Friday, September 30, 2005

my house is chilly

It's beginning to be an unwelcome pattern...being awakened by phone calls on my day off.
But today was a nice day anyways. I did my chore and relaxed this morning...started reading The Count of Monte Cristo and took a nap. I missed the farewell party for Daniela, but that's ok. I wrote on her card and I'll have a better chance to talk to her before she leaves anyway.
This afternoon Rala and I were supposed to have a "date" like we used to back in college, but we ended up just running a few errands and not getting most of what was on our list, haha. But it was nice, if a little chilly, and she read me the greatest Dutch children's book ever! Well, there were two books. One had no words but the illustrations were excellent. And the other had words (in Dutch) and incredible illustrations to correspond...it was a book about dangerous things you should not do. Hysterical though.
This evening I went to the Van Gogh museum with Nathalie and Mark...quite the adventure getting there, haha. I knew how to get as far as Vondelpark, but not how to get to the museum although it seemed fairly straightforward on the map...Let's just say it took us a lot longer than it should have to get there, but that was in part due to the fact that Mark made his bike chain fall off. It was amusing when we got to the musuem, because the first thing they said to him was "toilets are that way" haha. There was live music (jazz mostly) and that made for and enjoyable experience. There were only a handful of paintings that I really liked, but it was interesting to read about the others and see how his style changed over time.
Right now there is a film discussion in the hostel (they're watching The Matrix and then discussing it...connecting it to Christianity) but I don't feel like simply catching the end of the discussion so here I sit.
Tomorrow we're going bowling! It'll be Daniela's (and possibly others'?) first experience. Such an unexpected thing to be doing over here, haha. Then tomorrow night I'll do my first sleeper shift...followed by a cleaner supervisor shift. Pray that I actually get sleep, haha! It'll be fun though, because Marco is the nightman.
Ok, enough about me. Leave me comments that let me know how you're doing!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

my awesome roomie

Tina makes me laugh.
This is an admirable quality in a roommate.
For instance, yesterday at school during break she said to me "you wake me up with your smell"
Background: I've had a lot of morning shifts lately, so I try to get ready really quietly so as to not wake her up. In that aspect, I've been successful...or so I thought. Now I discover that after my shower I smell so good that she wakes up. But not awake enough to tell me "you smell good" because she's still too tired for that. Haha, I'm glad I smell good though, because the way she said it at first made me think I smelled really bad in the mornings! haha.
Second story, also yesterday.
Last night we were playing Scrabble (and I did not win this time) and we were also answering trivial pursuit questions at the same time. Tina tried to read a question about hippopotamuses (or hippopotami?) except she did not pronounce hippoptamus at all. And with her cute accent...wow, it was hilarious. Dave and I made eye contact and just started laughing hysterically, and poor Tina didn't know why. She kept trying to pronounce it, with no success whatsoever and boy oh boy...I laughed so hard my chest hurt and I cried. Beautiful. Only I knew the answer but couldn't say it cuz I was laughing so hard, but that's alright. They're nocturnal by the way.
So thank You God for wonderful friends like Tina!

One more story that has nothing to do with her: I got a mosquito bite on my eye and it was super swollen this morning which is really funny and it reminded me of the time that it happened to Amelia and me at the same time and we told everyone we got in a fight. Do you remember that? Ok, story time is done.
Oh wait, one more thing. I got to speak Japanese the other day. That made me happy.

The End.

Monday, September 26, 2005

you have to remember to pretend to forget sometime

So as I've been running around eating and doing laundry and other mundane tasks of life, I remembered that I forgot to tell you how my Bible Discussion went!
I talked about light and darkness (1 John 1:5-2:2) and it went well. Tina attended, and Zuzana and Dave were there so we were all Christians, but we had a good discussion. So thank you for praying.
Zuzana and Ricardo left so we have two new cleaners. Which is good, but I'll miss them. Ricardo told me I look like I'm in the mafia. weird. and also he slapped my face in church and I have no idea why. Zuzana is going back to Slovakia though...sadness. I know she needs to go home, and she knows it too, so it's ok. But it's so cool to have gotten to know her. She became a Christian in the shower and Shelter City and it's so neat to see how much she's grown in her time here. But we'll keep in touch, so it's all good.
End of round two for the day.

