Friday, June 19, 2009

Antwerp

- Get into town in the late evening
- oh yeah this is the place with all the Diamonds
- wow, there are a lot of Hasidic Jews here
- my host here is JP a Canadian with an internship in town
- nice big apartment with a sweet view
- we get tasty Belgian Fries, cook a chicken, and talk about music theory
- play a bit of my mandolin routine for him and French friends/coworkers
- we go out to a local bar for a couchsurfing get together
- mix of really good Belgian beer and meeting people from all over made for an enjoyable time
- next day let's go visit Gent
- but first lets go to the market and get cheap tasty cherries
- horaah for haggeling
- and tasty Morocan pancakes
- It's like a really thick crape with olives, peppers, cheese, and... honey
- sounds really weird, but tastes so good
- oh boy, didnàt watch our time
- now we have to literally run to catch the train
- baaarely made it
- huh, apparently the Belgian trains tend to have issues
- this one certainly does.
- Very nice town
- Amazing old towers and a castle
- Very Belgian looking
- fun day exploring with JP and Dragana (his friend and coworker from Serbia)
- even got to teach JP some photography things
- back in Antwerp JP takes us to a sweet jazz bar, really chill and cool place!
- next day explore the city on my own
- some really nice squares and streets here
- and lots of people
- I meet a juggler who also plays mandolin
- turns out he lives in the area and runs a living room music store
- lets just say he was an interesting fellow...
- I play outside a chocolate shop
- some guy comes out and starts dancing next to me
- ooookay...
- he tells me he is doing it for free chocolate
- hahahah
- I go in after the show and they give me some as well :)
- realllly tasty!!
- oooh Italian pizza place right next to the cathedral gives 20% discounts to students
- and a regular priced pizza is 4 eruo
- this means tasty meal for really cheap!
- Never end up finding a place in Brugge
- so JP lets me stay another night and take a day trip - Thanks!!
- Brugge is a really pretty town
- that also means lots of tourists
- which means good money for me!
- €16 for a half hour of playing
- I'll take that :)
- hang out that night with another couchsurfer from the states
- good times
- off to Brussels...

Nights Stayed: 4
Amount earned: € 42
Things that Made it:

Playing for Chocolate

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Delft

- heh, train ride with very orange Dutch football fans
- hmm really don't want ot explore the city in the rain with my pack
- hoorah for a warm cafe with a view
- find the house
- turns out it's a squatted house
- apparently if a building goes unused for one year then anyone can move in and claim it to live in
- it is still technically owned by someone else
- but if he breaks in then it is technically breaking and entering
- unless he has an official plan to do something with the building
- it's interesting
- the house is in pretty good condition
- for a squat
- just little things like not having hot water in the kitchen and not every room haveing electricity...
- definitely was abandoned for a while
- Judeth (a photographer) and I have a great discussion about the qualities of space
- She has some really coool books full of abandoned building photography
- Jason (American PHD student working on bikes) is really excited to go to an American beer tasting night
- What! they changed the date to next week,
- bummer
- A morning of visiting the university campus
- it's really kinda surreal to be standing in teh library
- looks just like all those pictures I'd studied
- overall it's a kinda cool building
- definitely has some flaws though in my mind...
- afternoon of exploring the city
- rain scares everyone inside, so not much mandolin money
- grrr and it didn't help that some guy ran by and stole at least 2 euro out of my case
- you know what, I feel like painting
- been hauling around all this stuff I might as well use it
- turns out well
- I even get compliments from a police officer
- great dinner and conversation with Jason and Bonner (artist dealing with light and sound)
- vegetarian curry can be really tasty
- we go to this free concert at this tiny underground venue
- two people had set up a table covered with keyboards, mixers, drum machine, and various distortion pedals
- then they started playing and going crazy mixing live hardcore electronic screamo
- the other band was just as crazy
- next day lots of coffee and good conversation with Bonner
- cool girl with very different ideas about things then I am used to
- we also built a door to help contain people during the big art expo that they are putting on
- it worked the first time
- off to Antwerp...

Nights Stayed: 2
Amount Earned: € 5 (plus whatever that guy stole...)
Things that made it all worth it:

I think I learned so much here! I don't think I can ever look at old or rundown buildings the same again.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Utrecht

