Monday, December 5, 2011

Persil and Apples and Coffee and Tea

1. Timtammin in Lietuva!
2. Matching matching mittens cubed
3. Cards which speak for themselves
4. T and D actually being friends!
5. A blurry but joyful picture of A, D, and I
(these girls whom I love so much)

My time in Lithuania is drawing to a close.
Each time I am in the kitchen, stirring my medley of vegetables,
or scrounging through my cupboard looking for the pepper, I realize just how much I will miss this place.
I wrote this in an email to a dear friend this past week,
and am pasting it here as I can find no better way to express my thoughts about leaving:
As I make dinner, I realize that I am going to miss reading "Origan" and "Persil" on my spices,
and as I walk through the Old Town and stop on the bridge
to watch the sky turn bright pink with the black trees silhouetted against it,
I realize that I may never again see the water I am now looking into,
nor the person I am standing next to,
nor the boy I passed on the street.

I find it so interesting how much my heart has changed in these past few months,
and so much more inspiring how faithful and constant my Heavenly Father is.
He has been the same through all of the tears and laughter,
and truly, He has turned my darkness into light (Ps.18:28).
However sad I am though, moments like these become all the more real, special, and meaningful.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A quick word on the occupy movement

I just finished an essay exam in my American Lit class.
The prompt was to write about how 4 American Authors paint of picture of America through their text.
Each author writes about an ugly time in America's history, and how the central characters hope for better lives caused changes that shaped our current social and political systems.
Each of these authors focus on this centralized theme of hope for change,
and each show that this hope is a tangible goal
reached only through perseverance and hard work.
It got me thinking about the occupy movement.
People want change. People have always wanted change,
but the difference between my generation and the generations before me is
that they were willing to work and fight for the changes they wished to see
while we would rather sleep in a park
hugging a cardboard sign with a silly slogan marked on it.
Effective, right?
I'd say no.
Hope and change are not passive.
They remain in the distant future until someone actively works toward achieving a goal.
Just a thought:
If you want something, go out and get it,
but don't sit in a public park and whine about it.
No one likes a whiner, and besides,
that is the mark of a spoiled and privileged generation.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My kicks: The no kicks version: Krakow

1. Sunday market in the square in Kazimierz.
2. Hannah after "the fight." insert: "you should see the other guy"
3. Jewish cemetery in Kazimierz.
4. P and HB
5. Door
6. P with a bagel on her face.

Part 1 of the Krakow series. Stay tuned for a word from our sponsors. Or, just another post.



"Tea should be taken in solitude."
-C.S. Lewis-

Thursday, November 10, 2011

it's a moving picture, a picture that moves

My friend and fellow G-student, HB, has been recording moments I usually freeze with my lens.
I thought it'd be fun to show you some of my happenings "in motion"
...especially since I never posted any photos from my trips to Riga and Tallin.
Oh well...
'Till next time

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Kicks: le Hermitage

1.My shoesies in le Winter Palace - Home of the Romanovs
2.In front of the Winter Palace
3. Halls of the Hermitage*
4. Portrait of a pretty girl
5.The Palace Square

*The Hermitage houses one of the largest collections of art I've ever seen. The structure itself is a sight to behold, and extends beyond the winter palace into multiple other buildings. No wall is without art. The collection began with Catherine the Great, and here you can find anything from Egyptian art, to Russian culture and art, to Van Gogh and Rembrandt. Did I mention how large the collection is? Apparently, the Hermitage only houses 5% of the collection with the other 95% being held in storage. Legend has it, that if you were to study each painting for 10 seconds (minutes?), it would take you 9 years to get through the whole museum. It's incredible, really.

Monday, November 7, 2011

My kicks: the Red Square

1. My shoesies (duh)
2.Le Red Square view from Lenin's Mausoleum*
3.A very red building, which I don't think was very important
4.St. Basil's Cathedral
5.P,HB,HV,D jumping for joy in Maskva

*There are no photos of Lenin's Mausoleum mostly because I didn't think it was very interesting to look at, BUT it was extremely interesting to visit. The mausoleum houses Lenin's embalmed body, and is open on some days for a public viewing. If it tickles your fancy, one stands in line, goes through a metal detector, has one's backpack denied entry, is rushed through a maze and into a dark opening of the facade, continues further into a dimly lit corridor, around a corner and quickly past the body. It seems at any moment the man is going to open his eyes...His body has been around longer than he has. This was a weird experience. Interesting, and very weird.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

where my kicks have been

And I'm only just now realizing how awful my pictures are.
 Ugh, my apologies.
For now, feast your eyes upon St. Basil's and le Hermitage.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Here's to soup and a taste of home:

Made this delicious soup yesterday
and now know that homemade soup is much better on day 2.
Tomorrow marks the beginning of Fall break,
and I leave for a new adventure early in the morning
(which I will share all about upon my return)
(don't want to share those details on the internet).
I can't believe the end of October is so near,
But I've had some recent revelations this week,
and feel that I can think better,
with a clear mind and a fresh perspective.

