Thursday, May 26, 2011

Time is ticking away, some days are crazier than others. These past few months have been a challenge for me. I am learning more and more on how to run a business and it is not always fun for me. Luckily, I am surrounded by a great staff who make difficult days a lot easier to handle. One of my biggest accomplishments is I can balance our books for the shop....OK so that's really not that hard of a task.... but no one in my family would believe that I would do it, so here is my proof-

We have also been working on changing our menu from the winter to summer food. I am a bigger fan of our summer menu, especially our drinks.... But, I am not a fan of the extra work it has been for me. I have had to rewrite recipes, prep lists, and directions for both food and drinks. It has been a lot of work. But, I am confident that it will be good and the girls will be able to do it all!!!

But.... All work and no play is not a good thing. So, on the few nights I do have free, I am finding different things in the city to explore. This past Sunday we went on a hike in the hills outside of Krakow. It was beautiful. And then we heard the thunder and then saw lightening. All of a sudden the sky opened up and it started to pour on us. So, we ran back to the cars and headed home. But, it was a great hike while it lasted!

But, most of all the best thing to learn in all of this is to enjoy the moments of beauty that is all around me. And to do that all I have to do is go to my roof!

Friday, May 6, 2011

My Life is Full of DETOURS

We had 2 days off from the shop this week. My fellow volunteer and I decided that we didn't want to just sit around in Krakow. After all, everything was going to be closed anyways! So, we pulled out my book on central Europe and decided we should plan an adventure. And we had one!!

I never paid much attention to European geography until I moved here. I knew Slovakia was below us, but did not realize how close it actually was to us! So, we decided to go to Slovakia, see some castles and some mountains. I borrowed a car from a friend, he gave us a map and sent us on our way!
We left Monday morning and crossed the boarder in a couple hours. The drive was BEAUTIFUL!!! As soon as we left the city we were in rolling hills and eventually mountains. On and on we went until we got to Spis to see castle ruins. It was a huge castle from the Romanesque period. It was on a huge hill above a small town. We climbed the hill following the trail that is not the main trail.... We walked around and around the hill on a tiny path just wide enough for one step. And if I misstep, down the steep grassy hill I would roll! But, when we finally found out how to enter the castle, it was well worth the creative way to get up there. We explored all of the rooms and ruins before we tromped back down the hill.
We then continued on our drive around the mountains. We found a resort on the side of the mountain. This resort boasted mineral hot springs that could cure anything. So, we crashed there for the night and had a relaxing morning in the pools before heading out to explore some more of the mountain range.
While exploring mountain roads we stumbled upon some caves that we decided to explore! We hiked up the mountain side and wandered through a cave filled with tourists?! But, it was still really neat to see. Along with all of the cave juice that was splashed between the two of us!
After our hiking through the cave we decided it was about time to head back to Krakow. So, we took the long beautiful mountain roads back to the city. It was a great getaway. We didn't have much of a plan when we stated and we got to see all kinds of beautiful scenery. We also spent time getting lost on the roads and on the trails. We took a lot of detours and found a lot of beauty. Sometimes we need those extra twists and turns in life!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Different Kind of Easter & A Concert of Blessings

This was my first Easter out of the States. It was a very different experience. The more I am away from the States the more I think we try to commercialize every holiday. Easter is a big deal here, but not with bunnies and plastic eggs. Easter baskets are something you get before and you fill it with different things such as cheeses, breads, handmade goods, and flowers. Friday evening we had a Great Friday service in the shop. We combined with the Wesleyan church. It was a wonderful time.

Easter Saturday we went to the square. I was informed that this was the Polish thing to do. So, we took a walk down the river in the sunshine and experinced all of the booths on the square that were set up. I tried the fried mountain cheese with cranberry jam! We looked at all of the wonderful hand made items. And I bought a bunch of tulips to decorate our place with. A wonderful day in the sunshine on the square!

Easter Sunday we woke up to pouring rain!!! We dressed in our nice springy easter dresses and then got drenched on the way to church! We had our service with the Wesleyan church. It was a wonderful time. We sang choruses in Polish and listened to our volunteer preach and great traditional Easter sermon! Afterward we headed to the square and had a not so traditional Easter dinner. It was pouring rain on us the whole time! We ate at one of the booths set up. So, we had kielbasa, potatoes, and even a zampikanka! Great traditional Polish food, however not what I would normally eat for Easter dinner! But, us girls enjoyed our time together, even if we were soaking wet!!!

This past Friday night the shop was blessed with a beautiful concert! We have a gospel choir (DeocintriCity) that rehearses in our shop weekly. They had their first ever concert in our shop! Also, they were joined by our friend Kelz, who is a rap artist from the UK. There were at least 45 people in the shop that night, not counting the choir. We were very busy as people ordered food and drinks! But, when the concert started everyone sat in awe. They are a wonderful group and the presence of the Spirit filled the shop. The concert turned into a time of worship. It was AMAZING! Afterward they embarrassed me as they thanked us for opening our shop up to them every week. But, I felt like they Blessed us so much more with their performance. It was a wonderfully successful evening that was enjoyed by all!