Auf Wiedersehen/ Its not goodbye but rather “until I see you again.”

9 Sep

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I have been wanting to write and start blogging again for the past couple days. But I couldn’t find the right words. Yesterday I came across something that I wrote the day I left Graz and just so everyone knows it has been a year and two months since I have been away from the city that stole my heart. But I came across a letter that left me with so many emotions, mainly feeling extremely happy that I met the people I did on exchange and that I still talk to these people every day. I am so fortunate to have met every single one of them and I could not have asked for better people to experience all the craziness with! Unfortuately, I was crying so much when I pulled away from the train station that I was only able to write about five people. So I bet you can  guess what my next post will be about, everyone else I didn’t write about 🙂 

 To the five people I was able to write about: Thank you for making Graz the best and most exciting time of my life. 

 

Leesa– Oh there is so much to say about my lil nugget! These past 5 months with you have been amazing. Can’t even begin to explain how you have impacted my life. You have shown me there is more to the world than what I once knew.  Our differences honestly bonded us in more ways than I ever thought. I honestly look up to you more than you can ever imagine, I mean its unbelievable to think you went 5 months without tasti, your family, and friends and still managed to smile every day. You, my friend ( haha hope you get that), will be greatly missed. Our dinners, pre lashes, phone calls, shopping dates, will forever be cherished memories in my heart. I love you leeser!!!

 

Courtney– I am so thankful for you, and could not have gotten through these past 5 months or past week without you calming me down! Even though, we are so different I feel like you have always understood me. I mean it is a marathon and not sprint, right? The first month in Graz with you and your cutie pink backpack were amazing. Going from the bank, to the drei store, to the half price bakery, to get a hotdog at hauptplatz were crazy amazing  times and I wouldn’t change them for the world.  The past 5 months were better than I could have ever asked for in terms of friendship with you.  I know that you “ just got too Hott and had to leave,” and that Ill be seeing you soon! LOVE YOU COURT.

 

Madi– Thank goodness I will be seeing you in a day! These past 5 months were everything I hoped they would be.. I am forever grateful for out friendship and am so excited to see you at home. The fact that we have each other is honestly what held me together this week. I know I can count on your for anything lady! Still am in shock that you were the one who suggested a taxi on our last night in Graz!!!  I love you and am so glad we became such good friends and am so thankful I’ll be seeing you in the GREATEST fly over state we call home…

 

Mindy– telling you goodbye at the train station nearly broke my heart. I never thought that at the beginning of time in Graz I would have had such a hard time telling you goodbye! I loved getting to know everything about you, especially what I learned in the WC of the Office Pub with court that super bowl night! You truly are beautiful inside and out and have been such a great friend to me! I’ll never forget the time we ran into each other in Wien and my mom saying, “It seemed as if you had known her forever.” I really had felt that way because you understand things about me in a way that no one understands. I love that our families got to hangout and see what our daily life consists of in Graz, all they really need to know was that the OFFICE PUB is our 2nd home, haha. If there is one thing I would want you to know is that I cannot thank you enough for always getting me to enjoy Graz as much as possible. You made me get out when I didn’t want you and helped me to leave Europe and truly say that, “I made the most of my time abroad and am leaving with no regrets.” Gasse wants you to know that she loves you and could not imagine her friendship without you!

Julia– I can’t say enough how thankful I am for you these past 5 months! You are amazing friend, cook( haha) and person! I loved getting to know you and the only reason I was actually happy to say goodbye to you yesterday was because I knew I would be seeing soon at our real home!  The amount of times that we laughed a day is insane when we were together. Whether it was us laughing about German and not understanding Andrea, or us laughing at Doug trying to use the hip and cool abbreviations, we were always laughing!! I love that I knew if I wanted to talk about GREEK life I could come to you and you would listen. You would listen to anything I had to say, and trust me I know that’s difficult at times because I say a lot J Can’t wait to see you back home love!!

 

I thought It was also very fitting that this post was titled “Auf Wiedersehen” because I have seen 4 out of 5 people since being back in the United States. Don’t worry though Leeser ill make it to toronto soon! 

