Thursday, 25 June 2015

Life things

I'm starting to understand the lists, coffee talks, life lately (etc etc etc) sort of posts that many of my favourite bloggers do. There are so many things I sometimes just feel like chatting about, but where I have no desire to actually write an entire post about them. Things that just float around in my head, things that I'm happy about, or things that move me...

Like,

_Today at work I heard a report from somebody who went to Kenya to extend condolences on behalf of the organisation I work for, to theirs after the Garissa attacks. Hearing reports from him was heart-breaking. Hearing how students were murdered and hearing miracles of some surviving. I'm amazed by those students who survive and who carry on with the outlook that God spared their life for a purpose. Do we need to have a horrifying experience in order to believe God has a plan for us, that we're alive for a purpose, every day

_Yesterday marked a year since the fire. The chapter is technically closed, but it will always be a really significant day to me - the day where a lot more could have gone wrong but didn't. I guess the chapter isn't actually closed, since we still don't know what happened and will always be left wondering. Having nightmares after playing "Fireman Sam" with a 3-year old might also signify that the chapter isn't completely shut. 

_This weekend we're going away somewhere, and I'm really excited. Malcolm has been working suuuuper hard lately so I'm looking forward to taking some time to pause. 

_7de Laan changed their theme song, but now they have their episodes on Youtube. Yeah! Altie and Paula can get back together now, if he survives, and I can try to keep Afrikaans up. 

_Summer has officially arrived, and since then the weather has been grey and uninspiring. Hopefully it'll turn around soon! Summer has lots of exciting plans - one of which is the Kinderferien Woche, which I thoroughly enjoyed last year, and the International Summer holiday at the Baltic sea where we also were last year. 

_After Summer I'm hopeful that I'll have some English courses to teach. That will bring my number of employers to 3.  

_I miss rusks

_We were showing a couple around Marburg, and walked past a bridal shop with pretty dresses. I discovered that I'm not the only married woman who wants to go in and pretend to be getting married just to try on dresses again, even though I totally loved my dress.

_I translated a booklet into English at work, and even though it's been proof-read by others, I'm so nervous that I've mistranslated something. There are some words that just don't translate so well!

_That said, my writing is definitely better than my speaking. I like to believe that my accent isn't very strong. Many people will testify to this, but other times people notice words that I pronounce 'strangely'. Like "do" (take a moment and think about how you say it. You'll soon doubt it even exists), sure, like, nice...

_I love this list of words. Exulansis, Onism, Zielschmerz, apomakrysmenophobia, to name a few, seem completely real to me.

So... I should be back after the weekend, with a recap of what we've been up to in June, and of our time away this weekend! :)

Friday, 12 June 2015

Who would've thought...

Ordanarily, I'd put this post off until the end of the month beginning of next month when I round up the month of June, but it was such a great day that I want to write about it now. Plus, there are more exciting things happening in June so there'll still be something to say later ;)

Last year our Betriebsausflug (aka. office excursion, thanks Google Translate) took me and coworkers to Wiesbaden to see where the organisation was founded in a little hostel in the country side by students who had directions that were basically "get off the train and ask for directions". It was so much fun and I enjoyed Wiesbaden so much that Malcolm and I went back again. So, this year, I had high hopes that the excursion would be just as cool.

A month or so ago, I got a Doodle link to vote for my preferred activity, and I thought playing golf sounded pretty fun. A couple weeks later, I got an email with the plan, and it had suddenly become a lot more complicated, with a long cycle ride, flying, and golf in between. I was a little apprehensive on Wednesday morning as I set off on my bike, (especially on the first uphill) but it turned out to be such a fun day.

After meeting in Cappel, we rode over the Lahnberge and through Moischt and to Rauischholzhausen



We made it to Amöneburg where we went to the Bruckenmuhle, a mill that is no longer running. They have coffee though, and Prince Charles was there in 1997... 
We went up to the top story and looked at all the milling equipment, which I'm still utterly clueless about, but have a healthy respect for and won't touch. I mean, it turns plants into powder. 



