Monday, March 30, 2009

quick update, post soon with better description

Ok, here it goes.

Got to Rome! It was pretty awesome but I wish I had more time here, next time, next time.

Stayed in an awesome Hostel with people from all over the world. We cooked each night and I traveled with folks from Virginia, Boston and Hong Kong.

I met the recently retired diplomat from Israel...very funny. Yea he is friends with Nelson Mandela

Found couches to stay on in Florence! Actually outside of is going to be beautiful.

I saw so much in Rome that it is a bit overwelming, will have to spend time writing it all down.

Today I am off to Naples in the morning. They invented Pizza here. I am going to have lunch. Then I am off to Florence to stay for a few days. It is going to be wonderful. Then Venice. Then Switzerland. I get to learn to ski!

Ok that is about it for the re-cap. I saw the Colloseum and it was awe inspiring too. Photos soon.

God continues to provide. This hostel, couch surfing, great coffee and people everywhere to spend time with. If I step back and look at his provision I have to wonder why I ever worry!

Alright, to naples. Pizza is waiting.

Friday, March 27, 2009

haggling hotels and motorcycle adventure

Currently: Cinque Terre Region, Italy. 2 days
Next up: Roma, Italy.
Well hello and Buongiorno from Italy. The last few days have been crazy. I got to tour the French Rivera by motorcycle! With the gentleman I couchsurfed with we road the coast during a beautiful day. The best part of couchsurfing is that you get to meet local people and experience local life void of typical tourism. I had the best meal I have had in a while.

motor-gorn, french style

Long story short, do not trust a French train station information attendant. They could for instance tell you a train exisits at the next stop for your desired destination when in reaity one did not appear for eight hours. Yep, eight, one more than seven and less than nine. Luckily though I other lost Americnas and local characters to bid my time. Five in the morning never could come quicker than this past morning.

Currently I am in the "five terras" region. I would put my photos up but lets be real, they would not do justice. So do yourself a favor, google Cinque Terra and click on images. This is where I will be sleeping tonight. After some haggling I was able to find a great single hotel room for less than half the price. If even has a shower, which when compared to the number of times I have showered thus far, is cause for celebration.

Once again, God sends people to lighten my heart and renew my spirit. Today at five in the morning a random Christian man came up to me and started talking to me. I do not even know how he knew I spoke english. And after a sleepless night sitting on the beach God gave me sweet rest on the train. I ended up having almost an entire sleeper cabin to myself! Amazing. I sprawled out and sleep sold for a few hundres miles along the coast here.

More and more I am able to see how Jesus is supplying my every need. The sad thing is that I had to come here to begin to rely on God in more of the way we should everyday. Sometimes the very act of finding food or a train station is cause for prayer. Yet God has been taking care of me his often faithless foolhearty son.

The truth is that God cares much more for us than all of creation put together. If God takes care of the birds of the air and the flowers of the field, much more will he care for us his children. As I travel I see purpose put front row. Everywhere I go people are living for one thing or another. Each country I go to I see the same disatisfied lives. People are all running, all around the world, after joy and peace but save Jesus come up empty.

God has given me opportunities to talk about his love with every person I have stayed with thus far. I pray that my words are backed by his spirit. Please pray that God continues to use me and give me a humble spirit conscious of my reliance on his grace and provision.

God knows every hair on our heads. This understanding requires active response. It also lets us sleep at night knowing our lives rest firmly in the hands of a God that is much greater than any problems of this world.

Enjoy some photos. Welcome to Italy. I am super pumped for great pizza.

Nice, France

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dear France, au revoir.

Well the time has come. I should be leaving France tomorrow. First off I am excited because the keyboard here are different. Typing takes much longer. It beco,es qt leqst ,ilkdly qnooying. (that was typing as if on a normal keyboard)

The past few days have been a whirlwind. I spent time visiting Normandy, the region where the D-Day invasion happened. I saw the American cemetery, battered German emplacements, Omaha Beach and the site where the American Rangers had to climb 150 foot tall cliffs. It was awe inspiring for me to be where so many men my age gave their lives for the sake of an ideal. Every step taken by allied forces pushed liberation one step closer to the oppressed and imprisoned. The type of man created in those times of turmoil does not often exist today. Plus, it was just awesome to see the impact of naval bombardments, even 70 years later. Photos to follow.

I was not only kindly hosted by a French couple in Caen but I was invited out to meet many of their friends, most of whom spoke at least some English. They were very warm and welcoming to me making me feel right at home. I also spent a whole day traveling again with two random Americans. We met in Bayeaux. This is the city closest to the D=Day invasion sites as an entity. Chris, another one, is from South Dakota and Richard is from Atlanta.

