My visit with Mama Foltz was absolutely fantastic. Absolutely.
Our trip to London was awesome. We did the tourist-y stops: everything from Westminster Abbey and St Paul's Cathedral (yes, we made it up to not just the Whispering Gallery, but even up to the Stone Gallery: http://www.stpauls.co.uk/Cathedral-History/Climb-the-Dome... thought Mama Foltz might not make it down with her heart still beating.); we also visited the Globe Theatre (such a good feel to the place - it's definitely on my list to see a performance there!), Kensington Palace, Hampton Court Palace, the Courtauld Gallery, the National Gallery, the Handel House Museum, the Churchill War Rooms, the Tower of London, and so much more.
We also got the chance to get tea with one of my W&M friends who had been studying in London and enjoy a dinner with my second cousin who is also a student in London.
We sat two feet away from the choir during Evensong at Westminster, took a boat from the Tower of London to Westminster, and wandered in the light rain around Hyde Park/ Kensington Gardens.
Overall, a simply splendid holiday that I got to enjoy with my mom. :)
She was a trooper who kept up with my fast paced walking, absolutely clicked with the people of EBM as she tagged along to activities with me, and even spent the night in Newark last night as her plane to St Louis was delayed until this morning. She is a superstar.
Yesterday and today have been busy catch-up days at work full of e-mailing, catching up on some smaller projects, leading a Bible study last night, and general planning of activities.
This next week marks the conclusion of most of the children and youth programs at EBM until summer schemes later in the summer.
Unfortunately, I will not be in Belfast this next week for these activities.
A little bittersweet: I am sad to be missing the epic end of the school year festivities, but there are adventures awaiting!
The YAVs head out for our last retreat of the year to IONA, SCOTLAND. For those who are unfamiliar with Iona, it is a small island off of Scotland which holds tight to its early Celtic Christianity roots.
The group will then head to Edinburgh for a couple days there, but I will be catching a plane back to the United States...
I applied to a fellowship program through the Fund for Theological Education called 'Volunteers Exploring Vocation.' I was accepted to the program which comes with monetary support and also the opportunity to meet with other soon-to-be seminarians who have also done a year of service.
I will be in NEW ORLEANS, LA, from Wednesday to Sunday for a conference during which we will have the opportunity to do a service project within the community off of which we will base many of our discussions for the weekend.
It should be absolutely fascinating... and hot.
I received an e-mail a few days ago with the main packing requirement being 'hot weather clothes.'
So, I will be going from chilly 50-degree Belfast/Iona to humid 100-degree New Orleans.
This is going to be a fun packing job. :)
So, adventures are in store; never a dull moment in the life of a YAV.
Traveling mercies are much needed.
In peace and grace.