Sunday, June 29, 2008

home redifined

After spending a whirlwind weekend away in St. Andrews and Crail, it is refreshing to come back to a familiar place. Outside of Glasgow the signs look different, the buses look different, the grocery stores are different and as we rode back in to town I knew we were near because I started to recognize land marks.

At the same time it was nice to get away. Glasgow equals school at the moment, so Tara and I escaped, even though it was on our mind the whole time we were gone, to this place:

This is The Marine in Crail, just 5 miles outside of St. Andrews, a really pretty beach town with lots of golf courses and ruins. We caught the first bus, number 24, out of Glasgow yesterday and rode 2.5 hours to St. Andrews where we toured around looking at the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral and Castle, both built in the 1100s. Stuff is really old here. Then we went to the beach where that famous slow-mo running scene from Chariots of Fire was filmed, and put our feet in the North Sea. Then we caught the number 95 bus to Crail where we spent the night at the B&B shown above. It was a cute, quaint town right on the seaside. We had dinner and just relaxed. B&Bs are where its at.
When we got back to Glasgow this afternoon we went to Primark, mecca of cheap cute clothes. It being the mecca, means loads and loads of people. It feeds my consumeristic mind and I hate it. I hate feeling like I need cute things or that what I wear right now is not trendy or stylish enough. I tried on stuff and just started feeling so overwhelmed that I put it all back and just got a scarf and some bangles. It's in these moments when I realized I am still young and impressionable. I can't wait for the day when I am totally comfortable in my skin and don't feel the need to try and impress people, namely guys.
I'm excited about my 21st birthday tomorrow! I started celebrating on Thursday with buying a birthday dress, then on Friday with The Cave Singers show, which was phenomenal by the way. Yesterday was the B&B and tonight will be the Euro 2008 Final Game. It would be cool for Germany to win, since I will be travelling there afterwards, but the Spain guys are much better looking. Turkey shoulda won.
Scotland is almost over. Friday I fly to London. No worries, I'll say hello to the Queen for everyone.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ann is in Kenya!

This picture acurrately sums up the ridiculousness this group ensues wherever we go. Even when we don't have them on, we draw attention like we are always wearing tacky army green ponchos. Oh, these guys are great, they keep me humble and batter my self conscious behavior constantly. I need that. They also force me to love. Self epiphanies are so cliche, but I appreciate them so.

I think (operative word here - think) that I am going to do the Peacecorps after graduation. After studying with these MSW students, I've realized that I do not have enough life experience or work experience to make a well-informed decision about grad school or even what I want to do with my life. I need to live. The Peaceorps is still a scary idea for me. I'm thinking if I just continue to say I will do it, I will eventually climb over this wall of fear and anxiety and just do it.
2 weeks left and then my adventure to Europe continues. So far my adventures are going to take me to London and Germany. Bill and I would really like to go to Poland, but we are having a hard time figuring out how to get there and get back to Glasgow in time for our flights back God-Bless-America. I'm excited. In Edinburgh last week, we went on a pub crawl with our hostel and met lots of travellers who have been travelling for weeks and weeks and it got me all riled up about exploring the world. At the same time, I do miss my friends, especially my roomies. My sister friends.
Well dang, it started to rain again. The one time I forget my rain jacket. Keep it real.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ay, brotha.

From the wee island of Scotland, I write you.

That was my attempt at being Scottish. I got nothing. So, yes here I am sitting in my dorm room which is four floors up from Scottish soil, so that's pretty neat. It really is beautiful here. That's what does it for me - architecture and nature. The kindness of the people is just a cherry on top. A very large cherry, because they are so kind.

I sit with Jack (short for Jackie) and Frances in class and I have really enjoyed getting to know them. They have lived in Glasgow all their lives and seem to be just normal women working and living and wanting to do what they can to help those less fortunate. They aren't showy or pushy or act like know-it-alls, but rather are very humble in their expressions.

Travelling with Americans is bothersome, especially Americans that are hard for me to love. There are a few people in our group that I instantly am put off by their personalities of being aggressive and controlling. I just keep quiet, put in my iPod when need be, and ask God for a wee bit more patience and love that I can seem to create on my own. I can already see a little bit of the plans and lessons God has in store for me on this trip.

It's going to be good though, I just know it. I really am having fun and will get to see so many castles!!!

Love, love, love.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Bon Voyage to Myself

I never cry out of happiness. I reserve my tears for pain and misunderstanding, not for joy because I think it is so strange to cry when you're excited. But today, I cried. And I wasn't sad. I was overcome with gifts for my trip from Aunt Janice and Lala and Pa. You see, my dad's side of the family is vastly different from my mom's side of the family. Different social classes, different ideals, different ways of living. My dad's side is so apparently full of the Holy Spirit, recognizing God in all that they do. Not to say that my mom's family isn't, but it is just visibly different.
They don't have a lot to give, but they give. I don't expect it and their generosity constantly surprises me.
I am so selfish most of the time, that this lesson is such a joy to learn over and over. It was when I opened my card from Lala and Pa that I just started to cry. Money is just money and it doesn't mean a whole lot to me, but it was their intentions of love and caring for me that was too much. How do they possess this? Lala and Pa are well into their 80s, meaning they have given up their whole lives for God. They have moved to Puerto Rico for God, they have opened a Christian retreat center for God. They give and give and give, and are still giving. It blows my mind.

I want to be like that. I need to be like that. Generosity.

With that said, here I go, with my thoughts on generosity, with the love of my friends and family, with a million hour plane ride ahead of me, with my brain opened wide. I'll see you in Scotland.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Hanging out with Emily last night made me aware of leaving. It was the kind of hanging out where we are in our pjs, listening to music, talking about who knows what. Pretty cinematic, if you ask me. I'm ready to go, I'm excited about going, buuut I am going to be living with women. WOMEN. Sure, I'm a woman (I still feel like a 14 year old girl), but these women are really women. Some are mothers. Frankly, I'm weirded out. There will be no videoed interviews about glo sticks and Saturn. Nor will there be Batman masks and staying up late just to talk. Or maybe there will be. Maybe I will be surprised. I love surprises.

Packing is lame. I've listed out every item I need to take. By developing categories (small t-shirts, big t-shirts, nice shirts, etc) and then identifying the specific color of each item. Then I can easily cross it off. I've never been more organized and less organized at the same time. I mean, my room is a wreck. Again.

I have something to add to my Things To Do Before I Die list as well:
Spend the night on a house boat.

Monday, June 2, 2008

I am a follower, it's true. I used to have a blog back in high school and when I moved to college, I retired it. have a looksy if you feel so inclined.

What's new?
I leave Friday and am excited. Mainly I've been focusing on where I am going to travel and who I am going to meet and what I'm going to eat [and drink!], but every once in a while I remember, oh yeah I'll be in class for 3 hours 4 days a week. I get to learn! I get to teach my perspective. I am curious how this trip will change me, how it will develop my plans and my future.

Oh future, you are so elusive. and annoying.