Die Stadt der Taxis/ The City of Taxis :)

4 Jun

Hallo,Hallo, Hallo! This past weekend I was fortunate enough to travel to Munich, Germany! This trip is one that I will never forget, mainly because I fell in love with the city! I left at 5:30 on Friday morning with Leesa and we were meeting our friend Mindy and her friends from home! We barely made the train and as soon as we hit the seats we were out. Yes, we slept the whole 6 hours and finally woke up to our alarms right before arriving in Munich. My first thought of Munich was different from any other place I had traveled to this semester, and it was all due to the train station. It was huge and reminded me of the one in Zürich, Switzerland. It even had a Starbucks, which was our first stop! We got our drinks and then left the train station to find a taxi that would drop us off of at our Hotel. We both never imagined it would take so long to get a taxi to take us there. Every taxi driver kept telling us to walk because it was only 15 minutes by foot. Leesa and I would totally have walked, if we did over pack our luggage! Finally we ended up finding a nice taxi driver who ended up taking us to our hotel! We absolutely loved our hotel and our room it was so cute. We got situated and unpacked our things and then went out to explore the city before meeting up with Mindy and her friends. We explored Karlsplatz and Marienplatz. These places are two main squares in Munich! They both were filled with the cutest shops that consisted of Beer Steins, Coo Coo Clocks, and obviously Lederhosen for boys and Dirdl for girls 🙂 Then we were off to meet Mindy and her friends at the Hofbräuhaus or shall I say the famous Munich Beer hall! It was amazing. The atmosphere, drinks, people were absolutely wonderful. We stayed there for a while and hung out with some Americans that we met, but then left and went to dinner. I don’t think I have ever mentioned these in my blog before but I know some of you will know what this is… A Kebap. Yes, I’ll repeat a kebab because that what we had for dinner. It basically is the same thing as gyro. Needless to say they are much better in Graz, but it did the trick of filling me up. We hung out there at the restaurant and made a mess, or shall I say Kady, Mindy’s friend from home, made a mess. I am pretty sure everyone was happy to see us leave the place, haha. Leesa and I said our goodbyes because Mindy was heading back to Graz and her friends were going back home. However, Leesa and I were still looking forward to two more days in the amazing place!

Sunday, yes I am skipping to Sunday, turned out to be a great day in Munich. At first it was rainy and we were both miserable, but the rain stopped so we ventured out to find the Theatinerkirche. This church was unlike any church I had ever seen before. It was all white inside! Most churches around europe are brown and dark, but the one was beautiful and light 🙂 I am actually really happy we went and found this church because we stumbled upon a very historical part of Munich, Salvatorplatz. This area of Munich, where the church is located, is where Hitler gave speeches while he was in power! It honestly gave me goosebumps thinking that I was standing where he once stood! Leesa and I took pictures and hung out in this area until it was time for us to catch our train home. We realized that we had learned so much and discovered so much during this trip, which is mostly due to what we did on saturday…

Saturday was a day that I did not know if I was ready for or not. I knew It was at a time in my life where Saturday needed to happen. All I could think of before I went to sleep was this quote that I came across one day while reading about World War II… “The one who does not remember history is bound to live through it again.” -George Santayana This man is remembered for his aphorisms, but perhaps most importantly for the quote that is above which is now inscribed on a plaque at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Thats right, on Saturday I went to my first ever concentration camp, Dachau. It just so happened to be that Dachau was also the very first concentration camp and that all other concentration camps were modeled after it. There are no words for what I saw on saturday. I was speechless after I left, and am only now finding the way to put what I saw into words by the Grace of God. I am thankful that the  good Lord gave me the strength to see what I did on saturday. Here is what I saw, “das screcklichste Bild, das ich jemals gesehen hatte.” The most horrible sight, that I had ever seen”

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Leben ein Traum/ Living the dream :)

