Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lovely time in England

I am safely back in Banja Luka after a wild time in the UK. I was really busy firstly with the Effective Communications Workshop in Harpenden and then also at the retreat for single Christian workers south of London at Pilgrim Hall: (where we had lovely sunny, but cold, weather almost all week!)
There were 30 people from all over the world who came to the retreat. Here I am in the traditional clothing from Nagaland (which is a part of India): which one of the ladies who is from there leant me to try on:
And here I am with some of the ladies in their traditional clothing:
Besides wonderful times at the plenary sessions in the morning, we also had small groups in the evenings, where we could hang out and share and pray together. My group was hilarious and we had a fabulous time hanging out together: below is a photo of us: Lisa, myself, Jane, Dorothee and Barbara...
You might be wondering what the "where is Jane?" is all about... well let me see if I can explain. One night Jane was sharing about how she had got lost on her run that morning and had panicked that she would be late... so she made a shortcut through some brambles and cut herself up quite badly. She is English, and at one stage, like the English do sometimes, she said something like "Oh, Jane you have really done it now" and "Jane you are going to be late" while she was telling the story.

Then Lisa said to Barb "oh I saw that you fell down today, are you ok?". Barb, who is American and a great lady, while being a bit klutzy, said "oh I do that all the time, that is nothing! In fact in Hungary {where she works} I get up as quick as possible so people don't come to help and it is embarrassing. But when I fell down onto that lovely carpet, I just wanted to stay there and rest awhile as it was so nice." Anyway, we had a great laugh at that, and it helps you to get a picture of our lovely Barb...

We talked about some other things and were then getting into the serious stuff: discussing the fact that we don't need to panic when we get lost as we are never alone - God is with us always... And again discussing the morning's incident when Jane was lost and alone... Then Barb pipes up "but where is Jane?": she had thought (because of Jane talking about herself in the third person) that Jane had been running with another Jane (there were two on the retreat) and throughout our discussion was thinking to herself about what happened to the other Jane!! So, we had to take the pic!!! Hope you enjoyed the story :-)

Another fun thing that happened on the retreat was that a few of us got together on the last night to sing a song (with our own words) to the tune of the "Sound of Music" song "So Long, farewell..." It was inspired by the staircase in the "Baronial Hall" at the place we were staying:

Every night I went up the stairs singing the original song...and so thought we should do the original, but when I got others interested they suggested we write new words and one even volunteered to do it... and without much practice we managed to do a pretty good job, even if I say so myself...and it was a nice fun way to end what had been quite a sad evening because of the reality of leaving this great group of people.

In the afternoons we were mostly free, so I did some walking and reflecting and inspired by the photography class at the Communications Workshop, some photo taking: This one reminds me of the photos of my ex-colleague from Finland, Lea:
And this one perfectly sums up the retreat week for me: a time to reflect on the road that I am on: and even though I can't see the end of it, I know the one who will be with me on the way!.

1 comment:

Shilo said...

I'm so glad you had a fun and refreshing time!

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