- hrmm trains to expensive and not direct
- buses only go on Saturday
- guess I'll try hitchhiking for this one :)
- get a ride from Frank back to Cologne, and then to Belgium
- he's cool guy, has all sorts of degrees and is planning to be a genetic scientist
- sees me studying my Bible and asks me about it
- we end up talking for the next several hours about God and religions
- he is a rather anti-religious atheist who only believes in chance and physics
- but he really wanted to talk about things
- a few key things I recall
- he talked a lot about the "miracle of birth" so much has to happen just right
- "humans are the only animal with pity"
- but he doesn't see anything good from religion
- talked a lot about the history of Europe and what influenced it
- I need to get better at my history...
- ethics are they important, or even valid?
- pray for him if you would
- drops me off in Belgium
- hard to find someone going where I want to go...
- meet some nice people from the Dutch military
- they'd take me but it's not allowed
- eventually I just end up taking a ride into Brussels
- hmmm wrong part of town to get a ride going north...
- I guess it's train from here
- grrr the machine only takes cards
- thanks the friendly guy that helped me out with my ticket!
- hehe the ticket guy on the train looks just like Harry Zidler...
- Antwerp has a realllly cool central train station!
- Great mix of the old and new
- Train to Utrecht
- Meet a professional Jazz sax player on the train, Really cool!!
- Arrive in town
- huh, can't find a tourist info center to get a map from
- can't find Internet either
- eventually pay to much to use the library's
- sweet, now I have my couchsurfing host's info
- give him a call
- no answer
- wander around town
- really pretty city with canals, trees, and old buildings
- tis nice
- find a spot to sit and change my mandolin strings
- a sorry looking and very stoned guy stumbles by
- searching for the dropped stubs of joints between the cobblestones and smoking them...
- sad
- I finish retuning and play for a bit, not performing just playing
- a guy comes up and sits on a nearby bench
- probably 15-16 years old
- first talk about normal surface things, travel, music
- somehow God comes up
- he comes from what sounds like a very Godly family
- especially his mother
- he seems to understand the gospel
- that it is Jesus alone that can save us from our sins
- and that we are to live lives following and worshiping him
- but...
- he feels stuck
- really hard to get a job as an Armenian immigrant
- family doesn't have much money
- so... he is dealing cocaine to give money to his sister (that's why he was waiting there)
- that way she can go to university and have a chance at a good life
- he sees this as sacrificing himself for his sister
- I doubt his family knows about all this
- but I could see God working on him, Jesus can save him!
- Please pray for him!!
- I go wander some more
- find a spot to sit down and eat something
- a guy is busking with a djimbe down the way
- comes over and talks with a friend who is next to me
- we start up a conversation and he lets me play his drum
- we end up jamming for the next... 3 hrs :)
- mandolin + sweet percussion = awesome
- give Henk another call and come over
- Henk is a musician = guitars, hand drums and all sorts of cool music stuff
- turns out he lives next door with his family
- I'll be staying with 3 other guests
- Philippe, a French guy in town to apply for the music conservatory as a piano player
- Titus, a Polish guy doing an internship
- Robbie, an American traveling as a singing, guitar playing, robot on the streets.
- fun group
- Philippe and I have a sweet jam session with guitar and melodica - yes!
- Yay plane tickets finally all totally figured out and paid for!!
- Thanks for the help Mom!
- visit the Rietveld-Schroeder house
- this would have looked realllllly crazy in 1925
- the moving walls are pretty darn sweet though!
- the Utrecht university has some really crazy buildings
- loooots of colours
- I think the library might be my new favourite building
- such cool layers, sections, the entry and the atrium spaces are sweet!
- huh, Koolhaus building
- am I in a piece of famous architecture?
- or in a converted warehouse with classrooms and a home-made skate park
- day trip into Amsterdam
- take along a borrowed folding bike
- nice old town, definitely seems more industrialized then Utrecht though
- some really really cool new buildings
- not so sure about the new library
- but the music conservatory next door is really coool!
- I'll just pretend I'm a student that happens to have a camera so that I can explore the whole place :)
- the new housing developments on the old harbour fronts are really sweet
- fun to ride through them all especially since we talked so much about them in classes
- bike riding feels different here much more laid back then in Denmark
- Henk was sick the first few days so didn't see much of him
- but as he got better we got to jam a little bit, he's a great song writer
- to bad every day seems to have an afternoon downpour
- means no mandolin playing...
- horray for a washing machine!
- off to Delft...

Nights stayed: 4
Amount earned: € 12 (didn't play much cause there was to much to see :)
Things that made it all worth it:

That Jam session on the street with random people and instruments

Riding on a tiny bike while taking pictures

Hanging out in the kitchen talking with such different people with all sorts of experiance

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Bonn

- short train ride = cheap :)
- feels like a smaller town, nice atmosphere though
- now... where can I camp
- oh, just over in a close village, ok, sounds good
- hmmm... why didn't the train stop at the right place
- it said that it would
- well just get off at the next station and ask the attendant
- says take the next train back and it will stop, ok
- Really!! skipped again!
- this time I'll ask the driver!
- Success!!
- now just to walk to the campground, a kilometer... or two
- yay! it's cheap
- bread, sausage, Rhein River, castles in the hills, good beer, and the Bible = nice evening
- lovely walk along the Rhein to the next village up
- getting directions to the train station... in German
- hoorah for hand motions
- plane ticket home bought and paid for... I hope so, hard to tell
- I really like the feel of this city
- not to big and not to small
- some good streets to play on!
- I meet a guy from the Denver area
- he said he had a dream he was flying into Cologne... so he did it
- friendly guy but seems a bit odd
- meet up with Julian
- good pizza and great conversation!
- mostly talking about memories, changes, and God's faithfulness
- busy guy these days
- twas good hanging out!
- Bad Godesberg is nice as well.
- First set goes really well... others not so much
- one little girl gives me a roll, aw
- botanical gardens are amazing this time of year, everything is blooming!
- and they have massive lilly pads - sweet
- Paul finds me again (that guy from Denver)
- where is a good spot to cook fish?
- I dunno
- fire down by the river?
- yeah, that would probably work
- hmm you don't know how to cook over a fire...
- just seems like he needs a friend so I go with him
- turns out when he's in the states he lives in a small Christian community almost like the Amish
- we talk all about what does it mean to be a church or denomination ect.
- this is his 8th time traveling as a bum in Europe, huh
- yep, he really doesn't know much about fires
- I get one going and show him how to make good coals and then cook over them
- we share the meal and it tasted really good
- say our farewells and each of us goes back to his tents (his apparently out somewhere in the woods)
- up in the morning and time to say Auf Wiedersehen to Germany
- off to the Netherlands and Utrecht...

