Monday, October 29, 2012


On Saturday, I opened my window to see snow falling to the ground. I don't know about you, but for me there is something about that first snow fall. I get so excited. SNOW!!!! I just stood at the window watching it. It was so pretty. Then I went down stairs to find Rachel, the daughter of the family I'm living with, made blueberry pancakes. YES! It was truly a good morning. I don't know if it could get any better. I sat in the kitchen eating blueberry pancakes, drinking coffee, and watching the snow fall. It was just freezing outside so the snow wasn't sticking at the ground too much, but after a full day of snow (yes, it never stopped snowing all day looooong!) the ground was covered. And it stuck around for a few days. Most roofs still have a little snow cover.

After breakfast I started my weekly chores. Once I finished I saw it was still snowing and I was feeling a little anxious to get outside and be in the snow. So, I decided I would go for a run. It was a peaceful, muddy, snowy run. There was not many people in the park because of the weather so I decided I was going to break polish culture and say hello to people I passed. I decided since we were both out braving the weather it was occasion enough to say hello. I only passed one man.  When our path's crossed I excitedly said 'Dzien Dobry!' He being caught off guard, spurted out Dzien Dobry quickly. I chuckled to myself. It was a good run in the snowy weather.

Saturday night Rachel and I ventured out into the snowy, and very windy city to see a P.I.W.O light show on the tallest building in Wroclaw, called the sky tower. Basically they put lights in each window and create a light show that coordinates with music. It really neat. check it out here. We then came back home and made hot chocolate, real from scratch, hot chocolate with mini marshmallows from the states (they don't really have marshmallows like in the states). It was a good day.

For me winter weather and shorter days means that knitting season is now in full gear. :) haha. But really, I'm working on a cute headband/ear warmers. And I have official taught and excited Rachel about knitting as well. She is now working on her own scarf. Today we joked about having our own knitting club.

Today, I took a nice walk home from the store, and as I walked I was just thinking how blessed I am to be where I am. And I'm so thankful that God has put me here and thankful for all he has done for me and in my life. I'm pretty darn blessed.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


This video seems sum up my language learning abilities in 45 seconds. I knew learning a language would be hard, but this is hard. My mouth is learning all sorts of new sounds and my tongue is getting real good at rolling my 'r's. But many times, actually.... every time, I get all mixed up in my words and sounds and my pronunciation is all off. This really isn't surprising because this happens to me when I'm speaking English as well. I'm actually quite good at making a mumbled, jumble of my words.

I continue to have weekly english/polish lessons with a friend and this week she decided it was time to test me. Yes, that is right...I had a test. I sat in this cute little cupcake shop taking a test. Thankfully I was only graded in smiley faces. And I even surprised myself at how well I did. So, right now I feel pretty good about my polish skills, however I know that they are pretty poor. I will let the confidence push me to improving my skills. Because I am sure tomorrow I will feel differently. ha.

My best polish phrase: Nie mowie po Polsku.  (I don't speak Polish)

Monday, October 15, 2012


This past weekend I was able to go to Malenovice, Czech Republic for a CEP conference. We stayed in a hotel/conference center that was in a valley with an amazing view. The picture on the left was taken from my balcony. Very beautiful. It is the in the Beskidy mountains at the foot of the Lysa Mountains

I found this bench during my hike. 
We arrived friday afternoon and set up. I was in charge of registration so I got to work right away. My biggest challenge was handling five different currencies, collecting the right amount with the exchange rate, and keeping all the money in order. I held dollars, euros, pounds, polish zloty, and czech crown. I was rich. :)

Friday night was an introduction and a who is who sort of program. There were about 36 people at the conference from Poland, USA, UK, Bulgaria, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Holland. The conference was held in english, with a polish translator in the back of the room. I enjoyed being able to put names to faces and hear about each ministry. Some of these include: language schools, construction companies, counseling services, CEP board members, and others interested in CEP.

It was so interesting to me to hear how each person put Christ into their businesses, organizations, schools, and lives. For example, there are three different christian schools in CEP (one is Arka, that I work at). These are not christian schools like in the states. These schools are open for all kids, regardless of their religion. And even some of the teachers are not christians. However, they do all agree in the type of curriculum and ideas they will teach the kids. These is very different to the american christian school where christian kids are sent to protect them from the world. The kids have a weekly bible hour and different events involving prayer and worship. But it is also a place to reach out to non believing children, parents, teachers, and community. A holistic approach to mission. 

During meals and after the day I enjoyed hearing personal stories of peoples ministries and what exact each person does. Wrapped into these lives were also stories about life under communism. One man told me of the joy in finally receiving his own bible when he was 17, seventeen. I probably had received at least 4 in that time, and with little gratitude. Something that is so hard for me to grasp because I have only known freedom. So to hear about the past is a big key as to why the culture is what it is today. It really was an encouraging, refreshing weekend. And I did get my time in to enjoy the outdoors and the sunshine.

Enjoying the sunshine.