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*A Day Off in Žilina

In between a couple of weeks of city visits, final camp preparations in Žilina, the arrival of the American teams tomorrow, and the beginning of KECY on Saturday, today is a day for us interns to rest.

Here are just a few pictures (using the hipstamatic app on my iPod) from my day off.  Enjoy!

1)  After sleeping in, I went to Coffee and Co. to spend some time reading and journaling:

2)  Then I walked around Zilina for a little bit:

3)  I ended up at McDonald’s for lunch, believe it or not.  They have a Caprese salad advertised that looks really good, and “American-style” salads (with lettuce) are hard to find.  Of course, when I got there, I decided to try the Caprese burger instead, which was the first McDonald’s hamburger I’ve eaten in a realllllllly long time.  Two bites in and I realized why I never eat them.  Oh well, maybe next time I’ll get the salad.  Regardless, this may be the nicest McDonald’s I’ve ever seen:

Later on, after dinner, Mindy, Miriam, and I went to get zmrzlina (ice cream, but more like gelato) from the lower square.  Mindy and I both got new shoes today.  Miriam said we look more European now, ha:

All in all, a nice day.

*I love this.

This has nothing to do with SK, but I love that this is working:

http://www.good.is/post/breaking-bread-panera-s-pay-what-you-want-model-is-thriving/

*Introducing team leader #1: Josh Howard

Some basic info:

Name:  Joshua Daniel Howard

Nickname:  Joši (pronounced Yo-shi)

Occupation:  Missionary; youth leader

Hometown:  Fort Wayne, IN

And now some questions just for fun:

1.  You have 5 Euros you have to spend at TESCO right now… What do you buy?  Why?

Kofola (5€ worth): Because it’s good.

2.  Can you recommend a good book?

The Bible and The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus by Brennan Manning.

3.  Put your iPod on shuffle and press play.  What are the first three songs that play?  Any special meaning?

Blowin’ in the Wind by Bob Dylan:  I think Bob Dylan is one of the most poetic song writers of the 20th century.

Going Under by Evanescence: No meaning; it’s on there because my sister owns it and our iTunes were shared.

Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming by Sufjan:  No special attachment to the song, I just like Sufjan.

4.  What are you most excited about for this summer?

Friends.

5.  What is one benefit you received from attending KECY in the past?

Courage and patience.

Introducing team member #3: Mindy Kate Rawlins

Some basic info:

Name:  Melinda Kate Rawlins

Nickname:  Mindy Kate, Mindo, Minders, MK

Occupation:  Any, Lord willing!

Hometown:  Normal, IL

And now some questions just for fun:

1.  You have 5 Euros you have to spend at TESCO right now… What do you buy?  Why?

Lip gloss, gum, and nail polish:  I like feeling like a lady and having good breath.

2.  Can you recommend a good book?

Love is an Orientation by Andrew Marin and The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism by Richard J. Mouw.

3.  Put your iPod on shuffle and press play.  What are the first three songs that play?  Any special meaning?

Jesus Land by Ben Folds:  This song reminds me of summer in Illinois.

Somewhere Only We Know by Keane:  No significance; I just like it.

You Made My Dreams by Hall and Oates:  Makes me think of being in love and having some iced coffee on a hot summer day with a cute boy named.

4.  What are you most excited about for this summer?

Personally I’m excited to have the opportunity to put into practice a lot of the things the Lord has been teaching me over the last few years.  I feel like in a lot of ways this summer is a capstone to the last few years and where the Lord has been leading me.  Also, I’m looking forward to the camps, meeting the kids and hanging out, hearing their stories, and walking with them as long as the Lord desires.

5.  Since this is your first time in Slovakia, what do you like so far?

My favorite thing so far is zmrzlina!  (Slovak icecream).  It’s delicious; I could eat it all day long.  Also, even though this sounds cheesy, the people I’ve met so far.  Specifically, the team in Bratislava and how loving and welcoming people have been to me, the “loud American.”

Introducing team member #2: Hunter Palmer

Some basic info:

Name:  Jonathan Hunter Palmer

Nickname:  The Original; Lovic  (*”Lovic” is the Slovak word for “hunter”).

Occupation:  Student: Organization Communications at Kennesaw State University and Hazmat Expert for Hapag-Lloyd America

Hometown:  Savannah, GA

And now some questions just for fun:

1.  You have 5 Euros you have to spend at TESCO right now… What do you buy?  Why?

Kofola, chocolate (Mila, Tatiana, Milka), and Kleenex:  Because they’re good.  All of them.

2.  Can you recommend a good book?

Desiring God by John Piper, Child 44 by , and Crazy Love by Francis Chan.

3.  Put your iPod on shuffle and press play.  What are the first three songs that play?  Any special meaning?

All I Know by Switchfoot: This iPod only has songs for working out on it.  I see working out as another way of worship, so I have some worship songs on here too.

First Date by Blink 182:  I was a huge Blink fan in high school, and I still have some of their music on my computer.

Lycnethrope by Plus 44:  Plus 44 was created by the guitarist of Blink 182 when they broke up…

4.  What are you most excited about for this summer?

Camp!

5.  What is one benefit you received from attending KECY in the past?

A heart for missions… My first mission trip was for KECY in 2004, and I’ve been on many trips since.

*Introducing team member #1: Miriam Linkeschova

Some basic info:

Name:  Miriam Linkeschova

Nickname:  Mimi

Occupation:  Student:  Just graduated from high school; planning to begin university in the fall.

Hometown:  Košice, Slovakia

And now some questions just for fun:

1.  You have 5 Euros you have to spend at TESCO right now… What do you buy?  Why?

Dr. Pepper, Milka chocolate (strawberry flavor), and a pair of socks:  The first two because I love them and they’re delicious, the last one because my feet are cold!

2.  Can you recommend a good book?

Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller or Crazy Love by Francis Chan.  Also, I’m currently reading Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller.  Recommendation coming later…

3.  Put your iPod on shuffle and press play.  What are the first three songs that play?  Any special meaning?

Broken Strings by James Morrison, Acoustic version:  I like his voice.

Distance in Time by Alicia Keys: I’ve never heard this song before.

Lachlom by Yael Naim:  I like her style; I used to listen to it while falling asleep.

4.  What are you most excited about for this summer?

I’m excited to see what God has in store for us.  I’m excited about being part of something bigger, to see the big picture, and to be part of a movement in which young people decide to follow Christ.  I’m also excited to see how I’ve changed at the end of the summer and how my character has developed.

5.  What is one benefit you received from attending KECY in the past?

I met so many people there and I think most of my closest friends right now are people I met through KECY, both Americans and Slovaks.

*Slovakia Update

Hello from Zilina, Slovakia!

I arrived here safely last Wednesday afternoon.  Since then, I’ve been busy getting to know the other interns, meeting the youth group we’re working with for the first KECY (conversational English camp), and trying to get all the paperwork, etc done for my visa.

It’s been great to be back in Slovakia (it’s been three years since the last time I was here), to reconnect with old friends, meet new people, and to have a chance to practice speaking Slovak again!

This upcoming week we’ll spend a couple of days promoting the camp in high schools, and then on Wednesday we head for Prague.  In Prague we’ll begin The Amazing Race, where we’ll complete challenges and race from one side of the Czech Republic to the other, competing against intern teams serving in other countries throughout Eastern/Central Europe.

Over the next couple of blog posts I plan to introduce you to each of the other interns/team members, so check back soon for more!