A Sweet Swiss-Californian Wedding

Love bloomed in Papua New Guinea when my former housemate Jen and pilot Timon (by the way Timon is the Tim referred to in this crazy story) got to know each other through pingpong games, trips to Goroka, interesting conversations and much much more.  Their world tour of a love story is not uncommon in my world but it still is amazing.  Jen is from California although I didn’t know her before I lived in PNG and Timon grew up in Madagascar but his family is Swiss.  And now after an amazing wedding they are man and wife.  The plan is to live in Switzerland for awhile at first but who knows where they will end up in the future.  Enjoy these pictures highlights from my weekend in Switzerland.

Setting the Scene.  Switzerland at its finest.  The alps in the background, the cow bells jangling, the sound of alphorn harmony, children frolicking in the fields and an all around lovely setting.

And the pre-wedding to-dos.  I was thrilled to be a part of the rehearsal and get to know Jen’s other California friends.  There was the planning, last minute details and finally getting the bride ready!  My contributions were the bow and the toes.  So much fun!

And then the wedding!  Jen’s flowers were beautiful and pink.  The church looked lovely and it was so fun to watch Jen and Timon together and so obviously in love.  They were presented with a German Bible which was not only to be for their marriage but also to help Jen with her language skills.  The wedding was done in both English and Swiss German.  We even sang worship songs in English, German and Swiss German.  It was tons of fun and good for the language part of my brain to be with this multilingual crowd.

Once they were pronounced man and wife, the party began.  There was an appetizer time with lovely food, beer, wine, music, socializing, picture taking and other fun things.  Then the party moved via caravan (complete with bows on cars, horn honking, candy throwing and general festiveness) until we all came to a park where Jen and Timon took pictures while everyone else went on a scavenger hunt.  Then Jen and Timon went for a boat ride and we all greeted them at the pier with a toast.  Then after that there was a three course meal spread out over the rest of the evening and in between was games (Swiss tradition and super fun!), more socializing, dancing and other fun traditions from California and Switzerland.  There was even time to enjoy the beautiful sunset over the Bodensee.

Needless to say it was a lovely weekend.  Congratulations Jen and Timon.  May you have many many happy years together!

Reminders Before I Travel

This evening I fly out of San Francisco.  My brother and I will drive down, have dinner with Grandma and then I will be dropped off at the airport.  I am all packed and under weight.  42 pounds in my suitcase and it almost rattles because it is so empty.  A lot hinges on this trip.  Maybe I will fall in love with a country, a team and a group of people and know that’s where I am suppose to go.  Maybe I will love multiple places and have a difficult decision ahead of me.  Maybe nothing will seem quite right and I will come home wondering just what God is trying to teach me.  Maybe I will be swept off my feet by some handsome stranger sitting next to me on one of my 12 different flights.  I don’t know, maybe the odds are not in my favor on that one.  But that’s one of the appealing things about travel, the world is literally at my fingertips and anything can happen.

So just a few quick reminders for you my faithful blog reader:

1. Be patient with me.  I will try to update my blog whenever I can but it will most likely be more sporadic.  However, I promise to keep my camera in hand and my ear open for any interesting cultural stories.

2. If you receive an email from me asking for money, don’t send any.  Even if the hackers get the country right this time, I am ok.  Even if everything I am carrying gets stolen and I am lying bleeding in the streets, I have other ways of taking care of myself.  I will ask the people I am going to be staying with, I will contact my bank, I will contact my employer, I will contact JUST my parents, anything besides sending out a mass email asking for a ridiculous amount of small unmarked bills.  And my plane tickets for the return trip are also already purchased.  If this is not making any sense to you, read the post that I wrote after my email was hacked soon after my last trip and DON’T send money.

3. Just to make it easier on the hackers though, here is my general itinerary so you can be praying for me specifically in each place.  First stop, South Asia for a week.  Then a weekend in Switzerland for a wedding.  Second work stop, Berlin for week.  Then I fly into Hungary and get picked up and driven to Slovakia for another week long work stop.  And finally I have a day or so in Hungary before flying back to Berlin and then back to California.  I will be back on American soil on June 7th, a month from today.

4. Please pray!  Pray for the actual travel, all of the flight connections, layovers and airport pick-ups.  Pray for health and safety.  Pray for interesting opportunities for conversations.  And pray that I would gain wisdom and direction for the future.

Richard Rohr once said, “A good journey begins with knowing where we are and being willing to go somewhere else.”  I know I am willing to go somewhere else but I think this trip will help me to figure out where I currently am.  Thanks for being a part of this with me.