Saturday, August 29, 2009

Corinth Today: Paul is my hero!!!

Well today we got to a rocky start with some miscommunications, but everything turned out great. We were able to sleep in quite a bit today which was sooooo nice. We did not leave as early as we wanted to, but I was able to make a sandwhich with the free continental breakfast they give us (bread with butter and jelly... B&J) which was nice. I saved it for dinner, it was yummy :)
Ok so anyway today was the day I have been waiting for, for so long...we went to Corinth (which here is called Korinthos). It was so exciting because we went to a place where people live that Paul... the apostle Paul... wrote entire books to!!!!!!!!!!! Isn't that insane?! Oh my goodness I was so excited! It took about two hours to get there by bus and train and metro. It was a lot of fun though. This city was so much different then the cities we have seen already. It was not as fancy and nice, but much more real. It did not look like it was trying to impress anyone but definently had its own style. It kinda reminded me of the houses in the movie "Slumdog Millionare". There was a lot less tourist attractions and the people did not seem very happy. There were a lot of stores with really nice stuff next to traditional Greek stores, it was interesting. I saw a few gypsy families relaxing on the grass. People are so interesting...the things they do, the things they do not do... I do not know, I just really like people from everywhere!

It was so amazing because we went up to ancient Corinth where Paul walked around and preached the gospel. Where he probably looked like a crazy man doing what God told him to do. The majority of the ancient city is all in ruins now, but it is still so beautiful. We saw what was left of it and what they tried to preserve. I really wanted to read what Paul did while he was there while we were there. So we sat under a nice tree and I felt like I was teaching a Sunday school lesson hehe. I sat and read aloud chapter 18 of 1 Corinthians. It makes me tear up just thinking about what we saw and how we experienced the place Paul was. As I read the chapter, I realized we made a similar journey as Paul did... in a much smaller scale of course, but we went from Athens to Corinth just as Paul did. And we are going to Rome in a couple days just like Paul! It is so crazy to walk around in the heat getting our feet all dusty and realizing a few thousand years ago, a man from the bible did the same thing! Wow! I also read 1 Corinthians 13 just because it is beautiful. Also because it is something Paul wrote for the Corinthians and I thought it was important for us to remember as well.

I really feel like the people in my group are like my family. Joel is like our big brother that has to take care of 6 We have shared so much and I do not like thinking about leaving them :( so I won't! I am so glad I have such a fun group to hang out with. Everyone is so forgiving and accepting of each other, even with small quarrels here and there, everything always works out. Angela is so sweet and gentle, but she has a fiesty side too. I love it! Charissa is always looking for fun ways to do things, but is smart. Christina is just precious, so caring and I love messing with her. She is my BFK! Lol. I will have to explain that one another time. Chelsea is always so serene... I do not know if a person can be serene, but she is. She seems like she is out of a movie or a painting sometimes. She is so funny! Melody is always glowing, I love it! She is so precious. Joel... well then there is Joel. He is a fun guy, I am glad he brought this all together. He is also amazing at bartering! Today he was able to get a few of us girls a great deal on fun Greece bags! I am not good at bartering because I always feel bad trying to lower prices so much... you kind of have to be mean to barter a lot of times. I am not good at that. Joel is! No no no he is not mean, but he can be when he needs to I guess. Lol. I love my travelling family!! They are wonderful and I am getting to know them all so well. :) I am blessed!

Ok well back to Corinth, we saw the different temples that were there for other gods and all the different statues they had. The Greeks are such hard workers! I do not know if there any lazy Greeks. I mean at least in that time. The detail they place in each stone amazes me. Everything is so specific and wow, there is just so much thought put in each and every section of stone. I really love seeing it. And also the thing I did not know was how close Corinth was from the water. I mean on one side we saw rolling green hills with houses placed slanting off the sides, while on the other side there was the deep blue sea. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!!
After we left Corinth we walked around a lot and just explored the streets of Corinth and then headed back toward our hostel. We stopped in Plaka, which is this fun shopping area where there are tons of different types of shops and resturants. Everyone was really hungry... I ate my sandwhich and a muffin I saved from another day. Plaka is where Joel got us the amazing deal on the bags. It was so much fun! I feel like even when we are not doing anything, our group is always laughing. It makes our trips so much more fun. We did a lot more random wandering and standing and talking today, but it was nice just hanging out in Greece.

