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September, 2006

  1. three countries in one day

    September 30, 2006 by louissa

    we started up, what can only be called a rolling hill, slipping and sliding in the mud. we put on our hoodies and jackets and had bad thoughts concerning the rain on the day that we were spending in the Alps. by the time we were at the lake, the rain was gone, the sun was out, and our thoughts were happy ones again. it’s green. it’s big. it’s beautiful. all the cows have bells tied around their necks and they were in the field that we walked through. there are little houses here-n-there that are very tiny and we wondered who on earth would live in the middle of the Alps. our calves hurt and some of us didn’t go up the second trail but stayed and drank the best hot chocolate ever.

    so yes, today i passed through Austria and spent the day in Switzerland. life sounds so lovely at times.

    i got back and a girl told me that “some woman” had called for me. i wished dinner to go by quickly and yet it was the longest meal we’ve sat at yet. my calling card wouln’t work. everyone said that they were a scam but i was finally getting deserate to call home (some things, such as the international phone calling plan my dad gave me not working here, are very annoying) and so i purchased one. i almost cried. it wouldn’t work for me and it wouldn’t work for my friend.

    and then as i was giving up, the phone rang and it was my mumsie. and then it was my sister. and then it was my daddy. and even though i was just in the Swiss Alps, that was really the highlight of my day.

    i am so tired today. the hike was tiring. and tonight i said the word “freaking” while on the phone. how sad.

    “real” lectures start on monday. you know, the kind where there are tests afterwards. we’ve already been given two big reading/writing projects for this semester. cross my fingers and hope i do well: )


  2. she’s always gone too long

    September 29, 2006 by louissa

    last night i sat with four others in a small room. we hooked his iPod up to his speakers, turned on a song, and sat there listening. i don’t listen to music very much here. i miss it terribly. and i miss songs like the one we heard last night.

    Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
    It’s not warm when she’s away
    Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone
    She’s always gone too long
    Any time she goes away


  3. learning new things

    September 28, 2006 by louissa

    having so many different people in such a small space can be lots of fun at times. the other day i taught my irish friend to say, “fo-shizzle.” he usually says, “fo-sizzle” but we’re working on it. with his accent it’s so funny.

    a german girl, hannah, was giggling the other morning as she told me of her surprise at us north americans (canadians and americans) coming down to breakfast in our pajama bottoms! yes, there are a few here who do that, it’s allowed, but is so not right here in germany.

    samuel, a german boy, is deteremined to better his english during his time here. he’s always asking questions and when someone suggest saying it in german and having someone translate, he refuses. he was taught american football yesterday, sat down at the dinner table and told me, “your american football hurts.” with a few other friends we got him to start saying, “awesome to the macs” (a canadian dude’s saying), “who’s your daddy” (whenever he makes a touchdown), and “peace out” (always when he leaves a room). he’s got the greatest and funniest accent when he says them.

    yes, it’s rather fun.


  4. second for the day

    September 27, 2006 by louissa

    i figured i’d take advantage of having the internet for the next few days and since i finished most of my homework yesterday i’ll write again today.

    no one here knows what today marks for so many at home but the Lord does. and He reminded me of that when Mr.Reid shared this morning and i felt like he was speaking to me.

    how many times have i thought, “God, that’s not fair”? but when did God promise me that life would be fair? how many times have i thought, “how could You let this happen?” but when did God say that He would make sure nothing bad would happen? we are the ones in the fallen world…

    it isn’t fair that we are all grieving — even now, a year later. i don’t understand how God could have let him take his own life. it isn’t fair that a wonderful family had to go through this when others will never know pain like that.

    i’ve wished this all away before, but He has never promised to fulfill all my wishes but to fulfill His promises. He did not promise a life free from pain, but He did promise His comfort. He didn’t promise that we would never deal with sorrow, but He did promise us His joy to come with the morning. God promised us His guidance, but not a life without confusion. and God promised us ressurection, but not a life without death.

