Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fondue and Chocolate

It's hard to believe that we have been here for 5 days already...but it's almost equally hard to believe that we have only been here for 5 days. Besides the temperature and jet lag, we have adjusted pretty quickly, and are finally getting into something that resembles a routine.

On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, our DTS class went to see the 50th Anniversary Celebration of YWAM in Lausanne. The founders of YWAM, Loren and Darlene Cunningham, are hosting 40 of these Celebrations at various spots all over the world so we joined up with bases/leaders/students from all over Europe to listen to Loren and Darlene and various other speakers talk about what has been going on with YWAM over the past 50 years and what will be happening in the future. The first night was outside at the Lausanne base and incredibly cold but the next 2 days were at La Ligue (and indoors!).

I tried to take some pictures of the Celebration and of the drive to/from Lausanne and La Ligue but they're pretty blurry, so here are the others:

La Ligue - it was too cold to take any decent pictures at Lausanne. My fingers weren't working.

Loren speaking

On the last day, they rolled out a huge world map and had everyone walk around on it and choose a place to commit to praying for or eventually going to. Since we think we will be sent to Mongolia for the Peace Corps, we chose it. Everyone else headed for warmer parts of the map :) 

Yesterday evening, we thought we could catch a brilliant sunset across the street at the base's garden, so we bundled up and walked over. Since the sun sets behind the mountains, it isn't quite as intense as it was in Jupiter, but we were a little spoiled there. Either way, we got some great lighting to practice some photography and show off our awesome views.

We think that these are Dahlias. For some reason, even though it is cold here, the plants are incredibly vibrant.

Sunset over the mountains from the garden.

Apple trees. I looooove apples and they are tiny and crispy and amazing here.

Houses next to the garden

David's accidental awesome picture

More dahlias.

The weather was beautiful out today before lunch, so we walked through the village and took a lot more pictures but they still need to be uploaded. 

Everything else is going well. I think the weather is supposed to warm up a little bit this weekend and people at the other class here are arriving, so we've finally got next-door neighbors. We also have some free time at night, so get on Skype so we can talk to you face-to-face and in English! 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Few Pictures

We have a temporary converter and therefore, temporary internet on my computer, which means I can post the few pictures we've taken over the past few days. Enjoy!

Chicago from the Sky

Quick stop for dinner with Diana and Brandon

Copenhagen Airport


Home sweet home for the next 3 months

View from our window. It's hard to see in the picture but the dark outline in the back is the Alps.

We went on a tour of the town this morning and there are a LOT of great photo ops up here. I didn't take my camera and am too cold to venture out now but we'll definitely take a lot of pictures here. If I leave Switzerland with nothing else, it will be a billion pictures. 


I stole this picture from Google Images and its not exactly our view but it is definitely pretty similar. It is amazing how vibrant all the grass and plants are here!

We made it! It's still a little crazy to believe that we are actually in Switzerland but we are and really, the whole process was pretty uneventful. We had a minor (which sure felt major at the time) snafu at the Atlanta airport and I seriously doubted whether or not we'd make our flight but alas, all is well. We got to see our friends Diana, Brandon, Katie and Mike in Chicago, and played a rousing game of "gay or European" in the Chicago, Copenhagen (which is more like a mall that planes sometimes fly into) and Geneva airports.

We were also pleasantly surprised to be picked up by our new YWAM friends in Geneva, which means we haven't had to tackle the train...yet.

We are still trying to figure out power adapters/converters and wireless access so I can't upload any pictures yet (and I'm trying to type on a French keyboard...) but it is absolutely beautiful here. We're tucked up in the mountains and surrounded by fields and big cows and precious little houses. So stereotypical European! It's also a lot colder than I was ready for - last week in Athens, it was in the 90s. Today the high here is 54. So between that and the crazy time changes (I had "dinner" [salmon!] on the plane in Chicago at like 11pm and then "lunch" [a sandwich] at like 3am our time...), I'm doing some major acclimating. Thankfully, we have a giant bottle of Tylenol PM and I'm doing my best to get on local time.

We're also really excited about getting started with our classes. There are only 9 people in our DTS class - 4 speak English, 4 speak French and one is bilingual, so everything is being translated. I'm hoping this will be a great opportunity to learn some major French, but so far I can only count to 10, so it's doubtful :) This year is also the 50th anniversary of YWAM and the founders, Loren and Darlene Cunningham, are going all around the world having celebrations. This week, they are in Lausanne, which is just down the road from us, so we are kicking off our time here with them learning about and celebrating the impact YWAM has had in Switzerland, and the world, over the past 50 years.