Tomorrow we are going to Patras... I do not know what is there, but I know we are taking an overnight ferry from there to Italy tomorrow night. I am really excited to go to Italy! I do not know what to expect really and I like not knowing. I am excited to try real Italian food! Mmmmmmmm. I feel like so much of my adventure to these places is the food... but you really get to know a culture when you try their food and talk to the people. It will be interesting switching languages though, just as we were getting used to Greek... Hopefully it won't be too much different from Spanish and we can pick up on at least some of the words. The word we have had the most trouble with here is thank you... We already know it in Italian! Hehe.

Ok well I am sorry I was not as detailed today, I am tired and we are not sleeping as late tomorrow so I want to get some rest. Please if you have not already email me your addresses so I can have them. I love you all so much, I hope all is well in the states!
I do not know when I will write again because I will be on a ferry to Italy tomorrow night and I do not know if the Italian hostels will have internet. I will try soon.

Love always, Danni

Friday, August 28, 2009

Greek Isles: My First Cruise Ever!!

Hey guys,
I am super tired right now so I am sorry if this is short or does not make sense. I was on a cruise in Greece all day. We woke up at about 5am this morning to take all our different forms of transportation to the ferry. The ferry was supposed to leave at 8am, so we were told to be there no later than 7:45am. So of course we were super early and the ferry did not leave until about 8:30am, but it was worth the wait. We took the ferry to three different Greek Isles. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Honestly I think it was the best day of the trip yet. I feel like each day keeps getting better and better! So the ferry ride was about two hours to the first island. The first one was called Porus ( I do not know about the spelling) and everything about it was breath taking. The houses on the hills with the blue doors and the green vegetation against the clear blue water. There were boats everywhere lining the coast where the stores were uniquely placed. There were cobble stone streets with beautiful staircases leading up to some unknown place. There were family owned bakeries and fruit markets and vendors everyone trying to bring you to their store. Everything was wonderful and peaceful there. I love it! We came to a small bakery and I splurged...I got Baklava...and oh my goodness it was amazing! It was super cheap and I did not want to stop eating it. Real Greek Baklava!!!! So good, oh my goodness, I loved it! That alone made my day, but it kept getting better. We only stayed on this first island for about 45 minutes which was a bummer, but better than nothing. Then we got back on the ferry and headed to the next island. This entire ride we were fed our lunch. It was fun because they did not tell us what we were having, so we never really knew what we were eating. Lol. First they brought out a pile of shredded salad with a huge slab of raw fish on top. I think it was salmon, but I do not know. I assumed this would be our entire meal so I ate slowly ( well I eat slow anyway, but I tried to be smart with my meal). It was so delicious! A couple of the people in our group did not like the fish so much, but I really enjoyed it. They did not give us drinks, you had to pay for them. After they cleared everyone's plate in the entire dining hall, they brought us another plate. The second plate had potatoes and some kind of meat on it that we thought was probably pork. Everything was so tender! The meat basically melted in your mouth! I am not a huge pork fan, but this was good! And the potatoes were probably the best potatoes I have ever had! After that they brought us a delicious lemon dessert. It was all so good and completely filling!

