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Wednesday, 28 May 2008

In P-Town

Just a little note to say that I am in Portland for the next two weeks. If you want to hang out, let me know. :-)

I am privileged to be part of my friend Cheryl Boersma's wedding this weekend. What a treasure for my heart!

I had stumptown coffee this morning with a dear friend... now that is living. :-)

Monday, 12 May 2008

Grün ist in!

So yesterday I picked up my Sunday paper from my mailbox... a small title on the bottom the page caught my eye...

I know it is hard to read here.. but the title says Grün ist in! and it goes on to tell how green Spargel (Asparagus) is becoming more popular than the traditional white Spargel around here. Shocking! To be honest... before I came here, I did not know that asparagus could be white! But over here in the Southern Black Forrest... Spargel is grown under coverings so that it stays white... and now.. they are saying that Green is in!... I wonder what that will do to the poor farmers who make white Spargel as their main crop...

To continue the green theme... I grew up eating green beans raw.. out of the garden... my favorite way to eat green beans actually! and last week, I was taking the ends of a few for lunch when one of my German friends (yes you dear Sabine) told me that she was raised not to eat them that way... because they are poisonous!

She went on to explain that over here, they are all taught that you must cook the beans for 10 minutes to get rid of the poisons! I was shocked! I have to say... I am grateful for Sabine's ways of pointing out where I am different. :-) she is very gracious. I just hope I have not offended my European friends by eating raw green beans. :-) Oh.. and momma.. I finally planted the ones you bought me. I am excited for them to come up!

So later that day, I washed my rugs in my flat... I have great Ikea rugs... two with great greens and blues and two with cream/red/black... I washed them all together.. with a white towel....

yes... now I have two green and blue rugs... one green towel... and two green/red/black rugs... the cream with dark brown rug in the photo is just for contrast... on the red rug... used to be that cream colour... Sigh....

But honestly... these greens reflect what I see outside! I am in awe at God's palette of colours each season. and right now in this area... the green is everywhere!

Thursday, 8 May 2008

A month or so ago I began doing periodic posts on the topic of why I love my job... if you would like to read the ones that I have written already click on the titles.

Here I will write on a new one:

why I love my job-#3

-Learning new cultures and languages all the time-
I have the privilege of a lot of variety in my job. It has been confirmed for me over and over again how important and needed variety is in my life... so this is good. :-) So here are some photos that capture a bit of the cultures and languages that I encounter on a regular basis.
an Island in Greece where there are no cars, and I can't read the signs because they are not in letters that I can read. Good thing everything is also written in English. And mainland Greece.. so much history! But I have learned how to say good morning, good afternoon, good evening, hello and thank you in Greek. I have no confidence in my ability to write them out however. :-)

Notre Dame in Paris...I am learning more French words... a language I have never sought to learn, but there are staff in France who are dear to my heart and I love being able to communicate in another person's heart language! so... I am learning to recognize some French when I hear it. This culture appreciates beauty in what they create and view.

The ceremony of the cows coming home in Switzerland. I live in an area where there are a plethora of festivals! This one happens in the early fall. I study the people around me to know that it is appropriate to cheer on the cows, then listen to the town mayor's speech, then listen to the band play, accept a small glass of wine from the town vintners, go eat bratwurst and fries at the town square, hike back to your car and go home.
The Alps in Switzerland. This is an area of rugged individuals. Swiss German is very musical to listen to, but I can only understand every 25th word. I try my Hoch Duetsch and they try their Suisse Deutsch... sometimes we just have to both try English.

Italia! I love this culture and this language. So warm and affectionate! It helps meet my need for physical affection for sure! The language sounds beautiful and the culture appreciates beauty. I have spent time in Rome, Salerno, Florence, Verona, Venice... the country is different from the north to the south... as is the entire continent different from the north to the south.

Telis in Cyprus preparing a typical Cypriot BBQ. He is Greek, married to a Cypriot.. I wish I had a photo of his wife Olga, she is amazing! And a view of the sea... I love the sea! I had such a good time with them when I was there I will write more on that in a later post.

buildings along the canals in Amsterdam. The language in the Netherlands is very similar to German so I could understand a lot of what was said and figure out the signs. And EVERYONE speaks English. They are a very independent and tolerant as a society... and God is calling them to Himself! I feel very short there...making sure I pack a pair of heels when I go there. :-)

Barcelona Spain. One thing I love about the Spanish culture is the bright colours! This warm culture has a language that I feel most comfortable using. I experience the most confusion in my brain with knowing what language to use when I am in Spain or around Spanish people outside of Spain... I want to speak their language but because I am working to learn German... that comes out sometimes.

A perfectly stacked woodpile in the Southern Black Forrest of Germany. I have never seen a culture be so precise in it's wood stacking! This does make sense for a culture that likes to have "alles in ordnung"

so... there it is... just a sample of the different cultures and languages that I encounter. Add to that, Finland, Lithuania, UK, Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Sweden, Portugal and you have a more clear picture.

I just have to thank the Lord for putting me in this job that allows me to experience such a HUGE variety of cultures and languages, people and places.