Personally this was a point of praise for me. I have been praying that God would encourage my spirit and send believers for me to spend time with. Once again God is so faithful. Meeting Richard at the hotel where our tour was based I find out that he is a strong believer. His family could not come so just Richard traveled this time. It was such a blessing being about to be encouraged in faith by an older Christian. And in of all places, Caen, France! God is truly good.

Today I am in Nice, pronounced neece. I met the Mediterranean today. He is nice. One thing is for sure, people here are terrible at skipping rocks. Perhaps there is a business opportunity here for Americans to come teach French people how to throw a rock in the water. I know it would be more outsourcing but perhaps in could help the economy somehow.

After a wonderful French dinner at a hidden local restaurant and some Gelato I am ready to go to bed. The folks I am staying with tonight, Julian and Maria, have been more then kind. I like them a lot. Everywhere I seem to meet the most wonderful people. Tomorrow may include crossing the Alps on my way to Italy, who knows.

I promise that my next post will be much more full of witty quips and funny stories but I will leave the communist rallies and clothes wearing dogs for next time.

Meeting the Mediterranean

My backpack home.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Paris = done town, USA

Well here I am, tired, smelly and ready for sleep. Paris has been a whirlwind. I have a lot of new friends. These past three days have introduced me many people I hope to keep in contact with for a long while. Couchsurfing is proving to be more than expected. Sharing life with these folks means seeing the cities for their true selves and having insight and advice to the musts and must nots.

I am learning some key phrases in French. Very important. So far I can say "Hello. Pardon me but my French is not very good. Do you speak English? Thank you." This phrase has allowed me passage to the very rarely viewed nice side of Parisians. They can be nice, you just have to search a bit.

I have spent the past three days traveling by foot through
Paris with two other guys. Chris, from Philly, and Graham from the UK. Both are great guys to spend time with. Both are traveling solo as well. Yesterday we covered everything from the Eiffle Tower to the Notre Dame capping the day off with a sunset from the best view in the city. Cobble stone street with espresso cafes have been breakfast and an afternoon rest. Paris is wonderful. Today, after the Louvre, seeing the Mona Lisa and friends, we went to a Paris CouchSurfers picnic at a castle. This may be the most amazing place I have ever been. This park/garden/lawn was massice and beautiful. It was almost like a dream. We played frisbee, drank coffee and ate french pastries.

: Metric system: not bad. Celcius Temperature readings: so annoying.

Tomorrow I am off to Caen. I will see where the American Allied forces landed during D-Day. This is a part of my trip I have been looking forward to for years.
Please pray that God continues to encourage my heart and give me the right words to speak. People here all seem to be searching for something. Jesus is the only answer that will bring joy and purpose. Those seem to be two things lacking so far. Here is where I am at, tomorrow is where I will be. I hope to show photos.

Things I miss. (the now to be semi-regularly updated list)

1. The universally understood knowledge of the awe inspiring nature of KU Basketball.

2. The ability of people to play sports that involve throwing, not kicking.

The Louvre's newest and best sculpture.

Coolest place i have every thrown a Frisbee.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

London, France...yeah, underpants.

So here I am. I wish I had updated yesterday in London. It was wonderful. I spent the evening eating Japanese food cooked by a Kenyan family living in London. Go ahead, reread that if you need.

Hopefully I will be able to give a bit more detail soon but here are some highlights. London was great. The Queen and I played frisbee at Westminster Abbey and then went for a walk. Minus the Queen and frisbee that is exactly what happened. Big Ben, pretty cool but Ben wasn't there.

Note to self: British folk drive on the other side of road, easy to remember, hard to put into practice, almost got killed by an upset in-a-hurry cabbie. Also true, all Brits wear scarves, smoke pipes and carry umbrellas reguardless of the weather. Well, almost universal.

-Trains are much more comfy than planes.

-Chunnul, really a 20 min. long tunnel. Still fun, a bit over rated.

Right now, I am sitting on the top floor balcony or a Paris apartment overlooking the city. I am a three minute walk from the Eiffle Tower. Wonderful. I will be here three days.

Well, bed time and more gorning to do. Look out Paris, lets play.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

ready, set, go!

Today is the day. My next post will be from London rather than Dustin's living room. Please pray for my safe travel. I get to stay with a wonderful family from London and I hope to cook a meal for them. Perhaps breakfast for dinner? Maybe a stir fry?

Here we go.