When we were all finished the ferry had docked and we arrived at Hydra. This was my absolute favorite Isle!!! It was so beautiful! They had donkeys and houses on hills with blue doors (again) and the water was so clear you could see straight down to the bottom. We walked around and there was just so much to see and do. Angela and I got bombarded by people trying to sell us donkey rides, we really wanted to do it... it was so tempting. However we sadly refused and continued on to the beach. It was so beautiful, I am so glad I wore a long flowing skirt today because my bathing fit under it so nicely. There were just five of us who went to the beach together so we took turns going in the water and watching the stuff. It was a tiny little beach. No sand. It was on the side of the hill with slippery rocks everywhere. We had to climb down a bunch of steps and then climb a ladder into the water. It was so great! The water was a lot colder than I expected, but warmed up once we jumped in. It was so cool being able to look through the water and see our feet so clearly and the rocks and the small sporadic fish swimming by. There was so nice and relaxing. I was able to float so much easier in this water, I think because of all the salt. We just swam around and kept reminding ourselves that we were swimming in the Mediterranean! Wow I still cannot believe I got that opportunity. After we left the beach we walked around and dried off for awhile looking at different shops and just enjoying the island. My mission was to find a floppy hat. I really wanted a floppy hat from Greece to wear around the island and just Greece in general. I also really wanted a side bag so that I had some type of purse to carry my stuff in. Chelsea got one for 8 euros which was really cute and cheap. Angela found me the perfect little floppy hat... it was white with blue beads around the top round part and it was perfectly floppy... oh I just loved it!! The only problem was the price... not too bad for a person who is not as frugal as I am. It was 10 euros and I wanted to get it for 8, but I do not know how to barter... so I was not able to get my B-E-A-UTIFUL floppy hat. By that point we had to head back to the ship because we were only about to stay on this island for about an hour and fifteen minutes. I wanted to cry when I left this island. Everything about it was just amazing! There was even this cute little girl when we were leaving the beach that was so precious. She came when we were packing up our stuff and she looked like such a little grown-up. She was all by herself and she brought out her towel, set it out to sit on, positioned her shoes, laid down her beach bag, and ate a little snack by the beach. It was precious! She was probably about six. Oh I just love this culture so much!

After we left this island, we were on the ferry for quite awhile on our way to the last island of our journey. We hung out and took pictures and relaxed to the moving of the boat. It was amazing watching the water change from glistening blue-green to a softer crystal blue- white as the ferry sped away from the lovely island. The last island was named Aegina. It was nice, but it was more city-like. It had a similar appearance as the first island, but it was larger like a city. It was like a beautiful Greek city. Sadly by this time I was so exhausted that I could hardly enjoy the isle... but I did! We found a tiny little beach that had sand and water to stick our feet in. The ferry was so hot in the trip to this last island that all we wanted to do was jump in the water... but we didn't. After sticking our feet in the water we walked around and looked in stores. Oh my mission of my floppy hat still existed! I wanted Joel to help me barter for a cheaper hat because I think I may not be demanding enough and I fold too easily. Long story short, I found a fun floppy for less than I had even wanted for the first one AND I did not have to barter! Pretty cool, huh? I was a little unsure about it at first because I had liked the other one so much, but it grew on me and now I love it so much better!! Not long after my beautiful floppy hat joined our excursion, we decided we should eat. I was not feeling so great and I think it had to do with my effort to make gold fishies my meal to save money or maybe I just need more water. Oh well it got better because Joel really wanted this one Greek dish so we went to a traditional Greek restaurant and ate an amazing Greek meal! I really like trying new things that are not completely known... The waiter guy was so sweet, I kept asking what this one dish was and I could not understand what he was saying so he took us all back to the kitchen and showed us all the different fish they had. He pulled out buckets of fish and told us what they were. Then we went back to our table and ordered. The funny thing was that showing us all the fish still did not answer my question about the dish on the menu. Lol. Well the thing Joel wanted was some kind of fried cheese and so he knew what he was getting. Chelsea, Melody, and I ended up splitting two dishes. One was the fried cheese and the other one ( which we did not know what it was when we ordered it ) was fried eggplant. They both ended up being delicious! Melody did not like the eggplant so much and Chelsea thought it was ok, I loved it! hehe. The cheese dish was so good too... as most of you know, I love cheese! I do not know what kind of cheese it was, but it tasted liked feta with the consistency of Mozzarella. It was very very very good. He also brought us bread which we thought was free, but ended up costing us in the end. It was yummy though. It was crunchy bread with two dips: tuna and olives. I really liked the tuna, it was cool because I knew it was fresh because we were right by the sea. After our meal we headed straight back to the ferry for the last stretch of our cruise... the return to the dock. It was sad to leave all the beauty of the Greek Isles and all I could think about is how much I want to return. It is so romantic there, a perfect honeymoon place... just a thought. Hehe.