    “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord, Your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” – Isaiah 43


  5. peace

    September 27, 2006 by louissa

    between writing for classes, writing emails, writing real letters (you know, the kind that involve paper, pen, and really expensive stamps), and trying to keep up on posts, i don’t think i’ve ever written so much within such a short amount of time. have i ever told you how much i like writing?

    i sat at our school coffee shop, Honeycomb, with my paper and pen and worked on a few letters for lovely people at home. a girl, who recently decided that we’re friends (i don’t know her name but i’m in that awkward position where she knows who i am but i don’t know who she is) came and sat down next to me. we ate my M&M’s and talked about our day. she said it hadn’t been the greatest but after she ran it got better. i said mine hadn’t been the greatest and she wanted to know if i was a runner — running helps her. i smiled and said i’d had to run in school but never really was a “runner” (everyone here runs). what helps me is writing.

    i told her that is was especially hard to be away right now. i told her how much i want to be with my family during these few days. i told her that i missed a friend who i wouldn’t see again… until heaven. and i told her of a favorite hymn that i kept humming to myself during our breaks, during my walk, and during my times of studying.

    When peace like a river, attendeth my way;
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well with my soul.


  6. i’m the new yorker

    September 25, 2006 by louissa

    “hi. my name is louissa and i’m the new yorker…” i found myself standing in front of the entire student body and staff saturday night as i volunteered to get up and share my testimony. why i volunteered, well, that’s just what i do in those situations. they had two open evenings of sharing testimony’s and after two people went up the first time there was a long silence and for a few minutes we all just stared at the podium and wanted to know who would go next. my neighbor leaned over and whispered, “you should go.” and i figured i should.

    it continued well for the first little bit until i started talking about the story of hosea (wondering what that has to do with my testimony? ask me at some point) when i suddenly wondered if i had said the correct name. i looked over at the outreach director, a guy i hadn’t ever talked to before,
    and said in front of everyone, “it was hosea, right?” the staff agreed and the room laughed and i turned red. i explained that i suddenly freaked that i had the wrong guy and here i was in Bible school!

    so everyone knows me now (especially after our principal, mr.reid decided it was funny enough to use during his time of sharing the “school goal” this morning). i walk down the hall without my name tag that we are supposed to wear for the next week and everyone says, “hey louisa” (there are a dear few who actually pronounce my name correctly) and i smile and i have no idea who they are. too many people in such a little time – i can’t keep it all straight! oh well. i’ve already introduced myself to someone for the second time causing much embarrassment.

    i wear my slippers everwhere here. it’s one big building with dorm rooms on one end and the class room (that’s right, there is only one), dining hall, kitchen, and everything else on the other end. i like that. i feel a bit more at home with my cool grey slippers on in class.

    i have my own school ID card with a terrible picture and everything (that’s a funny story as well). sweet. i guess i could sign up at facebook as well, but that would be rather useless since i only email here. and why would i want one more thing to check?

    we have assigned seating and i’m in the back row for every single class until next semester. i can’t figure out if that’s a good thing. during three hours of orientation and the principal and his wife giving their testimony this morning (and mentioning hosea), i found myself struggling to stay awake. i’m just not used to sitting and listening for that long. : )

    so i’m sending my posts to my sister and she’s posting them for me (even though i have web access for a few more days) and i would just like to remind all of you that if you want to email me, my gmail account won’t get to me.

    i have a school email address:

    louissa_sinclair(at)bodenseehof .de

    questions? contact one of my sisters. : )


  7. September 23, 2006 by louissa

    i’m here, unpacked, and am feeling a bit settled.

    the school is small but larger than i thought it would be – 93 students.  the majority are from Canada (no rude comments please), Germany, and the US.  but there is one from Kenya, Israel, the Philippines, Peru, and Northern Ireland.  it’s lovely to be around so many people from such different cultures.  as the principal said last night, “it’s so diverse and so rich because of it.”  it’s rather cool.

    i’m in a room with three girls who i like lots.  nadine is from hanover, germany, has long hair and sparkily eyes.  she laughs lots and always thinks it’s funny when we use slang of any kind.  ashley is from colorado springs and is such a nice girl.  when i first arrived, she and nadine were already here and as we unpacked she asked question after question, eager to get to know each other well.  janel is from calgary, canada and we like each other lots.  she a pretty blonde, who dances, and loves to talk about boring details of life to God’s sovereignty.  it’s rather nice.