21 May

Warum bin ich so glücklich? / Why am i so lucky? I constantly am asking myself the very question above. It amazes me to this very day that I live in the most amazing place with the most amazing people. So much has happened since I last blogged, and I want to say sorry for not keeping everyone up to date. I have been so caught up with everything here, that I never found time to put all my thoughts into words. However, I am ready to do so now. So to catch everyone up my family has already been to visit me. It was absolutely amazing to be with them in Europe. I loved that they were able to see why I love Graz, and what this place has to offer! Because as I am sure you all know, Graz is a place that is magical in every single way. It has changed me into a different person, and I really do believe my family saw this when they were visiting. My father was the first to come, and boy was it great to have some OKIE blood around me 🙂 We were in Graz for a couple of days, did everything you could possibly do in this little, but amazing town. And then we went to Budapest, Hungary. It was absolutely amazing, and I am so glad I was able to be there with dad! However, I think the best thing that happened when my dad was here was him getting to meet some of my friends. I was so happy he got meet the people who changed my life and are still changing me as I write this. They all loved him and thought his accent was absolutely amazing! They had never heard someone who had that strong of a southern accent before, so they loved hearing him talk! Next to visit was my mom and mark. I ended up meeting them in Vienna, where we stayed for 1 night, and then were off to Prague and Salzburg! I really think both of them could tell that I was extremely happy with my life and that studying abroad was the best thing I could have done. I also think they both were astonished to see how close my friends and I were! I ended up randomly running into my good friend Mindy at our hotel in Vienna. She was with her parents, and I was so glad that I was able to see her and have our families hang out together. We even caused quite a scene as we saw each other getting off the elevator, everyone knew we were American because we were screaming with excitement. I had only been away from Mindy for 3 days and I was so happy to see her. Our families loved each other, and I was so thankful again that my mom and mark were able to meet Mindy! Prague was wonderful in every single way. I will be going back some day to spend more time there, and hopefully I will stay at the exact same place because it was beautiful! Salzburg was next on the list and I could not believe that I actually got to Walk in the Sound of Music. It was the cutest town that summed up all of Austria in the best way. I loved everything about it, the stores, the view, the great streets. It was wonderful! The best thing about being there was I understood so much German! I am sure all of you guys are confused as to why I could understand so much in Salzburg, so i will clarify. Salzburg, being closer to Germany, speaks in an accent very close to High German. High German is what I learn in school and have learned mostly all my life. I say mostly because I am learning some Austrian German as well as Swiss German from when I lived in Switzerland. But I will never forget how proud I was that I was able to understand people’s dinner conversations in Salzburg. Finally I could ease drop again, and it was amazing!!! I know that I just summed up the best 3 weeks of my life here, and in no way did justice to how amazing it was to spend those 3 weeks with my family, but I truly am blessed to have spent that time with them in Europe. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am now, and for that I am forever grateful. So thank you Mom, Dad, and Mark for coming to see me and for trying to understand why I love this place so much! After traveling for 3 weeks, I pretty much relaxed in Graz. It was wonderful having no agenda and living life here. Some days I look out my window and start to think that things aren’t even as pretty as they were because I am so use to seeing the beauty that Graz has to offer and all of Europe. I am constantly praying to the Lord to never let this happen, because each thing I see while I am over here I want to stand out. I want to be amazed every time I see something,even if it is the same thing! So far the Lord has answered my prayers. He definitely did this weekend when I had to opportunity to travel to Croatia with 11 of my best friends! This trip was one of the most relaxed, low-key trips I have ever been on, and I love every bit of it, well almost all of it 🙂 There were the rather annoying bits, like having to fit my outfits in a tiny backpack. All of  you that know me, understand why this annoying to me. I am not a light packer, I did everything I could do to fit 4 nights worth of clothing, plus my makeup, and the rest of my toiletries into my tiny backpack, and yet it was still heavier than I could have ever imagined! I didn’t even pack a straightener or a hairdryer! I had to rock the summer scrunch the entire time and man was it brutal! But I made it through and did not even complain that much about having to carry my heavy backpack, yes I am rather proud of myself 🙂 There were 11 of us that went to Croatia and there was only two people I wish that would have gone that  didn’t and they were  Leesa and Julia! Other than that I was with all my best friends, living life, and hanging out by the sea. It was beautiful in more ways than I ever could have imagined, and the trip ran more smoothly than I ever could have dreamed!  We had nothing booked once we arrived in Zagreb, Croatia, I repeat nothing! We only had our tickets there and back! I admit, at first I was a little worried about this, but it could not have worked out better. Once we arrived in Zagreb we had a nice lunch and decided we all should travel to Zadar, Croatia which is on the coast so we could go to the beach! So we took a 3 and half hour bus ride to Zadar and then figured out our living accommodations once we were there. We ended up staying in amazing Hostel, I could not have asked for a better place, the Lord was so giving and I was shown by him once again that He is always watching over me! We had really great food while we were in Zadar. One night we all went out for a nice dinner and had seafood. I was not so lucky this time with my order! I thought I had ordered shrimp, I envisioned that It would be a lot like my Uncle Jeff’s shrimp that he cooks, however I could not have been more wrong! It was shrimp, but it was the whole shrimp body! I could see the eyes and everything, thankfully Mindy was sitting by me and helped me eat it! Everyone at the table thought I was so funny eating my shrimp that they thought I needed to take pictures holding it! Everyone else that was not apart of our table was laughing and thought I was very entertaining and I am sure they knew immediately that I was American, but oh well! After Zadar, we went back to the capital so we could catch a train early in the morning to get back home! I was actually happy to be back in Graz, I missed hearing German and actually knowing how to say things, because I felt awful not even knowing how to say hi or thank you in Croatia! However, I do love being with people constantly. I think that is why I love traveling with my best friends because I am able to be with them all day every day! I love talking until 4 in the morning when we have to catch a train early the next day!  I know that once I leave Graz, I’ll never be able to do this again, which is one reason I hate thinking about leaving this place. I am attached to it in more ways than I could have ever imagined. I love my life, I love my friends, I love hearing German constantly, and can’t even bear to think what my life will be like when I leave this place! I can’t imagine waking up and not saying “Guten Morgen” to my roommate, who I absolutely adore! Or  wishing I spoke more languages constantly when My roommate speaks with her best friend, Barbara, in Hungarian! I sit there and literally am amazed each and every time that I have no clue what they are saying to one another unless they are speaking in German 🙂 I also can’t imagine not having to use a dictionary constantly when trying to explain things or talk to my roommate and Barbara! I love everything about my life now, I love having to search for words to make my roommate understand me! I love the look of confusion that I have constantly when she says words that I never even knew existed! I love everything about my life and I cannot believe that I am actually living it here in Austria. I am not sure why or how I got so lucky to be in such an amazing place where I can study German, but I am grateful for it and am living each and every day as if it were my last!

