But I have to catch you up on everything else that happened this week first!
This week we began classes and let me tell you, it is so tough to wake up and just walk down to flights of stairs for my first class at 11… hah I’m kidding. Classes are good, but being in Oxford makes it a hundred times better. Also Monday we talked a few of the boys into buying colored pants from PRIMARK and they look awesome. Tuesday we visited the Dorchester Abbey as part of our weekly worship service. This church was beautiful and filled with history. Once we toured the abbey we sat outside and had a devotional led by Kelli one of the teachers here. It was an amazing experience. Wednesday was the first day we got to visit the market in Oxford. There was a square filled with fresh fruits, breads, cheeses, meats and goods all waiting for me to blow my money on. Everything there looked so yummy and all the fruit was ripe and ready to eat, I could have spent hours there, but I had class… So we spent about 20 minutes and 20 pounds then were on our way. Thursday we sent the boys off to Scotland and hoped for the best because these four fellas would be staying in a three person tent in Scotland with two bed rolls and one blanket…
This weekend started out with my first trip to the movies here, we saw Lawless. Although very graphic… I loved this movie! We followed the movie with ice cream at G&Ds which is the best ice cream shop around. Emotionally drained from Lawless I went to bed early to prepare for today.
Now about getting lost… This morning Shelby, Laynie, Mallory and I set out to have a picnic in Port Meadow and to get some homework done since it was so beautiful out today. Once we got to Port Meadow we decided to keep walking and taking in the beauty that is Oxford. We walked along the Oxford Canal and then found a marsh that used to be a dumping site, but has been made into a beautiful place of nature. We found a spot deep in the marsh to sit, each lunch, and do our homework and you would all be proud to know that we ACTUALLY did our homework. After sitting for about an hour we started climbing a tree and discussing the readings we had just done. Then we decided we couldn’t study anymore so we began to wander… which led to being lost. We walked along the canal admiring all the boats , ducks, snails, and wildlife, but we began to get further away from anything that looked familiar. We kept walking and walking looking for a bridge to cross the canal because we refused to turn around. We FINALLY found a bridge and came into a cute little residential area where we wandered until a sweet old lady told us how lost we were. We were north of Oxford about three or four miles from our house. We marched our happy selves home and exhaustedly sat ourselves down… and here I am writing this blog.
First I must fix a mistake, in a previous post I said I tried/loved potted cream… It’s definitley clotted cream and I still enjoy it thuroughly. Anywho…I have started to notice that I use my fake British accent a lot more here than I would normally do at home and after talking to several other students here, for example Mallory, Laynie, Aaron, and others, I have come to the conclusion we are either odd or it’s normally. I will literally just be telling a story and all of a sudden switch to an accent. I kinda think it’s because we are all so fascinated with everyones’ here. Its so funny because once you get started it’s kinda hard to stop, but who really wants to?
I don’t know if I can even explain to you how amazing my first weekend in Oxford turned out to be, pretty much everything about this place is cute/picturesque. Saturday morning Mallory and I decided to go off on our own and explore Oxford, but at first we had to get a little lost because what’s exploring if you know where you are going? Well we found a cute little boutique where I bought some new linen pants (yes, they’re adorable). We asked the store keeper about a place called Primemark that we had heard about and she told us that this store was full of cheap close that looked like rubbish. FALSE. I LOVE PRIMEMARK! I walked into this store and everything is under 15 pounds and there are cardigans and sweaters lining the walls! Who could ask for more?! After a couple trips to the dressing room Mallory and I decided on sheep and reindeer sweaters to keep us warm (there will probably be pictures later). After Primemark was Pound Land and yes it is as wonderful as Dollar Tree, except they have Dr Pepper! We continued our day by having lunch at Costa, the British equivalent to Starbuck.
