It’s no secret that I intend to move back Germany. Or is it? If you missed that, read my last blog post and check out http://www.leximcnair.com. For now, I intend to give you the most concise recap, of my recent trip, that I can minimize myself to. Hopefully the information you find here will intrigue you and bring you back for my full length blogs, in the near future.
How long was I gone for?
July 23rd through August 12th. Almost exactly 3 weeks. About 60 hours of transportation: plane, train, and bus.
I assisted the Ingrams and a team of German young adults with a sports and English camp in the Vogtland (about an hour and a half from Dresden) July 25th-31st.
Roger (a friend from Eastlake Community Church), Katrina (a friend from he Black Forest Academy), and I went on a mini vacation in the Czech Republic August 2nd-7th.
Roger and I toured Dresden, spent time getting to know locals, visited a home church, and got to know the Ingrams’ church plant team August 7th-11th.
The week of camp that Roger and I helped out with couldn’t have happened without our participation. It was understaffed. More Americans were needed for teaching English and American sports (baseball, football, and lacrosse). This camp existed to share the Gospel with teenagers who haven’t heard it and to deepen the faith of those who have already accepted it.
The mini vacation was intentional in every way. The train travel and relaxed schedule provided some rest and recuperation needed after camp. Yet, our activities were educational and provided an informed world view. We learned a lot about a reformer that made an impact before Martin Luther (Jan Hus), the history of Czechoslovakia, the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, and the Communist party which affected Eastern Europe.
Looking forward to my partnership with the Ingrams, their team, and the Evangelical Free church of Dresden, I needed to learn more about the community and build relationships. Learning the history of Dresden, the locals, and the church (FeG and state) were my first steps in that endeavor. This was just the beginning to a much longer orientation process.
How was camp?
Fantastic! It was cold, for the most part, but full of fun and laughter. Our American team was small. This meant that we taught English, taught sports, set up sport fields, and refereed games. This, however, was little compared to the responsibility of the German team of young adults. Camp gave us the opportunity to get to know German culture and build friendships with both teens and young adults.
Aside from rest and relaxation, our side trip provided time for much needed debriefing and processing. Katrina and Roger were the perfect traveling companions for this leg of the journey. Roger, being new to the mission field of Europe, had many questions. Katrina, being a missionary kid of Austria and a history buff, had many great answers. Roger’s questions sparked great conversations. Katrina’s experience and knowledge helped me learn and think about what I was experiencing in Germany, as well as the Czech Republic.
-Playing 9 Square volleyball with the kids at camp.
-Conversations with teens and young adults over camp meals.
-The camp debrief at a local micro-brew and traditional German restaurant.
-Learning the history of Dresden from a couple that has lived there for over 50 years.
-Paddle boating around the Vltava at sundown.
-Exploring Prague Castle.
-Playing cards and board games with the Ingrams.
-Observing University culture by exploring the Neustadt with Roger and a German named Frank (a high school math teacher who identified himself as an atheist and former “security guard” for the Russian mafia).
-Spätzle, at camp. Textured German noodles with ham and cheese.
-The huge feast of German cuisine at Ballhaus Watzke.
-Goulash at the U Medvídků, largest beer hall in Prague which dates back to 1466.
-Grilled veggies and wurst at Frank’s house.
-And, of course, Döner kebabs!!!!