It seems I won’t be doing any sleeping on the floor this year. Last night I ended up with a room to myself, which was delightful, but not what I was expecting. There’s a lot that’s happening this year that I wasn’t expecting.
For one, there are fewer of us teaching in our neck of the woods than expected. This is not an unpleasant surprise—merely a surprise. This may mean I end up teaching more than I thought I would. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, so I’m not worried. This also means that there were fewer of us (and fewer of our luggage) crammed into the car on the way to our hotel.
Another thing—I was expecting to be in a room on the side of the hotel that faces the river. I am not. Instead, I am facing the road. This is the cooler side of the hotel, and for this kid, who can only sleep if she’s not sweating, this is a blessing unlike any other. While I will miss the view of the river out of my window, I will not miss trying to sleep in Sahara-like temperatures.
Also, I was expecting patchy internet connection at best. That was what I had last year, being up on the third floor and far, far away from their modem, or whatever gadget it is that connects me to the digital world. Fortunately, I have a wireless router right outside my hotel room, which means that I’ll be able to Skype people at home with relative ease, as well as maintain regular blog posts, including pictures. Hurrah!
I was also expecting not to remember how to speak German. I know that speaking German wouldn’t seem like a necessity in Croatia, but it is—at least for me. The older generation in Croatia speaks a lot of German, so I can talk to most people fifty and older if they remember any German from their childhoods. More importantly, the Croatian pastor and his wife, the couple I stayed with for several days last year and one night this year, speak German. Without a working knowledge of the language, I can’t talk to them or translate for my American teammates in a pinch. Thankfully, the moment I stepped on the Frankfurt, I started thinking in German. I practiced my German on the lovely (and very polite and kind) stewardesses on my Lufthansa flight. The second I got off the plane, I started unconsciously muttering to myself in German, giving myself directions as I navigated through security and on towards gate B32. I had the chick who sold me my espresso fooled—she spoke to the tourist in front of me in English, but immediately started using German with me. The language started coming back the minute I landed in Germany, for which I am incredibly grateful. Not being able to talk to my adoptive Croatian parents would have broken my heart.
So not everything is going as planned. That is the way of adventures, however, and I am delighted to be surprised, no matter what happens. Every surprise is a story to tell, and stories make the world go ‘round.