Nights stayed: 3
Amount earned: € 35
Things that made it all worth it:

That sweet little old lady who came up to me and told me Amazing Grace is her favorite song

Seeing what God has done in two different lives over the past 3 years

Teaching a semi-amish bum from Denver how to cook fish over an open fire along the banks of the Rhein

Köln

- car ride with french people going to a huge Cambodian festival
- definitely Brooke 190 km/hr on the autobahn
- huh, the huge and famous cathedral is right outside the houptbahnhof
- massive building
- really amazing
- waiting for Dave my couchsurfing host
- Friendly man comes up
- Jehovah's Witness...
- get out my Bible and have a long conversation
- he really seems to want to know God and understand Jesus but has been led astray
- pray for him
- walk to different station and meet Dave
- works as nurse
- lives and works with the same people... and right next to the hospital
- really friendly!
- goes out of his way to make me feel at home
- his room has awesome turtles!
- hanging out in the apartment making cocktails with friends, fun
- Dave and Atnje give me a full tour of the city!
- lots of cool new buildings and (a few) maybe not so cool new ones
- all new harbor front development on the Rhein
- I think I really like this city
- Hoorah for not having to use an Internet cafe!!
- Figured out how I'm going to end these foreign travels
- I'll end it in Mexico!
- bet you didn't guess that one comin did ya ;)
- Back into town to watch the sun set over the Rhein behind the Cathedral
- Amazing!!
- mmm Döner Kebab for dinner
- plan for new day = mandolin playing = money?
- lots of great spots and lots of people... but,
- also loooots of other musicians
- A cathedral is a fantastic place to work on Bible lessons for Poland
- how bout playing down on the river walk
- just put my things behind me (notebook and waterbottle)
- thirsty
- Hey!
- seriously, who steals a water bottle from a street musician!?!
- chat with a couple other street performers
- no one else is doing very well today either
- tis strange
- dinner with friends and we'll call that a day
- track down an outdoors store (I need a waterbottle)
- Wow! this store is huge
- it even has an indoor pool for kayak testing
- leave keys and a note in Dave's apartment
- off to Bonn...

Nights stayed: 3
Amount earned: € 7
Things that made it all worth it:

That sunset over the Dom was pretty darn cool!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Frankfurt

- step off the train and immediately it feels like a bigger city
- so many people moving quickly to where they want to go
- this will be my first day of couchsurfing
- to bad my phone is dead... where is a call shop?
- lotsss of tall towers
- the Commerzbank tower looks as cool as I hoped!
- hard to find a spot to play, to much noise and no one is really milling about.
- lots of walking
- find my couchsurfing host house
- really cool street people, shops, trees,
- so much happening here
- mmm tasty dinner
- hanging out in the apartment, good times
- mmm Hessen apple cider and good conversation
- well rested and ready for exploring
- glad to have a charged camera :)
- take a break at Goethe-Platz
- meet 2 people working a video
- oh, sweet!! theyér working with a church plant in the area
- and are associated with Redeemer Pres in New York = very cool!!
- find the house Goethe grew up in!
- a walk on the Main river gives some sweet veiws of the skyline
- hrmm architecturally funky shopping center, not sure if I like it
- lots of other cool buildings though!
- find a park with baby swans!
- I still like that Commerzbank tower
- another tasty dinner!
- Eating outside in the back garden = very nice
- hanging out with neighbor who works at an arch and design firm
- take the train out of town and hang out at a birthday dinner?
- sure sounds like fun
- Yaay! Meltem helps me find a car ride out of town so I don´t have to pay for the train
- Off to Köln...

Nights stayed: 2
Amount earned: € 9? (I didn´t play much)
Things that made it all worth it:

Teaching a British Indian how to play a mandolin while hanging out in German Apartment.

Mannheim

- Sweet ICE train to get here
- 280 km/hr nice :)
- hrmm no subway in this town only city trams... smaller town?
- camping doesn´t look tooo far
- walk or tram, walk or tram... how bout the tram
- ah, longer ride then I thought it would be...
- end of line guess I have to walk the rest of the way
- glad I´ve gotten used to this pack!
- Man! its a long way out here! I´m out in the woods now...
- humm, camping in a trailer park, at least it´s next to the Rhein
- only traffic I can here is ocasional boats. YESSS!
- Friendly Swiss motercyclist for tent neighbor
- baaaack into town
- Don´t see many other street muscicians, lots of beggers though
- hard to find a spot to play. Either loud city trams or not enough people...
- quite the trek back "home"
- glad I didn´t try to walk...
- sure happy that it only decided to pour rain at night
- good thing I bought those extra tent stakes for the rain fly
- where to play...
- ask inside bakery if I can play out front, They seem to like it
- some cool buildings in this town
- yay for finding cheep chocolate!
- those trams make it hard to play
- heh, no one seems to know what a mandolin is
- ooooh I broke an E string
- yay! thanks for putting in an extra set of strings Brian!!
- Cooking in the dark...
- Found some sweet snails probably 1.25" diameter shells
- hmm finding internet cafe´s can be a pain... and to expensive
- off to Frankfurt...

