Tuesday, December 02, 2003

from Prague

Well, I'm writing to you from a totally different place right now. And I'm not talking about an internet cafe instead of the school computer lab. I'm talking about the Czech Republic instead of Spain! Wow... it's a crazy world. That's one of those places that you only read about in history books because it's changed names about 80 times in the course of my life (not really true, but it sure feels that way) and, of course, isn't a real place. I'm here to say that it sure is, and quite a nice one at that. At least from what we've seen of Prague. Let me pick up quickly with where I left off almost 2 weeks ago.

Our theater play went great, my family arrived safely in Madrid and I spent a great 28 hours with them before they left the city to tour the rest of the country. My parents even got to meet most of my friends from the church. Monday morning the 24th, I left with the Furman group to tour Andalucia for a week. We had a great time. We saw Cordoba, Sevilla, Ronda, Granada, and Malaga. We had some stinky tour guides and some good ones. I got to hang out with a friend from the States who is studying in Sevilla, put my feet in the Mediterranean Ocean in Malaga, and see my family for an unexpected 20 mins in Ronda on Thanksgiving.

I arrived back in Madrid on the last day of November in time to attend church and say hi to everyone, met up with my Mom and had a great time of fellowship at the Campbell's house, and we left Monday morning Dec. 1 to fly to Prague. Our flight was interesting as we had a delay and missed our connection in Lyons, giving us an added leg through Paris and putting us in Prague a few (4) hours late. Thankfully, we had no difficulty in finding an ATM or in renting a shuttle to the hostel where my friends are staying (EVERYONE here speaks English), and we ran into the friends in the main square within an hour or so of our arrival. The hostel is a little sketch, but the beds are comfy enough and it's not terrible expensive. Today was cold and a little windy, but we saw most of the city (including the Castle) and had a great time. Tomorrow morning we'll see the Jewish Quarter before heading to Vienna on a 3PM train.

Who knows when I'll next get a chance to write, but it will be from a different country, that's for sure!

Please pray for traveling safety and continued good health and attitudes.

Hope you are doing well and I still love getting emails :)

Soli Deo Gloria...

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

sick as a dog

The good news is that very few people actually read this on a regular basis. I say that because if you DID read this on a regular basis, you'd probably think I was dead since I haven't written in over 2 weeks.

The problem is, I hardly remember a lot of what has happened in the last 2 weeks. I saw the new Matrix, twice, in spanish. I liked it a lot better than the second one, and it was easier to understand in spanish that I had thought.

We had a trip to Toledo on Saturday, Nov. 8. When we got home, a few of us headed to the Bible study, but we missed the bus stop and had to walk through a random field and climb a fence (aka trespass) to get there, late and dirty. Good times :)

Last Wednesday I left school about ready to fall over, but it wasn't until I got home that it occured to me I might have a fever. I slept for 20 out of the next 21 hours, and thus begins a long struggle with something that I don't like nor understand. I skipped classes Thursday and Friday, and the trip to Alcala de Henares on Saturday -- and if you've ever even MET me, you know how unusual that is.

Yesterday and today I've had 2 exams and a paper to do... I don't know how well any of them turned out because I was too sick to study for anything. Oh well...

Besides, this morning the assistant pastor at my church here, who also happens to be a really good friend of ours, left this morning to spend 2 weeks preaching in Ireland. I'll see him one more time just before I come home in mid-Dec, but the other girls leave for the States before he gets back, so it was a very sad time for them. We did get to see him off at the airport, and hang out with him the night before he left, but that could have affected the grades a bit too. It's ok... I've got my priorities straight.

Anyways, all I've got left now is the fun stuff -- flamenco show tonight, theater presentation and goodbye dinner tomorrow, family comes on Friday, touring southern Spain with my Furman friends, and then traveling through Europe with my Mom. Don't be surprised, therefore, if you don't read anything new here until mid-Dec. when I get back to home sweet home.

Have a great month, and I look forward to talking to or seeing you when I get back :)

Soli Deo Gloria...

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

nothing much

Hey there, loved ones!

I'm gonna make this short as I don't have a whole lot of time, and nothing terribly exciting happened in the last week anyways.

I spent all weekend with my friends from the church -- Friday night we saw "Basic" (I followed it until the last 10 mins, but I think I would've been confused in English too... if you've seen it, let me know what you thought), Saturday was Reformation day, so there was a conference and we spent all day eating and worshipping (there were a lot more people that normal because they came from other churches and parts of Spain!), and Sunday was a Lord's Day, equally as delightful as the rest.

The weather was gorgeous... lots of rain on Friday morning, but by early evening it cleared up, and it hasn't come back since!

