Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Let's see what has happened this past week since I posted last? Last Friday, Paula and I, one of my flatmates, both had the day off. So we visited Lauriston Castle, just outside of Edinburgh. There were some gardens, a tower built in 331, and some Roman ruins as well. The walk was great becuase we were right by the coast and the town, Crammond, is where a lot of fishing is done. That night about 5 or so of the volunteers came over and we watched a movie/played some games.

On Saturday and Sunday and Monday I worked! Things can go from quietly calm in the house to incredibly insane. On Sunday I worked the late shift and within the first hour one girl had taken an overdose, one guy's clothes had been stolen, and another guy was irrate because devotions were not on time!

One of the greatest things about Edinburgh is the amount of activity in the town. It also helps that I have made a lot of new friends through work. After work, which normally ends around 9, we head to a pub or a coffee shop where we know there is going to be live music. It makes for a cheap and affordable social life.

Yesterday I had the day off as well and headed to Rossilin Chapel/Castle. I just wanted to have a day trip by myself. THe great thing about working here is that my bus pass takes me to all of these places for free. However, upon entering the one road town of Rossilin I soon found out that the castle and chapel were closed. Why? Because Tom Hanks was there shooting film for the Da Vinci Code. I didn't know that is where parts of the Da Vinci Code took place, let alone that Tom Hanks was shooting a movie there.

One of the locals recommended that I take a walk in the nature preserve, which I did. It provided some nice views and waterfalls. Somehow I ended up pretty much on the set of the movie! I came behind the castle and was just walking through the graveyard when a guy came up to me and asked if I knew where the production team was meeting. I then looked to my left and saw all the equipment and what not for a movie production. I could of hung around but I split instead!

Today I walked around downtown Edinburgh. I could seriously spend at least 4 hours there everyday. I just love the streets and historic buildings. It was a good chance to get to know the town more.

Last night I also attended my first cell group with the church I have started to attend. This has also given me a connection to play some soccer. TOnight we were suppose to have practice but it got cancelled due to rain! Oh well, we have a match on Saturday so that is something else to look forward to.

Thanks for all the e-mails I get and I apologize for not responding sooner. I have a list of people I need to get in touch with so I will, I promise! Blessings


Thursday, September 22, 2005

It's been a long time!

I apologize for not putting a post up sooner folks! This is the second time I have had a chance to be online in about 10 days or so! So much has happened in the last two weeks. Lets see.... I have already started working. Today is my day off and the past two days were my first back to back 12 hour shifts. I have been blessed with a great staff to work with. There is about 25 of us and many are young adults like myself.

I spend my time at work doing everything from watching soccer matches with the clients (hard work huh?), playing pool with the clients, or when it gets really stressful I might have to eat meals with the clients! :) A lot of my job here is to create and build relationships with the guys and few girls in the flats. So I try to spend as much time just hanging out with them. However, it is not all fun and games. I spend more time preparing meals, interviewing potential clients, writing paperwork, reviewing files, and dealing with general problems. A lot of the residents come from broken homes and have experience with drug and alcohol abuse. Some have been victims of rape while others have severe mental challenges.

Outside of work I have also been enjoying myself. Bethany Trust (the place I'm working for) has a soccer team. I was able to practice with the team on Monday. I was also able to take a bus out to the Pentland Hills with some of my flatmates to see the rolling hills of Scotland. Recently I have gone to listen to live folk music, had 15 guests over for a game night, attended a soccer game with friends, climbed Calton Hill in Edinburgh, and more.

So far the weather here has been great. Today is unusually warm and clear outside which gives me another good reason to go downtown and soak in more of Edinburgh. The town is incredible and I live in such a perfect location. I am no more than a 5 minute walk from the water and a 7 minute bus ride from the city center.

Thanks for reading and God Bless


Saturday, September 10, 2005

Update time

It is 9 Am here in Edinburgh on Saturday morning. I had a full week of training at the Bethany House, just trying to learn the in and outs of the hostel. Every morning we start off with staff prayer and the night shift crew gives us a review. Our duties through out the day include preparing meals, taking referrals from possible clients, holding flat meetings, and visiting the clients.

We have 3 different levels of clients in the House. Low, medium, and high. We house 7 high clients, 14 medium, and 7 low. All of the clients are divided up into 6 flats, where they share a living room and kitchen. One flat is all women (right now only 4) while the rest are all men. Some of the clients, (the low level) simply lost their job and couldn't pay their rent, while other clients (high) are fighting problems with alcoholism and other addictions.

We do not allow clients in the House if they are intoxicated or if we feel that they are a danger to the House. The clients pay for their stay at the House with the money the government supplies them with for being unemployed. Their stays can last anywhere from a couple days to one year.

There are 26 members on staff, most of them are in their mid 20's early 30's. All have a great heart for the clients and the homeless people in Edinburgh.

Yesterday was my first experience of Edinburgh weather! It was rainy, cold, and windy! This morning (Sat) is much of the same. I was able to reserve a 1 hour slot here at the library which is only about a 2 minute walk from my flat. Last night I went to an African children concert with the rest of the volunteers. Today I am meeting some guys from work at the restaurant to watch a soccer game.

Things are going well with my flate mates. Although the guy I live with, Danny, is seldom around. We both work at the Bethany House but we will be on opposite shifts. So when I work 9-9 he is off that day, and vice a versa. Danny is from Edinburgh originally so he has a lot of connections and friends here and has given me some good advice about the city. Also, Nick, the volunteer from England, is also working at the House, but he too is on an opposite shift. What this boils down to is a lot of time with females! There are only 4 guy volunteers and 12 female volunteers. I think this is God's way of "domesticating" me! All my time in college and high school was spent with a bunch of guys so I figure I had this coming! Nevertheless I have learned that living with 3 girls means simply nodding and listening to what would look "cute" in our living room. :)

Well that is my update, Mon-Wed concludes my training with the rest of the volunteers. Thank you so much for all of your e-mails it means so much. I'm sorry I have not done the best job responding. Also I'm not sure if I put my updated address on here so here it is

Michael Moore
7 (2F2) North Fort
Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Monday, September 05, 2005

Hello From Edinburgh

Me and 7 other volunteers arrived in Edinburgh on Friday night after missing our flight from London. I have a flat downtown in the city and am sharing it with 3 girls and one other guy. They are from Scotland, Minnesota, Germany, and England respectively.

On Saturday we spent the whole day walking around the city, getting our bus passes, and seeing some tourist type sights. The city is amazing and quite beautiful. I am getting familar with the bus system and finding it quite easy to get around the city.

On Sunday we attended church and then had a huge picnic at one of the volunteer flats. Overall there are about 12 volunteers here so the social life is quite good. We are split up at three different locations in Edinburgh and all of us work within Bethany Christian Trust. Some work at charity shops, others in Public Relations, and coincidentally the only two other males work with me at Bethany House.

Scotland is quite differnt then the states! Surprise! Outside of driving on the other side of the road there is a lot slang that I have had to get use to. Pubs outnumber gas stations about 40-1, meat is a requirement at every meal, gas is petrol, rubbish is trash, and more.

Today was my first day at the Bethany House and I continue to have training until the end of the week. Right now my hours are 9-5 for this week and next week we have training the first couple of days. But eventually I will be working 9-9 shifts. Bethany is close to my flat, about a 7 minute walk, so I don't bother using the buses.

Thanks for checking in on me,