An Amazing Weekend

February 15, 2009

Hopefully this post will take this time.  I wrote over half of it just a minute ago, just to have most of it disappear, then to have firefox act crazy and quit.  So, I’m on Opera this time, which is a fine browser, might I add.  I’m also going to try to get some pictures in here!

This weekend was absolutely amazing!  I got to meet some new people and hang out  for quite a while with some new friends.  On Friday night, I went with some of the young adults from ICF to a pub to hear Alyssa’s concert.   It was quite a nice concert, especially for mostly Christian music in a pub.  She also had an amazing bassist and drummer with her.   The best part was getting to meet some new people from the church and really getting to talk with them.

Höchst Castle

Bridge to the Park

Tree

Bockenheimer Warte
Saturday was the first day all week that I could sleep in (YAY).  After getting out, I made it to Höchst, Bockenheim, and to the Zeil.  I had to scour the internet trying to find something cool that I haven’t seen yet, and landed on Höchst.  It’s a nice little town on the Main river which has a “castle” and some really nice statues.  Then, after walking around the area for a while, I decided to move on.  However, the trek took me to a park on the Main which had some very beautiful scenery.  So, instead of walking back to the Höchst train station, I saw a biking sign for Niel (I think) which said that it was .8km across the bridge and through the park.  Of course, after walking about a km, there was another sign for Niel that said 1km.  So, I gave up and exited the park and found a tram stop.  The tram was slower and didn’t get me to Bockenheim (the University area) until nearly 5:30.  I tried to enter the Japanese garden, but that proved useless.  I don’t know what the signs said, but it looked closed.  Everything closes at 6, so I managed to peruse a Woolworth store before hopping the train to the Zeil and then back home.  Michael had a farewell party for his old place that night, so I went and crashed for a little while.  Once I found it, it was quite fun, and even got to play some Rockband (German style :)).  Apparently I’m not as good on German Rockband as I am on the US version.

Today, Sunday, was the best day, though.  I went to ICF for church, which is much better now that I see familiar faces :).  After church, I met some new people and a bunch of us went to lunch at a Mongolian Restaurant.  Oh the memories of Williamsburg, although it was much more expensive here (€16).  Then, while taking Melodi and Olesya back to the u-bahn, we decided to drive back and hang out for a little while.  We walked up to the top of one of the larger hills in the area where they live (they’re both au pairs) and then up a metal tower that has an amazing view of Frankfurt (in the distance) and the local towns.  I need to ask Melodi the name again, but I think it’s Hofheim.  The view was absolutely amazing, although it was a long way down.
View from the Top

Hills

View from the Top

By the way, both Olesya and Melodi dance, so one evening, I think we’re going to try to get people together to go ballroom dancing in Frankfurt.  I’m so exited!  (Like I said, it was a great day).

Now, it’s time to put the computer away in anticipation of work tomorrow.  Should be a decent (short) week, since I’m leaving on Thursday for England!  (Plus, I’m going to get a haircut there.  Any suggestions on style?  I’m not doing a buzz cut, though).

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World Traveler

February 5, 2009

So, yesterday was quite the experience.  Well, in planning, that is.  After talking to some pastors via email and sitting with Lorraine for a bit of the day, we’ve started to get some plans for where and when I’ll be in different places.  There are churches in England (Yeah, Spivey, I’m going to England AND I get to watch British television whenever I want from Germany), Italy, Romania, Ukraine, and some other places, I believe, that want some technical help.  So, I already know that at the end of February for a week or so I will be outside of London, England.  After travelling there, I will be in Aviano, Italy (near Venice) for about a week or so.  Then, I will be in Portugal for a conference from March 12-18.  Sometime in April I will most likely be in Rome, Italy, with some other places thrown in as well.  The most amazing part is that Lorraine is allowing me (instead of doing a lot of my own traveling at the end, I guess) to stay a few extra days in each place to tour around on my own.  I have to pay expenses for those days, of course, and I’m happy to :), but the to/from expenses will be covered as the trip to the church would normally be.  I’m so excited!  Plus, I will get to experience the wonders of Ryan Air (cough-Spivey-cough) many times throughout the trip.  Who knew you could get airfare for free from one place to the other (with only the cost of taxes/fees included)?

So, I’m not going to have that many weekends free here in Germany, it looks, but I have to weigh the merits of getting a Bahn card (50% off trains in Germany, but it costs over 100 euro) because I would like to travel and see some places in Germany before I leave.  Lorraine has told me of a few good places to visit, Mia some others.  I would like to try to make it to Amsterdam, too, maybe for a random weekend.  It will be quite the adventure to see how things work out.  At least I get more travel money from my taxes (YAY REFUND!) and have found a way to avoid bank penalties in withdrawing money in Germany (YAY CREDIT UNIONS!).

That’s a lot about travel, what about work?  I’ve spent the last week just “goofing off” in sorts.  I’ve sketched out a new look for the IBC’s website (currently www.ibc-churches.org), redesigned some logos that really needed it, and have been in communication with churches.  It feels like I’m not being productive at all, but I know that as soon as the man gets back next week with the web hosting connections to get the new IBC website space running and brings back the computer that I need to evaluate (I’m making 3 different computers out of 3 old computers, each for a different purpose, but only have 2 of the 3 now) that things will pick up and I will be much busier.

For the first time last night, minus hanging out with Mia for the first weekend, I got to meet and interact with some local young adults (22-25 years) at a Bible study last night, and it was good to hear from them about Frankfurt and life in general, and to just be around people my age.  Hopefully I will be able to do some more things with them and see more of the city from the insider’s perspective :).

In other news, I posted a week or so ago that I did not get the Fulbright for next year.  Well, I got an email from UVA (the only school I applied for this year) saying that I had been accepted for a PhD program in Computer Science.  Now I have to figure out what to do next.  My options so far are PhD in CS at UVA or Swansea (wales), MA in Mathematics (American Univ, Washington), continue the MDiv at BTSR, or find a job somewhere.  I guess knowing about Financial Aid and/or funding would help significantly in that decision making process, plus a time to just discern what I really want to do in my life.  Maria (I think her name was) said, jokingly, that 25 was old because your 30s are supposed to be your best years since you’ve figured out what you want to do (in your twenties), you have a job, car, family, and are just living life.  Well, I’m 26, and I still don’t know what I want to do.  Oh well :).


I’m going to be a little busy

February 2, 2009

So, today was a pretty interesting day.  I finally got the details of how living expenses will work for the next few months, and after originally worrying about costs of local transportation for non-work trips, they have amazingly offered to help out with them.  That should make it easier to get around on days when I need to get out of the house (aka the office) :).

However, once I found out about this, I realized how much I will be travelling over the next few months and that I probably won’t need much local travel.  Why’s that, you ask?  Well, at the end of February, I should be going to England!  Then, beginning of March-ish would be Venice, Italy area, followed by a conference in the middle of the month in Portugal.  After those, there will be other trips to Rome, Bucharest, and Kiev.  Plus, I’ve been allowed a few days in each place, as I want, to do some personal travel too, which some will hopefully line up with one friend’s travel or allow me to catch up with some friends around Europe.

Wow 🙂