More pictures (that actually belong to us) and updates to come!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Skipping Towns!

Friday is almost here! After months of planning, praying, and packing, we leave for our Discipleship Training School on Friday afternoon.

We'll drive here:
Atlanta, GA

We'll leave from here:
Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport

We'll fly to here:
Short layover in Chicago, IL

Then, we'll fly to here:
Another short layover in Copenhagen, Denmark

And then we'll fly over these:
The Alps

As we enter into:

And land here:
Geneva, Switzerland

Then, we'll take a train along this:
Switzerland's Lake Geneva

And eventually stop here:
Burtigny, Switzerland

Where we'll live here:
YWAM Burtigny - Home!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Leeaavvvvinnngg on a Jet Plane

At this time next week, we'll be sitting in Atlanta waiting to board our plane to cross the big pond! The mailman must have known that today is monumental, because he brought my new headlamp. Nothing says "winter in the Swiss Alps" like hibiscus flowers, right?

Switzerland, here we come!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Living Out of a Suitcase: Week 2

So long, Virginia! We rolled into Athens today after 2 weeks with David's family in Virginia and a little mini "vacation" with David's dad in downtown Atlanta last night. It is crazy to me that we won't see his family again until we are back from DTS, and it definitely hasn't hit me yet that in 2 weeks from now, we'll be wrapping up our first full day in Switzerland. I'm predicting that I will have eaten my weight in fondue and chocolate 24 hours into the trip.

Anyways, the rest of our time in Virginia was fabulous. We did a little sightseeing, drove up to Blacksburg to walk around the Virginia Tech campus, and of course, ate, ate, ate.

Easily my favorite picture from the Donut Dash. 

The donuts we actually ate. Even Brent managed to find room for these incredible creations from Blue Collar Joe's. 

Uh have I mentioned that I love, love, love farmer's markets? I do. Especially this one in Blacksburg.

Final Farewell Virginia dinner at The Homeplace. Confession: I stole this picture from somewhere in cyberspace. Thanks to whoever took it.

The back of The Homeplace after dinner. Not stolen. 

View from our room at the Westin Peacetree. Amaaaazing.

...and from the SunDial restaurant. So good to be back in good 'ol Jawja!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dough Boy

Yesterday morning, there was a race in downtown Roanoke where contestants would run 1.5 miles, eat 12 Krispy Kreme Glazed Doughnuts, and then run another 1.5 miles. This gluttonous insanity is known as The Donut Dash. You're probably thinking the Aldridges are not crazy enough to participate in something like that, and you're right...kinda'. My younger brother, Brent, decided to take the challenge.

We volunteered at the event and served as doughnut counters, which meant we counted to make sure people ate all 12 doughnuts before they could continue on with the race. It was a hilarious and rather disgusting scene, and I never thought I would see so many people successfully eat 12 doughnuts and run 3 miles. Brent did the Aldridge family proud as he led for half the race (the doughnuts slowed him down) and finished 4th overall. Here are some highlight shots.

Setting up the boxes for the challenge contestants. Each box held a dozen glazed Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.

Doughnut Judges! We were responsible for giving stickers to the people who were able to actually finish all their doughnuts.

Brent decided to wear his cross country uniform for aero-dynamic purposes and to add to the insanity of this entire process. Notice his strategy of pressing six doughnuts together and trying to eat them all at once.

It didn't take long for Brent to regret his six-at-a-time strategy.

Congrats on a great finish, Brent!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Living Out of a Suitcase: Week 1

Today marks the end of our first week away from West Palm Beach. We're living out of our suitcases for the next 3 weeks but the big adventure ahead of us makes it all totally worth it. The weather here in Virginia has been amazing and we've enjoyed eating everything in sight spending quality time with David's family. Here are some picture highlights of our first week as nomads (pretty much all taken on the same day. Oops):

What are these things? Oh yeah, mountains. Being here has made me realize how FLAT Florida is!

Our new favorite "restaurant" is Pop's! Even though their menu is limited to grilled cheese sandwiches and Homestead Creamery ice cream creations, we managed to go 3 days in a row.

David's rocky road sundae. Incredible.

Brunch at the Millstone Tea Room. So quaint, so cute.

Unfortunately, this is not our dog...

...and not our picnic. But I pretended like I was creative enough to bring along a little snack to eat in the sun. And one day I'll have that giant dog!