Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Take a picture, it will last longer

Here are some more photos. I would include the photos I have with my friends but I think it's probably best not to. (They aren't paranoid, it's just that I want to respect their privacy) By the way, the picture of me in Brussels, I'm holding a jacket behind my back which is why my shirt is bulging out to the side, I'm not pregnant. :)

Monday, February 27, 2006

Random Photos

Again, because I am at work and even though this computer is ancient I was able to upload some random photos. Some of these are over 5 months old and the ones I'll include this week will be really random, but enjoy nonetheless!

I am working right now...

on Night shift. We now have broadband at work and because it is 2:30 in the morning and everyone is asleep, (except me and my co-worker) I am just sitting in the office being a vigilant keeper of the gate! It sounds easy and I suppose it really is. Since 9 pm I have kept busy with various tasks but most of them have been completed so now I am just watching the time go by.

It is a good chance to read, relax, pray, and think. Since I am doing 3 nights in a row I have 5 days off immediately after. My flatmates, all four of us, are heading to the Highlands this weekend. It is suppose to be incredibly cold but I don't care. I can't wait to get up in the mountains and take in some of God's original creation. One of the members of staff has a cabin up North that she is so kindly allowing us to use for free. It will be a good time to bond and see some more of Scotland.

The weekend went well but this past day was strange. On Sunday I slept in and then went to my Manager's church at 4 in the afternoon. They were having "Homelessness Sunday," so staff and ex-residents from Bethany were to lead the worship service. I was able to play the bass and was blessed to hear some testimonies of people who have undergone incredible conversions.

Because I was preparing for Night shift I stayed up until 7 in the morning. I would have been happy with staying up until 4 but I was a real trooper! However when I finally went to bed I only slept until 1 pm. Not good! I went for a run to try to tire myslef out but that didn't work too well. The rest of the day I felt either really tired or really awake. So I spent my afternoon leading up to work just trying to figure out if I wanted to be in bed or not. It doesn't help that I'm feeling a little under the weather, which I can blame on Danny because he has been sick of late. So I have about 6 hours to go and I'm feeling pretty groggy.

Better get some coffee!

Friday, February 24, 2006

The exciting conclusion

I read my last blog and boy am I glad! I would have forgot to tell you about the exciting conclusion of my night...

I went to Bible Study. That's about it!

The last 3 days I have worked and am pretty tired. 2 twelve hours shifts don't seem too bad, but the third one in a row really exhuasted me. Right now I am feeling pretty tired because I had to get up early to fiddle around with our gas in the flat. It was leaking last night and I got up early to mess with the main valve thingy watchamacallit. I am no Bob Veila but it's fixed now.

Also I'm feeling a little groggy because I just ate so much food. I went out to do some grocery shopping, which is always a hassle for me. I pick grocery stores on far ends of the city so I can get the excersise on the bike in between. But it takes me forever to shop becaues I am so tight with my money! I try to squeeze out every penny. Anyhow after biking around and doing some shopping I came back to the flat with the plan to eat! Since Bluffton I have lost some weight, actually a decent amount, and since here I have just stayed the same. So I am trying to make an effort to put at least some of it back on but it is going to be a battle :)

Tonight is Mexican Movie night!!!! Chips, salsa, beans, tortillas, rice....Really just an excuse to eat, talk, and maybe watch a little bit of a movie! Tomorrow is....Poker Night!!! Again an excuse to talk and socialize around a table of cards.

Last night we had to re-match of staff versus residents. If you remember before the score was 3-3. Well this time we played on a smaller pitch, with 6 players a side. Let's just say we were a little more motivated this time, the scoreboard read 18-2, staff.

Well I need to do laundry, get a shower, meet up with some volunteers to say "hi," and then maybe get a nap in this afternoon.

Also I worked myself into a starting role on our football team, so I am the starting right back for Edinburgh City Mission. (This is big time you know!! :)


Monday, February 20, 2006

Going places

I went to Glasgow today with Lauren. It was a fun, cheap trip, until we were coming back on the rail. She forgot her Young Person's Rail card so they charged her full price for a return ticket on top of the ticket she already bought. I had my Young Person's Railcard but when they issued it to me they only gave me one part of the card. So I too had to pay the extra 10£ on top of the first ticket I bought. What makes it worse is that thepublicc transportation here hasn't figured out how to use things like computers. So there is no database (although each railcard is assigned a unique number) that records your purchase and what not. So for Lauren she couldn't get a refund because you have to have your card with you. For me, well, it is even worse. Because they didn't give me part of my railcard at the time of purchase it is invalid. So now I have to buy another railcard on top of paying the extra money for the ticket to Glasgow.

This isn't the first time this week that I have had problems with travel plans. We were complementingabouts on the way back about how well we did to go to Glasgow and back, get some food, visit Museums and Cathedrals for 8£ total, and then that happened. Oh well, that's the way it goes I suppose!

So what has happened as of late? I had the weekend off, which was relaxing. Saturday I played football in the morning and then went to a friends house to watch football and eat pizza. That night was really boring, which I really enjoyed. It was the first night in a long time where I didn't havanythingng to do, and I enjoyed jusreadinggn and watching the Olympics. On Sunday I went into work to work on seminary applications, that evening Danny and I led worship again. It is quite commitmentnt to lead worship because it takes up half the day. We are leaving the flat around 4 and returning around 9, but it is well worth it.

I have Bible Study at church here in a bit but don't know if I'm going to bother. I left the flat at 10 this morning and haven't been back yet. I'm still quite happy with work here. I thought my schedule would make for exhausting days and long shifts, but I have actually enjoyed it a lot. I have still managed to find time to exercise everyday. This morning I went for a good long run, yesterday I lifted, the day before played football, etc... I was getting really bored with just running everyday so I have been happy to have some variety as of late. My chances to play football are picking up and since I can use to gym for free now it adds a change of pace. I actually find it easier to get up and exercise at 7:30 in the morning when I am about to work a 12 hour shift.

