Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Looking Back

Sometimes I think Atheism is kicking my butt.  Sometimes I think, should we really be here God?  Is there really need here?  I mean there’s a few Christians, can’t the just handle the work and we’ll go on living our comfortable lives somewhere else?

Other days I’m faced by people that are so anti-Christian, and again I’m like, this is too hard God, what are you thinking sending me?  You know my faults Lord, you know I can’t handle this. 

For the past 4 years I feel like I've got the smallest taste of what it’s like to be a true believing Christian in Germany.  The looks you get when  you tell people why you live here.  They’re cautious of me, I’m dangerous to befriend.  What are my motives of talking to them?  Am I part of a cult?  Scientology?  Mormon?  Church of the Latter Day Saints?  Something else?  No I’m just a Christian.  My husband and I work with youth and with a church in another town.

Honestly, living here changed my worldview.  Sometimes I’m not sure if that’s good thing or not, but I wouldn't go back.  Never.  It’s time I become stronger in my faith.  Not dependent on the faith I had as a child.  I often look back at that faith and want to go back to what my faith was then, but I can’t, I've tried for ten years.  It’s time to move forward.  Take what I've learned and be faithful to God.  I wonder if I’m the only one who has spent so much of my Christian life looking back.   

Friday, January 13, 2012

The blog in my head

I write posts for my blog a lot. They're amazing. They're poetic, they're relatable, real, funny, clever. They never seem to actually make it to my blog. That's because I write them in my head, when I'm sitting in a car, or I hear something my preacher says in church and am inspired to write a whole post expanding on the topic.

But it seems like whenever I sit down to actually write, I can remember the topic, but no idea what it was that I was going to write.

Sadly, the blog in my head is way more awesome than this one and I update it almost daily. So while people ask me, do you still write on your blog? Maybe I should tell them about the blog in my head...then again maybe not.

Friday, December 16, 2011

It will just click...

Anyone who has or is learning a foreign language has heard stories about the person that picks a language up within months. Or the person that has perfected the language and has no accent. Or we sit in language class comparing our progress with every person sitting in that room. Or I've even had people tell me, one day the language just "clicks". I've heard this multiple times. One day it'll just click for you. You know what, it never just clicked. I never felt this magical click. The one click that would bring me from dazed, confused, stumbling over my words to confident, fluent, and graceful foreigner.
But you know what has happened. In three and half very long, very painful, very lonely years, I've slowly started to understand more and more every day. I started to speak. But after those first really hard years, now I'm pretty comfortable here. I don't struggle to understand anymore, speaking doesn't freak me out. In fact, none of that is really hard to do anymore.
So to those of you that have been working hard on a language for a while, and it just hasn't clicked. Here's some bad news, it might not just happen like that, but that's ok, just keep working hard at it, it will come. I promise!

Any language learning tips or experiences?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm not thankful

I'm not thankful that your life is a mess and mine is perfect. I'm not thankful that I have friends, and you're alone. I'm not thankful that you're passed out in the cold, drunk, and I'm warm and cozy in my house enjoying an afternoon with my husband. I'm not thankful that you spent your money on cheap wine, when it should have gone for food. It scares me to see you like this. I thought I was well acquainted with loneliness, but maybe you know it better.

You're not the first person I've seen this way. The old man at the bar that was alone with a fancy bottle of champagne . I saw him toasting to no one in particular. Or the man at the train station that was teetering dangerously close to falling onto the tracks.

I am grateful for the man who called an ambulance. I'm grateful for my husband that rushed downstairs and made sure there was help on the way. I'm grateful that for a few hours you're in a warm hospital being taken care of. But seeing you makes it harder for me to ignore the hurting and pain in this world and honestly it's hard to be grateful when I know tomorrow might be the same for you.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I guess my name is Alisha now

When I was in kid I was really shy. One time when I was 16 I took a couple classes at a college. I was really nervous about it and was glad when I met one nice lady. When I introduced myself to her I told her my name, "Alyssa." She called me Alisha for the rest of the semester. No big deal. Then she started telling everyone else in the class my name was Alisha. OK, so I'll just be Alisha for a semester. The last day of that semester. We had to do a group discussion. One person had to write down the names of all the people in the group. When I told them how to spell my name, another girl said realized that they had called me the wrong thing for 4 months. Yes, I'm that awkward. I was reminded of how awkward I was by these "Awkward Penguin" memes.