I was not lying! The shrimp really did have eyes when It came out!

The whole gang in Croatia!

All of the girls on the beach!

Until next time/ Bis nächste Zeit!

LEBEN. LACHEN. LIEBEN. / LIVE. LAUGH. LOVE.

❤ Allison

Ich habe einen Traum/ I have a dream :)

14 Mar

Guten Tag Alle!/ Good Day Everyone!

I am so sorry that I have not posted anything in forever. So much has happened since I last checked in but for some reason I was having a difficult time putting everything into words. However, now I am ready 🙂

I wake up everyday in this amazing city and can’t help but smile. I love it here. Everything about this place is wonderful and really has helped me to grow as  a person. There are many things that I have come to realize even more so than when I lived in Switzerland. In Switzerland I got to experience that America is not the world and that there is so much out there that truly can make someones life. But Graz has shown me that while America is not the world a person cannot experience other things fully unless they make themselves open to the experiences. By this I mean leaving what a person has ever known behind to find out what the world really is like. And with that said even  who I really am as a person. I have realized that if I want to fully learn and experience new things I must start every experience with a fresh mind. Believe me trying new things in this crazy European lifestyle can not happen while keeping your American thoughts so fresh on your mind. Its actually very humors because lately I have started questioning why I do certain things and think to myself, “Well thats what we do in America.” But then I ask myself, “But why do we do that in America, why do I have to follow what every other American does?” I know many of you will read this and think to yourself, “What in the world is Allison talking about?” So I will give you an example… people. Meeting people from different countries is amazing! But there are times when I think to myself, “Why in the world are they doing that, is that normal to them?” sometimes I even ask, “Did they really just say that?” But then I take a step back and think the only reason I am questioning them is because it isn’t common in America. And recently I have tried very hard to get those thoughts out of my head. I want to embrace other people and understand why they are the way they are, and I know this can only happen if i open myself up to it:) With all of this said, I have something that I would love to share and even though it is a dream, I will make it into my reality!

