Friday, 1 June 2018

Getting Settled...

Bubble Tea in Ljubljana
So one month in and I think I'm starting to get the hang of this whole living in Slovenia thing. I'm starting to make friends and build relationships in the church which is really encouraging. I know I'm making mistakes and I know that I still will make mistakes but that's ok, it's all part of the learning process.

I'm very thankful that so far I don't seem to have suffered any effects of culture shock although every so often something will remind me of England. It's not homesickness exactly but a reminder of what has been left behind. Often it's not even big things, so for example I was watching Mojster Miha (or Bob the Builder) and seeing all the English names in the credits really made me think of England! It really surprised me that something as small as seeing a British name would give me a jolt. Apart from that I feel really at home here.

This week I had a new cultural experience -  bubble tea. I know that it is Taiwanese rather than Slovene but I was invited to try it by a girl in the youth group and it was a really good time to get to know her a bit better. If you don't know what it is, it's basically iced tea with things in the bottom. Often it's tapioca balls but in my case it was fruit pieces. Although I enjoyed it, I think I prefer good old fashioned British builders' tea!

So how am I spending my time? I think this will be a frequent theme across my posts. I still don't have a clear plan as to how I'm supposed to be spending my time but with the broad ideas of language learning, building relationships and getting involved in church activities I'm trying to use my time wisely. I'm keeping track of everything I'm doing so I can see how many hours I'm spending doing different things. It also helps because it shows me that I am working hard even when it doesn't necessarily feel like I am. That being said, I'm really enjoying getting to know the people around me and at my church. They have all been so welcoming especially in inviting me over after church on a Sunday. I'm starting to feel part of the church and part of the community here.

My old apartment block
Today I moved into my new flat and said goodbye to my old one (4th floor in the picture). My bags are still unpacked and there's lots of organising to do but I'm grateful that I finally have a place I can call home! If you would like my address please let me know and I'll send it to you.

I'm a bit sad to leave my old flat - yes it was full of other people's stuff and I couldn't get properly settled but it was there that I learnt how to live in Slovenia. I learnt how to use the bus, how to do the shopping and most importantly how to get to church and other activities. I know I will learn how to do things here and that it will be easier this time but it does feel a bit like I'm starting the process again.

That being said, I can now start on the important paperwork etc that will allow me to stay here longer term. On Monday one of my housemates will go with me to start the process. Apparently employees at the department for foreigners moving to Slovenia don't speak any other languages apart from Slovene... I'm sure it will be an interesting experience!

Sava Bohinjka which flows into Lake Bohinj
To finish this post off,  I'll share a pretty picture from a visit to Bohinj last week. If you've heard of Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj is often described as being more spectacular still. To be honest I prefer Bled but Bohinj was well worth the journey. It's one of those places that really make you marvel and wonder at God's creation. I am so thankful that God has brought me to serve in such a beautiful country! I know that's not the main point of being here but seeing places like Bohinj really reminds me of who truly is in control over all situations and I thank God because I know He is in charge!

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