Welcome to Your BUS to Vilnius

So, there we were, in the Frankfurt (Germany) airport, handing our boarding passes to the attendant, and being excited about heading finally to Lithuania. We go down the walkway, turn right, down again, and turn left to…go outside….to..a BUS??

Just when we were thinking we had REALLY gotten gypped by the travel agent, the bus took off across the tarmac and pulled up to a row of planes that did not have proper gates, and were only parked along the vast airport runway system. We filed out of the bus, and up a flight of movable stairs into our aircraft for our final flight.

Once inside, the seats were the most comfortable seats I have every had the privilege of sitting in while aboard an aircraft, and I settled in for a very luxurious flight. Above the grey skies and thick cloud banks, bright horizons and a blanket of snow white clouds beneath put my flight into the realms of serenity.

While not quite so poetic, my travels today have been very smooth and, dare I say, relaxing. We had breakfast in the Netherlands, lunch in Germany, and dinner in Lithuania. No problems with luggage, customs, airlines, or anything else for that matter. There was even no checkpoint in the Vilnius airport….no one asked for our insurance information (as we were told they would) and no one stopped us. We only paused to change dollars into litas, and to catch a taxi to our hostel.

Currently it is in the low 50s F, about 17 C, and rainy, like a fall day in the north-east United States. Hannah and I are settling in for a hopefully quiet and relaxing evening.

More to come, plus pictures…

Peace and Love

Phil

Oh the Places I Will Go

Hello everyone,

I have added photos from my stay in the Netherlands…head over to my facebook to check them out. For those of you without Fbook, I am working on getting them on my web site, but that will take longer, so please have patience.

Thanks.

Phil

A Coffee Shop Isn’t

Once upon a time, two groups of not so happy people were living in a forest. One group found some brown beans, roasted them, and boiled them, and discovered coffee, and they were no longer unhappy. The other group found some leaves, crushed and rolled them and smoked the roles, and were very happy. Both groups returned to the Netherlands and set up shops to share their happiness. Now, when you want to be very happy, stop by a Coffee Shop. When you simply want some coffee, show up at a Cafe. Lesson learned…pictures to follow.

So, I have now been in Holland for two days. The flight over was good and uneventful. My first day I just hung out with my friend Anja, who I knew from Papua New Guinea….we chilled, walked around town, and later in the evening went to a birthday party for an older gentlemen friend of hers and had a blast joking with his (adult) children about the Olympics and the upcoming semester in Lithuania.

Today, I met up with my friend Hans, and, along with two of his cousins, Hannah Anja and myself went to the small town of Utrecht. We toured the Catholic church with the tallest tower in Holland, and climbed every single one of 400-something stairs (we stopped counting) to see the view from the top, which was incredible. We could see the Amsterdam skyline on the horizon, and the whole town laid out in front of us. We also walked around an outdoor market (were I got a new hat!) and went back to Anja’s for some Chinese takeout. I since have come home with Hans so that Hannah and Anja can have some “girl” time together.

I will have pictures soon, but I am doing well and feeling fantastic in Holland.

More to come….

~Phil

A Last Hurrah

Well, everyone, the time is almost here: Study Abroad Time…my trip to Lithuania.

I am excited, nervous, scared, and impatient to be going. We, my girlfriend Hannah and I, will be driving to Washington/Dullus and will be flying at approximately 1717 tomorrow evening and arriving in Amsterdam around 0700 Friday morning. We will hang out with some Dutch friends for a few days before flying to Vilnius, Lithuania by way of Frankfurt, Germany. After which we have a week trip around Lithuania before settling in at Lithuania Christian College International University for a semester of study.

We will be meeting up with about 20 students from various colleges and universities from around the U.S. who will be studying with us. We have already been in contact with several other students, who, like us, will be arriving in Vilnius the evening before we were supposed to arrive, and we will be getting dinner together and getting to know each other. Fun stuff.

So, on for today: getting things finalized at the college, doing last-minute laundry, packing, and trying not to panic.

More news as event warrant, and possible updates from the aiport(s) if there is free wireless to be connected to.

Oh yeah, please…if you have my cell number, DO NOT CALL ME as it will cost $3.49 PER MINUTE if you do. (that is, do not call me after 5pm tomorrow evening). Thank You for your assistance.

Well, that is all for now,

Peace.

In the Air(Port)

Hello, friends,

It’s been awhile since I have written, so since I have time here in Harrisburg International (??) Airport, I think I will update.

Let me begin by saying that the “Hour and a half before domestic flights” really does not apply to small airports. I suppose I should have known this, but I got here and went through security and they x-rayed my bag twice (hopefully it didn’t cook the hard drives I have in there) and I still have 2 hours to wait. Oh well. At least they have free wireless flooding the terminal. This place reminds me of Goroka airport, except that it has 11 more gates (for a whopping total of: 12 whoot) and it’s more clean, and paranoid about security. After all, it was in Goroka airport that I held my first M16. Anyway, I for one am thankful for the paranoia…maybe it will save some lives somewhere down the road, you never know.

My summer stands almost over. I have spent it in quiet reflection, pondering, translating Ruth from Hebrew into English, and other sundry projects. Oh yeah, and plenty of relaxation. This summer’s unexpected fun: Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible. Check him out.

Coming up: A trip to Virginia for 8 days (that would be why I am in the airport).
Insane packing and stuff.
A semester study abroad in Lithuania.

So, while in Virginia I hope to see the ocean which I haven’t seen in several years. It may not seem like a big deal, but I grew up pretty close to the ocean (about 5-15 minutes drive) and we would visit often to watch the sunset and throw a frisbee around, and it is something I really miss. I swear when I arrive in Norfolk I can smell the ocean, and it smells like home. Nowhere else really smells like home. I will also see my brother, that will be cool, too. Hopefully we will get some quality time to hang and just kick it. We also should get over to see the rage: Batman: Dark Knight, and then hopefully Mummy 3 with Jet Li as the new kung-fu mummy. I will also get to see my Aunt Jane and stay with her for several days; that is always fun and crazy.

Then I come back here to little Grantham to finish packing, move some more junk into storage (I cannot believe how much stuff a person can accumulate) and finalize packing before I head to Lithuania for my study abroad. More on that later.

On another note, this terminal has a very nice selection of music on its in house radio. It’s nice to be able to say that, actually…sometimes it is hard to block that stuff out if it is some annoying pop.

So my next stop, will be Philly, where I have been a few times before, and another hour wait before the hop to VA. In all, this looks to be a really easy and relaxed few hours of travel. See you on the flip side.

Peace.