Saturday, July 30, 2011

Savoring

Today was a day I took for myself.  I left the apartment around 11:30 and headed into the 1st District.  I walked along K√§rtnerstrasse and went into all 3 H&Ms, Pimkie, and a few souvenir shops.  I ended up having lunch at the famous Demel Cafe and then strolled back to the tram stop across from the Hofburg.  I decided to have a latte at one of our favorite spots here, BlueOrange, and then headed back home to start preparing for the Game Night at New City Wien tonight.  It was a perfect day and one I've been craving to have for awhile now.  I know I won't have much longer here and God only knows how much longer I'll have to wait before I return to Europe, so every single minute of every day left I'm trying to savor and take in as much as I can.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Schladming and Sonship

We just returned today from a five day retreat in the Austrian Alps town of Schladming.  Schladming is an hour from Salzburg and is situated in the heart of a ski village.  It reminded me a lot of the village I used to live in in Switzerland.  So yes, it was gorgeous and beautiful and I fully expected Julie Andrews and the seven children to come skipping down the mountain singing "Do-Re-Mi" at any moment.

For five days we were holed away in this little hotel with no internet, no phone, no connection to the outside world...and it was wonderful.  We had 6 intense sessions of Sonship with Jeff McMullen, a Sonship director from World Harvest who came over to lead the retreat.  If you've not heard or done Sonship, I encourage you to check it out on www.whm.org.  I was shown the Gospel in a whole new light.  There were many tears, many realizations, and many aspects of my life that I've come to see are idols of my heart.  And it hurt to admit that.  You don't tend to see what your idols are or that they even are idols until you come face to face with them.  

Probably the most convicting talk was the talk on Confrontation and Forgiveness.  As you all are probably aware, I hate confrontation, hate confronting anything, and run from it whenever there's a chance.  But I've had to confront this summer twice and both times were not easy.  Yet, I learned that the Gospel was bigger than my fear of confronting someone else.  The talk this week gave me the confidence and peace of the cross to overcome that fear.  It was truly a blessing.  We are in a continual process mode of how to take what we've learned this summer and apply it to everyday situations when we come back.

The week wasn't just full of intensity.  There were also many laughs and fun times with each other.  Yesterday, the interns took the Hunter kids and Jeff's son, Ewan, into Schladming and up the mountain to do a Ropes course.  We then went to another mountain and rode go carts down an Alp.  It was crazy and something I probably won't ever do again, but it was fun and I can say that I rode a go cart down an Alp!  This morning we went to an indoor water park and went down a slide numerous times as well as swam before we packed up to go back to Vienna.  

This next week marks our last in Vienna.  I'm going to enjoy it to the fullest.  Here are some pics from our week:





Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tomorrow

We are leaving for our Sonship Retreat in Schladming.  It will be a week of intense Bible studies, fellowship times, and reflection.  I'm glad we won't have internet or phone for a week so that we can truly "retreat."

I leave you with a few pics taken in the last week...



Saturday, July 23, 2011

In the last week..

...we have done a lot!

Monday-was our last German lesson and afterwards, Inge, our instructor, went with us to a Sri Lankan cafe near our apartment.  If you've never had Sri Lankan food it is DELICIOUS!!  After lunch, we had our retreat time and I headed to Starbucks and then walked around the 1st District

Tuesday-we took some of the older kids from English Camp to a toboggan run here in Vienna.  I went down at least 4 times!  On Tuesday evening we had our weekly Family Night at the Hunters and our theme was Raclette and The Sound of Music!  I will never tire of that movie!

Wednesday-Brie and I met up with an English Camper and her mom, grandmother, stepfather, stepbrother, and cousin to tour the Natural History Museum.  Afterwards, we ate at a Viennese brewery.  It was so great to be able to talk with the family and hang out as this was what I had envisioned on this trip!

Thursday-was Bible study and Thursday night we had roommate game night.  We played Telephone Pictionary, Story Hour, and Balderdash.