Nights stayed: 2
Amount earned: € 25
Things that made it all worth it:

That teenager coming up and dancing next to me for 2 whole songs while his friends record the whole thing

Sitting along the Rhein, watching the sun set, and eating/drinking my pasta/soup

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Stuttgart

- Parents dropped me off
- Where is the campground?
- wander...
- wander...
- find it across from huge parking lot = bad location
- loooong walk into town (4k) but through a nice park
- lots of people, quite friendly
- why so many bachelor/baccalaureate parties in the street?
- fall asleep to the sounds of the freeway...
- ahhhh fresh bread and Nutella!
- realllly hot out 34c???
- play across from cafe = free ice water ahhh
- thanks friendly waiter!
- people keep thinking I´m Polish cause of my t-shirts :)
- happy that my backpacking stove boils pasta
- playing at flea market = lots of people willing to spend money on weird things = more money for me :)
- camera battery dies, dang it!
- phone battery dies... what time is it?
- finally find grocery store = heavy bag
- hazelnuts + raisins + cucumber + sausage + orange juice = tasty meal
- cool looking Mercedes Benz museum, to bad it´s closed
- taking down tent in rain = no fun
- why is this pack so heavy... oh yeah someone decided to bring along his sketchbooks...
- hoorah for sheltered areas with projecting acoustics !!!
- off to Mannheim...



Nights stayed: 3
Amount earned: € 60
Things that made it all worth it:

That sharp dressed business man striding past with his cell phone slows down and smiling a huge grin mouths along with the song "don´t worry, be happy" after going a ways has to turn around and brings me back a euro.

That pretty girl who walks by and starts swinging to the music, goes into a shop, comes back later (still swaying) an with a shy grin slides in a few coins.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Updates

hallo, sorry that it has been such a long time since I wrote anything. I guess it´s really no good excuse but I guess time just got in the way.

Lets see what all has happened since that study tour... well... a lot, but I guess I should try to make it brief otherwise no one would read this :)

We did a group studio project with dis students and a student from Copenhagen University Architecture. Just a 24hr charrette on sustainability. We explored the use of piezoelectric panels in the harbor to collect electricity, twas intriguing.

Lauren and Lisa came and visited - that was a good time . they rented bikes and I had a fun time showing them around the city. Because of a mistake in buying tickets (partially my fault... I admit it) They got tickets to London from Bilund instead of Copenhagen. Bilund is over on the mainland, over 3 hrs away, and doesn´t even have a train station. So I ended up hanging out with them in Kolding as well and they got to see more of Denmark, so it worked out.

We did our last studio project. and it went really well. I designed a temporary performance pavilion out of wood and glass. I designed it down to construction details that would allow the wood not to need nails or screws and could be completely reused. I´ll put up pictures when I get back to the states.

I finished up my studies at DIS... that means I´ve graduated (weird) It was strange, and rather sad to say goodbye to so many people, many of whom I did not get to know as well as I would have liked, and most of which I will never see again...

My parents also came and visited me in CPH. We rented bikes again and I got to tour them around the city. We then flew down south to travel around southern Germany/Austria. Here´s the basic rundown of the tour.

Munich: People my age still wear liederhosen and dirndle skirts when going out on a Sat night ?!?

Salzberg: Awesome castle/fort on the hill, lots of churches in a small area, don´t leave your hat behind at a concert it can be tricky to get back.

Mittenwald: Cool mountains Listed as mt. biker´s paradise don´t have my bike... Looks like Leavenworth but actually makes sense.

Schwangau: fairytale castles cause ruler didn´t like reality, so he blew all his money on building fairytale land.

Lech: Really Really Really awesome mountains. The alps are AMAZING!


Lahr: Drove through Liechtenstein and Switzerland both have sweet mountains (though not like Lech) Nice to stay at Bettina´s and visit w/ her.

Rothenburg: 12th century medieval village, thought it would be crappy touristville but it turned out quite nice.

Stuttgart: Parents drop me off and leave me at a gas station...


Have to wait for another post on that one..

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Back From Travel Break

I got back last night from my last 3 weeks of travel. All in all it was a great time!

Lots of pictures, sun, rain, snow, buildings, art, sculptures, gardens, walking, stinky shoes, museums, churches, cemeteries, hostels, sand, maps, bread, jam, buses, subways, trains, planes, etc.

I'll try to write up some of my thoughts from the trips and tell a few stories but that will have to come later. I'll have to find some time to squeeze in the writing and photos editing (I've only got 5298 photos to deal with) between all the other things that I should be doing. Ah, how life continues on...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Update before the break


These last few weeks I’ve pretty much just been in crunch mode trying to get done with my studio project. I think it turned out pretty well. I’ll try to get some photos and a description up in a later post. Right now I’m pretty much just happy that I’m done with classes for the next three weeks. Woot woot!

These next three weeks should be pretty cool. We’re going to be taking a week long study tour through Sweden and Finland checking out all sorts of cool architecture (I’m suspecting a lot of Alto) Then the plan is to go down to Barcelona and hang out for five days. Then Lauren and I are going to go and stay with my host Dad’s Sister in Paris for 5 days and then the last 5 days of break will be back in Spain on a beach near Bilbao. We were originally thinking about going to Florence and Rome but that ended up looking too expensive for our budgets.

It’s starting to look more like spring here. The sun has been out longer and it is noticeably warmer out. It has been amazing to see the dramatic change that has happened the last couple months from the sun going down at 3 to now when it doesn’t go down till after 6. They are telling me that a lot changes during this time when I am gone. That it will almost be like an entirely different city cause we will come back and the sun will be up all the time and it’ll be warm. Should be lovely.