There was also this obelisk, a monument to something to do with the 7 year war, something that I have no background knowledge on so I couldn't really follow.


After plenty of time eating cake and drinking coffee and looking at Obelisks, we were back on our bikes and while one group went over Amöneburg, the rest of us went around us. By "going around" we still had a considerate amount of uphill to puff up, but along the way it was really pretty and we were rewarded by a fun downhill to the Waschbach. 




The Waschbach was used by Boniface to baptise people, and is still used for baptisms today. The water was freezing, but refreshing and just what we needed before heading to Kirchhain and then Bürgeln. 



From Bürgeln we went just a little further to the golf course. We divided into two groups and our group met with a man from Manchester who taught us how to hit golf balls. His tips really helped, and our time on the driving range was so much fun. His tips were also really helpful since my golf club actually came into contact with the ball quite often! He boosted my ego and I felt pretty pleased with my golfing abilities ;) 


After an hour our groups switched and we went up to the airfield. We were able to go gliding, but as time ran out, another plane (with an engine) came so we could take a flight over Marburg in that. I decided the plane with the engine was a little safer and had such a fun flight over the city. It was kind of crazy seeing the area from above, everything looking so small and it not really feeling real. We flew quite low over the castle and I don't really know how to describe how cool it felt. I've only flown in large aeroplanes so the experience in this 2-seater was totally new!




After landing, I helped wash the plane (not glamorous, but I can now say I've washed a plane!) and then cycled back to Bürgeln for supper around the grill. It was nice to relax on the grass and I wasn't looking forward to the ride home. But, it had to be done and the 12 or so kms home went quite quickly. 

In total, we cycled 50-60 kms, by far the furthest I've ever cycled in a day. Not only am I impressed that my bike didn't give up, but I was really happy that I managed it at all - it's never been a goal, but it is something I didn't know I could do. Now our once spoken about dreams of cycling somewhere over a weekend (and Malcolm's dream of building a little aeroplane), somehow seem a whole lot more achievable. Who knew! :)

Monday, 1 June 2015

Whoops, it's June! Let's talk about May.

May is all about Milestones. A year since I started my job here, 5 years since Malcolm and I started dating, 2 years since leaving SA and arriving in Germany. It's full of reflection! It was also a really busy month though. 

A highlight was Interkon 2015, which is a conference to equip student leaders for ministry among International students in Germany. With the theme of international friendship, it was a really enriching time and left us so motivated to show visitors the love of God in every day life.  


photo from Kodi

Aside from the conference, I've also had lots of meetings. Kinderclub, Kinderferienwoche, Kindergottesdienst. Kinder are a pretty pivotal part of my life right now! I'm really excited for everything discussed in the meetings - God is working in little kids' lives!
These meetings, as well as the conference, also showed me just how far I've come - from not knowing how to fit in and feeling really ill-equipped to do just about anything, to now helping to plan things and teaching God's word, and leading a team... God really does use to simple things to confound the wise and when we're weak He really is strong! I'm a work in progress!

Malcolm also had a fair amount of meetings and deadlines this month, with new complexes to make and projects and collaborations underway. Sometimes it's hard for him to get around to doing his actual PhD work because of everything else, but it's enriching at least. He's also prepared a few of the Bible studies for the International Kreis, and it's been really cool to see how his German has improved so much in the last two years too!

May also brought us some time outside, since the skies have been sunny and the days long.
One day we cycled out along the Lahn, not very far, but just far enough to have a picnic among the flowers.





There was also our trip to Wurzburg, which was a nice get-away for the day. 



In Marburg, we went to the Botanical gardens for a picnic with friends. It was the day of a flower market there, which was surprisingly big! We found a quieter spot though, and, after carrying noodle-salad and quiche and stuff around, sat down for lunch and Uno and games and conversation.




We made sure to also have time at home, life isn't really a picnic or a walk in the park, and with our balcony surrounded by green and this creeper making it seem all cottage-like, it's one of my favourite spots. 


Now it's onto June, we're nearly halfway through the year and I'm a little shocked at that! But, we have some exciting things planned for this month, and I'm excited to see what else pops up!