Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Change in Plans (For real this time)

          I have now been back in the U.S. for about a week. I left Osijek last Sunday, July 6 to travel by car to Belgrade, then a plane from Belgrade to Doha, Qatar with a stop in Ankara, Turkey, and then after a two hour layover in the New Doha International Airport (I would highly suggest this airport... It is not quite finished, but is phenomenal with apple computers everywhere for people to use and awesome sculptures that are also playgrounds for kids. The people watching was also incredible as there were people from everywhere on earth!) before a 14 hour flight to Philadelphia. I finally arrived in Dayton, Ohio on Monday afternoon.
          In some ways, it has felt extremely normal to be back. It seems that I am just on break from EMU instead of just spending almost nine months living in Europe. I have not done too much other than sleep (trying to get over jet-lag), bike with my dad, and spend a day shopping with my best friend. It is so hard to believe that only a little over a week ago I was swimming in the Drava and riding my bike around Osijek. It seems like a dream. But then little American things seem weird now. Such as ice in drinks. Water seems so cold now! Almost too cold! I got so used to drinking everything without ice... still cold, but not that cold. Also, while in Croatia, I tried break down some people's stereotypes about Americans. However, even though it is true Americans are a diverse people, there is a specific American culture and while being in Fort Wayne, Indiana the other day shopping and eating out, I was overwhelmed by the Americanness of everything and everyone around me.
          I am sure that as more time passes, I will able to adjust back into American culture while being able to process my time in Croatia and find new ways in which I have changed and can incorporate that change into my life here. For those who do not know, I have finished my time with BVS and have moved back to the United States indefinitely. And I am so excited to announce my plans for this next year; I have been accepted to and am planning to attend Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) in Elkhart, Indiana to begin work on my Masters of Divinity. This is quite a change of plans, but a change that I am ready for. I miss school and I still have so many questions about God and I believe that seminary will be the perfect place for me to ask them, while becoming apart of a tight community and exploring my own call to ministry and peace work.
          I was sad to leave Croatia and I will be staying in touch with my friends there. They have become a part of my story, a part of me, and I will be back to visit, although it might be a while before I a can make that happen. Although some parts were really hard, I have no regrets about my time there. I have a lot of things to process, but in the end, I think coming home is good for me and I know in my gut that AMBS is the right place for me to be for the next couple of years. I didn't really plan it, but as one quote goes, "life is what happens when you are busy making other plans". Thanks to everyone who has been there supporting me through everything. I have said for a long time that I have the best friends in the world, and this has stayed true through the last few months. I am so thankful and feel so blessed for the people who are in my life. I look forward to living closer to some of them and staying in touch with others. 

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