'Till next time a message from Jeremiah:
Seek the peace of the city where God has lead you.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

What a friend, and bad experiences in the WC

I went to Vilnius for the day to celebrate H's birthday. Here are some words I scribbled down in reflecting on the past week:

Sunday, October 23
On a bus from Vilnius to Klaipeda

I feel like today was somewhat redeeming.
The past few weeks have been hard,
and there's so much going on in my heart and mind that
it's hard not to be afraid, or anxious, or emotional,
but I'm seeing how the Lord is taking care of me, and that is what matters most.
This I believe.
Though a million things are out of my control,
I know that He has control over all things (Sovereign God, Almighty),
and for that I am unable to express my gratitude.
It was a day of ups and downs.
First, D and I walked safely to the bus station at 5am in the dark -
the work of the Lord's hand (this I believe).
Then our bus tickets cost 30L instead of the expected 68L
(Thank you Lord).
WHen we got to Vilnius we couldn;t find the girls
at either station, bus or train, so we decided to grab a pastry from the local grocery store
and sit tight.
Before that, we had an awful bathroom experience -
probably the worst in my life, and probably the closest I've come
to understanding life during the USSR occupation.
When we got in line, I realized that not only was it for a stall to open,
but also to get T.P.
That's right - toilet paper.
There were no TP dispensers in any of the stalls, just one for everyone
to pull from before you entered.
Then - and here comes the awful part - a stall opened up and D hurries over.
Before entering she gives me a concerned look which I thought
might be due to a dirty or stinky stall. I nodded an "okay" to her to go in....
little did I know...
WHen the next stall opened, I proceeded to it and upon opening the door
was horrified to see a hole in the ground.
Yep...a hole, surrounded by porcelain. No toilet, no seat. A hole.
I considered just going for it,
but then my better judgement got the best of me and I decided against it.
I couldn't. I just couldn't.
I can pee in a hole in the woods, but I couldn't do it in a Lithuanian train station.
And I don't regret it one bit.
Needless to say, this was a bad start to the day, but things got better.
Later at lunch, D and I shared this Indian dish that was delicious
except for the screwdriver I found in it.
The owner came over to apologize and said we wouldn't have to pay for the meal -
another unexpected gift from the Lord (this I believe) which saved me 18L.

I had many moments of wanting to burst into tears
whenever my mind got to thinking of things in the futurem
but moments that reveal His goodness, like those "I believe" mentioned above,
remind me to
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understandign will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
How fitting.

Till next time:
What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear,
what a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

For your morning,

Because my family is going apple picking today,
and I went on Thrusday.

Monday, October 10, 2011

From Neens, to Me

The best part of today was reading this:

"It is now time for me to partake in some homemade banana bread, while wearing a striped sweater that belongs to you. I hope you don't mind I took the liberty of borrowing it while I was rummaging through the storage room for my fall clothes :) It will make me think of you!"

I laughed and cried all at once.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Postcards from somewhere

I must write it all out, at any cost. Writing is thinking. It is more than living, for it is being conscious of living.
-Anne Morrow Lindbergh-

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A little about this place

Linked to the title "LCC" are the words "International" and "University"
The latter for reasons I don't need to explain.
However, did you know that as an international school,
LCC's student body includes 600 students from over 20 different countries?
Pretty incredible, right?
All of the classes are taught in English however,
(Thank goodness for me)
meaning that each student (besides the SAS and any North American students)
speaks at least two languages.
I use "at least," because most speak three or four.
Walk down the halls of DeFehr,
or into a kitchen in either dorm and you'll hear
Lithuanian, Ukranian, Russian, and maybe some English.
It's incredible, really.
Such a diverse crowd makes for a bright community, wouldn't you say?
Another interesting fact:
LCC is celebrating her 20th anniversary this year.
In light of this celebration, the school hosted an international fair in the city.
There, students set up booths with information, candy, and pictures from their home countries,
and some countries were even represented through song and dance.
USA students led the crowd in a rousing routine dance known as "Cotton Eyed Joe"
and so many people participated! It was great!
To conclude the fair, a professional Lithuanian song and dance group
played traditional folk songs and taught us traditional dances to go along with them!
Here's a bit one of my professors caught on his cellphone:

*If you look towards the right, you can see me dancing right in front of the camera. I'm in the black coat and blueish/periwinkleish scarf!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

For days like today

Fernando Ortega-More Love to Thee

When I miss my home institution and just my home, these things are good.

From a place so dear

Mail takes a long time to travel over 5,000 miles,
So when Mom informed me that she had sent me a package
I knew it would be a bit of time before I received it.
But that did not stop me from checking the mail room almost every day...
Anyways, it came a little after a month to the day it was sent
and it came just in the nick of time.
See, I left Thursday night to spend a weekend in Latvia and Estonia
and I had been hoping that the package would arrive before I left
because it contained a certain purse that would make traveling much easier.
That morning, I checked the mail and much to my dismay: nothing.
(Actually, that's not true. There was a letter/card in there from someone
in the Study Abroad office back at school that I've been corresponding with - what a nice surprise!
but in regards to the package, that statement is true.)
Knowing there was nothing to do, the situation left my mind
and I looked forward to preparing for the upcoming adventure!
Later that night, the fire alarm went off in my dorm
and we had to evacuate to a common meeting area.
There, another SAS informed me that we both had packages waiting at the reception desk
and could pick them up as soon as possible!
So hooray! Long story...but I was so happy.
There's something about those washcloths that feel so like home...
Here are the other contents:

basically empty because they came along for the adventure

hooray for familiarity!

this x3



All from TJ's
All deliciously excellent
All thoughtful
All from my mama

Thanks ma!