Thursday, July 16, 2009

hello london old friend.

Yes Ive been in London again. Do I ever leave?! and yes it is the city that always draws me much to do, see and LOVE. This time though it wasnt just for a pleasant was for an amazing 3 day stay..with all the other YFC volunteers who have done the year out with me. Oh my word. so much to do and catch up on and see and chat and SO little time. It was just such a time of hanging out, reflecting on what Gods done for us in the year, what we've done and learnt, laughing at all the hilarious stories, and seeing how much the other volunteers have totally grown this year. It was so inspirational and so amazing..and the curveball of tears on the last day. Why will i miss it so?! ahh
The first hour of the first day we all were arriving into London on different trains and after the confusion of a London guy not understanding my accent when asking what train i needed to catch, I was in West London ready to meet everyone..oh my word hugs all round and just a general buzz of chatter. Then games (classic) and an amazing talk by Gavin Calver whose the new director of National YFC..Then to our hotel where we would be staying. This was a sight and after getting over how bright yellow the bathroom was and wondering what was crusted on the pillows, we were off out to dinner at PIZZA HUT (yeah they have them here too)..was so good just to sit and chat to the girls that I missed so much and totally have experienced what was going on this year.
Next day, day two, was a scavenger hunt day in London. So much fun. It took us to Buck palace, Leicester square, embankment..and all over the place. And funnily enough I was the NZ tourguide, expert on London haha Navigating the underground and whatnot. SO FUN.
And the evening was just ABSOLUTELY MAGICAL. movie moment. We all took a cruise on the river thames at night..4 hours of dinner, dancing, drinks and watching the lights of London by beautiful..and so surreal. There was just this moment of me dancing on the deck of the boat surrounded by loads of amazing friends whilst going past the big ben and houses of parliament all lit up, where I thought 'Oh my word this is amazing' and couldnt get over that I had actually done this and God has brought me on such an adventure to ENGLAND. was so amazing (this word is being used alot but there is no other word to describe it).
And then goodbye the next day. I didnt realise how sad this would make me. and i totally admit to crying. Theres some people Ive met who seriously I have no other word for it but have a 'God bond' with. Just one of those friendships where no matter how long since weve talked it all just is so natural when we see each other again. and so hard to let it go and think i dont know when im gunna see them again. oh dear. Me just walking through the tube station bawling..awful.
But it has been such a nice few days. Love them all.

Another thing that Ive been really challenged with lately aswell is the idea of just letting go of the young people I work with (because I love them so immensly) and just trusting that God will get through to them, and that he'll bring someone along to love them and care for them just as he brought me along, even after Ive left..and Im just having to hold onto that trust, because Im finding it so hard hard. We had Mcdonalds with some of the girls I LOVE tonight..and it was just so cool just hanging and chatting and generally sharing life. I m going to miss them so much. ah well. I know God has my best interests at heart, so no matter how hard it is leaving I know God has something so amazing for me in the future.
Also struggling with this thought of what the worlds idea of success is and whether that will be the plan for my life. Money, education, a stable job. And Im wondering whether this is what God wants me to live like. Or whether hes got another plan that totally goes against the worlds idea of success. Which would be amazing. But I dont know how i would cope with peoples thoughts. trust and faith i think. We'll see when this arises. I know it will be an ADVENTURE though.

One of my friends said to me today out of the blue 'Im so excited to see where God takes you next year' and I honestly could say me too. Literally scary but so exciting.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

oh camden my love.

Today I fell in love. Not with a person because Ive pretty much been by myself all day..but with a town and markets..Camden markets..oh my word they were amazing..Its like they decided to cater to EVERYTHING that I love and put it all in one place..and I dont even think I got around all 5 markets..
There's so much culture, vintage shops, tumble down stalls brimming with treasures, young fashion designer stalls, bustle, ethnic food, amazing tea shops, everyone with their own individual style..LOVE IT. Seriously if I could live in Camden I would. I can imagine meandering through the narrow alleys lined with stalls every weekend sipping tea. Oh that would be living the dream.
Not such a fan of my early morning this morning though. 6:30am I got up to catch the first train from Gillingham to London..only to find that there were loads of underground closures so i had to negotiate my route to Camden round them..minor setback but I think it didnt effect my trip too much. Then got a coffee (yes coffee!!) and meandered down camden high street and watched the market come to life..the stall owners were setting up and showing their wares.. And so i stumbled into this amazing shop, probably my favourite shop of the day, which was lined outside with vintage boots and handbags..and inside was just a beautiful muddle of patterns and decades of vintage was amazing..i just wanted to buy out the whole shop..serious.