God did something cool last week concerning plans for this summer. As many of you know I’ve been planning to return to Poland and help teach English and do ministry work with some churches there. It does indeed look like that is going to happen I’ll be one week in Cieszyn and one in Dzierzoniow. (by the way anyone else reading this want to come we need more English teachers) Anyway I’ve recently been going to a International Baptist church here and they have a Wednesday night get together for college age students. When I went last week there were several girls there who said they were from Poland visiting one of their friends in town. I Asked where they were from and it turns out they are from Wrocław which is just up the road from Dzierzoniow. We got to talking about why I was there and found out that we know many of the same people. Then she asked if I had any idea of someone who might be able to come and help teach at a Junior High camp in Wrocław for the week right before I was already planning to be in Poland. They had been praying for someone for a long time and had no idea of who might come. Anyway I volunteered to go and am quite excited about it God is Good!! Please pray for the Camps and for all of us that will be helping to lead. We need guidance, wisdom and a total reliance on our great God in order to make this work.


I’ve got some new photos up on my site that some of you may have already discovered.

a few photos from the ski trip I went on with my host family. Mostly us hanging out in the cabin, I didn’t’ really feel like mixing the camera with wet snow/possibility of falling.
http://www.dansnook.com/photos/swedeski/index2.html

Photos from a trip to Roskilde Denmark. The cathedral had some really amazing woodwork and there was a cool Viking ship museum with actual ancient ships.
http://www.dansnook.com/photos/ros/index2.html

Some photos of buildings in Berlin
http://www.dansnook.com/photos/berlin1/index2.html

Some photos of people hanging out various places, Copenhagen, Berlin, ect
http://www.dansnook.com/photos/life3/index2.html

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Holiness

“So, how are you?”

Such a question, it can be said so flippantly and doesn’t really get much of a response most of the time. Here in Denmark nobody really asks that question unless they really want to know the answer. Most of us do not really want to let our emotions and who we really are out before people that we hardly know. I mean I can talk about classes, traveling, music, ect. with so many people. There is almost a mental list of conversations that I have and find myself repeating to all these people that I am meeting. Kind of a false sense of intimacy that I give to people with these few portals into who I am. But that begs the question am I really showing who I “really” am.

Anyway, I was recently asked “how are you?” by a good friend who just put a bit of emphasis on the word “are.” It’s amazing that from just that simple change in voice inflection I could understand that she really wanted to know, and I was glad to answer. At the same time though it is a hard thing to be up front with. I don’t think that we really ever ask ourselves “how are you” enough. Who is the real me and then how is he doing? To be completely correct; I believe that at my core I am a completely selfish person with and incredibly unwholesome mind that has been saved by the Grace of God to be more then myself, and that my purpose is to delight in him completely and to then reflect him to the people that I interact with. How am I doing at this? Hmmm…

I don’t recall exactly what I said first. I think that I stumbled around a bit and didn’t really know what to say, but then fairly quickly it moved to spiritual things because I realized that is the part of me that is the most important. It was good, I don’t really get asked that question by nearly enough by people these days. I am so very blessed to have such a friend that I have so much in common with and that pushes me to think about things more deeply. We spoke on all sorts of things that have since mulled around in my mind, what she said, what I said, what I could have, or should have said… I am so often not as articulate with what I say as I want to be.

I feel sorry for those people who are always in the spotlight and everything that they say gets remembered… I so frequently say things that don’t quite come out right, or that I really don’t mean.

One of those topics that we talked about was that of holiness. What does it mean to be holy, to be set apart? Both of us are living in very different cities, but both are post-Christian and to some extent anti-Christian cultures. (which has made it rather difficult to find good Christian fellowship) What does it mean to be in the world but not of the world? It has been a question that people have struggled with over the ages, from the early church, to the monastery movement, and down to today. It’s so hard to answer. At all times (whether I like it or not) I am representing Christ to those around me. And even though I am confident that I am not going to mess up God’s ultimate plan by doing something wrong, he still has called us to a life that is set apart for him.

I am far too often overly cynical about isolationist tendencies in American Christian culture, but it is also true that we shouldn’t be fully engulfed by the life of the world. It’s not right for us to try to build up a bubble around ourselves, but it probably also isn’t quite right to be bumping up against some attractive girl you don’t even know in a driving, flashing, pulsing club…

I believe that all who are Christians are called to represent Christ, that there should be something about us that people will mark as different. We should have the aroma of Christ about us, whether that be a stink to some, or a sweet perfume. It makes me wonder… Do I “smell” of Christ or do I blend in to the rest of the world around me? I think that faaaar to often I fall into the second category. At what point am I to declare; No, I am not going to do that because I am a Christian and I am representing my Christ in everything that I do. Should the line be no alcohol, a slight buzz, having a few too many, hanging out in certain places, dancing, what sort of dancing? Where do my thoughts tend to go in the midst of the things I do? Where does my mind and behavior lead… is it to God or sin? I must say that my sinful mind is rather inconstant …

I am thinking about Jesus, he himself ate with the worst of people, they were attracted to him. Why is this? Somehow he met people where they were at yet didn’t fall into the sin that they were engulfed in. is it possible for me to live in a similar fashion? To be a light for Christ in the midst of a dark place?

I have gotten rather good at saying what my limits are because of rational ideas. Unfortunately though, those rules and ideas don’t quite work as well here in another country because well, we want to experience the culture, but where do we draw that fine, and constantly changing line. I really don’t want to seem like the holier then thou type of guy, but I guess at some point that is necessary because, well, we have been set apart, and are given to a higher purpose. We are not merely our own but are bought with a price and our purpose here on earth is to live for the sake of our God and to bring as many people with us to a life giving glory to his name.

“Through whom (Jesus) we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations” - Romans 1:5

Part of me wants to be this man that serves God full out, fearlessly, without giving any care to what others are thinking. The other part of me wishes that I was a man with no morals and could do whatever I wanted with whoever I wanted, to not need to worry about the moral consequences. These two people in me are constantly battling.

