Sunday, May 14, 2006

Freiburg: 2nd Saturday

Because we didn’t really have anything on the agenda for Saturday other than our debriefing in the evening, most of us readily seized the opportunity to sleep in a little. Liz wanted to take us to see Old Frankfurt, a picturesque area of a few square blocks right near downtown that she remembered from a previous visit to Germany as a small kid just a couple of years ago (just kidding Liz). Some people decided to stay back and spend the day reading and praying instead of touring, while the Navigators in the group (Mindy and until-recently II Tim) spent the day visiting Phil, a Nav guy that I know from Cary Quad (I even had an econ class with him freshman year) who is on an internship in Berlin, who’d come over to Frankfurt for the day to see us.

The group who wanted to go touring had said we were going to leave around 11am, but that really didn’t happen. Nobody was ready to go at the appointed time, so we pushed it back a half hour or so and then I managed to get into another pow-wow with Chip, Shane, Fack, and I Tim. It was actually a really good one but it kept us busy for about another hour, so we ended up making the girls wait before we could leave for Old Frankfurt.

Hey, what can I say, she’s from Frankfurt (the IL version though):

A square we walked by with some really weird trees:

I thought this Mini-Cooper ad was hilarious:

Along the way we came across a small anti-war demonstration marching through one of the main streets. It wasn’t an anti-Iraqi war protest mind you, but an anti-Iran war protest. Evidently they thought we were about to start something over there. Note that some of the signs in the second picture have a picture of President Bush and label him “Terrorist No. 1.” Oh well, you have to expect at least some delusions out of them considering they represented the Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany.

Old Frankfurt:

We decided we were hungry, but we couldn’t find anything we all agreed on that was within our price range (being a touristy area, the stuff around Old Frankfurt was pretty expensive). I however got lucky and found a little crêperie that was just like that ones I remember in France where they make it right in front of you. It wasn’t enough to fill me up, but the ham-and-cheese crêpe I got was absolutely delicious. Emily got one with bananas and Nutella (a sort of chocolate spread really popular in Europe). The Harrison people with us (Travis, Emily, and Michelle) decided to split off from Liz, Jessica, Shane, and I to head back to the hostel and get Anna who’d stayed back to have some quiet time by herself. As we wandered in the general direction of the Main River, we came across a small church that was styled like a miniature cathedral and stopped to take a few pictures:

Across the river was this church (we didn’t go in, just took pictures from the bridge) and a flea market we stopped to walk around (and yes, that is a 747 you see in the background to the left of the steeple):

I couldn’t believe it, but I found this ancient Commodore 286 laptop on a table at the flea market. What was even more amazing was that it wasn’t for sale; it was in fact being used by the owner of that booth! As a sense of perspective for those of you not technically inclined, that computer was considered ancient when my “ancient” Pentium 133 laptop was considered hot stuff circa 1995 (which, as a side note, I just recently turned into a digital picture frame instead of throwing it in the garbage like my mom wanted).

When we got to the end of the 3 or 4 block long flea market, we decided to wander back farther into the residential area that it was next to. After walking just a block in, and a couple blocks parallel to the river, we came across a red building with “Mt 5, 2-10” in giant letters on the front. Recognizing it as a scripture reference (the Beatitudes, to be specific), we went inside and figured out it was a little Bible museum for children. Not really wanting to pay admission for a museum that appeared geared for the 5-10 crowd, we went into the bookstore and had a fun time trying to talk with the guys working there.
Shane and Liz (you can see the museum on the right):

As we left, we decided to start making our way back to meet up with everyone and took a shortcut through a small park between the museum and the flea market area. As we were walking through the little park, we passed a bunch of benches in a circle around a little sculpture or something (seemed the perfect place for a small fountain, but there was no sign of water) and noticed a bunch of empty wine bottles half hidden under the benches. After discussing for a moment how bad litter is, Shane (ever the entrepreneur) commented “hey, we should pick all those up, you can get money for recycling them!” To which I responded “Shane, do you really want to be seen walking around with an armful of empty wine bottles?” Shane answered: “We’re in Germany, what are the chances we’ll see anyone we know?” At that point I burst out laughing and he said “oh nevermind,” because what should happen in the middle of his proclamation of our anonymity but we should see the Harrison group we split off from earlier crossing our path not 20 yards away! Yep, two miles and a river away from our hostel we ran into Travis, Emily, Anna, and Michelle at the most ironic possible moment. This picture was taken by Michelle just seconds later (you can even see the sheepish grin on Shane’s face as we were laughing about it):

