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June Adventure

June 20, 2019

      It seems common that I find myself writing the month’s blog on a plane. Honestly, I love this commonality as it means that I have new experiences to share with you. It’s a big blessing to me when I get to travel and see different parts of the world. A blessing I don’t take lightly and I always look forward to. I’m definitely far from a world traveller, but hopefully, one day, I can earn that title. So, here is my past two weeks in a nutshell. I flew to the Bahamas with my family, including my grandparents and cousins, on the 25th of May. We stayed in bathing suits all week in the sun and swam and laughed and caught up on time we haven’t been together. The week was just the rest and soul food I craved after a long second semester of school. Time spent with family, especially at the beach, is rejuvenating to me, and I cherish it always, even more so when we can all be together. Then, my parents and I left there to fly directly to Hamburg, Germany. This was the first trip I have ever taken with just my parents without my two brothers. While I missed the boys, I am so grateful to have had time spent with just them, in light of the crazy fact that I really only have a year left at home. In Hamburg, I had the privilege of attending my first ever Rotary International Conference. Rotary is the largest service organization in the world, and the beautiful mix of cultures and people all living with the mindset of “service above self” was incredibly eye-opening to me. At the conference, Rotarians gather to empower and celebrate each other and the incredible service projects that are being carried out around the world under the banner of Rotary. My dad is heavily involved in Rotary, and I have had the honor of starting an Interact Club as well out of being encouraged by my dad’s involvement. His leadership and willingness to serve Rotary itself and the lives it affects has been an inspiration to me throughout my entire life. Even on a larger scale, being at the conference gave me inspiring insight into what the future of Rotary looks like and hopefully how I can be a part of it. If you haven’t heard about Rotary, I encourage you to do some research. It’s been a special part of my life that has instilled values of service into myself and my family, even inconspicuously at times. Outside of the convention, my mom and I had too much fun exploring around Hamburg while my dad was busy with Rotary meetings, seminars, etc. We walked all around and shopped until our feet hurt. We explored by bike too and ate yummy food. Most of all, we laughed a lot. Then, leaving the city and trading it for the mountains, my parents and I left for Switzerland. Switzerland surpassed all dreams and expectations I had set for it based on pictures I had seen. However, I had to learn a tough lesson the first day we got there. We woke up to fog and heavy clouds covering all of the landscape and mountains our first morning, despite our high hopes of seeing the beauty that Switzerland has to offer. Where we were staying, Mürren, is high in the mountains, and it looked like a white-out. I was very disappointed to not be able to see 100 yards ahead of me when I was dying to see the mountains and greenery, which we only had two and a half days to do. However, my parents and I were still determined to make the most of the day, so we walked all through the mountains down to the gondola, an awesome walk even in the fog, and then went into a city in the valley, Interlaken, where we ate Swiss chocolate, shopped, and walked through the city. The day was still awesome, and what a beautiful, yet tough, reminder to me that there is still beauty in the fog. Our first day was not near what I had hoped for, yet God proved to me once again that He has this crazy way of transforming disappointment into praise if we allow Him to work in our hearts. However, I’m human and still prayed all day, albeit selfishly, for sunshine. And He delivered. The sun started peaking through a bit at dinner that first night, a little reminder of His faithfulness, and then, the next morning, I jumped out of bed to the sunniest day. We went to the top of the mountain, still covered in snow, and did the thrill walk along the side of it as well as saw a view of miles and miles of mountains and the beauty of Switzerland. After that adventure, we went down into the valley and biked (to be honest, we actually e-biked) all through the town of Lauderbrunnen and beyond. It was breathtaking and the best experience. If you know me, you know how ecstatic I was when I got to bike to a mountainside cafe where we had a coffee ice cream sundae and a crazy view of the valley. Needless to say, I thanked Jesus when I went to sleep that night. The next morning, He was once again faithful as the sun was out, and we headed back into Interlaken where our next adventure awaited, paragliding. If you ever come to Switzerland, I beg you to paraglide. It was the best Saturday morning I’ve yet to have, and I mean that. The beauty in the change of perspective, where we were thousands of miles flying through the air, was so amazing. After that, we travelled to Zürich where we walked around and explored the old parts of the city and then stayed overnight until our flight. That brings me to this moment where I am sitting on the plane that is going to bring me back to the states after 2 weeks away. However, home is not in the cards for me yet as I am going directly to a camp and then to Colorado for my brother’s lacrosse tournament. I am very excited for the next week and a half ahead. I say all of this to simply share my recent experiences. I learn so much and am always energized by travelling, even when I’m running on little sleep and facing a big time change. I say this to encourage you to find what energizes you. Find what gives you rest and joy and everything in between. Find what makes you happy and do it! Do it with loved ones, your friends, your family! You might not get to do it all the time; trust me I don’t get to travel all the time! Also, it might not always go as perfectly and as smoothly as we envision; my panic around figuring out a public mass transit system in another language will tell you that. However, it’s so important to cherish what gives you joy. I praise God for the opportunity to even see slivers of His beautiful creation. I have found that doing what energizes you leads you to a posture of praise. It’s when we feel joy that praise becomes natural. I’m not saying by any means that we can’t praise in the gloom. If anything, I learned that hard lesson on our first day in Switzerland. What I’m simply saying is that when you find what energizes you, do it, and praise God for the ability to do so.

With love,

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