I guess that God gives us these issues to deal with so that we can learn more about his power. The more that I think about it, and the more that I live my life, I see that if I were left to my own without having God work mightily within me I would be , well... It is certainly by his grace alone that I am who I am today.

But, I want to be more! I want to want God more fully, to take full delight in him. I heard a story about Martin Luther rather recently. Apparently he had this dog and when he was eating some meat the dog would just stare at the meat salivating and hoping for any scrap of it to fall from the table. Luther then said something along the lines of “oh that I could focus on prayer the way that that dog focus on this meat. It is all that he can think of and it consumes his whole being” I have probably slightly messed up the story, but the illustration still works. I want to desire God in that way. I want to have my heart wanting his things first. Right now I certainly do not! I struggle with wanting to know him, and prayer… well my mind certainly wanders.

It all comes down to this: “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:18-19) but in that we also can be confident in this that, “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

To those that would do so PLEASE

– Pray for me!
- Pray for yourselves!
- Pray for the world!

Oh, that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. - Phil 3:10-14

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The time just flies by

Sooo I’ve obviously been not so good at keeping this here blog updated… sorry bout that. I kinda let myself get behind and it’s piled up. I’ve tried to push thru the pile a bit and decided to give at least a quick overview as to what I’ve been up to.

I really wanted to put up some nice long posts about so much of this… oh well time is not enough.

The rest of that study tour went great! I saw a sweet museum, performers house, the town of Århus, a crematorium, etc. I have a partially finished post on the last part of that trip. I might post it if people are interested. I’ve got photos up from that trip here(www.dansnook.com/photos/westden1/index2.html) and here (www.dansnook.com/photos/westden2/index2.html) and on facebook.

I think that since my last real post I’ve been able to see the Ballet “Romeo and Juliet” the opera “The Marriage of Figaro” (the full opera not just the rehearsal that I saw earlier) and some sweet jazz as a part of the Copenhagen Winter Jazz festival. These were all really cool!! I’ve also had some good times Jamming with my host brother… yup!

I recently switched over to riding a bicycle all over town. I had a bus/train/metro pass for the first month that I was here, but in order to save some money I let it expire. My host family has an extra bike that I’ve been using. It’s a pretty sweet 30 year old red and white womans bike mmmmmhmm. It works great for getting around town. It takes only about 20min for me to ride from home to DIS which is the exact same amount of time that it used to take walking to and using the train.

That is, it takes me 20min…. now. I definitely got lost the first few times I rode. It has really helped me to get to know the city soo much better.

I took a 2 day ski trip to Sweden with my host dad, one of his sons, and my host brother. It was a lot of fun. Reeeeeally tiny ski hill it only had something like 5 runs and all of them were groomed. It was still a lot of fun though just cruzing down the hill all day. I thought of it kinda like sledding, not very challenging but still quite enjoyable :)

Last weekend I went to Berlin. It really pretty close and rather cheep if you take the bus from here aaand Lauren came up to Berlin that weekend from Barcelona, Yay!! Hack and a friend from DIS came down with me, and 4 other BCN people came with Lauren, but they were all doing other things other places in the city so I didn’t see much of them. Some of us were in the same hostel so we hung out some but I never even saw 3 of the other Barcelona people. I felt like I just relaxed and took the trip easy this time. I’ve been in Berlin before and I plan on going back. So I ended up seeing a few things well and just enjoyed seeing what others wanted to see and hanging out. It was a good trip! I might try to write up a more detailed post on the trip later… we’ll see

I’ve been working on my second studio project of the three we will be doing this semester. It’s a furniture showroom that is to be on the main walking street here in CPH. It’s kinda fun, we’re doing a lot of façade studies and I’ve been thinking a lot about how it fits into the flow of the street.

We took a cool field trip with my European Urban Theory class the other day. Looked at some really cool harbor front developments and housing projects in Copenhagen and over in Malmo, Sweden. I still think that’s probably one of my favorite classes.

I’m still working on catching up with my photos I’ve got about 1600 photos from about 6 different things that I’m still working through. Don’t worry I’m not going to try to post them all. :) I’ve sorted through about half of them and hope to have the best ones up soon.

That’s all for now
.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Life...

What is it all that I want to do?

In no particular order just a quick study of what is all is it that I have pulling for my time aside from all those responsibilities…

take pictures
design buildings
edit pictures
play music
write music
watch music
talk with people
meet people
actually build friendships
write
read books
read the bible
teach the bible
pray
listen to teachers of the bible
listen to teachers of theology
learn about church history
learn about urban spaces
philosophy
paint
understand the world around me
eat
cook
sleep
travel
ski
bicycle
hike
climb
kayak
canoe
draw
make furniture
make jewelry
dance
just think and process life


Share all that is above with those who are most important to me...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Study Tour


Hey, so this has been a bit in coming sorry bout that. I guess it’s been about a week now. I’ve had all sorts of stuff going on studio, opera, planning trips, homework, photos, work, ect. I’ll try to write more about all that stuff sometime later… I should probably be working on all my studio stuff right now heh, oh well.


Well the trip started out with me nearly oversleeping and thinking I was going to miss my bus, I had been out late the night after going to the ballet (Romeo and Juliet It was very good) I made it to where I thought we were leaving from but when I got there all sorts of other DIS tour busses were there but not mine. They had changed locations on me but fortunately they also had moved the departure time back half an hour.