Let us go then, you and I...

Well, it's been a few days, hasn't it! What has happened?
The other morning I was working a morning cafe shift with Harold (he's one of the nightmen...I think he's worked here for about 7 years?) and I meant to say "How are you" and said instead, "I love you" and so when he gave me a weird look I was like "oh no! what did I say?" and he translated and we had a good laugh. My dutch is not very good in the mornings shall we say. haha. Last night at Zolder we sang a dutch song. I'm not sure what I was saying but I caught a few words here and there and I could not pronounce the g's while singing. It'll come I suppose.
So anyways, back to morning cafe with Harold. We decided to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving this year, so it'll be a good time I think. We started planning the menu and stuff. Sweet.
Our hostel night outreach went well. We served lasagna (not as good as mom's, but it was tasty) and Freek's traditional dutch cake (I don't remember what it's called, but it's SO good!) and Marco shared his testimony and we had good discussions about "the greatest gift" and the greatest Giver at our tables. I sat with a bunch of students from the states studying abroad in London for a semester and we had some neat conversations.
Also, completely different topic, I won Scrabble against self-pronounced Scrabble champions Freek and Michael! and Shenka came in at a close second (by one point, haha) but the boys were far behind. And the word "eh" got me a lot of point also, and I was very pleased. They didn't think it was an official word, but it was in their dictionary even. woohoo! Mom, when you come visit we'll have to play. And Stephen too. Also, they have Settlers.
For open mic night I did a poetry reading, hahaha! "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot. So good. even if poetry readings are cheesy. That's the point of open mic night. And Tina and I sang a song she taught me, but she forgot the chords, so it was a fun experience...and it sounded better than Melana and Betty (and Tawni) "singing" Killing me Softly. Well, if it didn't sound better I'd be worried...
We visited Nathalie Saturday afternoon (after a morning of analysing jeans for the perfect pair for Christian to buy...he is such a girl!) and Ryan (he's new...from Las Vegas, along with 2 others. it's so good to have them here!) was playing guitar and Tina and I were catching up with Nathalie and Mark and it was just a lovely time in a flat away from our own. (Nathalie and I are going to do Alpha with a home group from Zolder on Wednesday evenings starting next week. Pray that Mark also joins!!!) And on the way back our neighbour was playing piano and singing with his window open so we stood under and listened to applaud when he was done. Unfortunately we were unable to be discreet because a friend came to visit him while we were conspicuously standing there. So we made a not so smooth exit, but it was still an enjoyable experience. Mmm! I love Amsterdam!
Yesterday morning we decided to do our own church, so Tina, Rala and I made tea and brought it onto our roof where we read verses and sang and prayed together. very cool.
Ok! I think that my life has been updated online. Minus all the parts I forgot. haha.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Your Faithfulness

I don't know what this day will bring
Will it be disappointing, filled with longed for things?
I don't know what tomorrow holds
Still I know I can trust Your faithfulness
I don't know if these clouds mean rain
If they do, will they pour down blessing or pain?
I don't know what the future holds
Still I know I can trust Your faithfulness
Certain as the rivers reach the sea
Certain as the sunrise in the east
I can rest in your faithfulness
Surer than a mother's tender love
Surer than the stars still shine above
I can rest in your faithfulness
I don't know how or when I'll die
Will it be a thief, or will I have a chance to say goodbye?
No, I don't know how much time is left
But in the end, I will know your faithfulness
When darkness overwhelms my soul
When thoughts and storms of doubt
Still I trust You are always faithful, always faithful
Certain as the rivers reach the sea
Certain as the sunrise in the east
I can rest in your faithfulness
Surer than a mother's tender love
Surer than the stars still shine above
I can rest in your faithfulness
I don't know what this day will bring
Will it be disappointing, filled with longed for things?
I don't know what tomorrow holds
Still I know I can trust Your faithfulness
~Brian Doerksen

