Dig in…buckle up for a 2.5 year recap from Nathan. DOn’t worry, it’ll be quick, trust me…
G’day faithful readers of our blog! It has been a while since I’ve written. But today is a perfect day to write; with this six and a half flight with U.S. Airways to Philadelphia airport and lame sitcoms playing on the monitors, I’ll have plenty of time and motivation. So lets get started!
The last two and a half years that I’ve been away from the states have been an adventure of growth and new perspectives around every corner. In Spain I met some kids which I’m sure to run into some day sooner or later. Leave it up to God to set up the appointments, whether for the purpose of participating in joint ministry, brain storming, or impacting one another. As my quirky but convicted and passionate bible professor says after hearty farewells, “Here there or in the air.” I make it a practice to say my own goodbyes with a similar note.
My class mates from my school located in the pueblo just outside of Madrid capital, Camarma de Esteruelas, have encouraged me, inspired me and befriended me. After two years in central and northern Spain, with breaks spent traveling around Europe by means of generous couch surfers interested in sharing there lives with us and many cheap airplane flights, we made it to Israel.
Justin busked in the streets and made us millions. Renae joined a flute player in a few duets here and there. We all went and sang Christmas carols in Bethlehem.
Won’t you join us there again at the New Jerusalem?
When we left that land, it was fathers day. This was no present for my father. He remained speechless for the most part. I made some close friends there as well.
Jerusalem was the pinnacle of all melting pots in areas of culture, perspective, religion and politics. Even in one street, say, Ben Yahuda street, a popular place of meeting for people of all backgrounds, we had it all. Jews and gentiles alike, Muslims, Catholics (Generally a trinity of monotheistic religions.) but some atheists and agnostics of course. All thinking. All curious. All unafraid to face life’s big questions. Every once in a while a lady would come out a claim to be god. Some times evangelicals would sing worship in Korean, avoiding the anti-missionary society.
After plucking away a great blue grass song my father and I would get talking with these people. Busking on the street there became the perfect opportunity to strike up a conversation.
Some time in June we left our friends, our adventures, both un-finished and the likes of which bring back glad memories later on. After a wedding, another day as a graphic designer and 30 minutes spent tunneling through Hezekiah’s water filled 300 meter long tunnel with my dad and his youngest son, my favorite brother, we packed our bags and flew to Germany to catch a train to Denmark.
There we stayed with our cousins. After three days of giving these incredibly cute cousins piggy back rides and speaking Arabic with them and practicing danish with them, we had to leave. From Odense (a city on the island of Fyn) we took a train to Copenhagen, to board our cruise boat! Free pizza 24/7! A hot tub movie theater! A 24/7 buffet! Different bands playing all over! Hundreds of activities to choose from! Reasons to use exclamation marks! Yes, with a 5 star resort under our feet for 10 days and Broadway quality shows every night, it was definitely a once in a life time experience. Oops, perhaps not, I guess we’re spoiled, did I forget to mention in one of our breaks while we lived in Spain we went on a Mediterranean cruise?
Anyway, on this boat we met many people. My dad set me up with the drummer of one of the bands. I happened to have brought along some of my 5A Hickory’s and had a great time jamming with the band. The drummer told me she had started playing in Church, then played in a few bands. This particular band got put together only weeks before the cruise. They have a contract for about 7 months cruising and playing. She gave me a few tips to improve my playing. She was so humble about everything, it was awesome. We did some touching up to my bosa nova groove and I tried to let my sticks do the work but at the same time be in control and attack with confidence.
Justin and I met a Chinese lawyer, a 15 year old kid in a Junior class of 600 pupils, two Cubans from Florida, a magician, a comedian, a dancer, a juggler, a mother of two girls and boy who claims he is 2 years old due to his leap year birthday, an old man who plays snare in a New Horizons band, a Russian tour guide and her “Niet Niet” Lady friends. Yes, that is all. Just kidding! A group of girls from Chicago, all neighbours, and late-nighters, an Irish guitarist and his wife (who we had the opportunity to jam with), and… a photographer who kept taking our picture.
Such an adventure! So much can happen in ten days riding the elevators of a 19 story boat and singing at karaoke.
And now, after all this I have an interest in American culture. What is it like? Have I forgotten? Will the customer service be frighteningly friendly, or the fact that every one around speaks my native language freak me out? Or perhaps I’ll cry that all my friends can drive. Or that they know who won American Idle and how the last season of Lost ended. Will my public transportation riding skills impress anyone?
If you’ve gotten this far, congratulations. See you on the 12th my fellow Americanos?
See ya laterz aligaterz.
Nate Sammy and five cents worth of American currency.