And the rest of the day was spent meandering and exploring all that camden markets had to offer. I got stopped at this one stall where I was looking at old belts and eating a samosa (£1 bargain!!) ..just browsing for nothing in particular...and the lady (who I later found out was Jamaican) started chatting to me about food..and cakes..and the white lady who taught her to cook..and how she doesnt share her cakes with Jamaican people because they didnt teach her to cook..and how she doesnt like talking to some women from her church so she gives them the 'Jamaican hate look'..which I learnt so now I know if a Jamaican person hates me..hahaha and this lasted for about 20 minutes..while I was trying to make excuses not to buy anything and just carry was hilarious..she finally stopped talking when she realised I really wasnt going to buy something..haha oh dear. It was just such an amazing day.

Tomorrow Im off to London again for 3 days for End of year bash. yes.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

i want to go to the seaside.

Today I went to the seaside with some people from a home group at church. They are all so lovely and it was amazing them just inviting me and including me as part of them!!
Today consisted of beach cricket (which i seriously have a sore shoulder from), swimming that I didnt partake in, English rain, barbecues, fish and chips on the promenade, attack of the mangy seagulls..i seriously thought they were going to get the point where i was crouching on the ground in the foetal position trying to hide my food so they wouldnt kill me..haha and so many more lovely things.
Tomorrow, camden market. cannot wait.

Friday, July 10, 2009

life oh life.

Weeks just fly by when you don't want them too...and by the time you realise whats happening youve only got 5 drop ins left before your year officially finishes with Youth For Christ..oh my word this is my busy that its only been today as Dave and I were walking to a lunch club that we realised that I have 5 more drop ins in England EVER...and then i will be done..I seriously could not believe it..and so many of the kids I love...Today it is officially 2 weeks until Im done with YFC.
Next week is a bit of a crazy week..The first 3 days Im away in London on what YFC like to call End of Year as aggressive as this sounds, dont worry I wont be coming back covered in bruises and bumps, but is merely a way of getting all the volunteers together and celebrating what we've done and seen God do over the year..and have a big party..LONDON BABY! One of my all time favourite english places also and with Tuesday all dedicated to exploring im well up for it. And seeing all the faces I miss will be amazing. Tuesday night we're gunna have a big party with a Westend theatre theme..but at the same time formal?! hmm yeah i didnt get that one either..and so ive been fretting really bad about what I can go as..Being foreign I have little knowledge of the westend and what it google was a huge help. Thank goodness. Sister act?! That is all im going to say. And maybe that i found out that my host mum somehow has a nuns headress thing...these two go perfectly into the westend theme. I might be having a very 'holy' tuesday evening haha I have no time to find anything else at all!! haha I hear other peoples costumes are brilliant too..
Then Wednesday evening I come home..Thursday straight back into work where that evening we're taking some of the girls to London to see a theatre production of Wicked..which will be amazing (tick two things off my 'must do before i leave' box)..and I just cannot wait.
Then Friday we have normal work..then our end of year team meal..everything is getting so scarily ending..I think i may be a mess of tears by the end of it..oh dear.
But I think maybe, as much as I love it here and as much as Ive bonded with some of the young people andd team here and will always love them and keep in touch, I think Gods totally preparing me to come slowly and surely making me look forward to seeing everyone and being back in my home country. Thankyou God but I know he's gunna have to do a whole lot of work when Im back home to stop me being a mess and missing here.

This weekend holds a bundle of excitement in store for me. Tomorrow Im going to the seaside with some lovely people from church. Then Sunday getting up so early and hitting London for Camden markets. I cannot wait. Photos will be taken.

Monday, July 6, 2009

oh long weekend.

This is where we ate on Sunday. Jamie Olivers restaurant. Was Amazing.

