Monthly Archives: September 2014

Crail

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Saturday we made the boys go out on a “field trip” to see some of Scotland.  We didn’t want to go too far because the theology department was having a barbq at 5:30 which we wanted to go to so we could meet people.  We decided to go to a little town south of St. Andrews on the sea.  Crail is a small fishing village set on the North Sea.

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We decided to eat lunch in a little fish place.  The popular thing here is fish and chips.

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After lunch we walked down to the sea and to see their pottery shop that we had seen advertised.  The day was sunny so it was a perfect day to be out.  We met a doctor from Israel as we were walking around.  He was there touring as well.

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We had a nice day.

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We ended up going to the cook-out.  We are definitely the old ones around here.  There are many smart and  sweet families with lots of little ones.  It brings back memories when we were in their shoes.  We met several people with amazing stories of how God led them to come to study at St. Andrews.  I hope we get to know many of them better.

Some of the Differences

Because there are so many Americans here in St. Andrews there are many similarities to the USA.  An American told me the other day she had lived in Aberdeen before coming to St. Andrews and felt Aberdeen was a more Scottish experience and this town was a more international experience.  There are people from all over coming here to study.  Kent had a meeting the other day with all the first year PhD students.  He said that chemistry is really big here and that the chemistry department had many more students than the other fields.  He met 2 other older students in theology – one from France and one from Finland.

Anyway, some of the differences…… they are very “green” or eco-friendly.  We have 4 trash bins to put out on a rotating schedule.  I don’t mind recycling, but everything?!  Paper, plastic, glass, cardboard, food scraps….. We have a mini trash can on the kitchen counter so we can put our left over food in it.  We have to keep reminding ourselves.  They also have the car battery chargers in the parking lots.  Here is a picture which includes a YES flag on it.

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Their expressions… you’ve probably already heard these, but when they talk with their accent it sounds so good.  Some of them are brilliant, cheeky, ring me (call me), pop over, splendid, cheers, marvelous, there now, wee bit, and more.

Their accent- most of the people I can understand but some of the accents are super strong.  Yesterday two cable installers came and I could not understand them.  I had to ask them to repeat themselves and really concentrate.  They knew I was having a hard time and said something about it.  I told them they probably had a hard time understanding me which they said no because of all the American tv they watch.

Some of the food- haggis, neeps and tatties, yorkshire pudding, etc.

The church-  The Dinnie’s (our friends who grew up in NJ and MA) told us that being a Christian in the northeast was different than being one in the south.  There are many people who attend church and claim to be a Christian in the south, but in the northeast if you call yourself a Christian you really are.  That is my first impression of Scotland.  We went to a really neat small church on Sunday.  It was simple and non contemporary – we sang psalms to different tunes.  The teaching was expository about the Canaanite woman that came to ask Jesus to heal her daughter from being demon possessed.  He called her a woman of great faith which was rare for anyone to be called that especially a woman.  He spoke about great faith and used her story as an example of having it.  See, it was a few days ago and I still remember the points.  After church the pastor and his wife invited all the new people to their house for lunch which we went to and met many more people (mostly students).  We went to a home group Wednesday and it was a neat group of all ages and all seemed to be mature Christians with a deep knowledge of scripture.  We’re going to go to the baptist church tomorrow because we’ve been told they have a youth group and some of the kids go to the school we’re waiting to hear from.

Oh, we got the car.  Another difference is it is hard to find an automatic car here.  Most people drive manuals.

Some of the names are different.  We’ve met Hamish (Hay-mish) which is James, Morag, and Isla (I-la).  They do use more traditional older names such as Louise, Archie, Harry.

Went on a “fieldtrip” today and took lots of pictures.  I’ll get those out soon.  Have a great Sunday!

 

 

Our First Week

Well, we’ve been here a week and it feels like a month.  We’ve had to just work as hard as we could to get some order in our lives.  We just got cable and internet yesterday so we feel connected to the world.  We bought a car over the weekend and they’ll deliver that to us tomorrow.  We found a church and went to a home group.

