I am finally getting a chance to sit down and type about all that has happened in the last two days! I left Orlando at 6:30pm after one last day spent eating lunch with my parents and then hugging them goodbye. It wasn’t as awful as I’d imagined. Mom and I teared up and Dad managed to hold it together and not break down on my shoulder like last time.
I had a 3 hr layover in Miami and flew out at 10:45pm. I slept for 4 hours, which is longer than I’ve probably ever slept on an overnight flight! I landed at London Heathrow at 12:15pm, quickly went through security, and had an hour and a half to spare. I ended up eating lunch at Wagamama (of course!) in Terminal 5 before catching my flight to Basel. I ended up flying with three new staff members as well as 2 returning from BFA! The flight to Basel was quick and painless and as we touched down, I couldn’t help but smile to myself and thinking “I’M BACK!”
We were met at the airport by TeachBeyond Member Care staff and a few teachers from BFA. I guess you know you’re back in Europe when it takes you three countries to arrive home! Even though we landed at the Basel airport, we were really in France and drove a little ways through small areas of the country til we into Germany.
My temporary housing is not too far from the center of town and close to the Eis Cafe (uh oh!!). It takes about 10 minutes to walk to BFA. Once I got my luggage into my space, one of my hosts, Emily, took me grocery shopping at Hieber (one of 3 grocery stores in Kandern) and then on a mini-tour of the school. I got to see the Music hall as well as the front offices and the gym. We then went back to Emily’s house where she had prepared dinner for me and Lexie, another returning teacher. It didn’t take me long to fall asleep last night and I only woke up once for a/b a half hour and then slept until 8:30 this morning.
After breakfast, I did a workout in the spare room and then decided to venture out into town. At the last minute, I thought I’d take the bus into Weil am Rhein, the town I used to live in 4 years ago. The bus ride was only about 20 minutes and it was nice to walk around the Hauptstrasse and see old places that were familiar. I didn’t make it to my old apartment or where the former site of the school was because I had a meeting with the housing director at BFA. We were able to tour the apartment I will be getting and meet the current tenant. It’s a small apartment, but really perfect for one person! It has two very spacious balconies, one off the bedroom and another off the living area. I will probably be moving in on September 1 or around that time.
I went back to the school and checked email and Facebook as my internet will not be up and running until next week. I grabbed a few small items I’d forgotten yesterday, this time at Penny Markt, another grocery store. I came back home, unpacked, and about that time, Emily came over and invited me to have dinner w/her and her roommate, Jill, who is my other host. Katie, who is the head of the Music dept, was also there and so it was nice to get filled in on info about school and life at BFA.
Overall, I’m really not struggling too much with jet lag. I really think the late flight had a lot to do with it because yesterday I got in so close to dinner and then was able to sleep three hours after landing. I’m planning on going into Basel on Sunday for church and then to meet up with some old friends, which I’m excited about!
My eyes are growing heavy now as it’s after 9pm and I’m probably headed to bed soon! More tomorrow!
Remember what I said about not struggling with jet lag? Lies. All lies. Last night I went to bed at 10:45, only to be woken up at 2am and didn’t fall asleep again until 6 and my alarm clock went off at 8. Yuck.
The day began with Jill taking me to get a cell phone at a place called Pearl in a little town called Auggen just over the hill from Kandern. Cell phones work differently here. I don’t have a plan, but instead just fill up a SIM card with minutes that I buy from the local grocery store. We then did some grocery shopping and I was able to find a hair dryer on sale at Penny Markt. After lunch, I came back to Jill’s apartment and she so graciously set up my phone for me. I came home and decided to go for a run and ran into the Kreugers and the Sommers! I hadn’t seen them since Orientation last month and it was so great to see familiar faces!
After my little jog up what felt like a small Alp, I came home, showered, and met Lexie at the Asia Wok restaurant for dinner. It was great to be able to have some one on one time with a new friend! We then went to the Eis Cafe and the Sommers met us for some yummy gelato! Afterwards, we went to Katie’s house for a small party and played the infamous game of Fishbowl, which we’d played at Orientation. Rachel Nicholson and Karen Rempel, friends from Orientation were there and it was SO good to see them! I also met several other returning teachers and am growing even more thankful for the new community in my life!
It’s now 10:30 and I’m trying to make it to 11 so that I’ll sleep more soundly tonight. Tomorrow I’m going into Basel for the first time in 4 years and I can’t wait!!
TODAY, August 11
I slept better than the night before, woke up early, and headed straight into Basel. I hadn't been back in 4 years and so I was inwardly giddy once I crossed the bridge over the Rhein. I'm now sitting at Starbucks and people watching and so grateful to be where I am right now. Why I ever doubted that God would bring me back here, I don't know. I do know that the last 10 years, he has been preparing me for this exact position at BFA and for that I am so grateful.
Since this is the longest blog post in the world, I will close and add more in the coming days.