Monday, September 19, 2005

day off

I had yesterday (Sunday) off work. Days off are intended for staff to sleep and relax. But I got up to cycle for 40 minutes to go to Crossroads International Church where Rala was singing. She had told me the songs that would be sung earlier, and I knew all of them, which surprised her. There was one song she hadn't heard before attending Crossroads and wondered how I knew it, but I didn't know. Until we were singing it in church and I saw that it was by Brian Doerksen and Matt Unruh and so I exclaimed "I know him!" and Neal started laughing at me, but it was such a revelation to me. Ok, perhaps it's not that funny, but it just hit me really suddenly I couldn't contain my excitement. So that was my first church experience of the day...
The "second" didn't really end up happening...we cycled to the Christian cafe (in the God Love You building, ownedybe YWAM) where we were to meet Gepke (one of our managers) to attend her church at 3:00. She was late (but called our house just after we'd left) so we asked the cafe workers if they knew of a church that started at 3 and they gave us directions to her church. And so we took off on our bikes, and did end up passing it, but it's not in a church building, it's in a basement, so we definitly did not find it. So we turned around and went back. Oh well, there's always next week.
And my last church experience of the day was Zolder, and Nathalie came again and I got to meet her boyfriend, Mark. It was cool that he came to the service because he openly admits he's not a believer, but we had a really good conversation after the sermon we attended and he asked some good questions. So he is in my prayers (and Nathalie's too, I am sure) and I think Nathalie wants to start attending an Alpha program with him, so that would be neat.

Today is cafe training day. We had all the theoretical information this morning, and we'll have practical training this afternoon. Plus I'm cook (and Tina will help) so it'll be good I think.
Thursday I lead my first Bible discussion and I have no idea what I want to discuss. Suggestions and prayers are both very welcome.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

prayer request

Last night we had an outreach games night which was fun. After, we were talking with one of the guests (Dave, from Ohio) and he mentioned at one point how he wants to go into the army (specifically the air force) and fight for God...Now, earlier in the day I was in a discussion with Michael, one of the cleaners, from England, and we were talking about the story of Gideon and how God picked the "loser" and how God loves to use little people. We also talked about how God could show His power through winning the battle. But Michael really struggles with the fact that God used oppressors and war as a way of punishment, and why didn't He choose another way? So when Dave started talking about joining the army to serve God, Michael left the room shutting the door rather loudly. So please pray for him, and pray for me because I don't know how to answer some of his questions...Thanks!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Rain!

I am discovering that the beautiful weather that marked my first two weeks here was a rare occurance, so I'm glad that I took advantage of it at the time and enjoyed it. I am so wet! haha. It's fun cycling in the rain, though, and my rain jacket works well...it just doesn't keep my legs dry. My jeans were wet for much of the afternoon as I made supper for "30" people (but the group didn't show up, so there were leftovers). I have also discovered that it's a lot easier to make supper for 4ish people than 20 or 30 people. But Zuzana helped me out this afternoon which was really sweet of her, so everything was done and as Philip the German guest said "It tasted very very good" but, since he's German his very sounded like "wary" and that brings a smile to my face. hehe. Ok, well, I need to go clean mouse poop out of the cupboards, so that's all for now!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

the plane left with Leticia not on it

I have to write this one thing, because it's funny, even if it may be potentially embarrassing for Leticia, but she doesn't read this and none of you know her, so I am posting this story. The shortened version. Yesterday we took her to the airport so she could fly back to Bible school in England...but they couldn't find her name on the flight...and why not? because her flight was actually today! She was a day early for her flight. Ok, it was really funny, and it was super cool cuz she made us a Brazilian dinner and we had one more night of samba and salsa dancing and the guys were really good (Frank in particular) so it was fun. I will miss her a lot, but life is full of people who come and go, so it'll be ok.

Funny moment of the day:
This guest, Dave, while seeing me attaching my red tail light (which is necessary when riding your bike at night unless you feel like paying a €50 fine) to the back of my pants asked me "So this is what they mean by the red light district?" and I replied "I'm not open for business" and cycled away. Anyways, it made me laugh.

Today was a good day. The cleaners got done so early I had to keep thinking of specials for them to do. And I was also able to show that I was in authority and wouldn't let them get off easy, and we were able to have fun also. So it was good.