I also wanted to share with you all 2 random observations about color over here. First, white cars are cheaper than colored cars, which explains why so many cars around here are white. Second, if you go shopping, you'll note that all the clothes are arranged by colors. Theoretically, it helps with color-coordination of outfits. Unfortunately, the results are not really noticiable, as much of the Spanish population wears outfits that don't match :)

That's enough for today... have a delightful week and I look forward to hearing from you!

Soli Deo Gloria...

Tuesday, October 28, 2003


A delightful Tuesday to you! (Or whatever day of the week it might happen to be when you read this!)

This past week, as usual, has been an absolute blast -- full of lots of fun activities and not a whole lot of sleep :) Tuesday we hit a bowling alley and VIPS for dinner. Wednesday was the Real Madrid soccer game! We met up at Burger King before to eat and chill, and then headed over to the game. The game wasn't that great -- I think RM knew they were gonna win so they didn't push themselves to play very hard -- but they did win, it was fun to be in the stadium, and I had a great time with my friends.

Thursday we had Bible Study, and just before it started, I received a very exciting phone call from my mother -- she's gonna travel with me at the end! I'm so incredibly excited that I can't hardly contain myself. Friday I headed over to a travel agent and bought us some tickets from Madrid to Prague and then from Rome to Madrid. We have 12 days between the flights, during which time we will take trains to view other places -- probably Vienna, Munich, Venice, and Florence. Friday evening I went over to the Pastor's house with all the youth and we ate pizza (yummy!) and watched The Recruit in Spanish... it made a lot more sense this time, because when I watched it in English, I didn't get to see the first 20ish mins.

Saturday, the Furman group headed off to Salamanca, a small town about 200kms north of Madrid. It was colder than it's been since we've been here, and rainy most of the time we were there, but Marisa (our Art & Civ prof) was our tour guide, and she's wonderful! We saw the 2 cathedrals (aptly named "Old Cathedral" and "New Cathedral"), the University of Salamanca, several other buildings from the outside. We stayed the night, and with the time change, I got a full 8 hours of sleep... I don't think I've gotten that much in one night since I arrived in Spain! On Sunday we saw 2 convents, one of which sells Almond cookies to make money -- reminds me of Butter Letter that I haven't had in ages!

We arrived back in Madrid around 5:30, and I headed off with my pals to church. It was Youth Sunday, and it was great to participate in the service that was run by our friends and to hear them sing the songs we had practiced with them. We had dinner together afterwards, and next thing you know, it's Monday!

We have a paper due in Theater in 5 mins that I had to work on last night, but other than that, this week looks to be a fairly slow one. Something tells me, however, that plans will come up and I will have plenty to share come next Tuesday!

You can continue to pray, if you would, for travel plans as there's still plenty to be done. Also, just that God would make His Word come alive in my life.

And one more thing -- the father of the little girl who lives with me died suddenly last Friday. He wasn't married to her mother (who also lives with me), but it's still hard on them. Please pray for me as I minister to them in this hard time, that they would see the Love of Christ, and that if it be His will, that He would draw them to Himself through this trial. Thanks!

Soli Deo Gloria...

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

of bad movie translations

Yeah, so it feels like just yesterday that I posted last time, but it has been a full week! On the other hand, so much has happened that I hardly remember the last posting. Oh, the joys of the human mind that can remember and forget at the same time!

This has been a delightful week. We "traded" profesors last week... Ángelica went back to Furman and Christina arrived. Friday we had our first Art & Civilizacion class in the Prado Museum... interesting, but it's hard on the back to stand for 2 hours while listening to a lecture in Spanish, taking notes on it, and looking at artwork at the same time. Friday afternoon I got a bit of a haircut before going to see "The Italian Job" in Spanish with my friends from the church. What a fun movie! There were definitely one or two spots that didn't quite come through in the translation where I found myself the only one laughing in the whole theater.

Saturday was a big day because we had the hike with the bilingual Bible study group. We had such a blast! I got some good pics, but they can't explain how much fun we had. After a bit of a hike/hard walk on the mountain, we had dinner at a Swiss restuarant (exceptional food!) and watched "Quigley Down Under." While we watched it in Spanish, it was hard not to read the English substitles because they were so much funnier than the Spanish! Thankfully, the rain held off until dinner time, but our return trip home (which took over an hour) was definitely rainy. I got back around 2:15am.

Spent a great Lord's Day with my friends at the church. Youth Sunday is this coming Sunday, so they spent a lot of time practicing the songs they are going to sing -- unfortunately I won't be able to join them because we are going to Salamanca this weekend. We went to Tony Roma's for dinner... yes, you read that right, I did have ribs for dinner in Spain. So much fun! Although, for some odd reason, the guys seem to think that I'm a big eater (where would they get that idea from?!?!), so I was the object of much laughter and ribbing (no pun intended) as I enjoyed my meal. Good times.