* When I am finished with school, I want to come back to Europe. Preferably to a German speaking country.  I would love to go back to Switzerland, but that country will probably leave my bank account with only a few swiss francs! But I have considered doing two things the first is an inspiration from my wonderful friend Kathi. Kathi was a nanny in the U.S. and it was there that she got to practice her english and hangout with an amazing American family. I think coming back to Europe and doing something similar to Kathi would be amazing! I would be in Heaven. However, I have also thought about trying to come and teach over here as well. I recently recieved an email from the International Office in Graz about helping a little girl learn English. I responded to the email because I would love to help her out, but have not heard back yet. So this is the dream I have to come back and actually live her, maybe not for good, but for longer than 5 months.*

I am so excited for everything that is happening in my life and I cannot wait to see what comes up next while I am here! I cannot thank my family and friends enough for supporting me in this and I cannot give enough thanks the the Lord because without Him it would not be possible. And I truly feel that things I am learning here I would have never learned back home. I think that is one of the coolest things about living in a foreign country is that is can change a life and make it so much better. The german langauge has transformed me, I went from being an osu student who would sit in German class so frustrated because I didn’t understand, to being here in Graz similing because of the language. Don’t get me wrong I still get frustrated, but my attitude toward the language has greatly improved because no one here is tearing me down with bad grades when I make a mistake. Here I can speak the language and while people still correct me they encourage me to try and understand that I am going to mess up. It is beautiful in itself to have the freedom to mess up and still be encouraged. I love it and I am so happy and I owe it all to this amazing city called Graz!

Bis zum nächsten Mal/ Until next time 🙂

 

Ich bin sehr glücklich!

12 Feb

Ich bin sehr glücklich/ I am so lucky…

Well, I have survived my first week in Graz. I still cannot believe I am here, and get to live here for 5 more months. This week has truly been one of the greatest weeks of my life and here are the reason why:

1. I have the BEST friends- My friends that I have met here truly are people who I will talk to for the rest of my life. They are absolutely amazing and I am so blessed to have met them. They have been life savers and they are the only people who understand what I am going through. They have helped me in so many ways. All of you know, that I am awful with directions. I have a hard time getting to Penn Sq. Mall without my GPS. Mom, I know you are laughing at this but you also know this is true. Well my friends have helped me figure out where to go, which bus and or tram to take, and so much more. My Buddy, Kathi, has been wonderful. She is so helpful and I would also be lost without her.

2. Deutsch, Ich mag Deutsch-  German, I love German. It is my absolute favorite language. I try to speak it as much as possible but there is time when I have to resort to English because I am totally lost. But my goal is to not rely on English as much this next week. If I want to truly speak it I need to practice, practice, practice. My german class that I am in now has helped so much! My teacher speaks only in German and even though I am lost at times, I understand the majority of what he says. Being in Graz, and listening to the language again is a dream come true. I know many people think German is an awful sounding langauge, and to their ears it may be that way. However, those people have probably never seen what it is like to be surrounded by the culture that is surrounded within the langauge. For example, almost all of the German-speaking countries have a certain way they go about things. People here wait for others to get off the tram, or bus and then they get. Every one is Graz knows when the bus and or tram is coming because it’s never late. In hotels people must stick their room cards into this holder so the light comes on. They save as much energy as possible and are very conservative. They walk everywhere even if its 4 degrees outside. They bring their dogs with them into restaurants and the dogs sit still. People hardly even recognize them.  One thing that I particularly love about Graz, is that you can get to one side of Graz to the other in 10 mins by car. It is a very small town, but it is plenty big for me. When I am lost, I am never really that lost because I am only 10 mins from my dorm. This place is special, and I am so happy I chose to come and study here.

3. Differences- Differences truly make people special. In my German class there are so many people  who are from different places in the world. Japan, Sweden, Italy, Hungary, France. I am so happy that I have met all these people because their differences have made an impact on me already in the first week. I really can’t wait to get to know my class more and get to learn about the world just from being friends with them.

4. The food- The food here is amazing. The sandwiches, the bread, the cheese, the pizza, and of course the chocolate are amazing. There is one cafe that I am particularly love, which is Sorger. It is absolutely wonderful. I get the same sandwich almost every time I go there. It is a turkey/ ham sandwich on this amazing cheese bread that has mozzarella and tomatoes and other great stuff on it! Anyone back home who craves Old School Bagel like me, will no longer be craving that because Sorger definitely makes up for the not so great American tasting cheese.

All of these 4 things have made my first week here go so great! I am sorry that I have only blogged once this week, but I have been so busy. Getting things settled for class, getting a cell phone, trying to get everything I need for my room, have definitely take a toll on me. But I will try to blog more this up coming week. Although, I feel my German class will be getting more difficult because we started good ol’ grammar. For all of you that hate English grammar, if you studied any german at all you would come to love our langauge for only using one word for “the” no matter what case it is in. But then again, that is a very American way of thinking because our langauge makes no sense with our endings to verbs and adjectives. German adjective ending are quite hard and I have to study them and learn them by tomorrow. Wish me luck 🙂

 

Goodbye, See you later, See you again.

