Monday October 1, 2018

2 Chronicles 15:7 But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.

As we finished the last-minute packing at 5:30 this morning to make our 7:30 train, I was again taken aback by how hard it was to leave. We have only been here for two months, but we have already been blessed with lifelong friendships. This process of leaving Schönebeck was much more difficult and emotional than I could ever have imagined. Birgit and Johannes had us over for breakfast and Birgit gave us beaded angels she had made. We had a wonderful breakfast with sausages, marmalade, bread, coffee, etc. and then we took one final picture and we were off with Johannes to the train station. I felt like I was leaving my home again, yet we were only there for two months—how is it possible to feel at home in a place after such a short period of time? I am definitely relying on the Lord this morning, my heart is aching and I can’t believe how much I am going to miss these wonderful people and this beautiful city.

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On the short train ride from Schönebeck to Magdeburg, with Lucia on my lap, I noticed the beautiful sunrise and commented to Lucia that the sun is rising on a new adventure for us. We are beginning our journey towards Thailand and teaching English in the village in the north, but not before a quick stop in Köln.

Our train ride was fairly uneventful and we got to our hotel with no problem at all. It was a quaint hotel lobby and once we got all set, we took a 2-3 minute walk through buildings to our apartment/hotel room. We actually had 2 bedrooms and 3 beds. We were all hungry so we basically dropped the luggage and headed out for lunch. Our hotel happened to be in a very central location in Old Town Köln, so it was quite easy to find something. After lunch we took a quick walk to the Lindt Chocolate Museum This was a perfect outing for the kids. They got to try tons of chocolate and we used it as a teaching opportunity, as there exhibits that went through the entire process of making chocolate beginning with where the cocoa beans are grown and how they are harvested. It was a very interesting process to learn and experience.

We returned home back to the apartment to get ready for dinner and learned (or at least we should have) that our children are not good for that much activity in one day. Lucia started to lose her mind. She was everywhere. One moment she was happy and the next she was a disaster. She was bouncing off walls and then crying because she was so tired. It was hard to keep up with her emotions. Then after dinner came the fights from the girls about the beds…who got to sleep in a room by themselves? David, being the rock star and mediator that he is, agreed to sleep with Lucia since he didn’t want Anjali to be upset. This kid has surprised Jeff and I beyond our imagination. The girls have been all over the place with their emotions and fighting/bickering with each other, while David just sits back, follows directions, and tries to keep the peace. We keep trying to find ways to praise him for being so steady and consistent, but it just doesn’t seem like enough! He has been such a treat to take traveling, as he is so stable and consistent with his behavior. We can expect that David will just go with the flow while the girls seem to be ticking tome bombs just waiting to go off at any moment.

Here is a picture near our hotel in Old City Köln.

Once the kids were finally asleep, Jeff and I took the 6 minute walk to the Köln Cathedral. This cathedral was breathtaking and I just stood there in awe (only to find out the next morning that we never actually walked to the front of the cathedral, just to the side).

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