Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Immunization. Check.

So I leave for Tanzania in about a month and a week. Today I had to get my last immunization for the trip, which was a Yellow Fever shot.

Yes. Yellow Fever.

Had anyone told me a few years ago, "Hey, so you're going to go on a mission project trip to Tanzania and you have to get at least 2 shots before you go..." I would have said, "Yeah, no. I don't do trips where I have to get immunized"

I hate shots. HATE them. Like I still try to talk the doctor out of them when I have to get one. And let's not even start when he has to draw blood. I've been known to say (a time or three), "Didn't you just get my blood last year? I don't think it's changed." The only reason I don't have a tattoo is because I cannot stand the thought of a needle jabbing into my skin over and over and over again. And yes, I know that after a while you "don't feel it" but I don't care. I can barely handle the prick that goes into my skin when the needle meets it's point. I still will never understand with all of the brilliance in modern medicine how we have not figured out a way to get the immunization into the bloodstream w/o using a needle.

All that to say...I have successfully been immunized to the point where I'm wondering if I've missed any? I feel like with the Yellow Fever shot that's kind of my ticket to go into any country and be OK. I feel the same way about the Polio and Typhoid shots. "Bring it on disease! I'm immunized!"

And I have to admit that once the shot was done, it was a great relief. I felt like I could start to really get excited about the trip and the kids who're going with me.

Of course in about two weeks or so, we have to start on our Malaria meds. But there's no needles with that. We all just might be violently ill for a few days.

Still, I'd rather be violently ill than have malaria.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Galentines Day

Justina's birthday is today and so yesterday as part of her birthday weekend, she wanted a few of us to  venture to the thermal baths outside of Basel. Thermal baths are really popular around this area and there are a few around Kandern, but the Sole Uno in Rheinfelden is our favorite! You have a choice of several saunas that are scented with eucalyptus, sea salt, citrus, or other refreshing scents. There is a Hamam (Turkish bath), outdoor salt pool, whirlpool, and my favorite is the Dead Sea salt pool where you float in a pool of dead sea salts and listen to music playing under the water! All eight of us left feeling very relaxed and pampered! We ended our evening with take out from our favorite Italian restaurant and a lot of laughing until late into the night.

Yeah, Valentine's Day doesn't really appeal to me right now and I've become more cynical about it the older I get, but last night was among one of my favorite ways to spend the day! I'm so thankful as always for the friendships God has given me over here!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Rainy German Days

This semester has already flown by. How is it that we are only 3 weeks away from March? Not to mention 4 weeks from today the last performance of Annie, Jr. will be happening. If it's true that every year goes faster the older you get, then I'm living proof.

Today I woke up feeling more tired than usual. I'm pretty sure staying up until 4am last Monday threw me off of a decent sleep schedule. Yet another reminder that I'm not 21 anymore and definitely in my mid-thirties. So most of the week I was having trouble sleeping and was thankful that my body clock let me sleep in past 8. It was kind of a miracle. Anyway, so I woke up to a rainy day and had already made plans to go with Amy to Fünfschilling for lunch. Tonight I was supposed to spend the evening with my former pastor's wife but due to illness, we had to reschedule. I got home at 4:00 and as bummed as I was about not being able to spend time with my friend tonight, there was something about putting on my sweats and platzing in front of the Olympics that excited me. Especially because ice dancing was on.

I think I'm realizing that as extroverted as I am and as much as I love being around people, there are just some days - like today - that remind me it's OK to have some time for myself. Justina is out with friends tonight and I've made a cup of Chai and plan on watching something on Netflix later while munching on kale chips. Yes, I'd say I've mastered the art of relaxation today. Especially because the next few weekends will not allow me this chance until well after Spring Break. I don't mind the quiet, the empty house, or the rain. With all I've got going on, I feel as though this is kind of God's surprise gift to me today...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


There are days when I sincerely wish I had never experienced what life was like in Europe. Are you shocked to hear me say that?

Well, it's true.

Sometimes, I wish I had never known what amazing places Germany and Switzerland are. Sometimes, I wish I was still that naïve 23-year-old collegiate grad that had just forgone the au pair application and stayed in the little Floridian bubble that was my life.
Sometimes, I wish I had experienced what it was like to just stay in one place and be with the friends I went to high school and college with
Sometimes, I wish I wasn't so adventurous.
Sometimes, I wish I lived near my parents & got to live life with my brother and sister-in-law.


But most times, I'm thankful and grateful for the life He chose for me.
Most times, I still can't believe how blessed I am to be working with these sweet kiddos that are in my life everyday.
Most times, I am overwhelmed with the support and friendships over here that only He could have orchestrated.
Most times, I revel in coffee dates with my mentor, dinner dates with friends, and roommate time with my roomie.

Living abroad is a glorious and wonderful experience. And on these days like today when I am feeling low, I am reminded of just how beautiful this life is that I have been given. And while it's not all sunshine and rainbows everyday, it's still pretty darn good.