So I am now living in a house that has people in it..Finally after 10 days, my host family came home on Thursday night..oh the joy of not waking up and hearing the cat and convincing myself that there is someone trying to break into the house..I'm liking it..However the 3 year old making a lot of noise does start to wear thin..haha However we are tight at the minute after me having taken him on an adventure on Saturday so that Martha could sort things out for her party..
I took him into Chatham and after being distracted by a pet shop and a toy shop (for 40 minutes) and having him asking if I could buy numerous toys I hopped us both onto the bus to come back to Gillingham..the WRONG instead of taking us to Gillingham it took us out of Gillingham..And theres me having to sheepishly ask the driver if he could take us back..oh dear. It took a little bit longer than we first expected..but we got home in the end. And it was an exciting adventure.

Saturday night was Marthas 30th birthday party..Underground everyone had to dress up as one of the London underground stops..I was so impressed with how much effort was put into this..People came dressed up as tennis players for Wimbledon, Bakers for Baker st, Liverpool supporters as Liverpool street, Arsenal player as Arsenal, Barbie and Ken as Barbican, Festival dancers as Notting Hill, 70's style as Waterloo..and then there was me..with my whistle around my neck for Tooting..oh my was hilarious. And a good night had by all.

And Sunday was a dream. We went to Jamie Olivers restaurant in London, Fifteen. It was AMAZING. The food was perfect and the interior was so nice..It was literally so good. AMAZING. I am so lucky to live with the family I do otherwise I wouldnt be able to do half the things I am doing..
And today was another day off. I slept until lunchtime. then mooched about. watched telly. and tonight Im goign round to Daves and we're gunna watch the inbetweeners..the most hilarious british program ever..LOVE IT. I'm very excited.

And I have set this Sunday as the day I will do Camden markets and all the other markets in hopes of being immersed in the amazing culture and atmosphere..and maybe finding a few lovely cheap vintage pieces. I would love that.
And a week until End of Year Bash. Man this year has sped.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

july you have crept up on me.

Since when was it July?! oh my word its crazy how time flies..and a little bit scary..actually ALOT scary..only 3 more weeks left of my work with Gillingham Youth For Christ..oh my word. And as much as I'm looking forward to Greece I don't want to wish my time here away in order for my holiday to get here sooner...So many things Im looking forward to this month. And so many I'm not. But I think the looking forward to's outweigh the rest.

These things I am looking forward to:

End of Year Bash. which is for all the YFC volunteers in London. 3 days of livin' the dream in the capital city. Hopefully we'll do some exploring, culture, and just general hanging out with nice people. There's a themed night one of the nights..Westend..and weve got to dress formal..might need to save my pennies and go shopping for something nice.

Camden Market. I haven't scheduled it in but it IS GOING TO happen. I cannot leave England having not done possibly the coolest thing in Britain. So many vintage stalls, up and coming fashion designers and loads of culture and different ethnicities. AMAZING. i must put it in my diary soon. MUST.

Westend Theatre Trip. Hopefully we'll be taking some of our girlies from drop in to a westend theatre production of 'Wicked' in a theatre in London just outside Victoria Staion. I hope we can do it. I really want to see a show and I know the girls would love it.

The huge Number of Drop ins that are stretched before me. I do 4 a week in the evenings and LOVE every one of them. The older kids are truly something else and I love them so much. I'm going to make the most of it while I can.

My long weekend. This starts tomorrow and I have no idea how I'm going to spend it. Im thinking maybe London. Or Camden. I dont know but I want to use the small number of pennies I have to go and do something exciting.

My host mums birthday. Which is this Saturday. She's turning 30 and is having a themed party 'Underground theme' so you have to go dressed up creatively as one of the names of the London Underground. I'm still undecided as to what Im going to go as. Olympia maybe? And make a toga out of a sheet. Then Sunday we're going to have lunch at a posh restaurant in London near London Bridge. Ooh La La it should be nice.

Greece. Me and Bee are going to a Greek Island called Corfu on July the 27th. Even though our flight is ridiculously early it will be amazing. 7 days of sun and sea and culture. I cannot wait.

Alpha away weekend. We're doing youth alpha at the moment with some of the kids from our evening drop ins and I love it. They're a bunch of rascals and are so noisy but God is totally working on them. So we're gunna do an away day where we just have fun with them, play games and do some intense sessions on what Jesus has done for them. It will be epic.

This is what my July holds. and I know it will hold so much more aswell. Amazing. Cannot wait to see how it all unfolds.