Wednesday, August 15, 2007
The last Sunday of Camp came quickly for all of us, but what an amazing day it was. All week long we had talked about Random Acts of Kindness and everything was brought together in the worship service Sunday morning. Pastor Jan gave a Sermon based on the Parable of the Sower, and he asked us to consider what kind of seed we will be when someone does a random act of kindness for us. Will we forget about it? Will it make us happy? Will we choose to go forth and make others happy as we pass on the kind deed? What will we do with the ideas that we talked about at camp, leave them behind or keep them in mind? Our group leader, Kerry, and my sister, Jacque, also spoke during the worship. They shared about the effects that the camp has had on their lives. Jacque talked about how the unconditional love that she has experienced from our family and the Czechs helps her to understand and know the unconditional love of our God. The whole service brought a nice closure to our week as we all went our separate ways.
I left for Oklahoma on Tuesday morning after the camp filled with bittersweet emotions, excitement to see my family and friends mixed with nerves about what kind of culture shock would await me when I started to spend time with them again. I think I’ve been more shocked about my actions and reactions to life in Oklahoma, then I was to the people and culture there. I chuckle every time I enter someone else’s home, because I still can’t get over the strange feeling of walking on carpet and not leaving my shoes at the door. I feel this great urge to experience all of the things that I missed while in the Czech Republic, like Dr. Pepper, cheddar cheese, and Mexican food. However, I slowly feel myself gaining back some of the weight that I had lost, because there just isn’t as much opportunity for walking in Oklahoma unless you park far away from the door at Wal-mart or go for a walk on the flat sidewalk that runs around the neighborhood. Even walking my dog didn’t give me much exercise, because he’s getting old and can barely make it to the end of our block and back. Well, enough about that for now.
I think the strangest thing for me has been getting used to people saying, “Excuse me,” when they pass. It completely catches me off guard and makes me think I’ve done something wrong. I’ve even caught myself thinking other people as rude for not just going around me or realized how rude I had been by taking up so much space. I guess it’s one of those hard things to explain. It wasn’t a habit that I logically accepted, but now I will have to find that cheery, friendly American inside me before I start offending loads of people.
Right now at this moment I am enjoying a visit with my Grandfather in Nitro, West Virginia (just south of the capital, Charleston). If Oklahoma wasn't enough of a shock to my system with overly friendly people, now I'm up in the friendliest neck of the woods there ever was. Next stop: Madison, WI. I’ll be at CPC on Sunday, so if you are in the Madison area stop on by Sunday morning to hear my presentation in Soul Café and/or give me a call if you want to get together. My last phone number still works, but if you don’t have it anymore, shoot me an email. So, in lieu of me ending the conversation in an abrupt manner now that I’ve finished my purpose--another Czech habit that I’ve had a hard time with adjusting to it there and getting rid of it here--It’s been nice catching up with you, have a great day! Check out my new blog “Ještě něco,“ if you’re looking for “a little more” insight into my life.