I've arrived in Switzerland and have finally received access to the internet on my computer. So for those of you complaining for a post, this is the first chance I've had. I'm sitting on the lawn below my room next to a fountain with mountains all around. It's pretty amazing.
So this is the first real post of my travels and events here in Europe, and I'm not quite sure what to say--or rather what not to say. I will be writing about all that goes on here often, whether it be in my journal or here or emails. So I'm sure the focus of what I talk about on each will grow and shape up in time. For now, you'll get the goodies...whatever that means.
Coming abroad to Europe is a very interesting experience--leaving behind all that you've known except really just one thing. It's always a sobering and comforting feeling to realize that everything can change and leave and disappear, but God will always be present with you. In the one sense, I can see God in the beauty of all that is around here in nature. And in another sense I see God inside myself in how his Spirit dwells within me. But then everywhere else it is much more difficult here. I've yet to find another Christian, at least that I know of. But that's ok. The study abroad community that I'm a part of here is a good group of people, and I'm making friends with all of them. I'm excited to have this experience of living in a community of people that is vastly different from all that I've had before.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. How did I even get here? Boat, bus, train, taxi, scooter? all of the above...well not exactly. Sitting in the airport at JFK I had such a peace about the upcoming time abroad, and I know that is largely due to many of your prayers, so thank you. The flight was crazy cool. If you ever get to fly Swiss Air, do it! We got swiss chocolate and wine and hot towels. It was a lot like first class. The first class had lazy-boy type chairs with footrests and massages. Crazy. The bus trip down to Lugano from Zurich was 3 hours through the most beautiful Swiss mountains and lakes. The picture is one of the 3 buses we took (there were 90 of us on the flight--mostly freshmen), with some of the scenary behind. I should be able to have at least one picture on each post.
Since arriving in this amazing town (pictures to come), We've been involved in orientation stuff all week. It's a lot of stuff for freshmen, but there's also some stuff about living abroad and here in Switzerland which is helpful. It's basically the best orientation program I've ever heard of. Tomorrow they're taking some of us to Milan. I won a rock paper scissors tournament to get on the trip. They've made home cooked meals for us, taken us around the town, etc. It's a very cool set up.
I'm living in the top of the admissions building. Sounds kind of ghetto right? Well their dorms are at max capacity so they opened up these rooms this year for the first time. They're actually really nice though. The halls and stairways up to our 4th floor loft are all marble and ornately decorated. And our rooms (there's 5 of us up there, all study abroad) are like lodges. Wood floors, slanted wood ceilings with beams and skylights (pictures to come). And I'm in a double without a roommate. It's a great deal, except there's still a lot of things they have to do since it has never been lived in before. We didn't have electricity for a few days (showering in the dark!), we don't have any kitchen or refrigerator (all the other rooms do), we had no trash cans or hangers (did you know in Switzerland you have to use government issued trash bags?), and we don't have internet yet. On top of all that we had a crazy storm here last night with hail, and my room flooded through the skylight. Luckily nothing seems to be damaged--it just took away to switch out mattresses and mop up the water.
Things are really just still getting going, and now that I have internet on my computer (i have to go downstairs) I'll be able to post more often--they'll get shorter. But that's it for now! Ciao!
for those playing the game, current count: 3!