First Experience Overseas

Finally, I found some time to post about my experience overseas. Quite honestly, the task has seemed daunting for the past month. There’s so much to say, and so many different things happened. For a while after the trip, I fought with the pictures I, and a few others, had taken. Just organizing them into a few presentations was rough, and I still don’t feel done, yet. Regardless, I felt I needed to get some of my thoughts out there.

About a month ago I had the opportunity to travel, with a few members of my church, to London and to Turkey. Everything about the trip was fast paced, and the 11 day trip seemed to be over much sooner than expected.

London

London was incredible, and I’ve decided that I should return there again, sometime. When we landed, our intention was to use our seven hour layover to briefly tour London, while leaving time to go through airport security twice (once to go out, once to come back in). It was a very ambitious goal, and after security checks, a restroom stop, and underground/tube/train travel, we had just about an hour, maybe an hour and a half to see London. When we got off of the underground train, we walked toward Buckingham Palace, our first stop. After less than five minutes of walking, we started to hear this consistent booming sound. Then, we began to see many people traveling in the same direction we were. We asked a couple near us what the sound was, and they explained that it was the Queen’s birthday and that was the 21 cannon salute. Haha, what timing! We quickly walked the rest of the way, saw a very impressive air show, Queen Elizabeth II, and of course Buckingham Palace. We proceeded to quickly visit Westminster Abbey and saw The Clock Tower (Big Ben). As we finished up and were on our way back, we thought that we should write a book on how to see London in an hour. Everything about what we saw was perfect for the timing.

Turkey

I was amazed at Turkey. It is a very unique place. The purpose of the trip was to serve in a children’s program for parents who attended a conference.

Turkey is, how do I say this, in the middle. It seemed so many different countries and places were within reach. There were so many different people too; a friend and I counted nine different languages. Those were just the languages we heard, too.

On one of the first days there, I went to the beach and saw the coastline trailing into the distance. There were so many houses, so many people, and I was struck by the vastness of the world. I was amazed at the thought that God knows each person, everywhere, and that’s not the end. He knows everything about each “no-end”, creative being.

Later, we began our children’s program, and had a great time. It wasn’t without challenges, though. There were four different teams of people watching over 78 children. Two were assigned to ages up to 2, and the rest cycled through teaching, crafts, and games by their age group. Two people led teaching, one crafts, and three for games, and one other helped as needed. Quite honestly, I don’t think we could have arranged a better team.

Yes, they dumped water on me first, lol.

We also had a chance to go into the city, Istanbul, three times, but every time we went, we didn’t have enough time to see everything we wanted. We saw: the Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, and the Spice Bazaar. Everything was incredible, and I could probably fill an entry the length of this one for each, but that may have to wait..

Overall, the trip was invaluable to me, I had an awesome time and enjoyed both the service aspect as well as the opportunity to tour and see new sites.

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Published in: on August 2, 2008 at 11:53 am  Leave a Comment  

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