One time when I was about 14 I dropped my favorite plum lip gloss. Someone announced in front of a big group of people that it had been lost. Anyone want to claim it? No way did I want to claim that I had lost my lip gloss in front of all those people. So I didn't get my lovely lip gloss back.

That was then. I've improved so much since then...or have????
It seems that I've regressed living in another country and learning another language.

So here they are "Awkward Penguin" that I can relate to today:

There are very important words I avoid saying, because I don't want to sound so American. Like the word for five and right. I have a limited German vocabulary and I'm avoiding all words that start with the letter "r" and have an "ΓΌ"

That plan hasn't been working out so well.

My husband says I don't speak loudly enough. He thinks that's the reason people don't understand me sometimes, not my accent. I hope he's right,but on the other hand it terrifies me to think I might be yelling at people if I raise my voice.

This has happened to me a lot of times too. More so in the past.

In Germany, it's more like I don't understand what they said. Nod and smile.

Lets face it, I could be the poster child for the awkward penguin. Feel like you could relate to any of those?

Here's where the pics are from. There's tons more.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


On Sunday we put out our paper trashcan. The whole day we kept reminding each other to do it. I even wrote it on a post it and stuck it on the bathroom mirror. I grabbed the office trash and noticed an envelope with our names and addresses on it.

Me: You don't throw away trash with our names and addresses on it.
Z: Why not? It's sitting outside our house, so they already know where we live and our name is on the trashcan.
Me: I don't know. I'm just going to rip it up anyways.
Z: And who's going to dig through our trash?

As we wheeled it out to the curb we looked around a realized we were the only ones that remembered to put our trash out. Good for us. Oh wait, the next day was a holiday. No one was going to come on and pick it up till Tuesday. Not wanting to walk 100 feet back to the trash area, we decided to leave it there one extra day. I know shame on us.

Next day on our way out we noticed our trashcan was no where to be seen. Ok, Monday was a holiday, so yeah obviously our trash didn't get taken out, but our trashcan was missing! It took everything in me not to point out how right I was about ripping up personal info. I think I lasted about an hour before I pointed it out. Not bad, right? So I was a little freaked out over it. This is a city owned trashcan, so if it's lost not only would I have to pay for a new one, but I'd have to talk on the phone in German. On second thought, Z would have to talk on the phone in German.

Before we did any of that though, we thought we had better look around and see if anyone was just messing with us. By this time everyone else had started putting out their trashcans. So there were about 50 trashcans that all looked a like that we had to figure out if one of them was ours. Z. decided it would be best if he dressed like a homeless person while we did this. So he put on his holey jeans and t-shirt he's had since '94 and we started walking up to every trash can on our street and staring intensely at each one. "No, this one looks too dirty to be ours." or "No I think ours is smaller." Eventually we found our trashcan not too far from our house. The moral of the story is, when in Germany follow the rules, do not put your trash out a day early, or else drunk people will teach you a lesson.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

And the Forschungsergebnisse of the past 3 years is:

I'm kind of trying to learn a little Italian, when I say kind of learning that means I log into a free program once every 6 months and relearn how to say basic greetings. I'm trying to learn because I know some people in Italy and I'm going there and I always think in theory it's nice when you can communicate a bit and not make your friends ask where a toilet is for you. On top of the twice a year online studying of Italian I also have a little phrase book. When I first came to Germany I had this phrase book that I really liked, so I bought another one in Italian. As I was reading through the Italian, I was struggling to say even one word. I was like, oh my gosh, this is like a foreign language or something. I know, I know, it is a foreign language, but that was the first time I realized that German isn't a foreign language anymore. That's when I started to remember what it was like when I first started to learn German. I would look at that phrase book and barely be able to get through a word. Although in my defense, German does have words that are ridiculously long and should just be a sentence. For example today I learned the word Forschungsergebnisse, which means results of research. But anyways, German is familiar, I'm actually pretty comfortable talking here and getting around is cake. But Italy is another story. I haven't dedicated time to Italian and it is in no way a familiar or comforting language. But someday, maybe, just maybe, I will learn a bit of that beautiful language.