Daniela led a really good Bible Discussion tonight...and it was neat because a lot of it was about things I've been pondering lately. One comment, in particualar, corresponds with the "what if" statement I wrote on an earlier post. Dave said that everything we do is for God's glory...that is the goal. Our purpose is to bring glory to God, and then in heaven it is filled with God's glory, and so glory is what it's all about. Interesting thought to ponder.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Women's work

Haha, today was my first day as cleaner supervisor on my own. And was it ever busy! The cleaners had about 37 beds each, which is at least 10 more than usual, so I had to help make beds and mop floors with them on top of my regular chores, which wasn't a big deal. We got everything done, it just took us a bit longer than usual. Anways, Jimmy and Ricardo had to put away the extra bunk beds and I guess Ricardo didn't help Jimmy do something so he was steaming mad, spouting off at the mouth. so I said "Jimmy, calm down. Tell me what happened."and he's like "it's not your fault, it's that ****ing Ricardo who....blahblahblah. I'm not ****ing spiderman!" and so I said "okay Jimmy, I'll go do that with you, no problem" and he shouts "It's not women's work!" so I told him to go work on his next job, and then Ricardo and I put the beds in the attic, even though he doubted I had muscles enough to lift the frames. I had no problems thank you very much. But Jimmy still wasn't pleased that I had helped, but oh well. He has to get fired up at least twice a day over something, so it's very easy to shrug it off. I find it a little amusing, actually. Oh, but for cleaner time we meditated on Zeph. 3:17 today and I asked them what pictures it brings to mind (after some other discussion) and then shared the picture of God going forward into battle, mighty to save, as the piper with the bagpipes singing over us and I think Jimmy really liked that picture because he is SO Scottish, haha, so pray that that picture doesn't leave his mind but that he keeps thinking about it because I know that he's in a rough spot right now.
On an entirely different note, I cut Magda's hair last night and it looks really cute (and I know Josh is probably shuddering thinking *oh know, Meghs is cutting hair again!* but Magda really likes it and is not wearing a hat, so perhaps it's just your hair that I can't cut very well?).
And also, Leticia is back, well, only for today, but still! We had a lovely time last night (chocolate party and chilling on a dock on a canal) and the four of us (leticia, rala, tina and myself) had really good conversations and got to know each other really well, mostly because Leticia is an excellent question asker. And also, she said that we're double blessings in her life, and that's really sweet. We're all dropping her off at the airport tomorrow, so it will be sad, but we'll make it fun, because there can't not be laughter when we're together. Such as tonight: it will most likely be possible to hear us laughing down the street during our tea and dance parties.
Well, I'm going to go for now...I'm excited that Nathalie can join us for church tonight. That's all for now, folks.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Haartelijke Groeten van Amsterdam!

Tina and I have been working in the kitchen preparing dinner for the last two days with no disasters and much prayer. Also, we teach each other dutch phrases, even though neither of us really know the correct pronounciation. We pretend we do, and help each other out, then try the phrases on Dutch people. so tonight Freek asked me something and I wanted to say "I don't know" because that is one of my two phrases, the other being "I love you" so I thought long and hard before replying and what did I say? "I don't know" and I must say, I was very proud of myself for not saying "I love you" and probably none of you are impressed by that, but oh well.
If there were ever any doubts about my fitting in here (which there weren't) they are now completely erased. Why? you may ask. Well, perhaps it was because this morning the last half of Pride and Prejudice was playing and it was before 10am already. Yup, that'd be why. I am with girls who love my favourite movie.
We had our first staff meeting today...it went well...
I'm trying to think of something eventful to write about...tonight was my small group's outreach, but only Daniela was not working so she had to lead it by herself. It was a walk around the Jordaan district seeing different touristy places and historical places. I was unable to go, but my camera went along so I've got the experience on camera at least. After they came back for cake and hot chocolate and a little Bible discussion which went very well. So praise the Lord for the excellent turnout, even with the rain!
Tomorrow I am being trained for Cleaner Supervisor again and then Sunday I'm on my own, so please pray for me that I remember everything I need to do! Also, Sam is gone so Jimmy is replacing him for now, which is fine, but also sad. I'm glad I don't have to "fire" people yet...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

What if...

