Well, we're there. Of course, that means it, there, has now become here. So, if you can say that here is where we are, then that's one thing that hasn't changed with our move. We are still here, and here is now in Germany. I know that an update is in order, and a quick one would be great. Even in the absence of an update, we've received a number of questions, so I'll try to dust those off and cut some others off at the pass.
The flights were good. Great, even. We started the trip in Winnipeg with breakfast among family. A few hours later, we picked up the food theme in Toronto over lupper with Derek and Amanda. Then it was on to London for a short transfer to Basel. We were able to check our bags clear through to Basel, with no extra fees, and they all arrived as planned and on time. The flights passed quickly, and despite a lack of sleep, our spirits and moods held. We did forget to carry off one carry-on item, in the last plane we were on, but it has been turned in to the Heathrow Airport lost and found office. Please pray with us as we connect with their office to prove ownership and arrange for its safe return.
Then, to Germany. We arrived to a (mostly) empty flat, but welcomed the two beds waiting for us. One we're storing for neighbours set to leave on a one-year return to the US, and the other bed-frame we bought from the previous tenants. It was furnished with a loaner mattress, graciously put there by our upstairs neighbour, Israel and Dani. Our host family, Clarence and Anna, stocked our fridge with some staples and quick meals, and took time out of holiday with his parents visiting to pick us up from the airport and help us with some of our basic settling needs.
It has been somewhat challenging, being in a new place, without phone or internet (we've been fortunate to leech wifi from Israel and Dani), a 2-3km walk from basic groceries, in an area where businesses are rarely open past noon on the days they're opened. You have a small window of time to figure out what you can do, and then do it, before you reset the clock and wait for the next work day.
Still, our excitement for our purpose overshadows the logistical speed-bumps. We have enjoyed slowing our pace and shifting our mindset. Part of this has come in our new mode of transportation: feet. In fairness, legs have a fair bit of work to do as well. We're up on a hill, which, for our fellow Manitobans, is a large skyward extrusion of earth. If the ski hills in Manitoba were as steep or as long as the road up to our flat, I would have had much less to complain about on local ski trips growing up. It's steep enough, and long enough, that pulling a bike trailer is likely not going to work. As such, we'll rely more on our boots than our bikes.
With that in mind, we'd ask you to pray with us for continued health as our bodies adjust to this terrain and to our daily commute. For those confident that, in Europe, everyone bikes and walks everywhere, I can tell you that although there maybe be some truth to that, and it is relatively truer here than in North America, we have yet to cross paths with local or foreign sojourners using this route as their practical means of transport. It's tough on old joints and young legs, but we're glad that, as a family, we're enough in the middle of that spectrum, and healthy, to be able to commune with God's creation in this way.
Below are a few photos. As a family, we're still not fully shifted to the time change. Please continue to pray for sleep and rest, for health and patience, and for wisdom as we continue to make decisions in a context of some palpable uncertainties.