Sunday, December 10, 2006

AZ, then to Munich for New Year's!

This is a picture of Salt river canyon on our way up to Pine top. There was no snow when we got there but on the first morning we had about 4 inches. Katie (Melissa's friend) had never seen snow before and they went out and made snow angels at 3 in the morning. It was great spending time with family just playing games and going to movies.

This is the front gate at Dachau concentration camp. Arbeit macht frei means 'work brings freedom' but sadly it did not for the tens of thousands who passed through this gate between 1937 and 1944. We went there on our first morning while the others slept in. I felt it was important to go. I went to Auschwitz (in Poland) when I lived in Lemgo, Germany which had more of an impact for me than this one because it is more intact but it was still harrowing to see. I firmly believe that the propensity to commit this kind of evil lies just below the surface of everyone. It made me thankful that I have been saved, that had it been me who had done these things that God's grace could still reach out to me, and it made me thankful that so far in my life I have never had to experience war or the breakdown of society.

On to happier things, this is one of the many squares in Munich and the tree was pretty. Enjoy.

This is us on the subway on our way to the insane fireworks. Note the dixie cups of champagne. In Europe you can drink alcohol in public. It is still a little weird to see teenagers chugging beer on the subway, but there you have it. There is no central firework display in Munich, instead, everyone brings their own and they just light them off in the street for about an hour around the midnight countdown. They were going off everywhere, I got hit in the leg with a rocket that fell over before going off, there were bits of firecrackers fall from the sky everywhere. It was a health and safety nightmare but really quite fun. Definately not one for the kids.

Here you can see a few rockets going off, the amount of smoke in the picture should give you more of an idea about how many there were.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Forever and a day....

That's how long it's been since we last posted! Sorry about that, I used to blog at work on my lunch breaks but computers are now for 'work related' things only. That's okay, but it means that when I get home I rarely feel like getting on the computer. We have somehow lost the cable that connects the camera to the computer. I was looking forward to putting a whole bunch of pictures on but I'm going to have to make do with the ones from my phone's camera. Here are a few and I'll talk you through what's happening.

Okay, scratch that. I just tried numerous times to upload my picture onto blogger but it was having none of it. Sorry! I know some of you have been waiting with baited breath for new pictures for ages.

Here's what I was going to put up: A picture of us at a deleriou5? concert, my sign on the boards at the hockey arena, us at Rachel's work christmas dinner from last night and a funny one of the so-called large pumpkins that they have here that I mentioned in blog back at halloween.


Oh! We got one photo up. You can guess which one it is...





As Rachel mentioned below, we'll be on our way to America in 5 days and I can't wait to hit the slopes, see friends and family, and generally relax and eat too much. I'm sure we'll have time to blog then. Till then, we love you all.
Mark

From Rachel:

Month in reflection- work work work! And a few fun things. I've been working a lot because, well, there's lots to do. Occasionally (today, for instance) I think about finding a different job. Ironically I was talking to my co-workers at our team meeting this past Monday about the rewards of commitment. Ha. I'll stay with the company at least through next July. I've also been working a lot because I find I get more done when everyone else has left the office and the phones have stopped ringing. Most importantly, I have been working a lot because I am taking off work next week! We leave next Friday for the States! Woohoo! School doesn't actually get out here until Wednesday the 20th, but my last day will be Thursday the 14th. Yyeeessss! I can't wait. I generally don't mind/semi-enjoy my job, we're both just really looking forward to a break =) Now for the fun things... a baby shower for a co-worker who is due in January! A Black-Tie Chamber of Commerce dinner (Mark looks HOT in a tux!). A few ice hockey games. A visit from our Malawian friend Henderson who is now living in Leeds. Thanksgiving dinner with some Canadian friends. **My brother Reid and his wife Laura making a whirlwind visit!** And... basketball practice! That's right. I am now practicing with the Hull University Women's team twice a week! Don't be too impressed. They haven't grown up with b-ball, and it's only the university's second year of having a ladies team. I don't mind rockin' the court though =) It's a fun way for me to get exercise, and I anticipate it to be a good area of ministry. I hope to help coach the team at some point, but I'm also happy just practicing with them.