Well... Europe has successfully lived up to the majority of the expectations I had for it. It's almost funny that it's included in a middle east cross cultural considering falafel shops, head scarfs, and the call to prayer are almost the direct opposite to quaint cafes, mini skirts, and the American rap found here. But following the Christian movement along the Mediterrean was enough of a segway for me.
Greece was beautiful. We spent our time in Athens and Corinth looking at ancient temples and taking in the scenery. I hadn't realized how revolutionary the gospel was to Greeks and Romans until our studies here. People obsessed with pleasure within the present life, building pagan temples to several different gods - these were the people Paul came to and asked for them to imagine not only life beyond this one but also belief in ONE God. I wonder what I would have thought of him if I lived during that time.
Next we took a ferry to Italy and I quickly realized that even 4 full days in Rome is barely enough to put a dent into the city. The colosseum, vatican, Roman forum, sistine chapel, Constantine's arch, Pieta, St. Peter's Bascillica... so many sites! I'll just have to come back sometime so I can admire them longer :). Our program concluded on Friday and I gladly took my final exam of college! For our 4 days of free travel Matt, Janelle, Drew and I spent our time in Florence which was a great way to celebrate. We saw a few more renowned sites (Michaelangelo's David, the old bridge, the Duomo) and even got out into the countryside to admire beautiful Tuscany. It was a perfect end to our journey.
Currently I am counting down the hours until we return! I have so enjoyed every bit of this trip and being away has reminded me just how blessed I am for the wonderful family and friends in my life.
Thanks for jumping on this adventure with me. If you want to hear more about it I'd love to talk with you middle eastern style (a table, lots of time, tea, treats, and laughter).
Peace, Salam, Shalom,