Waiting at the airport to go.  We left from Charlotte, arrived in London, and after being held up in customs made it to our flight to Edinburgh.
Waiting at the airport to go. We left from Charlotte, arrived in London, and after being held up in customs made it to our flight to Edinburgh.

Having a bank account is paramount to living here.  All of your bills must come out of your account by direct deposit (all utilities) which they take out on their own or by standing order (rent, cell phone) which you send out.  They don’t write checks.  So, you can see that we needed to have that account.

We did buy a Ford Focus in Edinburgh last Saturday.  The gas is more expensive here but their gas mileage is unbelievable.  We have rented a van for over a week driving  many miles, and we just got down to a quarter of a tank.  This new Focus gets 60 mpg!  I haven’t tried to drive yet but I guess I’ll start tomorrow.  I am nervous because the car is left side drive and a stick so you have to change gears with your left hand  then having to drive on the left side.  Watch out Scots- I’m on the road :-(

Here are some pictures of St. Andrews.  It is a neat town with a lot of character.  The streets are cobblestone and there are little alley cut-thrus between the main streets. You can see men in kilts playing bagpipes occasionally.

Downtown St. Andrews
Downtown St. Andrews
St. Andrews
St. Andrews

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Church downtown.
Church downtown

You may have heard about the Scottish vote for independence.  It is today so by the time you read this we’ll know the answer.  There are many YES and NO signs on cars, businesses, house windows, etc.  We saw a couple of men outside of a restaurant having a heated debate over it.  But, in proper British formality some of the signs say “YES please” and “NO thank you”.  No matter the outcome some people are going to unhappy.

Here are some pictures of Edinburgh (Ed-in-bur-o).  I don’t know why it’s pronounced like that.

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Lots more to write about but I’ll stop for now.  I’ll try to be more consistent now that I have internet at the house.  Please pray for us.  We had contact with the school (at our initiative) and they said they’d get back to us.  They still haven’t.   Maybe tomorrow?!

We love you all.

 

 

Good News!

Thanks for any prayers!  This morning we went into town and got a bank account.  By next week we will have internet and cable at our house.  Until then we’ll just hang out in coffee shops to check our email, etc.  We got rid of our internet and tv when we moved out of the farmhouse so I am going on almost a month without it.  In some ways it is good because it makes you find things to do that you would put off if you had those things to fill your time.  I do miss it since I am a news junkie.  I don’t really know what’s going on in the world, but maybe that’s a good thing.

I took some pictures today as we walked through town.  St. Andrews is a lovely place with lots of historical architecture, and the people have been very friendly.  The service at all of the places we’ve shopped has been good.  I wanted to add some of the pictures but just realized that I don’t have my USB cord to download from my phone.  So, tomorrow when we find another internet connection I will make sure to bring what I need.

Until tomorrow…..

We’re Here

Please pray for us.  We are here in St. Andrews.  I have one very homesick 14 year old son who deeply misses his brothers and friends.  We are finding we need a bank account to set up the “necessities” such as internet, cell phone, cable, etc.  The students from the school are here this week and have filled up all the openings with the banks to do this until next week.  So, we wait…..

We were planning on putting the boys in the public schools here but are finding there’s many similarities with home and not sure that it’s still the right thing to do.  We visited the campus and are waiting to hear from someone to talk to and see the school.

Other than that, we have had 2 days of beautiful weather.  It’s been sunny with no rain.  Kent has done well with the driving and we hope to buy a car this week.

I’ll do better with blogging including pictures once we have home internet.  We are sitting in a St. Andrews building with wi-fi waiting for Kent to finish a matriculation meeting.

We miss you guys!

Scotland….Here We Come

Hello Friends,

We have been so busy with preparing to move to Scotland.  We now know that we are leaving next week.  We still have much to do but will be on a plane Tuesday.  The boys will be starting school over there so please pray for all of the transitions that will take place.  I will start back to blogging when we get over there.