    today i got to know the girl from israel a bit — don’t ask me to try to spell her name.  she speaks arabic, hebrew, and english.  her aunt and brother both came to this school before and she comes from a long line of born-again Christians.  we walked together to the store today and she told me that she has one brother and that’s enough.  she asked if i had any brothers or sisters and i laughed and said, “oh yes!”  so far, i come from the largest family and people find it quite intriguing.  they want to know all about my brothers and sisters, if we fight, and what kind of vehicle we drive.  it’s rather funny.

    i’ve also met my twin — or that’s what we say.  i just met andrew last night so it’s not like i know him terribly well, but we’re both irish (he’s from northern ireland), we both laugh incredibly loud, and we both talk a lot.  he’s a funny boy… proud to be Irish and quite offended that on all his paperwork he’s a british citizen.  it’s rather interesting.

    i didn’t know how quickly i would get to know people here.  most people came with others and i wasn’t sure if it would be hard to break into the cliques but it’s been the total opposite.  everyone is so excited about meeting other people and i’ve met so many people that it’s rather overwhelming.  there is no way i’ll ever remember all these names!  it’s rather crazy.

    i’m the only new yorker and unfortunately, for the first half of yesterday when i woud meet someone they would always, always ask, “where are you from?”  when i’d respond with, “new york” they would be insanely crazy asking me all about the city.  i quickly started to say and emphasis, “UPSTATE new york” but even then some people would only hear the part that they’ve heard so much about.  pretty much, most people who haven’t actually sat next to me for every meal and meeting call me, “new york girl.”  it’s rather fun.

    i don’t like these kind of posts — they aren’t very creative and it’s all just information… germany was supposed to inspire me but i find myself boring you with all the details of my life right now.

    oh well.  later on perhaps.  after i hike the swiss alps and visit an old castle… next week.

          

  8. i wanna know…

    September 21, 2006 by louissa

    I wanna know your name
    I wanna know everything
    I wanna what ya like
    I wanna know what you’re all about
    I wanna know what makes you laugh

    i feel the same as the dude (whoever he is…  let me say it for you, “louissa, you’re a dork”) who sang this.  and that’s why you should seriously consider keeping in touch with me as i completely drop from the internet world starting tomorrow.

    i may be out of sight but hopefully not out of mind.  don’t forget me, alright?

    louissa_sinclair[at]bodenseehof.de

    oh, and you wanna know what’s weird?  while i’m getting ready for bed, you are all just starting prep for dinner, coming home from school, and looking at the clock to see that you only have one more hour of work.  i feel so disconnected from my world!

    you’re right, i’m so dramatic.  but someday i’ll grow up…


  9. in germany

    September 21, 2006 by louissa

    so all of you, who swear by doc martens, take this.  i decided to play tourist today and planned on being out for quite awhile (with my docs on my feet).  i walked into the center of town (half hour walk) because the bus stop near here picks up at the beginning of the day and drops off at the end of the day.  the small city i’m in is right on Lake of Constance, so that was my first destination — shopping would be second.  unfortunately by the time i got to the lake i found that the back of my right foot was killing me.  ignoring it, i kept on, eventually finding a bench and sitting there for half an hour.  after resting and getting off my feet i decided that i couldn’t just sit there until my foot felt better, it would be just as good for me to start back home.  by the time i got back here both pinky-toes hurt terribly and the back of the foot… well, eventually i stopped trying to find the right way to walk in order to find the most comfortable position because every place i put my foot hurt.

    i came up here to my room on the third floor of this townhouse, took my socks off, only to find a blister the size of a golfball on the back of my right foot and that around my left pinky toe, i had somehow cut my foot.  unfortunately i can’t blame my dry feet on doc martens.  but just so you know, even though i’m not sure what i’m going to put on my feet tomorrow since i left all my slides, clogs, and flip-flops at home, i’m doing just fine.  enjoy the few photos here while i can actually upload (tomorrow i’m heading to the school).

    the sun is warm here — warmer than what i thought it’d be.  and i’ve been told that it really doesn’t get all that cold and it hardly ever snows.  so much for all the talk of germany being so cold (not that i’m complaining).

