February 02, 2012

Student Blog by Karli Nelson: Settling In

 We’ve been in Germany for almost a week and a half now! We’ve been so busy I do not even know where to start to get you caught up!
I am continually blown away by the grace of God. So many people want to have an opportunity like this, and for some strange reason I am blessed to be here.  I do not deserve such favor.  This was ordained by God for a purpose, and I must find out how I can use this experience for His glory, not mine.  This isn’t about me.  This is about Him.  The Bible opens with “In the beginning, GOD…” There it is- the main character, the hero.  The story is about Him.
By His grace, we are settling in quite nicely in Regensburg.  It is amazing how standing at one spot you can see so much history at once!  Just a short walk away from the jugendherberge you can look across the Danube river and see St. Peters, the Great Stone Bridge, and the oldest bratwurst house in Germany, to name a few things.
I am finding myself becoming more German everyday!  I am offended when people cross the road when the crosswalk sign is not lit, and I was disgusted when someone put trash on the statue of Don Juan.  I am not really a neat freak yet, but there is still a lot of time before I get home…so that might change. I suppose that is a good thing, that I am experiencing these minor changes.  God is helping me to grow.
One great thing about this trip is seeing a different side to German stereotypes.  Of course, there are people who fit that mold, but here in Bavaria I am finding people to be very friendly and laid back.  Bavaria is very pro-American, since we’ve been stationed here since after WWII.  I feel very safe and welcomed here in Regensburg.
The food so far has been great, except for liver dumplings.  The hostel has been introducing us to German foods, but they also serve other stuff like pasta and burgers.  We’ve has bratwurst, döner, and other great German dishes.  One thing that is interesting is that in Germany it is not uncommon to have a sweet lunch meal, such as apple strudel or dumplings with vanilla sauce.  IT IS SO GOOD! A bunch of us girls really want to get German cookbooks, but so far everywhere we look the books are not in English…
If you every go traveling in Europe, they usually do not have tap water on the menu.  If you order water you will probably get carbonated water, or maybe bottled water, and it is not free.  Water is not a normal drink to have with meals.  You have to specifically request leitungwasser (tap water) if you want it.  Don’t worry though, the tap water here is known to be better than bottled water! (But personally I prefer the well water from home.) :)
Anyway, we’ve been learning a lot about German culture and are loving every minute of it!  We started our first official class yesterday morning.  Classes are Monday through Friday from 8am to noon, and afternoons are off for homework or city exploration.  Some evenings we have events or meetings.  We’ve been keeping busy! Definitely prevents homesickness.
Sometime soon I will tell you about our trip to Neuscheinstein castle, our mass at St. Peters, and about the academic trip we are taking this weekend to Weimar.  Please pray for our safety and for our sanity.  We’ve got a lot to do and a lot to see!  We are here for a specific purpose, so pray that God will reveal that to us.  Pray that this will be more than an academic endeavor or a traveling adventure.  Pray that it will make a significant difference in more than our own lives.

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