Tschüss, Bis Später, Auf Wiedersehen.

 

Nur der Anfang…

5 Feb

Nur der Anfang… / Only the beginning…

Well the difficult was over. Saying good bye to my family and friends was not the easiest. I found my self thinking on the airplane ride over to London that I was crazy for doing this by myself. But I knew if I was going to make it to Austria, I had to put my feelings of saddness behind me. I needed to focus on getting to Graz and only that. I first landed in London, and I wish I could have skipped that part of my trip. I was highly frustrated because they, the airport people that directed you to where you were suppose to go, made us go through secruity all over again. Thoughts in my head were, ” my plane leaves in less than an hour, was American Secruity really not good enough.” I realize that was very American for me to think that but I was extremely tired. My plane didn’t end up leaving London until 12 pm, when it was supppose to leave at 11 am. I feel asleep as soon as I hit the seat and woke up to us still on the groud, so Im not sure what the problem was. But I made it, and then battled my way through the Vienna Airport or shall I say Vien Flughafen. It was difficult because I had two huge suitcases, a back pack, and this rolly thing. I also was having to call my mother ever other minute to figure out what to do. But I manged to get a taxi from a guy who came up to me again speaking English. I was more frustrated then because he knew I was English speaking. We took an elevator down to the garage parking and I suddendly envisoned the movie “Taken” in my head. I had to force myself to think about something different. I think it is a very American feeling to worry about being alone with a taxi cab driver for a few shot minutes, but thats what I am American. As I got into the Taxi I told him where I needed to go and I found myself paying attention the signs because I once again was that American and thinking of “Taken.” However, I made it to the Meidling Bahnhof/ Train Station! And had to figure out how to buy a ticket from the machine, good thing there was an English button because I had forgotten all my Train Vocabulary. The words: arrival, departure, one way, and such were completely non exsistant in my head. Then I could not read the montiors. Some of you may find this amusing because I lived in Switzerland, but I was to scared to take trains and trams by myself then. I did not like it, and had a fear of going the wrong direction! Finally I found someone that spoke English that directed me to the correct platform, unfortunatley it was not platform at 9 and three quarters 🙂 Hogwarts would not be my final destination, but rather Graz! It was on the train to Graz that I met my very first abroad friend. Her name is Emma Zink from Colorado, she asked if I was studying in Graz since I had such big suitcases. She was great company the whole way there. I knew the Lord had provided her to me at that time so I could relax and not stress out so much! God really is wonderful and Emma and I had a very nice talk about Him on the way to Graz. We both were in agreeance that getting to Graz was by his grace and not ours :). My buddy met me at the trainstation. Her name is Kathi and she is wonderful! She speaks very good English, which was nice because my brain hurt so much and I could hardly think in my own language and it would have a been a struggle trying to think in German right then. Kathi took me to dorm and helped me with my bags and then we went to eat. There is an amazing Bier Baron Restuarant right around the corner. They have excellent pizzas. Then of course Kathi walked me back home to sleep. It was there that I ran into Madison Pastor’s Mom. Madison goes to OSU with me and Im so thankful to have her next to me in my dorm! She is one floor below me which is so nice. Her mom was so welcoming! I stayed with Madison that night since my roomate and hers were both gone! Madison is great with directions. Which is awesome because I am not. She walked me to my German Orientation so I wouldn’t be lost 🙂 We stayed up getting things settled and did not get to bed until 2 am, and we had to wake up at 7 am. Yikes 5 hours of sleep did not seem that great, but it was wonderful. I felt fine the morning and I think I did okay in my German Placement. I say okay because I don’t know yet where I am placed, but the ladies seemed to know what I was trying to say and they were so nice! After the placement I headed to the main building of campus to look at the map because I had no clue how to get home. I ran into Emma again, and of course it was the Lords doing. Madison and some American girls and one Korean girl she met in her class also walked right by us! It was God’s perfect timing! We all went and ate and spent the day and night together! We went to eat at the Bier Baron again where we learned in Austria people say “Mahlziet” which means “meal time.” After eating we all went back to our dorm and to get warm then decided to walk around the main center, Jakominiplatz, and see the town! We ended up going into this rather Austrian looking pub and it was wonderful because I could practice my German! We left around 11 to make sure we would get home in time because the buses and trams stoped at 11:30pm. All of us girls did not live together and we sure did not want someone accidently going the wrong way and then the buses not be running. Little did we know, since we were all together chit chatting and singing in English on the bus we missed our stop by a good four stops. We got off the bus and it was 11:30pm. Buses were not running anymore! We were freezing! So we started walking toward our dorm. We told the girls that didn’t live by us that they could certainly stay in our room since our roomates were on Holiday. We decided we were so far that we needed to get a taxi. Luckily taxis run late in Graz. The problem was we had to many people, and the first taxi turned us down. The next taxi however did not, I practially begged him in German of course 🙂 to take us home. I was so cold I was determined to get in the warm! It was now 12 am and we all made it home! I am so thankful to have met these girls and have Madison so close to me. It was so comforting to be with them and It almost felt like home. I am excited to start my German class though and meet some people that I can go off with and really practice my German. My buddy, Kathi, practiced with me when she took me to Ikea. She said I did good and it was so good to hear someone say my German is good compared to my school teachers who constanly knock every person when they make a grammer mistake. If my readers didn’t know, or had forgotten, German Grammer is very hard and complex! In fact my Buddy even said “Oh yes. German Grammer much difficult than English. Much Much Difficult.” Every person in Graz has been so welcoming, I think I will really like it here! I am so thankful for this oppertunity to come to this country and experience the Austrian and European life again. My parents and family really have blessed me and I am so thankful. Prayers are stil needed though from all of you guys and would be much appreicated. I really would like my German to improve and to come back fluent. I would very much appreicate your prayers for my German to improve and that I have an amazing time here! I know the Lord has planed this since before I was born because Jeremiah 29:11 says so. The Lord knew my parents and family would get me to the point I am at right now, and even though I will have to go out of my comfort zone at time, I do not want to waste all the good work that the Lord, my family, and friends have done to make this possible.

