I haven't been in London long. However, before starting two weeks of orientation (followed after two weeks of training before arriving), our team had the day off yesterday after a "Welcome Breakfast" and we went out and saw a little part of London. We took the Tube and saw a museum that is currently holding the picture of "The Last Supper". (We didn't go see it as it would of cost us 16 pounds each - which is about $30 - to see the full gallery and the part we actually looked at was free. But I did see the painting from afar.) We then went and saw the Big Ben. My British friend says this is a super American thing to say, but because of the photos I had seen of the Big Ben before arriving, I always imagined it to be taller. While walking to the Big Ben we even passed by where the Prime Minister lives.
Here are some of my favorite photos that I took yesterday...
If you click on the photos they should get bigger for better viewing.
London is a beautiful city full of years and years of amazing history. In all honesty, I don't know as much about England or the UK as I would like to. While I am here I hope to further my knowledge in not just the culture but in the history and stories of London.
Today we started training and orientation. From 9:30 in the morning to about 5:30 in the evening, we are in classrooms learning what we need to learn. It's a lot of information. After two weeks of information in Germany, I'm very thankful we had two days to rest before receiving more information here in London. Otherwise I think there would of been a brain overload issue happening. Ha.
Tonight I've started laundry for the first time since leaving. That's 2 1/2 weeks worth of clothes and two loads. To get to the laundry machines I have to go up and down three flights of stairs each time I need to change the loads. Tonight I went down to change one load, getting all the way down the stairs to realize that I took the wrong coins to pay the machine! Oops! I won't make that mistake again! At least I know I'll be getting good exercise while here, especially on laundry day. ;-)
Throughout the last few weeks I feel my ankle and leg getting stronger. While it does get weary and sore, the muscles are slowly returning and the strength is growing. It feels good to be moving again and to be getting exercise - even if it's just stairs. I think today alone I've gone up and down close to 20 flights of stairs, which is way more than what I was doing before coming to Europe as I had just started walking again after spending a few months on crutches and in bed. If you remember, please keep my ankle in your prayers. While it is getting stronger in some ways, it still hurts and gets sore. I know I shouldn't stress about my ankle but it is often a daily stressor, wondering if my ankle will be strong enough for the day or be able to walk quick enough to keep up with others. Pray that it'll continue to grow stronger and will bother me and swell less and less, being able to walk more each day (and more quickly!! That is a work in process! I walk like a turtle, or so it seems to me...). Pray I'll be able to keep it as safe as possible without hurting it again in anyway while I am gone and away from my fabulous podiatrist I have at home.
Oh! Also...After about three nights of being in London (total of about 2 1/2 weeks of traveling) I am able to unpack my suitcases into my new room! When arriving there was someone who was still in the process of arriving. I'm not completely unpacked, but boy does it feel good to have some of my stuff out and in its rightful places! Can you guess what I did first? Before I even actually unpacked or did my first load of laundry while being away, I decorated my bulletin board with my photos from home. While, yes, my clothes being put in their proper places, shoes being neatly stored under my bed, and all of that makes a place more like home...Photos of my family and friends are what make a home my home. It's a board I can look with a smile on my face, seeing those that I love and that I know love me in return and that I know are praying for me as I am on this journey. It's a board of memories I can reflect on when feeling homesick, or even when I miss other friends who live in random places of the world. It's a board of encouragement. I'll try to post a photo of my board and the room soon!
The Travelin' Chick,