Friday-Brie and I went to an old cemetery where Beethoven is buried with Ewald Ring and his family.  Ewald is a Gordon-Conwell grad and is from Vienna.  We had a great time with them!  Last night Lindsay came over and made fajitas and sangria and then we all watched Baby Mama together.

Today-I slept in and then went to Sch√∂nbrunn Palace to take a tour.  It was beautiful and I enjoyed hearing more about the Hapsburg family and their empire.  I had a wonderful time afterwards window shopping and venturing to parts of Vienna alone that I hadn't made it to yet.

Monday we will leave for our Sonship Retreat in Schladming, a little town about 3 hrs from Vienna.  I'm looking forward to this but at the same time, I know that when we get back on Friday, I'll have just a little over a week left in this amazing place...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Alli's in Prague!

We were given a weekend off from our internship and so the five of us all went to different places.  Eva is in Brussels, Allie in London, Brie stayed in Vienna with friends who are visiting her from Deutschland, and Amanda and I took the bus up to Prague.  We've been up since before 6am this morning and that was after neither of us getting to bed until after midnight.  However, we walked all over the castle grounds and did some fun shopping in the Old Town today.  Tomorrow we're taking a tour of the city and might possibly hit up a few museums.  Pics to come soon.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

1/2 Way Point

Exactly 4 weeks ago today we left for this adventure.  Arriving to Vienna we were wide eyed (and jet lagged) and excited with anticipation to get this summer started.  We've been through a lot in the last month.  The excitement of being in Europe is still fresh on our minds, but we've also been living life together in community.  We came into this apartment as five independent women with completely different personalities.  And yes, they've come to a head more than once.  But in the end, I have discovered these amazing new friends that I laugh and share joy with but at the same time can cry and be myself.

We have 3 1/2 weeks left.  I plan to get as much out of this internship as is possible in the remaining time here.  But at the same time, I don't want the adventure to end so soon.  You can definitely pray for me as I get ready to return, but that I would also be able to live out this adventure with Him in the most exciting ways possible!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

This week...

...was the busiest week I've had in quite some time.  We did an entire week of English Camp with 40 Austrian kids and had a team from St. Andrews Pres in FL come over to help out.  It was such a blessing to watch these kids being loved on and them loving on us as well.

On Friday, we went to the Prater and had a picnic and played on this AMAZING playground there.  European playgrounds have no rules and get away with a LOT...which means a LOT of fun :)  Check out that slide...!




Saturday, the roomies and I took a day trip over to Bratislava, Slovakia.  Bratislava is a small town but worth the visit.  It was a former communist city and there are several buildings that you can see across the Danube that have that "communist feel" to them.  We climbed up a large hill (in 90 degree heat!) to the castle that overlooks the city and before that, had a traditional Slovakian lunch.



When we got back to Vienna, we headed to the Stephansdom Cathedral to hear Handel's Messiah.  It was beautiful and the music was stellar.  However, this morning we were dragging and I think we are all grateful for a slower week these next few days!

Monday, July 4, 2011

1st Day of English Camp + An Austrian 4th of July

Today was our first day of English Camp as well as a big 4th of July celebration at the Hunter's w/the St. Andrews team.  Will write more later.  Extremely tired!  Hope you all had a great 4th!!





Friday, July 1, 2011

It's the Simple Things

Today on my way to babysit, I stopped at this literal hole in the wall at the Schottentor tram stop.  It's called Kaffee Kuche (Coffee Kitchen) and it has the most amazing melanges I've found in Vienna.  Lindsay introduced us to it and it is this little stand that is quite popular with the university students.  The coffee there is truly better than any I've had (and I get coffee at least once a day here).

Tonight Brie and I went over to Karlsplatz and watched Charlie Chaplin's The Immigrant in front of the Karlskirche in Resselpark.  It was rather cold outside but the view of the church behind the movie screen was simply beautiful.  The movie was free and quite entertaining (and no translation needed since it was a silent film!).

So you don't have to come to Wien and spend a lot of money on entertainment...at least I didn't today :)