At that point it was about time for us to head back to the meeting point we’d arranged earlier in the day so we could figure out our dinner plans. So we found our way back (not an easy task in that city) and waited on benches for the rest of the group to arrive:

I took Shane’s picture, but he decided he didn’t like the shot of him slouching, so he had me retake it again and again, with each shot getting successfully more posed:

“I’m too slouched, retake it!” Ok…

“That just looks weird, let’s try me thinking.” Ok…

Then I suggested a “the thinker” shot angled from below (and yes, I actually laid on the ground to get it):

He still didn’t like it, so we gave up after shooting what I took to calling his “senior portrait”…



Phil from Navs:

Eventually the rest of the group arrived and we split into a couple different groups to find food. I ended up going with largest group (led by the Nav contingent: Phil, Mindy, and II Tim) in hopes of finding some Schnitzel on our last night in Germany. We spent the next half hour to 45 minutes (a substantial chunk of the time we had to eat before our deadline to be back at the hostel) wandering aimlessly around under their direction (and prompting a couple of “this is what happens when you let the Navigators navigate…” jokes). Eventually we found a little restaurant off the beaten path that took forever to make our food, but ended up being some really good Schnitzel. Waiting for the food:

Chip wasn’t ready preparing for our debriefing session by the time we got back to the hostel, so we ended up hanging out in one of the other rooms while we waited. Liz decided to take a little nap (and I think Jessica might have dozed off once or twice):


After a while, we all moved to another, larger room where we’d have our debriefing, but then we still had to wait a bit before Chip would be ready. It was still crowded in there, but we all managed to fit in:

Again, Liz decided to get some sleep, but at some point her teddy bear was switched out for her shoe and she caught me trying to get a picture of it (second shot):

Some other random shots of people around the room:

We finally started our debriefing with some praise and worship lead by JD (including singing the trip’s unofficial theme song “Marvelous Light”). Then we started discussing things like what went well, what didn’t go so well, what we’d learned spiritually, how we’d seen God work, etc. All told, even though we didn’t see anyone come to Christ during our trip, we could wholeheartedly declare the trip a massive success on a number of levels. We saw a lot of growth within our team spiritually, many of our team members got a new or renewed passion for the nations and missions, one person decided to sign up for summer project who wasn’t planning on going prior to our trip (Michelle, who’s going back to Freiburg), Pauline’s perspective on her plans for STINT in a couple of years changed dramatically (she was positive that she’d be going to Freiburg, but they won’t have a Freiburg STINT by the time she wants to go, she is much more open to wherever God takes her, and she’s got a pretty good idea where she might end up going), we built new friendships within our team that are still ongoing (and strengthened existing ones), we were a huge encouragement to the STINT team and to the German students involved in Campus, the gospel was presented numerous times, Shane’s convinced several of those high school-ers were close to accepting Christ by the time they left, several German students are now interested in going to the English Café hosted at the Office, and so on and so forth. I’ve even forgotten a lot of our reasons (Freiburg people: please add more by posting comments to this post!), but by the end of the evening we all felt pretty confident calling the trip a massive success and praising God for all that He’d done in and through us.

In the middle of our debriefing, we heard a knock on the door and found out that Illinois Catalytic would be spending the night in the same hostel as us. I don’t know if it was some sort of coincidence that we ended up in that hostel or the STINT team put it together (likely because of our ease of getting to the airport from that location), but IU had been there Friday night before flying out Saturday and now Illinois was going to be with us Saturday night. The only problem was that Ken, a staff guy, was the only guy on their ten-person team, so he was probably going to have to cram into the Purdue guys’ already filled-to-past-capacity room just to have a place to stay. In the end, the girls from their team got placed in a room two floors above us, which was far enough away that they didn’t want to be cut off from a guy in that not-so-great neighborhood, so he stayed with them instead of us.

After spending a little time checking my email in the computer lab (and keeping a protective eye on our girls until they finished using them computers), I finally got to bed for my last night in Germany.

Freiburg Table of Contents
Freiburg: Intro and the Team
Freiburg: 1st Friday - 1st Saturday
Freiburg: 1st Sunday - Monday
Freiburg: Tuesday
Freiburg: Wednesday
Freiburg: Thursday
Freiburg: 2nd Friday
Freiburg: 2nd Saturday
Freiburg: 2nd Sunday
Freiburg: The Quote Book


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