So I might go to Bible Studay but I might not...If you can't tell right now I am trying to make up my mind and weigh the pro's and con's via writing this blog. There are obviously very view con's, but it is a very basic Bible study. It is very introductory and shares stuff like, "Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are the 4 Gospels, they each give an account of Jesus's life and ministry." But it is still good for getting discussions going...

I have 3 days of work in a row because I am doing 3 days of night shift next week. The shift patterns are difficult to understand sometimes but the way it goes is I work 3 days, off 3 days, then I work night 3 days, and then I'm off 4 days. That's not the norm. But it works out well because in two weekends everyone from my flat is heading up to the Highlands. It will be a good time for us to bond and relax.

Well tune in next time I write to find out the dramatic conclusion to whether or not I went to Bible Study!

P.S. I apologize for the poor spelling, grammar, and punctuation

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Things happen

I like to do things. Moreover I like to busy, and when working a 2 day on 2 day off schedule that means for big chunks of free time. I always seem to worry about getting things planned for my days off so I'm not bored. However, I have no reason to worry because things just seem to happen!

Like last Thursday, I had nothing planned. The night before my pastor phoned to say he wanted to meet for lunch. Then I saw there was a cool exhibit at the museum that took up my afternoon and at night Danny ended up coming home from the conference early so we caught a movie.

On Friday I found out that now my work gym card gets us into the gym for free! So I used that in the morning and came back to find some of my co-workers got the day off. So we went for a drive/walk (sounds kinda of corny, but it was fun) to Crammond (imagine a fishing village), then watched a football match, made some awesome dinner, and then Danny and I headed to friends flat to say, "hi." We actually did more then say "hi," we played Jenga! (I lost once)

And then we had work. I wonder how numb I am becoming sometimes. When I first came here I was far more affected by situations. We had a resident refuse to leave the building and I was the only male there so I had to calm him down. The only problem was he was completely wasted and the police had to come. Of course the police then let him out of their custody and he returned 1 hour later so we could re-live the excitement.

What I find humorous at the House is how the residents try to pull the wool over my eyes. I walked into one flat and a guy was sitting on the couch but probably thought he was sitting on Pluto. I knew he had been smoking grass not only by the way he looked but by the fact I could smell it. It didn't help that he started the conversation and talked for 20 minutes straight about how Mark McGwire (baseball player) was the guy that his dad said he knew.

Even when I was leaving work the next day, Sunday, I ran into a lady on the street, drunk and carrying her child. The kid had a 6 inch slice in her head and was bleeding everywhere. So I walked her up to the closest drop in center.

Monday was a nice day at work but I was just reminded how blessed I am by my co-workers. We went out after work and just spent a good time chatting away. Yesterday, I was pretty lazy. Well I say lazy but I did a 1.5 hr bike ride then hiked on the crags for a little by myself. In the afternoon I went to Bethany Hall and worked on the computers so I could set up my FASFA.

Today, I went for a swim. I'm getting better, the old ladies aren't passing me by anymore! Danny is around today as well so we just chilled in the flat for a couple of hours. I'm heading back now to go to a friends flat for some food and then we are catching a movie.

It's a nice day out and I'm looking forward to the coming weeks. March 1st I head up to the highlands with my flatmates. Late March Josh is coming over and all of our travel is finally finalized! And just yesterday I booked my flights to Germany for the World Cup and to visit Dan.

Alright, that's life on this side of the ocean. Hope you had a good valentines, I spent mine with my house group reading the Bible, so I spent it in the presence of Jesus! Beat that :)

Monday, February 06, 2006

This was hard...

Well I have been meaning to write for about one week. A lot has happened, like always, yet I just can't seem to get around to writing. I have had the last 4 days off and I haven't touched the new Donald Miller book I have and haven't even scratched in my journal.

So here are the highlights of my past week and a half

-Learning to drive stick/ learning this on the left side of the road
-Playing football
-Celebrating my birthday with the volunteers
-Going golfing on my b-day
-House group, leading worship
-Big screen, movie night, at our flat
-Keeping the projector last night so I could watch the Steelers win a Super Bowl!
-Eating Bannana pudding! (yum) Eating Birthday Cake (yum!)
-Playing 9 games of pool for really cheap at a pool hall that made me feel like I was in some low budget film!
-Losing all 9 games of pool and therefore relinquishing any bragging rights I had beforehand

I have spent the pass two days mostly filling out applications and forms for Seminary. It takes a lot of work and coordination to mail stuff all over the world for references, transcripts, and what not!

My birthday was cool, the volunteers came over and we went out and listened to some music. It was a guy on the guitar and his mate on the drums. He was pretty good and I started to predict the songs he was going to play and actually got two right in a row! A Beach Boys and Beatles tune!

There is so much to write and so many things I could share but I just don't know where to begin. It seems like I'm just getting comfrotable here in Scotland and realize that I have to start preparing for moving on. I think that is one thing that makes this year difficult. I have known all along that it is temporary, so it is hard to commit fully to anything. That being said, I was don't regret my choice at all. I have made some incredible friends and had some great experiences!

I am excited for my upcoming travels, my bro is coming in late March. In June I'm going to visit Dan in Germany. Late July will bring more travels with Dan. June and August my parents and sis/bro-in law are going to cross the pond!

Work has been going well and my 4 days off have been nice. I am actually writing this at work, we now have broadband here and I decided to come in on my day off to use the computer. I have actually been writing seminary essays for the past 2 hours and decided this would be a good break.

Until next time...cheers!