Saturday, March 20, 2010

Almost Easter!

Hey Ya’ll

I can always count on that phrase to make me sound “American”. Yes, yes I know it’s been awhile since I wrote. Things are chaotic around here. The first part of term is about to end. So I have a few essays and projects I’ve working on.

AHH! Time is going too fast. I can’t believe Easter break starts next weekend. It will be so wonderful to see my parents in person, rather than through the computer screen ;) I will admit it will be weird seeing them here because it’s like my new world. I don’t know it’s hard to explain. I’m getting pretty pumped to travel though. My friend Andrew from Minnesota and I planned our trip to Europe today. It took a while but we got it all booked. We are planning to fly down to Amsterdam, Netherlands for a few days they take a train to Paris where we will be for 5 days. AHH! I can’t believe I’m going to places I’ve only seen in the movies. It will be so cool. When I think about how much I’m spending with traveling I just remind myself that it is much cheaper since I’m already over here in Europe, and I need to take advantage of it. I’m glad to have a companion to travel with. The first week of break he is traveling with his parents like me.

So I need to make some corrections from my last blog. St Michael’s church is actually Anglican. It was pretty similar to the church services I’ve been to in America. I have really gotten a lot out of the teaching her. It is good. The evening church service I took my flat mates to actually ended up being a special service with a Gospel Choir singing. It was good but I don’t think they had ever been to something like that before.

Later that week on Wednesday I took advantage of free welsh lessons at one of the residence halls. It is a very complex language to say the least. I was talking to a professor that speaks some Japanese as well as Welsh and says that Japanese is much easier.

I had the opportunity to visit the University’s Dairy farm this week. It is unsurprisingly similar to the farms in America. Though I did feel like they lacked space for the number of cows they had in each pen but I think it is due to the fact that a long time ago the cows were genetically smaller. Overall they did seem smaller than the cows you see in America.

Last Sunday I went with the girl’s volleyball club to play our final games of the year. We kicked butt again! But on the way to Bristol, England there was a sheep randomly wandering the road. My first thought was “where is Bo peep?” Ha ha! I thought it was pretty funny seeing that. Only in Wales.

The weather here in Aber has been absolutely wonderful. Lots of sun! The temperature is finally catching up with the sun. Unfortunately for Aber it doesn’t do will with lots of sun and little rain for a length of a week. The grass has started looking dead. Apparently it’s a mixture of little rain and cold nights to kill it off. It rained finally today so that’s good.

Tomorrow afternoon, after I work efficiently on some essay material, there is a “Day of Dance” for people who want to learn/practice some godly dancing. I may not end up going because I have a lot to get done. But I think it would worth going to.
So the issue with my camera is finally solved. It was a matter of buying so good quality batteries. So I am able to include some up to date photos what what’s been going on. Enjoy! I can’t guarantee the next time I’ll write since break is beginning soon. I am planning on taking my computer with my on the tour so I may take time to write some updates regarding our travels.

Thanks so much for reading!!! I hope you have enjoyed reading. I should get some sleep so I can be efficient tomorrow.

Love you all!

Kelli Jo

Saturday, March 6, 2010

It's been two weeks

Hello my devoted readers!

I’m sorry I’m so behind on writing you. I typically write on Mondays but last Monday just sort of escaped from me somehow. It was and has been beautiful weather this entire week, and it looks as though it may continue this pattern for another few days. It seems like this is quite an unusual pattern for Aberystwyth seeing as how we are so close to the sea. I was looking at the weather in Indiana and it seems like there is going to be warmer weather for you all this week. : )

Well from where I left off last time that following evening I took the opportunity to get better acquainted with the people in my flat. I was attempting to study when I heard music by Taylor swift playing down the hall and my curiosity got the better of my and I went to check it out. Some of the guys were playing guitar hero (which I had only attempted twice in my life) and they challenged me to give it a shot. They had a pretty good laugh at me. Not long after I decided to see if anyone was interested in playing cards. A group of people of 5 or 6 that hang out together a lot showed interest so I taught them the card game “SPOONS!” They absolutely LOVED it! It was the most hilarious thing ever.

~for those that aren’t familiar with the game you can only have four cards in your hand at a time, someone has the excess cards in the deck and passes them around the circle. There are a pile of spoons in the middle, one less than the number of people playing. The objective is to get four of a kind with the card (4-jacks, 4-3’s). Once the first person gets four of a kind they can take a spoon. Once they do then anyone can, and you don’t want to be the one left without a spoon. ~

It’s great fun, and one of my favorite card games. One of the girls next to me was majorly into the game. If I would pass a card that I didn’t realize I wanted till I put it down she would not let me take it back up. She cracked me up. She calls herself the “Queen of Spoons” because she won the first round of the game. We’ve played it a couple times since then groups. We had to start using metal spoons because we were too violent with the plastic ones.

