“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.” (1 Peter 3:8)
My first full week ‘on the job’! I am slowly adjusting to my new temporary life here in Florence and so far I am loving it. I am getting to know more and more fun people every day and I feel like I am becoming a part of this crazy big OM-family. Although I have spent most of my hours at in the warehouse, it was still a very fun week. Time for a breakdown.
Monday, July 8
It has been a week since I first started working at the warehouse and I am finally getting the hang of it. So far I’ve been sorting, checking, counting and packing books, I’ve been racing through the library with my little cart to place books in the right aisle and I have even spent an entire day removing stickers from book covers. And to be honest, I haven’t been bored one minute. My entire day is one big work-out and time goes by really fast because of all the fun people I get to work with. I am constantly running through the warehouse and lifting boxes of heavy books and I feel stronger every day. And there are new people coming in every morning or afternoon and the fun thing is: me and my fellow STEP-pers are being invited almost every single day. We get invited to have dinner at someone’s house, to come to a church service on Sundays or to go on a trip to some fun place. And that’s how we ended up at the Galloway family on a hot Monday night. In their beautiful colorful house I had a healthy meal for the first time in days (sorry, mom) and we had a blast playing UNO together. It’s kinda fun getting to know so many new people!
Wednesday, July 10
On Wednesday there was another new thing scheduled for me: I was going to ‘work’ at the Marketing & Communications department. I got to help Augusta out with making a presentation about the mission outreaches that took place when the Logos Hope was in dry dock. I don’t have a lot of working experience, so I still felt like an intern. But as my roommate Shinee said: “You gotta start somewhere”. So it is nice to take a look behind the scenes at the M&C department here and learn as much as I can!
During lunch we had a nice ‘goodbye-feast’ for the Schwarzmann family, who will move back to Switzerland next Thursday after four and a half years of serving here in Florence. There was cake, there were ribs and presents, but most of all: there were tears!
In the evening my lovely fellow STEP-pers Raquel and Silvia decided to go to the gym and although I left all of my energy at the warehouse, I decided to go with them. My first time at a gym! I felt like the biggest noob on Earth, but after almost two hours of running, cycling and rowing, I was kind of proud of myself. Time to get in shape for the next soccer season!
Thursday, July 11
Another invitation, yay! During the day, co-worker Miles invited Raquel, Silvia and me to have dinner with his wife Patty. He also invited Su, Deborah and Joanna (a family from Texas), and my other roommate Shinee to come with us. So the nine of us ended up in a fancy Indian restaurant, where I ate my first Indian food ever! During dinner we talked about all the fun places we traveled to and the food and culture in our countries. Su and her daughters (and husband) had lived in Malaysia, Japan and England before moving to Texas so it was interesting to talk with them. Miles and his wife had served on the ship for some years before moving to Germany and of course we had my three roommates from Bolivia, Pakistan and Argentina. It was so much fun to have all these different nationalities at one table because there was so much to talk about!
PS: I also had my driving test today and I passed, so I am finally able to drive. Hooray!
Friday, July 12 & Saturday, July 13
On Friday the girls and I went to Amy’s Goodbye Party. She is one of the Schwarzmann kiddos and invited us for some pizza. Amy and I have spent quite some time together packing and sorting books and I’ve actually grown fond of her. Well, actually I’ve already grown fond of the entire Schwarzmann family. It always amazes me how some people can invite you into their family like it’s never been any different. Rolf, Damaris, Amy, Ana and Jaden, I will miss you dearly!
On Saturday we had a quiet and easy day, with some grocery shopping, Netflix aaand… well, that was basically it. In the evening Sarah decided to host a movie night at the office, so with some snacks and ice cream we installed ourselves in the main meeting room to watch Shrek the Musical, of all movies… I still don’t really know if it was allowed, but it was a lot of fun to have the entire, empty office to ourselves.
Sunday, July 14
Another Sunday in Florence! Since it’s my personal mission to visit a different church every Sunday, we went to a church called ‘Church at Sandhurst’ this time. An impressive, beautiful baby-blue church building with an even more impressive interior. Like always, we were greeted in a (for me) very American way. “Goodmorning, how are y’all doing today? Is this your first time here? Well, we are very happy to have y’all here this morning. There’s coffee right there, so feel free to take some. If there is anything we can do for y’all, just let us know!” (Read this in a very Southern accent). Well, I always do feel welcome but also a little uncomfortable if I am being very honest. I guess I am just not used to such friendly hospitality. We ended up in a Hillsong-kind-of-worship-service which was actually quite nice. Lead pastor Adam preached about Acts chapter 10, in which Peter meets a Roman centurion named Cornelius and shares to Gospel with him. After church we all went home and enjoyed a super sunny Sunday. Happy Sunday everyone!