Due to the lack of sleep I got over the weekend, yesterday was a day to do some work and pretty much stay home. I did go to buy a ticket to a Real Madrid soccer game for this Wednesday, so I'll tell you about that next week. I also went to the gym, where I encountered a woman who wants to pay me to work with her on her English. I'm waiting for her to call me now, so we'll see what happens with that. I'll keep you posted.

Keep those emails coming... I love knowing how to pray for you! Thanks for your continued prayers -- I have come up with a topic for my Chile project, but I need to keep researching it to be sure that it will work and to clarify a bit more exactly what I'm going to write about. Free travel is still a bit up in the air, so pray for decision-making wisdom. And also, please pray for my relationships -- that I would be an encouragement to fellow Christians and a witness to non-believers. And that I would have the boldness to open my mouth... living a life of love is a good thing, but openly sharing what my Saviour has done for me is a good thing too, and I tend to have trouble with it. Until next time,

Soli Deo Gloria...

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

of Cuenca and wet laundry

Hello, hello.
Time has passed rather quickly since last Tuesday, something that is happening a lot lately. I'm amazed that we are almost at the half-way point in our trip, and are past half-way in our classes (due to the traveling we do at the end).
Classes have been going fairly normally, although we do have a midterm in Art and Civilization this Thursday that has the whole class pretty much petrified. We've covered so much information it's ridiculous! And I love it until I have to remember it!
We went to see "Historia de una escalera" on Friday evening. It was a much better theater presentation than the last one we saw in that it was more modern, shorter, easier to understand, and had a better plot. That being said, I was still bummed that they planned a school thing on a Friday night... I mean, who does that?!?!
Saturday I went to Cuenca, a small art community that's less than 3 hours away by train. As there wasn't much interest among the group (and it wasn't a required trip), it just ended up being me and one other girl. I think I liked it better like that. We could take our time walking around, taking pics, visiting the Abstract Art Museum without a guide and making fun of the interesting stuff we found there, and get to know each other better. I had to wake up at 6:30 so we could catch the 8:50 train, so after returning at 10, catching the end of a birthday party at Planet Hollywood, and waiting on a bus that wasn´t running, I think I was asleep before hitting the pillow around 1:30.
Sunday was a delightful day spent at church and with my friends... doesn't get much better! Monday was normal, except that my "monitor" at the gym sure kicked my butt for over an hour and a half. Cardio, weights, 100 crunches... felt great! When I got home, I decided to handwash some clothes and hang them on the line... I didn't realize what a mistake that was until I woke up this morning at 7:30 to realize that it was raining and my shirts and socks weren't anywhere near dry. Such is life when you live in a country that thinks dryers are more of a pain than they're worth :)
Now, I have to go before I'm late to the most boring of theater classes. I think the key things you can pray for me for this week are that decisions about free travel fall smoothly into place (anyone want to come travel Europe with me for 2 weeks?!?!) and that I will come up with a project idea for my Chile trip before next Monday... it's hard to give that priority when I'm having such a great time here, but it needs to be done. Until next week,
Soli Deo Gloria...

Tuesday, October 07, 2003


Hey there folks!
With my new schedule for October, more than likely my postings will be on Tuesdays now, instead of Wed... for what it's worth.
This past weekend we spent in Galicia... the NorthWest of Spain. It is sooo open and green compared to Madrid. Very beautiful. Yet again, we spent a whole lot of time in buses with tour guides, so I returned very well rested from all the sleep I got ;), but when I was awake, I really enjoyed my time there. We saw Santiago de Compostela which has importance in the Catholic church because of Saint James, for whom it's named, and there's a long pilgrimage that you can make from France that is supposed to give some forgiveness benefit or something if you do it by foot.
We also saw La Coruña, a city a little farther north. Our hotel overlooked the Atlantic ocean, which was gorgeous. I haven't been able to get up all my pics yet, but I've started and hope to get most of them up by the end of the week, so keep checking back.
We returned just in time for 3 of us to hop a taxi and get to church... it was great to hear the Word preached and be in the fellowship of our Spaniard brothers and sisters.
Classes started back yesterday, and I'm very excited because I have the same grammar prof that I had for September, and she's great! I also made it to the gym last night and had a great workout.
As we head into this week, my specific prayer request would be for my witness to several Spaniards that I see fairly consistently... Lazaro, Katy and Kini at the gym; Maria Jose, Amparo and Marisa, my profs at school; and Conchita, Carolina, and Gabriela, the family I live with.
Thanks for all the emails... it's great to get updates on your lives, and it's encouraging to be reminded that you're praying for me. Much love from Spain!
Soli Deo Gloria...

