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I had an amazing summer! It started in May with my participation in King College's
Italy studies program. I was fortunate to join an amazing group of students and faculty
in a month-long sojourn to the Tuscany region of Italy. Our home base for the month
was the idyllic hilltop town of Montepulciano. It was everything I imagined a Tuscan
village to be--winding cobblestone streets, ancient edifices, beautiful churches,
great food, and wonderful people. I took classes with Dr's. Rohr, Knowles, and Strang
and found each expanding my understanding of the world in which I live.
Our KC group traveled to both Florence and Rome, and on other weekends I was able
to travel to places of my own choosing. Venice was simply fantastic! The canal-streets
were such an incredible and innovative sight to behold. The city was bursting with
life, and rich with vibrant Italian culture.
At the conclusion of our time in Italy, we traveled to Greece where Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis
gave us an insider's guide to his country. One day, we were able to visit the ancient
city of Corinth. Standing in the midst of the excavated city, I could imagine life
during Biblical times. At one point in our tour, we stood at the Bema wall--the very
place the Apostle Paul made his defense of faith 2000 years ago.
After an adventure packed month, the KC group headed back to the U.S. My adventure,
however, was just beginning! I boarded a flight for Europe and with my Eurail pass
in hand began at 2 1/2 week excursion through the continent on my own. From operas
in Berlin and Prague, to exploration of the Austrian countryside, and a Sound of Music
tour, it was an eye opening experience, especially paying nearly $40 for a hamburger
in Switzerland! My favorite experience from this Europe venture most definitely was
in Engelberg, Switzerland. I spent my time exploring and hiking some of the most beautiful
parts of the Swiss Alps, an experience I will never forget.
After this short adventure on my own, I boarded a plane bound for Nairobi, Kenya.
There, I met up with the King College Africa mission team. We spent over a month together
working among the Maasai people under the direction of Fred Foy and Cecily Strang,
my mom and dad. Dad has been working with the nomadic tribe since 1982 and has taken
many student groups over the years to catch a vision of how even a small effort can
transform lives in a significant manner. It is exciting to build relationships with
people across cultural boundaries and learn we had many more commonalities than differences.
One our mission project goals was assistance in the site work of the theological education
and rural retreat center, Oldoinyo Kiti, small mountain, located at the foot of Mt.
Kilimanjaro. Dad says this may be King College's newest satellite extension campus.
That would be amazing to have a semester to study under both King and African faculty
while studying alongside local students in Africa.
I did make it back to Bristol just prior to the fall semester. I did not have much
money in my pocket, but I have incredible memories and a better sense of understanding
what it means to participate in the transformation of culture in Christ. Thanks to
King College, I had an amazing summer! I wonder what is next?