I am going to have to wrap this up, I am so tired and I need to shower and go to bed or something... I cannot think straight anymore. I thought about many of you, wishing you could be there with me and share in the breath taking Greek air and the pure white houses that powered the hills and the smooth cobblestone that peeked over the coast almost wishing to jump into the crystal clear water. Awwww I just loved it! I know I know this is only my second country and I am going to Italy in a couple days, but right now Greece is my favorite. I just love everything about it! Even the graffiti is pretty. Hehe. Well anyway I am excited about this trip because I get to see so much and do so much and I do not think I will ever get the opportunity to do this again. I know I am going to enjoy each place I go because there is so much culture in Europe. There is seems to be so much pride and I really admire how much people love and appreciate the place they live in. I know this is not universal from everyone who lives here or anywhere, but I feel like there is a lot more here then I have seen before. I am excited to continue to experience cultures from so many different people and areas!

Oh I forgot to say after we got off our cruise and headed back to our hostel, we met a couple from Australia. They turned out to be Christians and we talked to them for about 25 minutes as we boarded buses and metros. It was a lot of fun and really a blessing to be able to really connect with other people that believe in the same God as us. Oh the guy was a pastor so yeah, it was cool.

Ok but seriously I have to go, I love you all so much!! Tomorrow I am going to Corinth, to see what Paul saw. To be where Paul was. I am super excited! This is probably one of the only things I was so demanding on because I really really wanted to be there and open my eyes to who Paul was talking to in 1 and 2 Corinthians. We are also hopefully going to the jail where Peter and Paul were, but I did not know when. I think we might also go to Delphi tomorrow... a lot is up in the air. All I know is that we do not have to wake up as early in the morning which is nice.
Thanks for reading my blog, I will post again soon!

Love always, Danni

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Athens: So Much to Do, So Much to See

Since I am at the hostel again tonight and Internet it free, I figured I better take advantage of this rare occasion. I know my blogs are really long, but I am writing the bare minimum that I can write in a short period of time. One day here feels like a week because so much happens and we just do so much! I also realized that I forgot my journal at Roehampton with all my luggage so until I buy a notebook or something, this is my only form of processing my experience. So you all get to join the journey with me, I hope you like it. Ok enough explanation... this is what happened today!

We woke up around 7am to get a nice start on the day. They feed us breakfast here at the hostel which is super nice. The continental breakfast is toast, juice, and tea or coffee. I tried to eat a lot because I did not know when I would eat again. I do not like to spend money on food or anything for that matter, but especially food. I am so glad that I brought a few snacks because they hold me over sometimes when we are running around doing things. I have not had much of an appetite either because everything is so exciting. I am in Greece!!! I just cannot believe it. I met an Irish boy yesterday that said he would help me find my family castle for when I go to Ireland. He is staying at the hostel tonight too. I met him in the bar, they said we got free welcome drinks... I thought maybe I could get an iced tea... nope! They give you a shot of this drink that is called 'oozo'. I opted out of that one, but I hung out with Joel and Melody in the bar and talked with the bartender. Her name is Lucy, she is from London as well but moved to Greece three weeks ago. She just finished college and is going back for her masters. I think it is so cool how people in Europe just go everywhere! I talked to the Irish guy for awhile too, he said he was trying an experiment... being sober. Lol. He didn't like doing it and ended up getting a beer not too long after he finished his water. This is one of my favorite aspects of traveling... the people.

Ok so today after breakfast we headed out to see the Acropolis. We walked all day from about 8am until about 8pm. It was well worth it though. We had to take the metro to get their luckily we were able to leave our big backpacking backpacks at the hostel in our room all locked up. I think we are starting to get used to the transportation system a little more which is good. And we do not get ripped off as much which is good. And we use our student card for things so that we can get the discounts we paid for. We got to see the Acropolis for half the original price with our student card, which was nice. Oh my goodness everything in Greece is so beautiful!!
All of their buildings look famous. They are all made of marble with iron gates and amazing designs. Every rock that is placed anywhere tells a different story. Even the rubble ( which is everywhere) is beautiful! I took over 300 pictures just today. We saw all kinds of things today from the Acropolis to Zeus' Temple to the Parthenon to the place where the Olympics were first played! It was amazing seeing so many places that I have read about and seen in movies. We stood on the same hill that Paul stood in Athens and preached!!!!!! It was so amazing. PAUL!!!! The Apostle!!!! Oh my goodness I wanted to cry just thinking about being there where such an inspirational man stood and spread the gospel to thousands of Greeks. I mean everything about Athens is so amazing, there is so much history in it. Every street and every building is so different from the next. Wow it is beautiful! I cannot wait to show you all pictures. As soon as I get back to school, I will try to load and put up at least a few.