Untill next time, oder Bis Später!

Five Years Ago Seems Like Yesterday…

25 Jan

Five years ago, January 25, 2007, is a day that I will never forget. This day is memorable because it was the first time that I truly experienced what death feels like. By this I mean, I lost someone who I looked up to, valued, and depended on more than anyone could ever imagine. Not only did I lose someone this day, but my best friend and her family as well. Mr. Cobbs passed away and entered the gates of heaven on the night of January 25, 2007. I cannot believe that he has been with Jesus for so long, when it seems like just yesterday he was taken from the earth. His passing taught me more about myself and life than even I can comprehend. I learned that life was extremely short and that it does not matter what is going on in a person’s life because when the Lord calls someone to be with Him there is no negotiating. I remember driving my best friend to the hospital that night and laughing along the way. But I will never forget her looking right into my eyes and saying, “I hope my Dad isn’t dead.” Thinking back to this memory I remember thinking to myself and saying to her that he is fine and everything will be fine. Walking into the hospital and hearing her scream as her grandmother took her by the arm and told her what had happened, I knew everything was not fine. Life changed after that day, I changed and a lot of other people changed with me. It honestly was not until a month after his passing that I started to look at him being gone differently and I owe it all to my Aunt Susan. We were sitting at the kitchen table talking about how amazing Mr. Cobbs really was and how he helped lead more people to Christ than any other person I knew, including me. My aunt reassured me that the Lord would not have taken him from this world if he had more opportunities on this earth. And from that point on, it all clicked inside me. Mr. Cobbs did all he could do on this earth and it was time he celebrated with Jesus. I hate that he left so many people who loved him behind. I hate that my best friend had to go through what she did, but I know that if anyone could handle this situation it is her. I was sure of this and so was Jesus. I thank the Lord that I had the pleasure of knowing one of his great and faithful followers. I will always cherish the times when I was with him. It weird because I never realized this when he was here, but he was my second father. He looked over me and often made fun of me because I was an osu fan. I learned very quickly to never watch an osu/ou game at their house ever again because all he did was rag on my team. Funny thing is that now his daughter goes to osu and even though she still cheers for ou, she bleeds orange just like me. So I guess I’m the one who gets the last laugh because constantly I think to myself, “what would her dad say if he knew yet another one of his daughters went to osu?” I’m blessed to have known him and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him.