to cover the past few days--in a much less detailed way than my first day--i'll just make a list:
CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG
we went as a group to see this musical. it was amazing what they did with the car! (i.e. attaching it to a huge mechanical arm that reached out holding the car above the audience. i really enjoyed the theater. (theatre?)
BRUSH UP ON SPANISH (& PORTUGUESE?)
i've been assigned to the spanish/portuguese branch in one of the two stakes that take us students. i'm scared but very excited. i guess they just have enough members to have a spanish hymn, then portuguese hymn & spanish talk then portuguese talk... i haven't been yet so i'm unsure.
LIKE A TOY CASTLE
touring 'hampton court palace' reminded me of our playmobil castle toy. they have it all set up like the olden days. some rooms like the 1500s, some like the 1600s, etc. it's incredible to really picture people walking/talking/living in the very same place over 400 years ago. my favorite part were the tudor kitchens. they have fires going in the fire place & the rooms set up with fake food. (including where they hang, skin & butcher the animals) there was also an amazingly immaculate garden in back with a maze, too. my siblings would have loved that.
my first eating out experience was a flop. it was lunch after the palace; i didn't want to spend much or eat much; we wanted fish and chips, but we couldn't find any. so we settled on a very well-kept little deli. i had a prawn & avocado bagel. the only problem is that i think that only
prawn & avocado on the bagel. it was very bland. i'm sure
i'll have better experiences in this area.
I FEEL QUITE VALUED
joe ostraff (art professor) has been really very nice to me. it's good to feel loved... he wants me to go with him to new zealand next year (june-november). he's taking 4-6 students to help him with a film project. i'm super-flattered by the invitation, of course. i just wonder if i'd really want to delay a mission for it, at the risk of not going on a mission. i hate the decisions between 2 good things...
i've been on kitchen crew this first week. it entails going early to & staying after each meal to prepare salads, set tables, and wash dishes with big industrial equipment. i don't know why, but i enjoy it. i don't enjoy getting in trouble though, each time i'm late. i don't have an alaa clock, and woke up late once. and getting back from an outing took longer than i anticipated.
i went to wimbledon. i've never followed tennis, but it was fun to see how big of a deal it was. not that i didn't know already, but it was exciting just to be at the gates & see all the hustle-bustle.
MY FAVORITE SO FAR
burrough food market was amazing. i could have walked around it all day just taking in all the smells. it's a gourmet food market; everything's organic, fresh & fancy. it's huge & many vendors were giving out free samples. my dad would have loved the fresh fish stand that would shell your scallops and then grill them for you right there. my mom would have loved the 'cranberry'
stand. chocolate-dipped nuts & dried strawberries, raspberries & our favorite--'sharp' apricots. yum! there were lots of fresh fruit places, too. i got a large peach & nectarine for a pound... 3 of us split a brownie at a bakery. maybe ingredients really do make a difference, because it was one of the best things i've ever eaten & it was 'just' a brownie...
SOME GOOD DAIRY
yogurt here is not as creamy, but much more delicious with fancy flavors like rhubarb, grapefruit & cranberry. the cheese is also to die for. i usually don't like cheese but it's a treat here.
I LIKE KIDS
i want to be good friends with the little kids of our professors. emma, hannah & ethan are the youngest. they all let me help them make a card for emma's older sister elizabeth, whose birthday is today.
'WE DON'T WANT YOUR MONEY, WE WANT YOUR NAME'
LIVE 8 was the biggest thing yesterday. if it doesn't sound familiar, go read about it at www.one.org
. the london concert was one of 9 happening all over the world, but it was happening at hyde park, just 3 blocks or so from our flat. one girl here won a pair of tickets to attend. i walked over in the evening to the edge that was gated off. i couldn't see any of the stage or screen, though it would have been possible. it was very exciting to hear madonna's set & try to fathom that she, paul mccartney & so many others were gathered less than a mile from me. crazy, is all i can say. but i think it's an incredible idea--the purpose of it all. it seems like it could really be productive.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE...
my feelings about being here have been up & down. i'm sure they'll get better. one issue that i didn't expect is a divide in the group. that the 10-or-so people that were here last term have seen much of what our group goes out to do. so naturally, it creates a divide because we're not really together. i think it will probably subside after the first month or so, but for now it's hard because the people i knew best/enjoy are part of that 10. they haven't been mean or anything, they just aren't doing the same things we are, really. another frustration is knowing that there's so much to do, but i don't quite know how to do it all yet.
there's more of course, but i don't want to brag too