After we were done seeing all the famous and amazing sights that most tourists see, we just wandered around. I think we were lost, but it did not even matter because we were in Greece. When we were at the stadium of the Olympics, one of the girls in our group named Charissa decided to give a little water to a dog that was lying by the side. One simple deed ended up changing our entire trip! The dog called one of the other dogs over and the two dogs followed us for the rest of our wandering journey. They seemed to be leading us which was pretty amazing because as we followed them, we actually got where we were trying to go. Joel named the brown short haired one 'Diddy' and the white long haired one 'Cassie'. And at first the dogs seemed to be very protective over us because they barked at anyone that came near us. I think they really liked Americans. Then it got crazy, we found out that the dogs were suicidal!! They would bark at cars and try to bite the tires of the cars as they were driving by! And the cars here do not drive slow! It was so scary in the beginning because they looked like they were going to get killed as they ran in and out of the street...crazy dogs. But then we got used to it and realized maybe the Greeks are used to it to. No one seemed to be bothered by it. It was funny, but scary. I really did not want to see a dog get run over in Greece... not my idea of fun.

In our wandering ( maybe we were going somewhere I cannot really remember, I just go with the flow... I like not knowing) we came upon the Parliament... it is like the Greek white house. It is so beautiful!! We seemed to come just at the right time because they were changing the guards when we were there. The guards that stood in front of the Parliament wear these brown uniforms that consist of a skirt and a collared shirt. They were both boys so I am pretty sure they do not call it a skirt, but that is what it was to me. They also had these cool shoes with big black fuzzy poms on them. There was a man in camouflage that seemed to be directing them. There were four guards in a pack when we got there. Then they did a dance, or I guess you call it a routine, and then two of them marched off and just kept on marching. Then the other two seemed like they were stretching or something and then marched to their posts. The military man kept fixing their tassels and telling them things so I think he was like their supervisor. Also when we were outside the Parliament, a whole pack of army men ran by behind us. They were not dressed in army attire, but in running clothes. We just assumed they were army men. It was so fun! There are a lot of police by the Parliament. I think all the police I saw all day were in front of the Parliament and as I got closer to there. There were quite a few female police as well.

After we left the Parliament, we walked through the Gardens. They were soooooo pretty!! The trees were so unique, each and every one of them. And there was a little zoo inside! They had chickens, ducks, goats, a rooster, and I think some more birds. They were all mixed in a few cages. When we were in the gardens, the dogs left us toward the end. Which was sad... they were annoying sometimes, but it was hard to see them go.

Ohhhhhhh and I just remembered when we were at the Acropolis, there were tons of people. People from every country and state. We were all crazy tourists there which was nice. Toward the end before we took our long trek down all the stairs of the Acropolis, Joel took a picture of all of us girls. We had all of Greece behind us. It was beautiful! This guy from Brazil asked if we were Americans and decided to take pictures. He was so funny! I know I know it sounds super bad, but yes we took a group picture with this random Brazilian man and then he wanted his son to be in our picture ( well we assumed they were a family... I think Brazil is very different... culturally). After we took a picture, he kept telling us he wanted a kiss. Then we took another picture.... well Chelsea got kissed on the cheek by the random Brazilian man and she said no as I pulled her away before he could get the kiss on the lips he wanted. It was so funny, but kinda awkward at the time... his wife was standing right there!

