Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Transition Tena (again)

July 12, 2011  <--(yep, this is a bit out of order... I forgot to post this last week!)

I’m in my last week of school at Black Forest Academy (Germany) through PBU… and it is going by fast!  I’ve completed three masters courses in the past three weeks, each in one week.  Needless to say, each has been very challenging in its own way.  I definitely “hit a wall” last week and wasn’t sure I would make it through to the end.  But here I am, still going   one    day    at a time, with grace being extended from people all around me to make it through   one   more   moment   each   day.
It’s crazy.  I feel like I’ve finally got my feet on the ground.  I can successfully drive a stick-shift car, fast, on the right side of the road.  I know how to get groceries.  I’ve found my way around the little towns where I learn and live.  I know where to get ice cream :), how to buy berries from unmanned stalls on the street, and which juice tastes best.  I’ve gotten to know my sweet housemate and we’ve gotten into a routine.  I know how to work the laundry machine and know not to do it on Sundays.  I mostly remember that I'm in Europe, and have successfully learned how to spell "Kazakhstan."  I’ve almost gotten a vague concept of how recycling works here.  (Gelbe Säcke, what?!)  

Of course, it would really help if all the instructions weren't in German!!!  It looks pretty clear on this diagram... but don't be fooled.  I spent many a minute standing in front of bins after lunch wondering what to do with each piece I had left!  Mostly I just gave up and threw them in... something.  Who knows if it was right.
I’m not so overwhelmed now when I see people wearing shorts, and am almost past thinking I should cover my legs when I go into stores “downtown” wearing pants.  I’m making connections with amazing teachers in international schools from around the world and with great neighbors who live in the apartments around me.  And now, I’m leaving.  In less than a week.  

I wonder if I’ll ever get used to a life of transition?

I was talking with my roommate today (who is from S. Carolina but lives and teaches in Seoul, S. Korea) about everything that has happened since we arrived.  I’ll have to catch you all up on the, uh, “adventures” we’ve been through on my blog when I get to the States and have a bit more time!  But car troubles, budgeting, walking for miles, everything breaking and going wrong, emotional transitions and embarrassing moments were definitely all a part of the initiation process to Germany.  And through it all, God has been faithfully showing up in little and big… weird and crazy… insane and mundane ways.  Every day.

my sweet housemate, Katie, and I

dinner and movie night with new friends
ice cream after celebrating the "graduation" of two of our classmates... they're finished after this year!
I’ve also really appreciated getting input and new ideas for teaching after not having much “outside” instruction the past two years.  And I’ve LOVED getting to know people who think missional, purposeful life is normal – who aren’t weirded out when I get overwhelmed in the grocery store – who have been on furlough before – who get it when the little things (like a hot shower, or a “beautiful” cloudy rainy day) are exciting - who understand what the ups and downs of transition are and happily listen to me process things out loud because they’ve been there before.  It’s almost like God knew what He was doing when He put me here for school!  (Crazy how that works!)

Looking forward to seeing you... or keeping in contact... soon!  Thanks for your prayers and support! :)

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