Well, today was my first day in training for cleaner supervisor and it went well. It was nice to work with Melissa and chat with her and get to know her better. There are some aspects of the job I will not enjoy (having to correct the cleaners, having to confront the cleaners, having to tell the cleaners their time is not going to be extended due to shoddy work, having to tell people I can only put them on the waiting list, I can give them a job) but there are many others that will be so fulfilling (watching the cleaners draw closer to Christ and watch Him work miracles in their lives, encourage them to continue to do their best and that they are doing well, get to know them better personally and invest in their lives, etc.). So I am excited for this opportunity for God to use me.
I attended school for the first time this afternoon. We talked about unity and teamwork specifically in a cross-cultural setting (like our own) and it was very good and insightful and helpful. And also amusing, because we watched some clips from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and that's an amusing movie.
Well, on a completely different note I feel like posting something I wrote earlier this summer. I'm not sure the purpose of this, but I've been pondering some things lately. So here goes! (please note that perhaps some of the thoughts aren't yet completely developed, or maybe it's a bit confusing in parts. but that's because I wrote it right before falling asleep one night and haven't made changes yet)

What if..."becoming a Christian" is really crossing the starting line of the race. We haven't reached the finish line. And the end goal is not going to heaven, the end goal is becoming like Christ. We need to let go of the "I prayed the sinner's prayer, I have my ticket into heaven, I'm good to go" attitude and exchange it for the race picture Paul provides us. What a great image. Everyone has a different starting (and ending?) point in this race. It is an intense marathon, and it's not going to be easy. It will be a struggle to keep going when we're exhausted, but God provides us with food and water, and even resting stations when we need them. He encourages us to keep going, even if others around us aren't, and gives us strength, endurance, and wisdom. All our struggles and weaknesses along the way are preparation, training, and lessons to teach us to be like Jesus, our ultimate goal. Those road blocks and things that seem to slow us down actually aid us in finishing the race strong.
What if...we stop apologizing for our faith and actually start living what we say we believe. What if we stop worrying about what others might think and stop trying to make God "cool" and instead concern ourselves with what God thinks and wants for us. What if we stop being selfish and inwardly focused and look into God and His characteristics. How can we reach our goal if we are too busy looking at ourselves to see what we're supposed to become.
What if...we stopped being complacent and became radical.
What if...we really do what Jesus did.
What if...we fulfill our true calling, and what if we truly believe that we can because we believe God's promises (eg never give you more than you can handle) and He has called us to a reachable purpose and goal.
What if...we stop measuring our buzzwords and realize only God sees the heart.
What if...we let God do His job.
What if we really prayed.

What would the world think of us then? Would we be attractive or repulsive?

(P.S. Does it matter?)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

It's a beautiful day!

Mmmm, today is my first day off, and Tina has it off also. Yesterday we had training and weren't working in the hostel so it feels like two in a row almost and it's very nice. Yesterday morning we had informational meetings all morning and got to know each other and dutch food. The old blindfold someone and have them try something. I am so thankful I got vla (and I knew what it was too!) because pickled herring and droups (sp?) are not my favourite foods in the world...but we had fun and did a little mission impossible during our ten minute break. This organization (Tot Heil Des Volks-for the salvation of the people) has been around for 150 years this year, so this is a year of jubilee. There have been a number of celebrations already and will be more, so I am told. It was neat to find out about the ministries that were done at the beginning of this organization and the ones going on now. I already discovered the homeless ministry next door on Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays because of the people hanging out near our door all day Wednesday that confused Tina and I because we would have thought they'd have something else to do. But Krista told me that they get a hot shower and some tea or coffee and food and they can relax there, maybe get clean clothes? stuff like that. very cool. There is also a ministry to the prostitutes and another to homosexuals. and Nora (our tour guide last night) leads "outreach tours" and so she was showing us all the main sights of Amsterdam and the history behind them and then how to tie that in to evangelism. Very helpful and interesting. So after our meetings we had lunch and Tina and I did our chores, and then went off exploring! We found Nathalie's apartment (a two minute bike ride from Willemsstraat) and then went to the harbour and then to Westerpark. We discovered that when it's a beautiful day people take advantage of the sunlight and go to the park to tan regardless of their shape or size. But it was a beautiful park, and we'll probably go to another one today for a picnic lunch once her small group is finished. We picked some flowers there and wrote a note for Nathalie which we left in her mailbox because it was her first day of classes (we think, hehe). Then Rala and Nora started our walking tour which included dinner at the Jordan and ended at the City (which has such a beautiful garden! Jordan was gipped in that area, but it is so much more gezellig that I don't even care that much). Upon our return to Willemsstraat we had a tea party in Leticia's room. While some of us tried to be ladies, others were still unable to handle it, so it was a time full of laughter, haha. but then again, any time Leticia is anywhere the room is full of laughter. Especially when Leticia and Rala are together. After our tea party we rearranged the living room and Leticia taught us how to salsa and samba dance. It was very fun, and good exercise, because we did it for a few hours...Leticia is amazing, but I suppose it just comes naturally with being Brazilian. We gathered an audience at some points and made some of them join in, so that was fun too. And Tina showed us her breakdance move. I'm going to stop talking now because it's not going to be amusing for you. Although if I put a video of it on here I'm sure you'd have a lovely laugh. Perhaps I'll do that if I can figure out how. Bye for now!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Full day!