Tuesday, September 30, 2003


Greetings from España, yet again :)
As we are leaving for Galicia at the crack of dawn tomorrow (Wed), I'm gonna go ahead and post now so you're not left hanging or think I died... ;)
Also want to let you know that I have put up lots more pictures, and am, for the first time since arriving, caught up to current time. Enjoy them!
Let's see... last Wed. we went to a play for our theater class -"El burlador de Sevilla" by Tirso de Molina. Personally, I didn't like it at all. It was hard to follow, what I did follow was dumb, and the props weren't very great (although I must say the costumes were decent). We had a nice dinner as a group afterwards, and returned home late and tired.
The rest of the week and weekend I spent a lot of time with Kelly, Liz, and the young people (jovenes) of the church I've been attending. They are a delightful group, ages 16-26, and are very patient with our struggling spanish. Thursday was a Bible study and dinner with Pastor Hanna at the home of Miriam, my summer penpal. We had a time of prayer afterwards that was very sweet, and left us 3 americans crying because of the christian fellowship that is so lacking around us in this society. Friday night we went bowling, Saturday we went to the bilingual Bible study at the home of the american missionaries here, the Campbells (their daughter Jessica was my other penpal this summer), and Sunday was spent at church again all day.
Come Monday morning, I was left sad because I likely won't see any of my new friends again for a week and a half because of our trip to Galicia this weekend. Despite that, I had to go to classes and take my "midterm" in grammar. Apparently I didn't fail, because when I woke up this morning to the first day of rain we've had here (all my clean clothes were on the line outside, I'll have you know!) and showed up at school for Theater class, my new class schedule for the rest of my time here shows that I will proceed on to the next grammar class. Woohoo! (perhaps I should explain this... university classes in Spain don't begin until October, so we took a 1 month "intensive" grammar class, and now we proceed into the normal schedule. our other 2 classes, while the times change, will remain the same because they are just Furman students and have never meet more than twice a week.)
Wow... this got long, fast. Sorry. Please pray for a great trip to Galicia and that we would continue to speak in spanish alot, even though we'll be with just our group of americans and the temptation will be strong. And you can pray that it doesn't rain the WHOLE time we're there, as is forecasted.
Hope you're doing just wonderfully, and I look forward to hearing from you!
Soli Deo Gloria...

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

el Fantasma

Hey hey! How's life in the States? Enjoy it for me, alright?
I'm gonna keep this week's entry a little shorter, for sake of your time and mine, since I realize that last week's was rather long.
Last Wednesday afternoon, my friends Miriam and Jessica (who live here in Madrid) showed myself and some other Furman friends where the Christian bookstore is here. As Madrid (and Spain as a whole) is such a Catholic/secular place, it's encouraging to know that they have one, yet discouraging to see the limited resources that are available in Spanish. And especially stuff like fiction literature... very, very little.
After that, 5 of us Furman girls went to see "El Fantasma de la Opera"... yes, that is Phantom in Spanish. It was a blast! Thanks to Ms. Williams in 10th grade who made me read the book so I knew what was going on, but it was very well done.
Last Saturday we went to see the Escorial (a big, old palace) and Valle de los Caidos (a tomb/cathedral built into the side of the mountain that houses the remains of Francisco Franco, the dictator who died in 1975, and those of people who died in the Spanish Civil War).
On Sunday, I returned to Miriam's church, Iglesia Cristiana Presbyteriana, and spent all day there. Service and communion from 12-1:30, lunch and fellowship and some praise singing from 1:30-4:30, a meeting about evangelism and a time of prayer from 4:30-6, another service from 6-7:30, and then fellowship, dinner, and laughter with the "jovenes" until 11:30. What a blast!
Yesterday we went to see the Royal Palace (Palacio Real) here in Madrid. It reminds me a little of our White House, only bigger, older, a bit more ornate, and with no one currently living in it.
That's all for today, so have a great week!
Soli Deo Gloria...

