Monday, May 30, 2011

fins, surfing & barry

In 2008 and 2009 our Connexxion group had the privilege of a few surfing lessons in Huntington Beach, from a Pro, Barry Marmion on the left.
Do you see that giant candelabra? The white tablecloth & view of the city? These were the "best seats in the house" overlooking the city of Braunschweig yesterday at Tiziano's! The occasion? Our "surf instructor" and friend, Barry, was visiting from Huntington Beach, California while on a business trip. Also he was checking out possible partnerships with our group in the future.
We ate delicious ice cream, as only the Italians can make! (with me are Christoph & Kris)
Barry was shocked (I'm used to it now) that you have cigarette machines at the street level for anyone to buy from.
He & his wife were hosts for our Connexxion group 2 different times, when we took trips to California to visit my former church, Seabreeze.
With friends at my place for brunch on Sunday (from the left, Miri, Henning & Nikola). Barry does marketing & sales for a surfing fin company, Futures., so we learned a bit about the world of surfing!
One night he got to experience European Champion League soccer (football) on the big screen (Barcelona won!) -- with students Nourdien, Marcel, Kris (intern w/ Connexxion) & Christopher.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

sabine at lunch

Heute war ein schönes erlebnis, mit sabine zu essen in ihrem Haus... Gott hat mich gesegnet mit coolen Freunden! And now she has her very own blog, too!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

House Warming

Last night I went to a lively home/apartment warming party & barbecue for 2 friends, one of whom is working now with Connexxion, Kris. A mega- barbecue... everyone pitching in & bringing bratwursts... connecting friends... (above are friends Oli, Stan, Jacky, Inga & Peter!)
Above... an after shot...
Now-- the BEFORE shot of the living room! I and our Connexxion team were part of the "story" building up to this special evening-- e.g., talking with the landlord before the contract was signed, driving over to Hannover to help them seek a used kitchen (which Marc & friends tore out & then installed themselves), picking up 2 chairs that were put on the street for giving away ("sperrmuell"), shopping at the local Home Depot type store, washing windows, etc.Must have been 40 + students, friends & new neighbors there. Here are some of our buddies, Peter, Richard, Alex and Henning.
My fun buddy Johnny and I had just met earlier in the day to work on his resume in English. He's looking for an internship in an English speaking country & studies industrial engineering.
The traditional house warming gift: necessities of life-- bread & salt! Oli (left) brought it to Kris and Marc, as did Peter. I love it how Germans have a strong sense of values & passed- down tradition!

Friday, May 13, 2011

More Views of Hamburg

We had a mini- exchange trip to Hamburg this month, where we encouraged the newest member of the Connexxion "Family"-- a new student group in a suburb called Harburg, at the Technical University (TU - click here for a virtual tour in English) . Above are Anja G. & Vera W. presenting a report on our weekend at Vera's church, which is also where we did some of our volunteer work & stayed in their building. (More info. on the new group here.)Above we are standing in front of the Rathaus, the town hall of this bustling metropolis, Germanys second largest city. Hamburg is a city- state founded by Charlemagne, and as a medieval city it was part of the Hanseatic League.
In this port city, someone rented this concrete post and put up a golden calf, in protest of a multi- million Euro project that ended up costing much more than expected.
There is a lovely lake created from the Alster River, inside the city center.
Anja, myself and Birthe-- a rare chance to don sunglasses & enjoy Starbucks. We're experiencing more & more of these kinds of sunny days! I have been privileged not only to work with them on staff, but also to call them really GREAT friends over the years! One could not ask for a more creative, visionary, like- hearted and talented team!
The pastor, Andreas, and church leaders have high hopes for growth-- the church auditorium is situated literally right beside the Technical University! Baptist/ Brethren Churches in Germany (there are 92,200 of them) are on average 97 members per congregation, and baptised an average of just over 2 persons per church last year. This church in Harburg is more established (the membership is older) & larger because Hamburg is the city where the Baptist church first took hold in Germany. This happened in the early 1800's, founded here by a man named Johann Oncken.

Monday, May 09, 2011

weekend exchange in hamburg

Twelve of us had the privilege of being with our special friend & Connexxion staff-er, Vera, in a suburb of Hamburg last weekend. I love it that you can pop into a city and students are so open-- we got to meet Rene on campus (by me), & he invited 2 friends, Silvan & Thomas, to our barbecue in the park that day.Here are some of us ready to go do surveys and pass on flyers to advertise our Barbeque that afternoon (Vera in brown on the far right) ...
Along with grilling in the park, we played ultimate frisbee & soccer/ football. Our goals were to visit & undergird our newest Connexxion group... & to do an exchange with them, from our Braunschweig Connexxion team.
We had various parts of a "long weekend" experience... We helped do "spring cleaning" at the church where we spent the nights. It is right alongside the TU campus.
We met lots of new friends while handing out flyers/ invites at the TU Hamburg- Harburg (Technical University where they have loads of difficult majors such as physics and industrial engineering and aeronautical engineering, etc.!). Here are Ryan (from Florida; working in Hamburg), Tim, Philipp (students) and Kris, working now with Connexxion in Braunschweig.
After our park afternoon-- full of fun & new friendships!... and before we headed to watch a DVD on the big screen at the church cafe area!