Well this morning I cycled to church. It was only, you know, 40 minutes for someone who is in shape. Which I am not. But we left late *not my fault* and so we had to go fast. I was tired, but made it. There is a beautiful park halfway there where I think I will go cycling and frisbeeing and picnicing and tree climbing and such sometime soon. The church is called Crossroads and it is in a school. The platform is in the middle with chairs in a circle completely around it. The band is all around the circle (on the platform) and the pastor turns around while speaking. It works though. Oh, they sang "Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble" and I have never heard that song done so well...the drum beat was super cool and we rocked out so much that I truly felt that the streets were resounding with our singing! Beautiful. Also after the service they had yummy cookies. mm.
haha, so after Crossroads Rala and I cycled back but not to Willemstraat, to Jordan, because we both ahd afternoon shifts. In our prayer time before the shift we sang some worship songs because Freek was the manager on duty and that was very special. Dave helped me out in the kitchen which was such a blessing because I would have gone insane otherwise and probably would still be chopping onions...I had a cry this afternoon, but not a good one, because crying due to onions is almost never a good thing. Also Dave likes techno music, so that was...interesting. After craziness with preparing dinner I went to another church, and Nathalie came along! It was so nice to see her again, even though it has only been a few days since I saw her last, haha. It was in an attic of an apartment building and is coffeehouse style. I enjoyed it, and so did Nathalie which is cool because she usually goes to a traditional Catholic Church. She's going to try to go to one of those in the morning and this one at night if possible I think. Hopefully I can go to her church sometimes too!
Upon our return to Jordan Melissa was being overwhelmed in the cafe so I helped her for a bit. It can get crazy in there sometimes! oi. Well, tomorrow is introduction day! so then I will know what is going on better hopefully. Ok...I am signing off for now because ik ga slapen.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Leading my first cleaner time...

I don't feel like writing so this will probably be shorter. Probably you are all thankful.
I used a Scott Phillips song (thank you Scott for making good music) for my Bible discussion with the cleaners today and...wow...it was good. Sam started to preach, haha. No, but God really used it so it was really neat. Later Sam told me that this was the most meaningful Bible discussion he's been to here yet, so it is nice to know that God is using me in this way.
Well, the kitchen was crazy this morning...Tina and I had a few adventures and a huge waiting list for pancakes and no more batter and I found myself praying for a "feeding of the 5000" miracle, but instead Freek came and saved the day. So God can use people to create miracles.
I finished unpacking and stuff today and put up pictures. It feels more like home. And also Tina and I played piano and guitar and sang worship songs together. Odd that I am more comfortable on guitar than piano...sad more than odd I guess. Anyways, that's all for now.

I am Queen of French Toast!