After making the treck from town centre back home to Canterbury road we decided to take a trip to the park with some of our fellow students because the weather was so beautiful, 70 degrees and sunny. At the park we met the sweetest ladies named Joy and Mary and their dog Trump. We talked with them for a while asking them about Oxford and explaining why we were here and how long. We eventually got on the subject of church and they invited us to join them at St. Andrews, but more on that later! Once our conversation with our new friends was over, Mallory and I found a tree to read under until supper. After supper and a loooong skype call with our long lost friend ABBY PHIPPS we ventured off to G & D’s, an ice cream place that is named after a mans dog, with Brady. I made a complete fool of myself here, but I’m sure yall don’t want to hear that story :)
So this brings us to church this morning with Mary, our friend from the park, she is literally the nicest person I have met here. Mary introduced us to several people in the church, helped us with the communion part (because it is completely different than what I have ever done), and invited us to her flat! I cannot wait to visit with her more and hear her wonderful stories about England. At church we were also welcomed by several others and invited to have a meal with a particular family in the future. After we prepared and ate lunch we went to a bookstore called Blackwells, I could get lost in this store forever! There are 4 levels and the basement floor ALONE has 3 miles worth of bookshelves! It would take days to even read all the titles in this store, they have any book ever written (this is an exageration of course). Brantly did get lost in this store and spent 45 minutes looking for people he recognized… silly boy. Then came grocery shopping which is always an experience because I can never figure out which coins I need and I am just awkwardly standing there staring at my coins while the cashier looks annoyed while probably thinking “stupid American”, maybe I’ll figure it out before December. For supper I had my first Indian meal ever and it wasn’t too shabby. I had chicken Saag and Naan, naan is a flatbread and saag is spinach and garlic somethin or nother. Supper was followed by enjoying the company of the people I live with. I could not ask for a better community of people to spend this time with.
Side note: I found out today I get to go to France in October. YAY!
Today I experienced my first English high tea and this is my cute picture of Mallory and Shelby enjoying tea and conversation. I learned during tea that I really like potted cream with my jam and scones, and the cream is not supposed to go in your tea. Today aside from experiencing tea and scones I also got to try a Wild Boar Burger with Charizo… AND CHIPS (not french fries). The burger was quite the experience, I enjoyed it in a pub called Eagle and Child, their claim to fame is famous others frequenting it. We had orientation this afternoon and learned the ins and outs of the house, laundry room, and a little bit of Oxford. We found out about our classes today and our trip to Spain in October, where I plan to run with the bulls! (Just kidding mom)
Tomorrow I plan to ramble around Oxford and so pictures should be expected because I have failed to take any of the city yet…. But they’ll be coming soon.
Goodnight… or good afternoon :)
Well I finally made it to Oxford and I’ve got to say it is just as cute as I expected it to be! On our bus ride to Oxford from London our bus driver decided to give us fun facts about Oxford, including the story of the Red Kite bird that is native to this area. We learned that this bird, with a six foot long wing spand, scissored tail, and beautiful red appearance, was at the point of extinction when they managed to repopulate the group. We were talking about how cool this bird or raptor must look when the bus driver pointed out some to us in the sky, they appeared to be little grey birds with red chest, I was a little dissappointed. But unlike the Red Kite story, Oxford did not dissapoint at all. Once we finally got to our house (Canterbury 9 and 10) we were given time to explore the house before being taken out to explore Oxford. After a quick tour of Oxford they gave us a map and told us good luck on finding our way back haha. Mallory, Brady, and I somehow managed to make it successfully home without getting lost. Mallory, Brady, and I decided once we got home that we wanted to make supper, but halfway into preperation we realized it was only four and barely late enough to have supper; we dubbed this meal “lupper” (Credit to Mal). After we finished our awkwardly timed meal we were all exhausted, but didn’t want to call it a day for fear of getting terrible jet lag, so it turned into a big movie watching/bonding experience with part of our group. Now it’s about 10:45 and it’s time for this world traveler to go to bed! I will post pictures later on of the house and other cutesy things. Until Later!