29 June 2009

Greek vacation

So, I have been highly entertained on my Greek vacation. I have so many stories and so many photos its not even funny!
However, in the few minutes I have of working internet, I will give you just a taste of what is to come :)
1. Greece is amazing! It's so warm and absolutely beautiful. (see sunset below for proof!)
2. My feet stay white because of all the crushed white marble in Athens
3. Overnight ferries are even cooler than flying.
4. Why it's good to bring more than 1 bathing suit...
5. Quotes, quotes, and more quotes
I am seeing some of the coolest things and having an absolute blast! Aside from having the bottom half of my bathing suit stolen, that is. It was great to see friends and co-workers and am now relaxing from having too much fun ;) We hiked up to the Acropolis the other day and walked all through parts of Athens. I got to see Mars Hill - where Paul spoke to the people on one of his missionary journeys.
Greek beaches are rocky... and the water is really clear.

More to come :)

02 June 2009

Photo Club and a grumpy Polish lady

Ah! So many stories to tell... where do I start? I think I need to blog more, haha.

So, I participate in an English Club every Tuesday night. For the month of May we decided to do a series in photography. Everyone seemed pretty interested, so I planned out 4 sessions.
First, we talked about getting to know your camera - you know, all about the fun little settings that no one ever really knows what they mean. Then compositional elements that make better photos followed by choosing your subject and a little about style. I loved this because we got to look at some of my favorite photographers and their work. 
We took a Saturday to go practice what we had learned and the last session, which was stretched into 2,  was critiquing our images and narrowing them down to the top 2-3 photos.

After we had discussed everyone's pictures and picked out our favorites, I quickly stuck them in an iMovie file and threw them up on the projector for the group to see. They did so well! I think we will continue meeting about once a month! I'm so excited about this opportunity!

But, I want to tell you about our Saturday out. Unfortunately, it was raining, so we went to our second choice - Zołte Terasy - a mall in the center of Warsaw rather than a park.
This place has some awesome architectural design though. Unfortunately, I didn't get to shoot as much as I wanted, but I was teaching and answering a lot of questions. 

However, in the one down time that I had, I got chewed out by an old Polish lady. Now, this has happened before - that was no surprise. The shock was when I told her in Polish that I didn't understand what she was saying and she started speaking English! OOPSE!

I understand enough Polish, and am learning, but usually when I say I don't understand, they stop....or, if they don't I still don't know exactly what they want, but at least they realize this now. 

No, this lady was different - not only did she proceed to say that it was inappropriate to be taking photos in a Polish restaurant, aka mall food court, but then reprimanded me for living here and not knowing Polish. I tried to tell her I was learning... It seemed to ease the burn a little, but not enough. She wasn't satisfied with me sitting at that table either. I was taking up too much space and what if someone wanted to come eat? 
Anyway, I sit and endure this woman for what seemed like eternity but was probably only about 10 or 15 minutes. Either way, it was long enough for some businessman to come and lightly put his hand on the table and say (in English) 'you have every right to stay here, don't listen to her'. I replied with a brisk 'Thank you, I know, but thank you!' I realized that sadly a small scene was being created and I was unwillingly in the middle of it.
Finally, this woman pointed out that my friends had been gone for more than "a few minutes" and asked again how long until their return... fortunately, someone rounded the corner at that moment and I was off the hook - yeessss!
As we left, someone looked over at her as she was still griping at all of us and said they hoped she had a better day...

Sometimes I wonder about that woman...I wonder if she ever has better days. Of course, knowing the Lord, even my bad days are probably 'better days' than she will ever have. I kinda feel bad for the woman, even though I was quite uncomfortable for a good 20 minutes that day! My heart was touched and I know that even in being griped at and being really uncomfortable, that I had more joy than she probably ever will unless she comes to know the Father personally. I realized again that the world is full of people who need 'better days'. Also, I hope that my actions reflected my faith...I hope others who saw, noticed that I didn't fight back or yell - hopefully that I handled it differently than most.

Things like this happen on a regular basis. At the time I was flustered and just endured it, but now I get a good laugh out of it and add it to the list of embarrassing moments, cultural fo-pas and crazy stories that I wonder if anyone would actually ever believe.