Monday, January 14, 2008
Four Months and Counting...
Can you believe that Rob and I moved to England only four months ago? It seems like it has been much longer than that - in a good way! I think we are adjusting well. We are still missing our community of friends back home and are hoping to meet and connect with people our age here, which there doesn't seem to be too many of. Rob is enjoying his job and, of course, is a natural. Some kids he met call him "Tomato, dude" because they were talking once about the differences between American English and British English. The Brits pronounce the 'a' in tomato as a soft 'a' (like, an 'awh' sound) while we say a hard 'a' (like, an 'aeyy' sound). Rob said to them in his joking manner, "No, it's tomato (enter American hard "a' sound for the 'a'), dude" thus why they call him tomato, dude. I think this story is hilarious. Sheffield University is on Christmas break until February, but am still busy working. Am hoping to get lots done before the next semester begins.
Christmas was busy with the many activities that come during this time of year. We spent Christmas day with the Forbes family and had our first Christmas pudding and Christmas cake. It was sad not to be with family, but we had a nice time nevertheless. Also, we experienced our first Christingle service. Christingle is an orange that has four toothpicks with gummy sweets and raisins on them placed on top of the orange, a red ribbon around the orange, and a candle on top. The orange is supposed to be the world, the tooth picks with fruits the four seasons, the ribbon the blood of Christ, and the candle the light of the world. A Christingle service is a type of children's service that the Christingle is handed out and the candles are lit. Our friends were surprised that we've never heard of it! I've taken a picture and posted it.
The best thing that has happened is that many of our friends and family members bought webcams and signed up with Skype (a free webchat program). Since we have a Mac (which I highly recommend to anyone thinking about getting a new computer), we have been able to see and talk with lots of people and we get to see our cat, Isis, who is enjoying the warm California weather at my parent's house. The psychological effect of being able to see our friends and family has been amazing. I get to see my nieces sing to me and get chocolate all over their faces after eating chocolate croissants. I only wish we had it sooner. If you have a web cam, let us know! If you don't have one, they are not very expensive (although location and Internet connection do make a difference).
Last week we found out that one of our friends, Dave, who is the YWAM site director for Regia, Latvia, would be having a layover in London on his way to Canada (where he is originally from). Rob and I checked train and bus prices and, because it was so last minute, decided to take the bus since it was cheaper. Big mistake! It was cheaper, but we certainly paid for it. The bus was nice, but it not only took twice as long, but the drivers were horrible. I got so car sick, and I was even sitting in the front row. On the way back the driver was so going so fast I seriously was afraid for my life! We arrived in London and have a few hours until our friend and his wife landed at Heathrow. We had a nice pub lunch and walked around a little bit until we realized that, since we were meeting them at their hotel near the airport, it would take an hour or so to get there. So, we took the tube from the Victoria neighborhood to Heathrow airport and found the shuttle to their hotel. They arrived about 20 min. later and were exhausted, of course. So, instead of going back to the city center, we stayed at the hotel and had drinks and dinner. We spent about 4-5 hours visiting with them before we had to make our way back to the Victoria station. Our bus back was the very last bus, at midnight, and arrived in Sheffield at 4 am. We had to wait about 45 min for the first train to our town. By the time we crawled back in bed, it was 6 am. I don't recommend this. However, it was great to see our friends. I've attached some pictures here.
We continue to covet your thoughts and prayers as we continue to adjust. We miss you and think of you often!