The first place that we visited was this muscular dystrophy center It is a place where families with a member that has muscular dystrophy can go together and stay, mostly for vacations I gather. I thought the buildings were quite cool, especially the way the individual buildings related to each other and the space between. They say that it has really incredible views out into the ocean but it was quite foggy on the day we visited


We then visited a traditional Danish church It was pretty cool, but I was only able to get a few shots of but then my camera decided to run out of batteries. My camera really has very long battery life but it doesn’t last 3 weeks and 1100 + shots…


We also checked out a really cool art museum that had a nice exhibition of furniture, Denmark/Scandinavia is really famous for its quality of furniture, very modern looking yet all very comfortable. Being up this far north the indoor is very important cause no one wants to spend much time outdoors in the dark and cold. Hyggelig they call it (the indoor coziness that is)


The last place that we visited on the first day was probably my favorite place on the whole trip. I was quite sad that my camera was all out of batteries :( It was this old castle that had long been in ruins that recently was built up into a usable structure. It wasn’t quite a renovation because they didn’t rebuild what had been had been there before. The building had been torn down so many times and had so many additions put onto it was difficult to choose which time to go back to. So Instead they built an entirely new roof and walls in a way that shows it is separate from the old celebrating both the history and the current use it as a museum.

That night we stayed in Kolding it’s a relatively small town and I found out later that it is actually where my host Dad is from. We stayed in an incredibly nice hostel there (nicer than many hotels that I’ve been in) Oh, and a bunch of us found a sweet pub to hang out in, they had hundreds of different types of beer… quite good!


Well, I seem to be kinda falling behind on my blog posts here... I’ve got so much I could write about but unfortunately time is limited. This post has gotten long enough already. I’ll try to write about the other half of the trip and what has been going on more recently soon.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Just a quick one

So I just got back last night from my Western Denmark study tour. It went great but as is typical with these trips I came home rather tired, had homework to catch up on, and hundreds of pictures.

I'm working on those photos and should hope to have a post up soon about the trip. If only I didn't have that homework...

Oh, and also my mom let me know that my post about the new photo albums had links that didn't work. I've since updated that post so they all should work now. Let me know if they don't.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A bit about the weekend


Here I am sitting in the library “working” and I thought I would take this chance to update the ol’ blog while I had the chance.

Let’s see what have I been up to…


Friday was the day that we were to present our first project for architecture. I mentioned before that it was a group project and we were working on analyzing the urban core of Helsinki. I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to turn out, but I think it went very well.



The presentation format was a little bit different then I was used to. They had all of us groups set up all around a room (kind of like a science fair) Then they had made up a schedule of professors rotating from group to group and for each group to also watch other presentation.


All of these projects are going to be ones that we will be visiting on our tour in March. So one of the main purposes of this project was to have us all learn about different sites and buildings so we will better know what we are looking at while there. It was kinda cool to walk around the room and see all the different studies that people had built.


Oh and when I was walking around taking pictures one of the AD staff asked me if I want to take pictures for the school here to use, cause apparently they are always looking for good photos of students actually doing academics for use in advertising and such. :)


Then On Saturday I slept in and decided to sit in and watch one of my host Dad’s rehearsals. It was really very cool! He works for the Royal Danish orchestra which performs in both the New Opera House and the Royal Danish Theatre. This was in the theatre which was built in 1748 and is really a beautiful hall!


They were working on the opera “The Marriage of Figaro” and I must say that even though this was just a rehearsal it sounded really amazing! Personally with my lack of experience with really high class opera I don’t think I could have really told the difference between this and what might be their finest performance. They do it all the old fashioned way with no electronic amplification. I am amazed at the way they could clearly project while acting very well, and singing very difficult parts. Really cool!

I then spent the afternoon wandering around taking photos of the city!


On Sunday after visiting a church (I will have to post again sometime about churches and such) I went to a concert at a castle that my host Dad organizes concerts for. He asked me to come and take some photos for him because he doesn’t really have any good images to use for advertising the shows. I of course obliged :)


Then after the show I was waiting to leave with my host Dad and was talking a bit with the girls who had just played the concert. They were amazing musicians by the way! Four young ladies who are right around 20 playing what I think is probably the best string quartet music that I have ever heard. Really cool


Anyway they are trying to become a full time chamber music group and are going to really high class competitions and stuff like that. “The Nightingale String Quartet” They are also working on a website and are trying to advertise themselves. So they wanted to see some of the pictures that I had taken…


They ended up asking me to take some more photographs of them. So they went back out into the concert hall and played again while I took all sorts of pictures of them. I quite enjoyed doing it and I’m pretty excited about how some of them turned out!


I’m gunna go back thru and put some photos in this post so you all can see some of what I’ve been writing about… probably this evening.

Till then…

Monday, February 2, 2009

Photos...


Just a quick post about five newish albums up on my photos website. Some of them you may have already seen interspersed in past posts but if you are so inclined to see more feel free to check them out.

Photography of the Nightingale String Quartet
www.dansnook.com/photos/nightingale/index2.html

More Copenhagen Photos
www.dansnook.com/photos/kop2/index2.html

Copenhagen at Night
www.dansnook.com/photos/kopnight/index2.html

Some photos from my first Architecture project, a case study of Helsinki’s urban core.
www.dansnook.com/photos/helsinki/index2.html

A collection of random photos from before I left the states.
www.dansnook.com/photos/life2/index2.html

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Classes and Such


I’m pretty excited about all of my classes for this semester. I think that they shouldn’t be too difficult and yet I think that they are all going to be really interesting and I am going to learn so much in them!


