Tuesday, June 30, 2009


This was definitely my favorite city, by far. I absolutely loved it!!! We got to Prague pretty early one Monday afternoon and left that Wednesday around noon. They basically just let us roam free which was a very nice break after having every minute planned for us for 10 days. Prague was also the perfect segue from Oelsnitz to Chemnitz.

The first day, Courtney and I just walked around all day. We probably had gelato 3 times that first day. It was so good and really cheap there. The next day, Jason, Ben, Johnnie, Hannah, and I took a New Europe tour which I would HIGHLY suggest if you ever go to a European city with one of these. Definitely well worth it. It was just a 3 hour walking tour where I learned so much about the city and saw many things I would never have found on my own. It really gave me a new appreciation for the city which probably has something to do with why it's my favorite city of the trip.

Now for some pictures:
This is the national museum in Prague. It was at the end of a really long road with tons of shops and things. At night, it was absolutely beautiful! And this is the town square of Old Town Prague. That main building with the big clock tower was the Old Town Hall. On the side of it is a really old, really famous clock that "comes to life" every hour. Our tour guide said it was the most over-rated thing in Prague. The rest of the building (where all the trees are) actually burned completely to the ground during WWII, which brings me to something I thought about a lot while in Europe. I never truly realized how devastating World War II actually was until this past month. In America, we learn about it in schools and can see some of the damage at Pearl Harbor, but, for the most part, our country itself was unharmed. Now, I know that many soldiers from America gave their lives, but that generation will soon be quickly gone and I fear that my generation and younger will not fully realize the impact of this great war. In Germany, it's everywhere. Every city I went to in Germany has the marks of the war and you can definitely tell the youth there realize the impact it had. Many students brought up the fact that it was hard for them to reconcile their country's past with themselves and with other students. I just wish that we were more mindful of it in the States.

Ok, sorry. I got on a little soapbox there.Well, this is probably a big surprise to most of you! Courtney and I died our hair while we were in Prague. It was quite the mini-adventure because the instructions were completely in Czech so we really had no idea what we were doing. It turned out ok, though. My hair hasn't fallen out yet.There's a river that almost cuts Prague in half. Now, if I had done my research before this post, I could tell you the name of the river. But, I didn't so I don't know. In the background, though, you can see the castle. So on Monday night in Prague, Hannah, Courtney, and I went to the ballet Cinderella at the State Opera House for 100 crowns (or about $5). It was SOOO beautiful, the house and the performance. On our way there, though, we decided to stop and take pictures in front of the National Museum's fountain. These Spanish men asked us to be in their picture and the one hugging Courtney was quite the teaser. He kept fixing his hair and pretending like he needed to make a good impression on us. It was hilarious and when he left he kissed us all goodbye.

So there's Prague in 5 pictures. Thanks to all 2 of you who stayed through this entire post. Haha. I don't think I would have stayed had it been someone else's blog. But I did absolutely love this city and would go back in a heartbeat. Next stop: Chemnitz!

Monday, June 29, 2009


***I definitely captioned all of the pictures wrong because Blogger uploads them backwards!!! I'm trying to fix it, but for now you can just play a fun little guessing game with what pictures should go with what captions!***
**I've decided to not fix it after all. It's not too confusing if you just read the text then go back and look at the pictures. Haha. At least I'll know for next time, right?**

As most of you know, I just returned from a month-long singing campaign to Germany. I started to write my ONE post about the trip and became COMPLETELY overwhelmed by how many things I needed to share. SO. I decided to do the posts by towns.
Throughout the trip, we stayed about 10 days in Oelsnitz, 3 days in Prague, 10 days in Chemnitz, and then 5 of us went to Italy for a week.
As I'm sure you can tell by the title of this post, today begins the trip with our first stop, Oelsnitz.

This is the Lutherhohe (I actually need two of those little double dot things to spell this right (umlauts??) but I don't know how to make that happen). We stayed here the entire time we were in Oelsnitz. It's basically a bed and breakfast but can also be rented out for things like weddings and parties and such.It has several outdoor ping-pong tables with very unmerciful "nets." But we played ping-pong indoors a lot on the trip. And for anyone who would understand this: I beat Andy!! So, I'm not horrible at the sport anymore (yes, it is a sport in Germany). There's also an incredibly cool indoor bowling alley thing. I'm sure there's a name for this really small type of bowling but I can't remember it and I don't feel like it's too terribly important to my post that I do. My team definitely won. (The first game, at least.)Remember the parties I mentioned? That the Lutherhohe can be rented out for? Well, one night I came back early with Stefanie and the kids and was just walking around taking pictures because it was BEAUTIFUL that night. Long story short: I ended up being invited to a German party! It was like a YMCA type thing with TONS of 10, 11, and 12 year olds and several counselors. They invited me in and we roasted bread on a stick, ate hot potatoes, and basically just hung out. It was really cool just meeting them all. Here are the few I talked to the most at the party. And here's the view out of our window at the Lutherhohe. So beautiful. That is one thing I definitely miss. The rolling hills all different shades of green. Driving to the church building every day was so fantastic. (When it wasn't raining.)
Here are a few pictures of what we did in the community of Oelsnitz. The first two are of the church. Each Sunday, one of our men would lead communion alongside one of the Germans. This is Jason leading communion the 2nd Sunday (I think) we were there. And this next one is the church from the outside. The building is incredibly well-kept on a great piece of property. It's perfect for having grills and get-togethers. (I feel like I'm trying to sell this property to you. Sorry.)Michal was just one of the amazing people at Oelsnitz. Her grandfather is the preacher there and she has an amazing maturity and faith for a 17-year-old. It was so refreshing working with and talking to her.
The Chemnitz Singers meet once a week to sing together. Throughout the trip, more so in Chemnitz than Oelsnitz, we would sing with them. The last Friday of the campaign we had a concert together. This is our first practice with them at the Lutherhohe. And this is what we spent the majority of our time doing. We would sing in schools and nursing homes during the day. In the schools, we would usually go into their classes afterwards and speak English with them. They loved having native speakers to practice English with and it gave us a good way to get to know some more German young people.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Alive and Back

I know, I know. It's a shock. But I am back. In the United States and in Blog World.

I just spent the past month in Germany so I have A LOT to post about.

So stay tuned, as soon as I get my pictures on my computer, there will be an enormous post about the past month.

Hope you're all having a great summer!!