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

new roommate and social differences

Hello there!
Hope you´ve had a delightful week -- I sure have! Friday night we went out dancing, Saturday we had a trip to Segovia, and when I returned around 6pm, a girl from Boston University had moved into the spare bedroom! I was a little distressed about this because I had requested to live alone and had enjoyed it for nearly 2 weeks. However, she seems nice enough, and we have done a pretty good job of speaking Spanish when we talk. She attends a different university here, so the only time we see each other is when we´re at home or if we choose to hang out together, which makes for a nice change of pace.
Sunday, some Furman kids & I went to El Rastro, which is like a HUGE flea market where they sell everything from socks to thongs, from black market CDs to handmade purses. So many people though, it´s amazing! After returning home for lunch with Eleanor, I went to church. It´s the church that my madrileña summer pen-pal, Miriam, attends. It´s an hour away by Metro and rather small, but it was awesome to worship the Lord with other believers for the first time in 3 weeks. 2 other FU gals came with me,and we went to dinner afterwards with some people from the church.
Now, if I have permission to interrupt this regularly scheduled program for a bit, I need to address a question that many have asked: How is life here different from life in the States? In some ways it´s not... people work, go to school, eat 3 meals a day, etc. But if you dig a little deeper, there are definitely differences. I´ll try to highlight the ones I´ve noticed so far.
Transportation: many people have cars, but there is also a huge underground metro system and a bus system that are full of people from all walks of life
Food/meals: lots of olive oil, and bread with every meal. breakfast tends to be very small (i usually get a few pieces of toast, hot chocolate, and either juice or a piece of fruit, but some of my friends tell me this is a lot!). lunch is the biggest meal of the day and is usually eaten between 2-4. dinner is a little smaller than lunch, and isn't eaten until at least 9 pm, and often as late as 11 or 11:30.
Daily Schedule: much like in the States, work starts between 7-10am, depending on what it is. most everybody returns home for the "siesta" from about 2-5 and all the little shops close during this time and then reopen from about 5-8. the city never sleeps; there is as much traffic at 2:30am as at noon. which reminds me of an interesting tidbit -- because of their schedule, they call noon 12am, and midnight 12pm... in the States, we do it the other way!
Clothes: i was told before coming that it's a more formal city. true, but also false. true in that very few people wear sweatpants to class or the grocery store, or holey jeans & t-shirts. false in that not as many men, and especially not as many women, wear suits like we would consider normal. And women wear shirts to work that we would consider more in style for the hip teenager than the working woman. Women's shoes almost always have pointy toes!
Social: people are a lot more affectionate in public, but a lot less friendly with strangers. people's homes (aka apartments) are smaller and very private, and generally only family or VERY close friends are invited in. as a result, there are open-air bars on every streetcorner where you can sit and have a drink and "tapas" (like snacks or appetizers), and the waiters never pressure you to leave like they do in the States, because essentially, by paying for food and drink, you are paying for table time to socialize.
This is all I can think of right now. As I notice other things, I'll mention them. If you have a question you'd like for me to answer, shoot me an e-mail and I'll do my best to either respond or incorporate the answer in an upcoming journal entry. Also, realize that these are just my observations -- be careful not to stereotype!
As I wrap up, please pray that the Love of Christ would shine through me to everyone I'm around, but especially those I live with -- Conchita & Eleanor. Take care, wish my dear friend Joy a happy bday this Saturday if you know her, and I look forward to hearing from you. Oh yeah, more pics are up!
Soli Deo Gloria...

Wednesday, September 10, 2003


Hey guys! Muchas gracias to those who have sent me emails to update me on what´s up in your lives. I´ve read it, even if I haven´t responded... I really only get about an hour a week for internet, so I´m limited.
This past weekend we went to Barcelona as a Furman group... it was a lot of fun. Way too much time on an uncomfortable charter bus, but we had a good tour guide, saw lots of cool places (Gaudi´s Parque Guell, Montserrat, a Dali Museum, la Sagrada Familia, Empuries, Olympic Stadium, and others) and had a good time getting to know the other Furman students better since we lived in a hotel together. It´s back to daily life now, with my Señora and classes, but the normalcy is nice too. I bought her some pure honey from Monserrat and gave it to her this morning, and she loved it! She said that I am a chica guay, which is the Spanish way of saying I´m a cool girl :)
Gotta end for now. Check out my DotPhoto albums because I´ve added a new one for Spain and am slowly adding pictures to it, starting at the beginning of the trip. Until next week...
Soli Deo Gloria...

Sunday, June 08, 2003

first entry -- purpose

Never had a web-journal before, so this should be interesting. The main purpose of this email is so that when I travel, my friends and family can keep up-to-date on what's going on with me, without me having to send out a mass email. Don't expect me to update daily... I don't have time for that. At this point, I'll just post when I feel I have something worth writing about. I'm expecting once every other week, but we'll see what happens.

I've got a brilliant discovery to tell you about, but I will have to share it at another time... perhaps I will break my self-mandated "not-writing-every-day" rule just this once to add it tomorrow. We shall see :)

Soli Deo Gloria...