Anyway that was just a little story that I remembered. Lol. We had our first real Greek meal today, my friend Mario who I met on the plane told me I should never pay more than 1.9 or 2.2 euros on gyros so we found a place that had the Gyros for 1.9 and they were amazing! And I discovered that I like Greek tomatoes!!!! Isn't that exciting??? I usually do not like tomatoes and there was a big raw tomato in the middle of my amazing chicken Gyro and I ate every last bit of it. In case you guys have no idea what I am talking about, a Gyro in a way is like a Greek burrito. They wrap up chicken and vegetables and sauce and spices in a pita. It is so amazing!! I have had one before, but it is so much better in Greece!

Oh my goodness I am having so much fun! I love Greece so much! It is so beautiful and the people are so much fun. Everyone here has been so helpful to us. We keep trying to say 'thank you' but the term for 'thank you' is hard to say and we keep forgetting it. I know 'please', 'yes', and 'no'... but I have not really had to use those so much.

Tomorrow we are taking a ferry ride to a couple Greek Isles!! I am so excited, I want to cry! I just never thought I would get an opportunity like this. To go to London or Greece or anything! And now I am seeing the world and it is amazing! We bought a ferry ticket today and it was hard for me because it was quite expensive and I am not good at giving up big chunks of money... We saved like 30 or 40 dollars though which is nice. And we are fed lunch which will probably be so so so so so so so sooooooo good!! I just really love Greek food. Actually I just really love authentic foreign food. It is Mmmm Mmmm Mmmmm good.

So yeah tomorrow we have to be at the dock by about 7:30am, because the ferry leaves at 8am, and we will not return on the ferry until 8pm. Long day, but worth it! We will get a chance to spend about 2 and a half hours on each island we go to. I think we are going to three islands. I am excited, it will be beautiful. We will get a chance to just relax on the beach or look around and see native Greek areas. It has been quite warm here so the cool water will be a nice change. I do not know what to expect except what I saw in "Sisterhood of Traveling Pants"... so it should be interesting. I feel everywhere I go, I have to relate it to some movie I have seen or book I have read. Usually little kid movies because I have seen so many. hehe. Like when were at the Acropolis and we saw the columns of the ladies, we were all talking about Hercules. It was fun!

I really have a good group that I am traveling with which is nice. We are all so different, but not too different and we mesh well together. Tonight we are staying in different rooms. I think there are four of us in one and three in the other with a random person they do not know. I really like this hostel, it is fun seeing all the different types of people. Last night I got to use the sleep sack my mom made me which was great... Thanks Mom! My sleep sack ( for those who do not know) is a big sheet sewed together with an opening at the top. It is great!

Ok well it is going to be an early morning tomorrow so I have to get some sleep, but stay tuned tomorrow or the next day to find out about the Greek Isles. I am excited to find out too. :-D
Thanks for reading!

Love always, Danni
PS I forgot my address book at Roehampton as well ( good job Danni, huh?) so if you all could send me your addresses again that would be great. For now I will just send them to my mom and maybe I will arrange a way for them to come to you. Thanks and sorry!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Arrived in Greece

Hey Guys,
Wow I really did not think I would get so many opportunities to write in this blog. This is so much fun...I love blogging! Well our flight left to Greece at 3:40pm from Gatwick Airport in London. We arrived in Greece at about 9:30pm ( there is a 2 hour time change so the flight was about 4 hours). We met up with the rest of our group at Gatwick airport and loaded the plane together. We all had to check our ginormous ( Yes, Mom it is a word ;-) ) backpacks, so I took just about nothing but my very bare essentials on the plane. This included my money pouch, camera, and zip-up jacket. In line, I almost dropped my camera and met a girl from Australia. It was a lot of fun talking to her in line. She taught me that people from New Zealand are called Kiwis and people from England are called Poms. These are the slang words. I guess there are two types of people from New Zealand and more formally they are called Marys and something else...I forget. Anyway she is really nice, she was traveling to Greece with some friends just for fun as well. She was living in London working and taking a break from school, she was only 21...what a fun, adventurous life!
Anyway on the plane we were able to pick any seats we wanted to, but since we somehow missed the boarding call for our section we were some of the last to board. It was a really cheap flight so it was a really small plane luckily there were lots of seats to sit in. We were all going to sit together, but I ended up sitting behind the other girls next to this random couple... it ended up being an amazing opportunity. God is good!
I was asking Charissa ( one of the girls I am traveling with) who was sitting in front of me, a question about traveling in Greece and the guy next to me kinda answered the question... trying not to butt in, but I asked his opinion. I found out they were from Greece and got really excited. They were a younger couple probably in mid-30's. I ended up talking to them for the entire rest of the flight. Their names are Mario and Roxanna. He talked to me the most because he was right next to me, but she pipped in often and talked as well. They knew very good English and they taught me some Greek as well. He drew me a map and told me the places to go, the things to eat, what transportation to take. It was amazing! I introduced them to Parmesan fishies and they gave me some of their Cadbury chocolate. He taught me random Greek words like: 'I want melon please' and more useful ones like 'yes' and 'no'. I got a chance to talk to them about religion, not as long as I would of liked but I let him know I was a Christian and hopefully left a good impression of what Christians are. He told about Greek Orthodox and asked me about black churches ( he said he likes that religion because they are always dancing hehe). I explained to him what Amish and Scientology were to the best of my ability. It was really good. We talked about lent and a little about Jesus, I was excited! He was such a good guy, I want him to know Jesus!!

