#TSAisbae and other notes from day one

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If you are someone who cares about my life enough to read this blog but has somehow managed to avoid hearing that I am spending my summer studying abroad in England, Scotland, and Ireland, now you know! I said goodbyes to my family early Saturday morning, and in a combination of uncomfortable airplane seat + a brave effort to fight jet lag, I haven’t slept at all since then – about 30 hours without sleep. I’m running on the sweet grace of Jesus at this point, and I am finally about to get some serious rest, but I just couldn’t help but share a few phone snapshots quickly and jot down some notes from the very longest day in my life so far.

#TSAisbae because it took us about 10 minutes to get through security in O’Hare on Saturday morning. We kept our shoes on and everything. Everything at the airport went marvelously smoothly, and I was giddy like a little kid for my first intercontinental flight. They fed us DINNER and BREAKFAST, with TV’s in the seats and free blankets, and all the flight instructions were delivered in lovely Irish accents. Besides the difficulty sleeping, I couldn’t have been happier.

We arrived in Dublin and then took another quick flight over to Edinburgh, where we’ll be spending the first few weeks. When we finally arrived at our destination, our bodies felt like it was 4-ish am, but because it was 10am in Irish Standard time, we were welcomed with a traditional British breakfast, thick slabs of bacon, meaty sausages, baked beans, potato pancakes, egg casserole, and of course, tea. We charged up on cups of coffee and began to unpack and explore the surrounding area, trying to train our minds into European time. Not the worst day I’ve ever yawned through.

We’re staying slightly outside the city. It’s probably a combination of the over-stimulation of this day, the newness of it all, and how incredibly tired I am, but everything here is absolutely enchanting. This town is adorably picturesque, and I hear the center of Edinburgh is even more so. The people are incredibly friendly and welcoming, and I’m pretty sure it’s not just the accents. We spent some time this afternoon with some of the students at the college where we are staying, learning some British slang and trying to copy their accents. They asked if we were voting for Trump and if our food always looks like it does on ‘Man vs Food’. Lots of laughs ensued, as well as the promise of a bagpipe concert at some point.

It’s very strange to be the foreigner for once. At church we were welcomed from the pulpit and told we added a little “international flavor” to the congregation. I’ve found that I am very awkward and uncomfortable with the subtle cultural differences, and really I can’t imagine the difficulty of transitioning to a culture with a different language or any other multitude of other possible changes. It is a little dizzying to drive along on the “wrong” side of the road, my mind is getting a workout from trying to calculate kilometers, and my scalp is scalded due to a shower dial written in Celsius. But we’re so excited for the all things we have yet to experience and see. I’ll happily buy a power converter if it means I get to explore these beautiful countries for a few months.

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Alright, I’m about to crash. Thanks for letting me check in! I have service here, so shoot me a text or facebook message if you’d like to hear more about how it’s going. I’m sure I’ll have more pictures to share soon!

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This is where we’re staying, and this picture hardly captures how lovely and sweet it is.

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This was our welcome breakfast…

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Are you kidding me? How lovely is this? (The courtyard of the school).

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