Well, I am a little late to get back to blogging after summer break, but better late than never, I guess.
I spent half the summer in Germany visiting a German friend who had been here at LSTC in an exchange program for a year. I still can't quite digest the experience. It was my first time in Europe, my first really extended trip outside of the United States and certainly the first time I had been somewhere other than the U.S. when I wasn't a tourist. Since I stayed with my friend's family, I got to know a lot more about what her life (and theirs) was really like. I befriended all three of her little brothers and occasionally still get e-mails from them. I think it was important in their life to meet a crazy American. I actually blogged the entire time I was there, so I will try to post some comments later when I have time to find a few interesting sections. What I can say, on balance, from this trip is that I learned about what it is to be an American by being in Germany. I hadn't ever really understood how prevalent American culture is everywhere else. I didn't understand how much English is the langua franca of large parts of the world. It was strange not to speak any German at all when I left and to be able to do most everything because everyone spoke English at least a little. And my friends family all spoke English. I was impressed.
I went to church in Germany --my friend's father is a pastor. It was very interesting because even though I had just arrived and didn't know any German, I could still get a general sense of the message. It was a little daunting to see a church service there and really completely realize for the first time that there are people communing and preaching and worshiping all over the world almost all the time. But I must note that the church was almost empty. In America we worry that people are leaving the church and that attendance is down, but we have nowhere near the problem that Europe does in that respect.
More on all of this later,