I took a picture with them because we all such a great time. It was so great, informative and just fun! After we landed I said my goodbye to them. We had such a connection... awww sweet people. I shared my fish, they shared their was great. From the airport we took a bus about 40 minutes to some street and walked to our hostel. It was about a 25 or so minute walk... there was a lot of interesting things to see. We stopped at a McDonalds along the way, it was pretty nice. Everything here seems so pretty... some sections are very city like though with the graffiti and stuff. We got to the hostel and we almost did not think we had a room because there was a mix up. First hostel experience, getting ripped off...bummer. The hostel is pretty nice. Well I have to go, I am here now and there is free WiFi but people are waiting. Thanks again for reading about my experience.

Love always, Danni

Jeannie- I saw an AVON when I was on the bus, isn't that cool?!
Julia- I do not think it cost for me to check messages, I do not know but either way it will be cool
Mom- I called Bank of America and got my debit card figured out...I LOVE YOU


I am in London!! It is official. This is so crazy! Sorry that I did not post yesterday, it was kinda a looooong day and I just found a internet cafe so here I am. This is going to be short because I only have 26 minutes to type my whole adventure!
Ok well first of all my friend Chelsea and I flew for 10 hours to was a nice flight. When we got to Heathrow airport in London we realized we did not know where to meet the other two girls. That was fun. Lol. Luckily one of the girls walked down the stairs and found us and our other friend just kinda showed up. So it was an interesting start. From there we took a taxi ( I know I know taxuis are expensive, but it actually was not bad and the guy was very nice) which was actually this silver Mercedes van thing. It was cool. The driver was on the other side. Hehe. I love it! It ended up being pretty reasonable and a lot easier then we expected. The taxi driver took us to Roehampton then we had to figure out where to put our stuff and then find our way to the little Bed and Breakfast we were staying at in Gatwick. Just finding the chapel to put our stuff in was an adventure. Then we found a bus stop took it the tube and tried to find out way to Gatwick. This is the super short version by the way... The bus ended by being £2 which is almost 4 dollars...not fun. Then we had to buy a ticket to Gatwick which we took the tube got off on Victoria then took a slow train ( thats what the man called it) and got off Gatwick airport. It took us about 5 hours just to get from Roehampton to Gatwick...they are only about 1 hour and a half apart from each other so it should not have taken that long...
We were so tired and hungry and thirsty and confused. It was a hard first day in London. We had no concept of what time it was from the little bit of sleep we had gotten on the plane, somehow we never ate lunch and we did not know how to get to our little bed and breakfast place. Luckily the guy from our bed and breakfast picked us up from the airport and our day started looking up. He is the nicest little Irish man! We told him our story and he was just so funny. He took us to the bed and breakfast which looks like a cute little cottage. As soon as I get the chance, I will put pictures up. The room we stayed in had four beds. One twin bed, one queen sized bed, and one set of bunk beds. It had an incredibly clean bathroom and everything looked so homey. Even when we first got there I felt like we belonged. Everyone was so sweet. It was such a nice ending to a long day. After we got ourselves settled in, we locked up our room and went down to the dearby pub ( it was a long day you understand). Just kidding. Well no really we did, but I think that is just what they call any little resturant that has a bar. It was not what I expected a pub to look like. Everything around here is made of brick and there are green trees everywhere. As I was walking around I had to keep telling myself, 'I am in London!' It kinda looks like some of the little neighborhoods in the small towns of Indiana. I really like it here. I was able to sleep pretty well last night, I mean I did not sleep much...for some reason I kept waking up. I do not think I really realized I was in another country. Several times I woke up and was confused because I kept looking at the clock and it was like 23:10 or 22:35 and then I woke up at 5:20 or something like that and was like ohhh now its morning then I went back to sleep and woke up at 7:30 and 7:45 and 8.
