Diggin’ in the Dirt #4

Do you think I’ve forgotten you? Au contraire! I’ve been
spending so much time lately thinking about coming home, that
writing emails about still being here seemed like too much work.
But I suppose I owe it to posterity (haha!) to write at least
one more before I strike back into the great North American
west. :p

My time in Europe is drawing quickly to a close! My last day of
work was yesterday, now I have only to finish up some errands in
Belgium, meet up with a friend in Germany, and get on a plane!
Hooray!

I had a lovely time on the excavation. In the end, we found so
many rocks, we hardly knew what to do with them. We found SO
many rocks, in fact, that the Big Wig Archaeologists spent a lot
of time arguing about our rocks, trying to decide if they were
natural or deposited/arranged by humans. I think in the end,
they decided they were natural rocks. (I could have told them
that to start with.) I’m glad I put in a good month of digging
to discover some nice natural rock. Part of the gamble you
take in this game, I suppose.

Of course, what I was doing was a bit more than digging up
rocks, but it sounds strange even to myself, so I’ll spare you
many more details. Let’s just say that I came home covered in
mud most days and I now have a well-developed thumb muscle. 🙂

Outside of work, I was delighted to spend some time being
entertained by Afra and Johan, whom I’ve known since my first
trip here. (Thank you guys for the hospitality!) I also got to
be friends with a girl from Nigeria who showed me around town
and introduced me to Surinam cuisine (mmmmm!). So despite the
fact that the weather has been pretty wretched, the company has
been good, and it’s been a nice few weeks.

Well doesn’t my summer sound just boring! Hmmm. I feel like I should
have a nice anecdote to tell. I could tell about pickled rocks
or the goose named Willy, but those things are more oddities
than good stories. So perhaps I’ll just leave this as a bit of a
wave, and by the time I get home, maybe I’ll have found
something wonderful to fill my last few weeks, and I can tell
all about that.

In other news, I finally found the Kingdom
Hall here in Nijmegen. It took three weeks, I think, due to all
sorts of ridiculous problems (the last of which was that I found
the hall the day the congregation was gone to the District
Convention… oops).

It’s a fantastic congregation, not even a year old. There are 22
publishers, 5-going-on-7 pioneers, 2 elders, and no ministerial
servants. Everyone was (of course) super friendly, and after making it to
the first meeting via bus, I managed to get rides from a couple who
lives upriver from me. When they found out how long I’ve been
baptized, they nearly fell over themselves with excitement and
enthusiasm to help me out. I really can’t believe how much love
they show. It’s incredible.

I’ve gotten to be good friends with a girl named Ono, who is
Dutch-Nigerian. She’s about my age and she’s on her way to Pioneer school as I type. I
went out in service with her last Friday morning. Service here
is even stranger than it is in Belgium. I imagine it must be a
bit like doing the Chinese territory in Belgium – the english
congregation gets information about english speakers from the
Dutch congregations who accidentally bump into them while doing
regular work. We then go to specific addresses to find those
people. Other than that, it’s a lot of street ministry in public
places.

I’m going to know NOTHING about going door to door when I get
home… :\

In any case, finding the congregation has marked a definite
improvement in my “social” life, if you will. I was starting to
worry that I’d lost the capacity to make new friends (none of my
housemates were my favorite people), but the openness and
friendliness of the people in the congregation here made me
realize that’s not quite true.

All the same, I really miss you guys. I’ll be back in Belgium
during the week, due to a slight change of plans. I know it
means I’m going to miss some people I really wanted to see again
before I go, but that’s just the way it goes. 😦 I guess it just
means I’ll have to come back to visit again sooner rather than
later!

So much love to all of you! Mmmmwah!

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