I started up classes last Thursday with my European urban design class. I think this one might end up being my favorite of all. We will be reading various urban theorists and then discussing them in class just like a typical theory type class but then… each class will also be accompanied with a field trip to somewhere in the city or in the area where we will then get to see and experience what we were talking about in class. This means that I really will be able to take full advantage of living here in this city that has such a mix of the new and the old both in terms of city planning and in architecture!


On Friday and Tuesdays I have my main studio class. It looks like it will be relatively similar to other studio classes as far as the expectations and general class stuff. I that I’ll like my professor from the little bit of time that I have spent with him. He seems pretty knowledgeable and I think that he’ll be easy to talk to about things. he seems to say what he thinks and what he wants but in tactful manner. This should be both good and nice for a studio prof (you fellow arch majors know how it goes if you are missing one of those aspects…)


Right now we’re working on a one week group project analyzing and building a model of an existing building or urban space. I’m working with a girl who’s a full year student a guy from Kansas State and a girl from…. Umm I seem to have forgotten… I guess I’ll have to ask again and update this later. Anyway, We’re working on the city center of Helsinki Finland. I’d describe the whole thing but I’m guessing it would bore most of you who are reading this. Perhaps I’ll write more about it later…


Fortunately for us it’s a relatively easy project. This means it won’t look nearly as cool as the Stockholm group’s project or Andy’s group who’s working on this huge auditorium thing. But, it also means that we don’t have to stay up all night working on it. Instead I stay up way to late doing things like writing this…


I’m also taking a watercolor painting class. This one should be pretty cool as well. I had to spend waaay to much money buying materials for the class (I mean $50 for a brush!!) but I think that it will pay off that she made us buy the good tools cause I can already tell from my first class how much better they work then trying to use the cheep stuff. This is another class where I get to take trips out into the city and surrounding area. Hoorah!


What else am I up to… oh yeah I just found out that I’ll be working in the library for $8 an hour which should be nice. Hurrah for workstudy! It will be nice to have the money especially since we don’t have to pay any taxes on it and I get to do my homework while I work :)


Well I think that’s most of my weekly activities. I’m also thinking about joining a non-DIS international choir which could be fun and a good chance to meet more Danes and such. That doesn’t start till next week though.

I should really go to bed… g’night all

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Palouse Frost, Fog, and Snow


I developed some of those photos that I took when I went down to Pullman to get my stuff.

Just thought I'd post an FYI and let you all who are interested (and probably some that aren't) that I put them up on my site. Also this gives me a place to post some of my favorites in a higher resolution.

Sooo, they should be pretty easy to find, or you could go directly to the album by clicking here:

http://www.dansnook.com/photos/pullmanfrost/index2.html








More photos can be found at:

http://www.dansnook.com/photos/pullmanfrost/index2.html

Friday, January 23, 2009

Host Family and the like


Well, my host family is pretty much terrible…

Heh, no, not at all. I just had to start it off that way because I suspect that my family will be reading this as well ;)

Actually I think that I have a really great living situation here. I know that I told many people before I left about how I was looking forward to this family and it has been really good so far!


I am living with a husband and wife (Tore and Lisbeth) Lisbeth has two sons one is living at home (Thomas who is 15) and one is living somewhere nearby, though I haven’t met him yet. Tore also has two sons but they both are out of the house. One of them is studying architecture and one is hoping to study music.

Most of the family is very musical which means I am a great fit! Tore is a fulltime professional clarinet player with the Royal Danish Orchestra which seems to play quite frequently for operas, plays, and ballets. Lisbeth sings in a choir and is always singing around the house. Thomas plays music various places and has a guitar, bass, saxophone, and even some recording equipment in the room that is right next to mine


We are living in a townhouse that was once several workers apartments and is now all one home. There is a basement with the shower, storage and laundry. The main entry floor is all kitchen and dining. The second floor has a tv room and my host parents room, the third has my room, Thomas’ music room and a sweet room that Tore built for practicing.


He took the existing room and furred out the walls about 10” and added insulation between the two walls he also floated a second floor above the first, hung a false ceiling, and incased the window with another window essentially making a room within a room. I think it is pretty sweet myself.

Above the third floor is a small attic and this is where Thomas sleeps

Oh and the toilet rooms that are on the 2nd and third floors are really tiny you can see the entire floor space in the picture below


Living in the family has been great. I gather that typically Tore gets up first and set out breakfast things, sits down, reads his paper and watches everyone filter down and head out to our various activities and he typically goes to rehearsals in the afternoon or performances in the evening

In the evenings we all have a family meal together. Apparently the family is a really big part of Danish culture and is highly valued. Every day we get together eat, talk, and then afterwards we typically have a cup of coffee or tea and continue to talk for a bit until everyone goes their separate ways to do homework, practice, etc.


Yesterday we were joined by one of Tore’s son’s Asger, he is the one who is hoping to study music. He and his girlfriend visited for dinner to meet me, talk about trying out for music school (he finds out today I think if he got in) and to show us pictures from a 7 month trip that they went on through Southeast Asia. It looked like it was a fantastic trip!


It’s quite nice and I like it. I am fortunate to live in a family that is close to town. It takes me less then 20min to take the train and walk while for others it take more like 40-60. The trains here are nice and very similar to other train systems. I typically don’t have to wait more than 3min for a train to arrive that uses my stop.


Alright, I should go home for dinner.

More photos at:

http://dansnook.com/photos/hosthouse/index2.html