Happy Thanksgiving!

Trip Start Aug 30, 2006
Trip End Dec 17, 2006

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Well, folks, it's Thanksgiving. Hope you're all feeling grateful :)

I'm pretty happy! Even though it doesn't feel like the Thanksgivings back home, I know it must be. Maybe it's not the traditional Turkey, but the leftover Papa John's pizza sure felt like America :)

I handed in my first major assignments this week. (Granted, I only have 5 papers due in this whole 4 months...) The first was for Scottish Literature, a context essay on Sir Walter Scott's Waverly novel. I felt it went pretty well, though I was a little nervous about the styles--they do things a little differently in the setup of the papers, and since there's a bit deal about plagiarsim here, I didn't want to unknowingly cite things wrong! In terms of grades, I feel like I've got a good chance of getting a good one, since after all I've "done college" for a year now, and most of the people in my Scot Lit class are freshers.

Just a couple of hours ago, I handed in my Welfare Ideology paper. It was a massive 3,000 word monster to behead, let me tell you. (The 3,000 words wasn't nearly as difficult as knowing what to say...) I was pretty sick of reading about employment policies and what was wrong with everything British and Collectivist, so it was really great to return all my books back to the library this afternoon. :) I'm feeling pretty good about that paper, too. After reading through it a few times, I thought it sounded pretty good, and we'll just hope that the graders think so too!

What's more, is that Tuesday is my last Welfare ideology class! It sure snuck up on me quick--I didn't even realize it until Joe mentioned it. (I ran into Joe, the other guy from michigan who is also in that class, and it was a good thing-- I ran out of money to print things and together we got everything sorted out!) But yeah, wow, that class already done? Cool! ....I won't know what to do with my time during the week!

If Tuesday is our last class, then technically I'm done with the volunteer agency, too. But I've been behind on hours per week, so I planned to go a couple extra times anyway to make up for it-- yet I'll probably end up going a couple times a week for the rest of my stay here. I've really (really) enjoyed spending time there and I honestly don't have much else to do! :)

Speaking of the agency, the concert that I was helping them prepare for went WONDERFULLY!!! It was also really neat that my mum and sister were able to be there for that. (We had a great week together, by the way!) It was even aired on BBC News! They also did a piece before the concert to get some publicity.... which is linked here:


technically, I'm actually in that clip (twice) ^^^ but you can't really see me very well unless you know where to look, so don't feel bad if you don't recognize me. :) But i'm thrilled that my friends got to be on TV! they were so excited! :)

this link, http://www.drakemusicscotland.org/ is the organization that put the concert together and that's how peter sparkes got to be antonine court's musician in residence. It's such a neat cause, and i really am proud to have been a part of that! (if you go to the site, click 'projects' in the orange on top, and you'll see another link near the bottom center that says 'antonine court'... there's more info there and a link to the drumchapel tv which is neat to hear peter sparkes talk about their project!)

Anyway, volunteering here has been such an amazing and worthwhile part of the abroad experience. I really don't know what I would do if I didn't have that aspect! It creates a much more fulfilling and enriching satisfaction of coming all this way, and actually doing something for the host country. I think i would feel way too much like a tourist if I just came as a regular student. It's also given me much more of a sense of participating and belonging, a routine and knowing the city-- being forced to figure out the bus system and actually having scottish friends.

I am looking forward to going back to michigan, though. It has certainly been a long season of my life (however fast it flew by) of spending more time outside of michigan in the last year than actually in it. It's good to know that I'll see old friends again, some of whom I won't have seen for 8 or 9 months by the time I see them again in January (or Feburary! some are gone for interim!)

It's a relief, really, to be able to say that. Ever since I got here I knew I loved it, and that going back to the States would be difficult for many, many reasons. And it will be, even so. But I am so very excited about the opportunities that God has been inspiring me with and leading me towards! It will be special to spend some time in my own community-- and to see even Grand Rapids in a new way.

Granted, it's hard to say i'm going "home", because in the last couple of weeks i've realized how my home really isn't here in this world. The whole earth is mine to explore and learn about, but my Home is in another realm, and my real treasure is Christ. :)

Much love,
thanks for your prayers and continued support!


here are some links (copy paste them into a new browser) to some recent photos of my trip to dunoon, mom and linde's visit, and the concert!

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