Tuesday, August 28, 2007

farewell sweet edinburgh, hello highlands!

hello all!
So tonight is my last night in this wonderful city. I can't believe it has only been a week! It feels like I have spent months here. This first leg of my journey has been wonderful, we leave tomorrow for the highlands where we will be white water rafting and attending a highland gathering of games (also intended by the Queen i am told-do you think she signs authographs?)

Yesterday, we took a break from the city to travel out to lindisfarne, an island off east coast of n. england. The coach ride was a rough one for some (our driver frank likes to take corners at quick speeds) but when we got off at the island all sickness subsided. The island is cut off by the tide, so you have to time your trip accordingly. That might sound annoying to some, but really it adds to the enchantment of the place. The island is famous for a couple of celtic saints (Aidan and Cuthbert) who lived their lives on the island serving and loving the people and their God. It was nice and refreshing to be away from the bustle of the city and just sit and relax in such a quiet and peacful place.

Our guides were really nice and welcoming and my only regret is that we didn't stay longer. I would have liked to linger a bit and take the advice of our guide, graham, and sit and meditate for a while, be still, and process the week. The islanders talked about the tide and how it really sets the rhythm of their life. The tide goes out and people come in that they can serve and minister too...and the tide comes in and they can have that much needed alone time, a chance to not be bothered by the busyness and really find rest. I am envious of them, I wish I could model my life after that.

The rest of the day we traveled to a couple more sites, a castle at bamburgh and a country estate at abbotsford, which were both beautiful but lindisfarne was by far the place that stuck with me the most. By the end of the day we were all exhausted and after taking one last look at a beatitful view of the scottish countryside (a favorite of sir walter scotts--a man we studied) we made our way back to edinburgh.

Like I said, tonight is it for here and tomorrow we move on. I really had a wonderful time and only wish I had more time to process it all. I guess I got a chance right now, writing in this, so that has been nice.

hope all is well & i love you all. until next time..


Friday, August 24, 2007

The hills are alive with the sound of music....

Greetings all! Finally found a place with free internet and I actually have a half hour this time, instead of 10 minutes. Today was a glorious day. We walked (more like trudged) up to arthurs seat, which overlooks the entire city of edinburgh. It was quite the hike, lots of stone steps. It proved what I knew to be true (i am out of shape) but the sights were amazing and at the top we enjoyed some baugettes (i hope i spelled that right) and sat and read some 'bobby' burns. Hilary and I had the chance to chat with a man named Gordon, he was enjoying the hike like the rest of us and stopped when he saw our copy of robert burns. He chatted for a bit, giving us his own history lesson (he pointed out that nearly everyone in scotland could claim descendency from burns thanks to his promicious ways--the man had about 100 'bastards', as he said)
it was refreshing to talk to someone from around here. I don't know how to put into words all I am and have already experienced. Reading what I just wrote--I am not sure that that will feel significant to any of you, but it did to me. Gordon, I will remember you. This city is full of such friendly people...the other night we were at the tatoo (a military show-with bagpipes & marching bands) and the it felt like a family reunion in a sense, everyone seemed to have this sense of a whole-a connection. It is hard to describe. I feel like I am rambling....so i will digress. We are going to a play tonight and then we have a range of activities for the next few days. Not sure when I will write again. I am sorry if this isn't terribly interesting, I am still getting used to all of this. Trying to get over the fact that I am a tourist, when I want so desperately to be a part of things here. It doesn't seem enough to say things are going well--but I guess that is all I can say for now. I hope you all are having a good time settling into your rooms back at bethel. Not to sound needy, but I would love to hear from you as well--keep me updated a little. Love you all dearly. until next time.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I've arrived!

hello friends,

so here i am, in edinburgh scotland sipping a latte in the coffee shop where j.k. rowling dreamed up harry potter. we have only been here 1 day but it feels like 10. the apartments we are staying in are very quaint. i don't know if it has sunken in yet that i am here. it still all feels so surreal. the cobblestone paths, the shops, the cathedrals, the scottish accents, the green parks...it is all breathtaking and i wish i could just sit and enjoy it. i feel so rushed at the moment--several of us are sharing internet right now, so i guess i will end for now. hopefully i will have more lively posts later, and even add some pictures...but for now i just want to say that i am safe, content, and excited that this is all finally beginning. until next time.


Wednesday, August 1, 2007

according to dictionary.com

excitement: noun the feeling of lively and cheerful joy.
noun a feeling or state of great joy or pride; exultant gladness; high spirits.
in other words.... bliss, buoyancy, buzz, charge, cloud nine, delight, ecstasy, enthusiasm, euphoria, exaltation, excitement, exhilaration, exultation, glee, high, high spirits, intoxication, jollies, joy, joyfulness, joyousness, jubilation, kick, kicks, rapture, transport, triumph, up , upper.

those words can't even come close to describing how I feel about these next four months. It is coming so soon. august 21st feels like it is days away. am I prepared? ha I don't have a thing packed...but I am ready to go. Whenever anybody asks me about this fall I instantly get a glow about me. I can feel it, maybe it is a case of the jollies..:) I like that they have that word in the thesaurus. I am thrilled to the point of bursting. The only expression I can make is "bahh." Sure I have things to plan, stuff to pack, books to read, decisions to make. If I start to think over those things I get stressed...but just the thought of traveling, the thought that I will be in a new place with new people doing new things that I have never done before. Ahh...it puts me at rest, in a restless way. If that makes sense. I am restless to leave, not restless about leaving. That sounds confusing. I suppose I should save space on this blog for all the stories and moments from my trip, but I just can't contain it. I am overflowing with joy inside. Just ask me about it and I might explode.