Hello from Uppsala, Sweden! (One of the first Swedish words we learned was how to say hello. Hej Hej is hello, which you pronounce "hey hey." Pretty easy to remember!) So in Swedish, hej hej!
We have a little time this afternoon so I thought I'd update you on our first few days here. We left Raleigh on Wednesday at 2:30 pm and flew to Charlotte. I wish all plane rides were 40 minutes long! By the time we reached our cruising altitude, it was about time to start our descent. Once we got to Charlotte we had a couple hours to kill before we left the good ol' US of A. Josh decided he'd better get BBQ while he still could so we had an early dinner, then left for Munich at 6ish. That flight was not 40 minutes long. 8 and a half hours later, though, we were in Germany. We were nervous the Iceland volcano would affect our travel (cause we flew right over Iceland) but it didn't so we were thankful for that! The flight was as nice as a long flight can be though- plenty of movies to watch! One crazy story from the flight was that we actually met another summer project on the flight- they were going to Serbia and also going through Munich. Such a small world!
So we got to Munich at 9 am Germany time (3 am back home) and we were all pretty exhausted. There were college students asleep all over that airport terminal (and a few of us staff too!) We had a 5 hour layover there so that was a bummer, but at least I was able to get about an hour of sleep which I desperately needed. Then at 1:30 we boarded our last flight to Sweden. The airport we flew into is near Stockholm so once we got our bags we took vans to Uppsala- the city we'll be doing ministry in this summer. Side note- we travelled with 27 people over here and all of our bags made it...well done Lufthansa!
We came straight to the apartments we're staying at for the summer and unloaded our stuff. Here is a picture of the outside of the apts so you can have a visual of where we live.
It's so cute, I love that they're bright yellow! That night we headed over to the long term staff couple's house and they cooked dinner for all of us. Even though it was only 6:00 at night, we were all exhausted. We somehow managed to stay awake until 8 then came back and crashed. Josh and I slept for 12 hours and it was glorious!
Wow, this is getting long, thanks for still reading. I promise all the posts won't be quite so detailed :) Friday was our first full day here. We had a meeting in the morning to find out some details about ministry in this country and what we'll be doing to partner with the long-term team here. Then we went to these places called "nations" for lunch. Nations are sort-of like fraternities and sororities, except every Swedish student joins one. And these nation houses are where everyone eats lunch each day. So that's where we will go at lunchtime most days to meet students. Friday we went for the first time and one of the American students, Jessica (who goes to UNC) and I had the chance to meet two girls. We got to talk to them a little about their beliefs but hope to have the chance to meet with them again to talk more.
After lunch we all met back up to do a scavenger hunt in the city. That was great at helping us get oriented to Uppsala. It's a beautiful city with a quant little downtown area. It has a river running through it which makes it so pretty. Then Friday night we went out to dinner. Josh and I got pizza...yea, kindof lame to already eat pizza on our first day here! But it was really good!
Yesterday we had a free day- nice to have a day to keep catching up on sleep and unpack our room some more. Our room is small but cute...I'll blog about that and include pics of the inside of it later. So yesterday, Josh got to play disc golf with some of the summer project team and some Swedes (you know if there's a disc golf course around he's gonna find it!) And I went on a run...ok who are we kidding, it was a fast-ish walk...because the weather was perfect yesterday. 70s and sunny, which hardly ever happens here we're told. Then after that I went into downtown (about a 20 min walk) and got some things we needed for our apt. Last night we had burgers and fries for dinner...we are so typical Americans aren't we?!
Today we had the opportunity to go to a Swedish church. So neat to be there with other believers worshipping in a totally different language. We sang "Holy, Holy, Holy" today...so cool to think about the fact that this is a small picture of what heaven will one day look like- different tribes, tongues and nations worshipping Christ! Although neat to worship there this morning, it was also sad to think about what a small percentage of the country was worshipping this morning. Please join us in praying that God would soften hearts of people here to see the beauty of who He is!
Thanks for those of you who read this far! Josh was like "don't write too much" and here I am writing a novel. Next time will be a shorter recap, I promise :) Until then, have a great week!!