Haha, I made so much french toast this morning! 3 per guest. and then we had a lot extra for lunch. It was semi-torturous to be making all this food and not eating any, but I made it through. I'll have to do it again tomorrow for breakfast. It did go very well today, albeit busy, because so many people helped out. THANK YOU! I attended the cleaners' Bible discussion today and tomorrow I am leading it! I have just spent some time preparing for it, so pray that it goes well!
Today Tina and I moved to our new room. Hooray! and we also got our bikes!! (Thanks Freek!) and I got in my first bicycle accident, hahaha. Well, the brakes on my bike are poor and there was a car beside me with guys inside trying to talk to me and making kissing faces so as i was manoevring away from them and onto the sidewalk I was also very rapidly approaching the rear wheel of Tina's bike with which I did not want to make contact. So, because my brakes were not slowing me down quickly enough, I steered away from Tina into a metal post (they are all along the sidewalks). No harm was done, except to my knee. Very successful first crash, I'd say, haha. Except those boys wanted to know if I was okay, so I got back on very quickly and rode off.
Tonight we had a postcard making outreach (perhaps you will be getting a lovely homemade postcard in the mail soon? or perhaps not...I only made 3) and so we had a good discussion about creation and creativity and stuff. Quite a few people showed up and seemed to enjoy making postcards. So that was good. Paul and Marko from Hamilton were there, but they left tonight to go back to Poland. It is so interesting to meet people. Nathalie left this evening but made sure to say good bye and we exchanged e-mail addresses. I think next week we might go to church together, so that would be neat.
Well, I am very tired and so I think I will sign off for now, but I did not forget that I need to give you my address, so here it is:

Meghan Thomson
Staff Community House
Willemstraat 33
1015 HW Amsterdam, Holland
The Netherlands

and...my phone number is 020-6260055
I think.

good night! or as I say to Tina, G├╝ten Nocht ( I don't know how you spell that, but I do pronouce it properly! haha, She helps me with my German pronounciation, and I help her with English. Today we learned about when to say "too"and when to say "either" or "neither" and I realized that English can be very confusing!)

Friday, September 02, 2005

and the tales continue..

Where to begin? I feel as though so much has happened already, haha.
Last night there were four guests who came to the Bible discussion and it went so well...I think each of us came away with a new nugget of truth. I love listening to others' perspectives of passages and having mutual enlightenment. very enriching. After the Bible discussion I started playing a game of chess with Harmen which was never finished, but I'm sure I would have lost (if Nathalie had not given me advice I would have been long gone...). Nathalie is from France and she is in Amsterdam for a year going to university. She gets her housing tomorrow so she will be leaving us, but will come back to visit because she will miss the bible discussions. She, Phil, and I went for a lovely walk. Phil is from Sydney Australia, and he also attended the bible discussion. He is quite the gentleman; I wish males at home were like him, haha. I think he leaves tomorrow, but he did come to bible discussion again tonight, so that was cool.
This morning I made pancakes and my small group went to the park for a picnic and bible study. We had a wonderful time because the weather was so lovely, but it started getting cloudy and cool as we were leaving. Then I spent the afternoon in the cafe where Daniela showed me the ropes. She says that I will be a very good worker in the cafe because I clean up after I do anything, haha. that is a lovely compliment though. After a long and busy afternoon (I have no idea how I will manage that shift alone after I have been trained!) I grabbed a bite to eat and then attended the Bible discussion, this time led by Rala. There were a lot of people there! We had a good discussion and everyone spoke up. It is so interesting to hear people's thoughts.
After that Nathalie and I played a game (which I lost) and we met a girl from Ethiopia named Eden (pronounced Aiden). We started to put a puzzle together, but we all got frustrated after a while and decided to call it quits. So now, here I am. I am about to go to a tea party with Rala and Leticia. They are putting up arrows for me to find them, so I have to wait a few minutes.
Prayer request for tomorrow morning: Tina, Dave, and I are working morning cafe...Tina has done it once (this morning), I have only done afternoon cafe once, and Dave has never done either because he arrived today. So tomorrow morning should prove to be interesting as Tina has to somehow train Dave and me, although hopefully I can do some things already. Still, it will be quite the adventure!
Oh, my next post will contain my mailing address and phone number and all that sort of information. And PS to Melissa: I was so excited to receive a package that arrived before I did! thank you! and yes, it made me laugh.