I love the UK.
I didn’t love the UK very much my first day here, but I survived the first afternoon in the Oxford City Centre and the evening at the Backpacker’s Hostel-my first solo experience at a hostel. The hostel wasn’t bad. I was too exhausted to have any expectations of what it might be like. All I wanted was wifi so I could let my family know that I was alive and a bed so I could fall asleep as quickly as possible. I met several crunchy granola, peace & love characters at the hostel who thought the world was getting warmer and that taxes were much too low. The inside of the hostel appeared to be a dive bar that had been hit by a Caribbean hurricane, which strew tiki lights, straw “palm trees”, and obnoxious neon green, orange, and blue paint all over the walls.
Yes mom (I know you are reading this), it was safe (the door had a coded lock) and I was the only person in my room for the evening. I experienced co-ed bathrooms (which are gross) for the first time, and I sure was thankful for the PSSSSSST Krista gave me for Christmas that saved me a trip to the showers.
Now, my dear friend Katie and I live (for the week) in an ancient manor called The Gables with a lovely family in Eynsham, a sleepy town 20 minutes outside of Oxford. Eynsham is lined with stone walls, row houses with varied pitched roofs, and “new” architecture dating from the 1770’s. Quaint is the perfect word to describe this beautiful part of the world. Today, 10 students from “The States” and I began a worldview intensive and our UK/Oxford orientation. We begin our Oxford Studies the week after next. Excited is an understatement!
I enjoy the beauty and hospitality of this place – thanks to David and Jemma – and the three gorgeous, vivacious children (Joe, Daniel, and Molly) who live here. We spent this evening with the Ferrier family. It was full of merriment, delicious food, and edifying conversation about morality, gun control, the class structure within the UK, and the theatre. I was in heaven.
The kids have a zip line (they call it a “zip cord”) in the backyard, and we spent most of this morning zipping up and down the backyard before I left for class at 10am. Once the Summit crew reunited, we strolled around around the village for several hours. Eynsham is the most picturesque place I’ve been. I don’t want to leave!
I am so thankful and grateful for this season of life. God is so good. I hope I will never be the same.
Gandalf: “You’ll have a tale or two to tell when you come back.”
Bilbo: “You can promise that I will come back?”
Gandalf: “No. And if you do, you will not be the same.