That following Saturday night a group of us decided to play games out side with a “Netball” (similar to basketball). I taught them another American game… “Spud”. I won’t go into how this game is played because it’s not as much fun as spoons. We couldn’t play it for very long because I had rained that day and there wasn’t a lot of open area to play. So we ended up playing form of “netball” (I think they called it “zone” or something) with out a net to shoot at. That was pretty fun because you don’t dribble the ball; you just throw it to your team mates without letting it hit the ground.

The next morning my new friend Geddy, and I, who I met through volleyball, walked to meet the van that was leaving for Bristol, England for the girls volleyball matches. We had a great day as far as the matches went. We won against the two teams we played. I played as setter which I’m improving my skill on. I’m not the greatest, but I love it. Our team worked really well together. All the girls but one had played competitively. I felt bad for the sixth girl that played. It was her first time ever playing. She’s really a rugby player. She didn’t do too bad. I thought it was pretty decent for her first time. The ride home didn’t start out that great thought because even though I went the bathroom before we left I had to go again not long after we left again. Not only was this annoying cause we had to stop but it was a Sunday so pretty much every store/restaurant was closed. At last there was a place we stopped that had a sign for toilets leading back behind the store. It was the most ghetto toilet ever because it had no toilet paper and the sink didn’t even work. But I didn’t care I was happy, and I didn’t feel so bad because the two other people had to go as well. I learned my lesson about Sundays though. That’s one thing that is definitely different from America is that everything pretty much closes here on Sunday.

On Monday I invited a few of my American friends up to Penbryn to share a meal with me at the dining hall and to see my new living arrangements. That was fun. It’s weird not seeing them as much as I used to. I had bought a map of the world earlier that day, for wall decoration and because I’ve always wanted one. So we spent some time looking at that. It’s pretty much vital to have one I think since I’ve been meeting people from all over the world. I feel it’s important to know the actual location of their country.

The people I’ve been hanging out with the most lately are Geddy, Lucian, and Hoofe (last name). They live in Penbryn Hall also but in a larger block which is all guys. They go lift weights just about everyday. They have been good motivation for me to get in shape. It’s quite interesting though because the gym has one weight room that’s fairly small and I’m the only girl I’ve ever seen in there. Ha ha! It’s been a while since I’ve lifted so I’m getting back in the grove of that, but it’s even more confusing now since everything is in kilograms and not pounds. I was weighing myself at the gym last night with one of the manual scales where you have to move the levers, and it was weighing me in “stones”! Apparently 1 “stone” is equal to 14 pounds. That was pretty strange.

Geddy and Hoofe are from England and knew each other before coming to Aberystwyth, and they met Lucian just this year who is from Wales. It is crazy how much they pick on one another. Some times I think they don’t really even like each other with what they say but I guess it’s like a brotherly love. There’s another guy they lifts weights with us that is from England but central England, and it is SO difficult for me to understand him. I feel bad/retarded because they all talk faster to each other and kind of mumble so I often miss what they say which may not be a bad thing at times. I got them to finally talk with an American accent. It makes sense to me now why they find it so hilarious when I try talking like them because they sound ridiculous as well.

So on Thursday evening I ventured down to Pantycelyn, where I used to live, to attend the Welsh Christian Union Bible Study. I had met a few of them the week previous and they encouraged me to come. There was a girl, Bethan that was willing to interpret for me. It was a pretty cool experience. She interpreted everything but the prayers and the songs because some of them were just Welsh hymns that didn’t really have interpretation. There was one song that I new fairly well that I sang in English. Bethan encouraged me to sing, she said “it’s just like how it will be in Heaven, everyone singing in their own language”. It excites me at the thought of that. I was glad that I went. Tonight there is a welsh service that is meeting that they invited me to and they are serving broth? I can’t remember the term in Welsh. I will probably check that out.

Today I help referee some volleyball games on campus. It wasn’t competitive playing at all which was ok since I am just learning to referee. It was pretty funny at how they played thought. Some of the girls were futbol/soccer players and were pretty much head butting and kicking it the entire time. That was strange.

I’m going to a Church called St Michael’s tomorrow, I’m pretty sure it is Methodist, and I’m being accompanied by a couple people in my block. It was really a God thing how it all happened. I was getting ready to go to bed Thursday night when I met a girl from the floor above me named Claire. She was interested in where I was from so I showed her on the map in my room where it was. She must have noticed my Bible sitting on my desk because about 5 minutes later she comes into my room and asks me if I go to church anywhere, and that she has been wanting to but doesn’t have anyone to go with. So her and Harry from my hall are going with me to an evening service tomorrow. It’s pretty exciting to see how God’s drawn her to seek him. I will probably see if they want to study some scriptures with me.

Well I best be off. Time is really flying by. I will miss it immensely when I leave. God has been teaching me so much here. It’s truly exciting to see him at work in my life and in others.

Sorry no pictures. My camera hasn’t been working coincidentally.

Love you all! Cheers!