    the common means for transportation is the bicycle.  when i saw and heard that i thought, “oh dear Lord, why did you bring me here?”  after my hostess explained this she said, “now you ride, right?  i’ve met some americans who can’t even ride!”  i smiled politely and said that i was more used to walking.  when you’re on a bike, half of the sidewalk is for you, half for pedestrians.  when there is a round-about, the bicycle then acts as if it’s a vehicle.  i don’t think i should be so freaked out about getting hit though — the drivers here are the most polite drivers i’ve ever seen.

    homeschooling is illegal here.  if you do not send you’re children to school, the government will come and take your children from you.

    there is a protestant church and a catholic church in every community (several here in Friedrichshafen).  most become members of one of these, the state then issues a church tax and your money will go to that church.  the etzel’s go to the protestant church and although there are 2000 members, only a few hundred (at the most) actually attend sunday morning service.  how do you decide which church you want to be a member of?  the churches are involved a lot with the community so you see which church is doing social services that you like and want to support and you become a member there.  if for some reason you wish to switch churches, you must write something to the government so then the money you pay will go to the new church.

    for this girl, who couldn’t find her watch before she left (so sad), the churches here are my saving grace — although every hour i feel as though i’ve been transported to the set of The Sound of Music.  the bells ring on the hour, although they don’t tell you what time it is, i still know that a whole hour has passed.  they just ring for a minute — back and forth with no pattern whatsoever.  so far, it’s my favorite part.

    it is quiet here.  even when i was in downtown today, it was quiet.  people aren’t loud here, vehicles aren’t obnoxious with speed or use of their horn, and i was able to hear the water and birds as i walked along the boardwalk (that is really very busy!).  it is odd for me to be surrounded by people but not very much noise.  thinking about this, i realized that i haven’t even heard my own voice as much as i’m used to.  yes, i’ve talked quite a bit with the etzel’s but i’m alone most of the time.  it’d be weird if i came back a quiet louissa.  for some reason i don’t see that happening.

    i’m sorry if this is a lot.  you’re rather my friend who i can converse with at the moment and while i have a laptop sitting in my room, i decided to take advantage of it.  yes, i have my own little room with mr.etzel’s laptop sitting on the desk here.  i’m quite comfortable.  : )

    well, i guess i need to figure out what to do with my feet.  should i soak them?  i don’t even know. 

    my merrick william was singing a song before i left (i’m sure he’s quite sad i took with me his favorite cd) and it’s been stuck in my head ever since. 

    there’s always that one person
    who will always have your heart
    you never see it coming
    ’cause you’re blinded from the start
    know that you’re the one for me
    it’s clear for everyone to see, baby.

    and i smile every time i catch myself humming it.  i couldn’t find my cd for a few days and didn’t know where i had put it.  i realized that he had my cd when at dinner one night when he started to sing, ”baby if you give it to me — i’ll give it to you…” i made it quite clear that i wasn’t happy about it.  he wanted to know why.  i told him that i wasn’t sure he should be listening to every song on it.  he wanted to know why.  trying to come up with an answer, i gave him the lamest one possible: rap is bad.  a few days later he told one of my sisters that the song she was singing was bad because there was some rap in it.

    ohgoodness.  i miss him.  today has been fun but can i come home now? 


  10. here

    September 20, 2006 by louissa

    i’ve been here for seven hours already and have slept for most of it.  i’m exhausted and didn’t really sleep on any of my flights.

    i’m staying at a families home, here in Friedrichshafen (easy access to the web for the time being) and they have been perfectly lovely.  the youngest, a nine-year-old little boy came in with neighborhood friends and they all stared at me for a few minutes.  they are learning english in school and were very shy in trying to converse with me, but they did stand there and stare for a few minutes — i don’t think they have someone from the US around all the time.  as i write this, there are four little girls standing off to my side in a little group, giggling, taking peeks at me, and eating cookies.  : )

    i’m here thinking that i’m all set, only to recieve an email from the school telling me something else that i need to bring and not having it with me.  oh well.  i’m just so tired that i don’t even really care and i’m sure that that’s a problem.

    i’ve been inside all day and think that i might go take a walk (everyone uses bicycles here, but i figure i’ll be okay with my feet for the time being).  have a lovely day and know that i honestly am thinking of you — lots.