearly. Thank you.

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Probably An American.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010 02:16 by mcd002

What am I learning about the Germans…

Germans are very careful and mindful of recycling. So if you find a piece of gum in the paper can; it was probably an American that made the German pull it out.

Germans follow the rules. If you see someone jay-walking or cutting through traffic, while everyone else waits for the signal to walk; it is probably an American that made everyone turn their head and stare.

Germans love animals. If you see someone trying to squash a bee, it is probably an American that made the German gasp with shock.

Germans drive stick shift. If you see someone driving an automatic or someone stalling in the middle of the road, it is probably an American. 

Germans do not have drive-through banks. If you see someone driving around in circles searching for the bank entrance, it is probably an American.

German children complain. If you see someone crying their eyes out, while chatting on the phone, at the wrong bus stop, and it’s two hours past the time they are suppose to be home. It is probably an American working for YoYo Camps because the children complain, and complain, and complain some more.

 

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Lucky Lady Bug

Monday, 26 July 2010 02:32 by mcd002

This weekend while we were out at a beer garden, a lady bug crawled up my partner for the week’s sleeve and lucky enough, this week I have internet. It is an amazing luxury. I don’t know what I would do without it. However, I will soon learn because my Italy trip is fast approaching, as well as an overnight camp to follow.

This weekend I stayed in the boy scout house in Wolfsburg. It is the place with the windmill, where once I again I have taken a 10 minute shower. Probably less than that. The shower is in the basement, which the only entrance is by going out the front door and turn immediately to go down four steps. It is a place where you ponder the though of “why you are you showering? ” Because even as you are in the shower, you wonder if you are really getting cleaner. It is like a garage shower. My friend, Bob once had a garage along Route 11&15. The building was a puke green color and paint would peel off. Anyway, this shower reminds me of his place. I think it might even smell similar. Not in a gross way, but in a familiar “I know that smell” way. Moving on, the walls are something else too…

What else can I tell you? Oh this afternoon we spotted a castle from the road. Mike decided to find it. It wasn’t far and ended up being beautiful, complete with a restaurant. We didn’t stay long because to view the inside you needed to pay. But here is a glimpse from the outside.

I’m learning to be grateful and thankful. I know I am ready to go home. However, I have prayed for this trip and God has allowed it so there must be a reason. I think I have planted a small seed. I continue to pray that God teaches me how to patient, thankful, and willing. Willing to do what he wants. Willing to do what he says. Willing. I will continue to learn. I realize that I have never had it altogether and how much I need God’s love, forgiveness, and mercy.

So the plan. This week I am in Hannover where Myrl and I will be teaching. I will have a group of 6 to 9 year olds. Most likely none of them will speak English. Which is great for me because then that means lots of pictures, repetition and a long time for journals. Hopefully, they are the same level as the first group that was perfect! In the evenings, I plan to send e-mails, place phone calls, which some TV shows online, and send my mom the incredibly long list I have complied for back to school shopping. Poor mom! I told her, “I can’t think of anything.” Although when I sat down with my pen and paper it got a little out of hand.

After e-mailing mom, I plan on heading to Michendrof for the weekend. It is a small town outside of Berlin. It is where training was held when I first arrived. I will stay there until Monday morning and then I fly to Italy! I will spend a week there. Not sure exactly where yet. I have two options. Either way, I think it will be beautiful and worth the money. I’m not going to get too ahead of myself because I know I am in the clear. I’m so close I can smell the PA farm fields.

Which reminds me, I received some mail. I love this! (At college, too! HINT HINT!!!) My Aunt Ellen was sweet enough to send me a little card. I loved reading it and I have read it maybe five times since I first opened it yesterday afternoon. I have also reread the other cards I received before I left. I tend to carry words very close to my heart. Encouragement. Anyway, Aunt Ellen -thank you very much and I wish you, Mam, Gram, and Aunt Ellen were rich too! A trip with you ladies would be amazing and life changing. I’m sure of that. :) Miss and love you!

Well, first day of camp with a new partner. It was odd to leave Gareth at the over night camp. And to be honest, I am very nervous about working with someone else. Once you have a rhythm for three camps and know how each other handle different situations. It will be interesting and exciting to work with someone new.

Thinking of you.

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Collecting Lessons One by One.

Friday, 23 July 2010 02:33 by mcd002

The car is when I know that my day will begin to start. For four days now, I have walked past this car. My body seems to slow down. It feels like my feet are stuck in the mud. Which in turn is the game we play that morning. Tomorrow is my last day walking past this car. I can’t say I am sad to leave this sight behind. However, I am trying to find the positives in this week.

When you are caught up in the anger and stress, those positives are hard to pinpoint but I was able to see a few. I have learned in my short teaching career that parents will always find some way to throw you off. Sometimes, throwing you off can be a great thing. While other times and most times, it is not. I have learned how to communicate with angry parents, as well as dealing with even more angered and stressed bosses. I’m hoping my share of that is over for the rest of my time here.

I have learned that I can keep my cool. I might not keep my cool when it’s not needed. A simple break down is OK if the timing is right. However, while my class is taking place -I just have all of the children breathe in and out with me. It focuses their attention on something else and in the process, I have the chance to breathe and think about what is next on the list. Or just the chance to breath while the rest of the day is crazy.

I learned that when I feel like I don’t want to do something. I most definitely shouldn’t. It is a simple gut feeling that I should learn to trust. I am still learning.

My positives are different from normal. It’s not like we went out to eat, went to the natural pool, and I slept in on Thursday (which did happen). However, with a week like this they simply do not cut it. I need to look deeper and realize what is going on. I am an analyzer and that is what I will do.

Through this week, it has made me phone home. I called a friend and she reminded me the power in prayer. I have been reminded that it will be OK.

I have been reminded that I can do things on my own. My dad has encouraged my trip to Italy. And I believe I am going to go. With a view like those in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, how can one say no?

It is continually a learning process and by the end I will have a collection of lessons.

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