Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece
There's nothing like living overseas and getting to spend Spring Break in another country.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

To Bring You Up To Speed

One of my oldest and dearest friends, also blogs and is much more faithful than I am. I keep joking with her that I just need to copy here entries over here for everyone to read since several pertain to me in some odd way. Mandy's link is over there on the right - "My Super Unspectacular Life". The ones that would help catch you up on my "unspectacular life" are: Greensboro's Global Village, Greater Greensboro Explanation and Foodie Friday; Six Flags in Six Hours is quite a story, too. Mandy, I hope you don't mind. I give you full credit for your great writing skills!

I'm obviously bad at blogging....

So it has been awhile since I have written anything. November and December were very busy, getting ready for holidays, two conferences: CCC regional staff conference and Encounter Winter Conference, and the visit of my Swedish friend Malin. Click HERE to see those photos. It was a fun time even in the midst of the busyness. I got to see my sister in Tampa for Thanksgiving and I am now afraid that was my last visit to see here there. She and her husband are preparing to move to Austin, TX. I am hoping that I can make some time to take a weekend trip to see her down there before she moves. I hate that the distance is such a factor. I love getting to see her but it's not often enough.
One of the big parts of Christmas was that my Swedish friend Malin came to visit for a week. It was fun to have her here. She has been studying in France this last semester so when she arrived we had this funny moment of which language to speak in: French, Swedish or English. Since I'm quite out of practice in the former two, we landed on English sprinkled with French or Swedish words. I am reminded of the importance of knowing other languages and cultures. While she was here, it was fun to show her around but also be reminded of all the things that I picked up in Sweden that is valuable. Her questioning me as to why we do things the way we do, reminds me that the American way may not always be the only way. I miss all of the mandatory recycling and composting in Sweden. I miss the simple things of daily life, riding my bike everywhere or even taking the bus, squeegee-ing the shower, the coffee and pastries (though I don't need them unless I'm biking everyday!).
For Christmas I got to decorate with a few Swedish things, my friend Pia sent me a set of figurines of Saint Lucia's parade. After Christmas, my friend Amber and I made Lucia Katter, the traditional Christmas cake in honor of Saint Lucia. And I have two paper star lanterns in my windows from Sweden.
Since Malin has been to Nashville twice before, I wanted to show her some of the things she hasn't seen. We went to the Bell Buckle Cafe for some traditional Southern American food. I took her and Amber to my hometown of Bowling Green, KY, to see the Mammoth Cave, the family farm and WKU, where I went to school. Then we had Christmas here. My parents came down and since Malin wanted to eat at the Waffle House, that was our Christmas Eve lunch! Of course, we had to go to the Opryland Hotel, too. It was fun to teach her to play Dominos and expose her to our American Christmas classics like How The Grinch Stole Christmas (the old cartoon), Miracle of 34th Street and (you can't leave out) The Christmas Story with Ralphie and his Red Rider BB gun! I grew up loving that movie, but watching it with a non-American, I was kind of embarrassed. It's a pretty shallow and crude movie and if you don't grow up in the culture, most if it isn't funny, just weird: the leg lamp, the pink rabbit pajamas, the flag pole incident, the turkey incident. Out of context, those things are just strange.