They served us breakfast at 8:45...well thats what time we went down to get it because breakfast ended at 9am. We had eggs and bacon and sausage and toast and tea and orange juice and fruit. It was amazing. I tried to eat a lot because we do not know if we will get to eat on the plane and it is a 5 hour flight. So hopefully the breakfast will hold me. I am running out of pounds fast which is kinda sad. I had to buy some more toiltries because I left my nicely backed toiltries pack in my bag at Roehampton. It took us the longest time to find contact solution...they just don't have that stuff everywhere like we do. Oh and they had wild blackberries everywhere!!! Chelsea and I were picking and eating them when we were outside the pub. A branch attacked my leg with its thorns, but other than that it was great!! Today after we checked out of the bed and breakfast we just walked around a little town trying to find my contact solution and a couple other things. I bought a watch today at a Ross type place called The Factory Shop. It was less than 10 dollars. It is so cute! It has bears all over it. hehe. I needed one because I never know what time it is. Although I will probably still be confused as we travel because we will be going through a bunch of different time zones. Oh well betetr than nothing. The Irish man from the bed and breakfast is taking us to the airport at 1pm. Our flight leaves at 3:40pm. He is so nice!!!! I just want to give him something. We really want to come back here before we leave because it was not took expensive. We each payed less tha 40 dollars. Pretty good right?
Well lets see what else should I tell you all... Hmmmmm
Everyone so far has been very nice and helpful. I am so thankful for that...we will see if that changes once we get to Greece. Oh and I used my debit card here for the first time and it worked, but I forgot to call them so they may put a hold on my account. Mom if you are reading this maybe you can call them. I have not yet figured out how to use my international calling card. Oh but I found out you all can leave me messages on it. Isn't that cool?!
Here is the number you call to do that: Dial 1-888-579-0208 and then you enter my account number: 3101707488
So leave my messages!!! Ummmm that's all I can think of right now.
Talk to you all soon.
Love always, Danni

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pre-London Blog: Feelings before the big trip

Today is the day that I have been preparing for ever since I found out that I was excepted to Biola London six months ago. Today I get on that little airplane and fly for eight hours to London, England. I do not think it has hit me yet that I am really going. It feels like I am in a dream, I am just waiting to wake up and start my summer all over again. Yesterday and through the night I was packing. Trying to fit four months worth of stuff in two large suitcases and one small backpack. Thank God for space bags or else this mission would be impossible! I just wanted to bring everything so that I do not have to spend money over there...I just do not like the idea of buying something over there that I already have here, but I guess that is the fun of it. What can I say I am frugal.

In two hours I will leave my apartment and my mom will drive me to LAX. My plane leaves at 5:30pm but I need to get there at least 3 hours early just to be safe. My friend Priscilla is meeting me to give me my farewells, I think I might cry. I have not really cried yet which is strange because I am so emotional. I thought I would be a mess by this point, but I kinda feel numb to it all. I am excited I know I am, I just do not know what to expect. Maybe it will hit me when I get to the airport...maybe not until I am on the plane...maybe not until I am actually in London, England....another continent! Wow I cannot believe I am actually doing this.
This has been one of my dreams for so long and now it is actually coming true! I am so thankful for the blessings and opportunities He gives me, God is good!
So now I am off to finish my poppy seed muffins my mom made me and check for the hundredth time that I have EVERYTHING I need.
Thanks for reading my blog! I will post again soon :)
Love always, Danni