Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Some Things I noticed while in London

-I like to walk. Its fun and refreshing and you can take in so much more.
-If you listen to music while riding the underground you cant listen to all the different accents you might hear.
-The underground is small and curved, the men are tall and thin; they have to bend when standing in the underground. That should be fixed.
-I think I need to travel with friends, then I can share all the new experiences with someone. And take better pictures too.
-I really want to be an athletic trainer
-London has a great public transportation system
-I need to find a sense of style. I really don’t mind not having one but when I travel and pack clothes I get to my destination and realize that a: the clothes I packed don’t match, b: I don’t want to wear the clothes I packed, or c: I just really don’t like them. I was very aware of these things while in London because everyone clearly has their own sense of style and is confident in it. I need to learn how to do this.
-I like the Olympics
-I like meeting new people.
-I have a great relationship with my family.
-Somehow British guys can pop their collars and look good.
-For some reason I found British guys to look better in general.
-Even though I had things to catch up on when I got back my trip was much needed. Even though I was doing “work” while I was there it was good for me to have a little change in my daily routine. 


First thing today, drove to UWM from home to go to my last Introduction to Kinesiology class. Kind of a waste of time; just reviewed for the final exam next week. Then I made up the exam I missed last week for the same class. Took about 20 minutes. Not difficult.
I got my CPR/AED certifications and met with the Director of Athletic Training to talk about how to raise money for next summer’s trip to the Olympics. She was so helpful and put me in touch with someone who will set up a fund for me through UWM so that people will be donating to UWM, even though the money will go to me when I need it. So that was extremely good news! Really encouraging since I was nervous that people wouldn’t take too much interest in donating financial support to an individual. Things are in motion for next summer people! 

On to finding a place to live while I’m in London next summer!

Competition Begins!

Saturday: Today was a bit more exciting since competitions actually started for the wrestlers. I had the morning shift and was late, of course. And today the construction started on my normal route so I had to take the longer one. But it was fine and there was a lot to do once I got there. Just setting up the mats and area of competition for the matches. And then after that: I got to watch! :) It was very exciting to watch, and then my shift was done. It went by really fast and I hardly did anything.
After the shift I went downtown London and explored Harrod’s, which I had been told is a London experience. It’s a huge store, and as soon as I walked in the doors I felt overwhelmed and wanted to leave. It was huge! Six stories and out basically as far as it went up. It was way too much merchandise for me to handle. Afterward I went back to “the flat” and just relaxed for a little bit. Uel and Nina were there and had waited to have dinner with me, but before we went to dinner they took me for a little tour around London. They drove me around and told me a lot about the city. It was great! And so pretty because it was dark out so all the lights in the city and decorations were up, I loved it. Then Uel and Nina took me to dinner at an Authentic Turkish restaurant. Delicious is all I can say about that!
Sunday: Today was great. I went to church with Uel and Nina; “All Soul’s church in London”. It’s beautiful and big. I liked it a lot. Then I started my last shift. :(
I did basically the same work as I had done yesterday, still fun. Watched some wrestling, and then ran over to the weightlifting to watch my friend lift. She did really well and I was proud of her.
Fortunately, the group that carries the country flags in front of the athletes when they walk in was short today so I got to do that a bit. For basically 3 hours. I also was able to present medals at the medal ceremony. So much fun! After the competition was done my team was in charge of clean up which took an hour or two and then we were done! Goodbye’s, exchanges of emails and customary goodbye traditions followed.
Monday: Flight back to the US. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!

Oh My! I will be back in the states in two days! Crazy! Time has gone by so fast and I have done a ridiculously awful job of keeping my blog updated. I don’t even know where to begin.
I wont even talk much about my second day here. I tested out my route to the ExCel Arena (where the competition was taking place), walked around a bit, and then went to Trafalgar Square in London. Which I must say is probably one of my favorite places. I’m not sure why as there isn’t much to do there but to me there seems like there is a lot to look at. In the evening I went with Nina to her Bible study group. It was good; they had been doing a study of 1 John. Tough stuff, but interesting of course and I learned a bit.
Wednesday: I went to the ExCel for “training”. It wasn’t very informative, basically just information about the arena itself and important people we should know. Kind of a waste, but then we got a tour and saw where the wrestling competition would take place and got a small feeling of the magnitude of the event the volunteers will be involved with. We finished a little bit early, I got back to “the flat” about 8pm had dinner and went to sleep planning to wake up early and check out more of London on Thursday.
Thursday: Epic Fail. I did not wake up early enough to go into London. Just made it to Starbucks and the Underground to get to the ExCel. My shift was pretty boring. The athletes did arrive today, which was great. Got to see the American’s, didn’t talk to the guys I knew but they were training and looked good. My job consisted of sitting in the equipment room and walking around watching the different countries train. Unfortunately I cant say too much about what I do, which is quite silly because I don’t do much. But if you think of me like a gopher for athletes (or anybody really) then you’d be close to my job description.
Friday: The days started blending together on Friday, but today I DID wake up early. I felt very accomplished by the time I got to my shift at the ExCel. I left “the flat” about 10am and got to Covent Garden by 11. My shift was at 1:30 and I didn’t have to hop back on the underground until 1 so I had a lot of time to “bum around”. Covent Garden is basically a bunch of shops and boutiques together in a concentrated area. It’s very similar to Quincy Market (in Boston) for those of you who have been there. I also visited the Royal Opera House and walked past, because I was to scared to go in, the Royal Ballet. Kind of exciting. I also went down to Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace. I walked up right as the changing of the guard started and got to see the whole thing sitting on a stone “fence”. I walked up to the palace once the crowds had left and the gates were open, the flag was on the palace (so the queen was there), and a car was leaving! But there wasn’t anyone important in the car, you could see through the windows and it was just two guys. Not very exciting. Then finally I made my way to the ExCel. My shift was pretty much the same as Thursday, athletes practiced, I sat around, and drank tea J. I also individually labeled the 50+ stress balls that were supposed to be used for the draw for the competition.

They were never used.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


December 5, 11

So I’m in London. No Big Deal. Got in yesterday morning and arrived at my host’s “flat” about 730am. My host’s are extremely nice and so much fun. I enjoy talking with them and felt at home right away. They have given me a lot of space and have been so helpful with everything like getting around, what to see, where to eat, etc.
Yesterday when I got in I planned to take a nap from 10-11 and then go out and sightsee. My one-hour nap turned in to a 6-hour nap. I woke up about 430, freshened up and still went out despite the darkness. It gets dark much earlier here in London, about 4 o’clock, and it doesn’t get light out in the morning until about 9 or later. I went out to “Upper St.” and walked around. It’s a very busy and nice street. There are lots of boutiques and restaurants. I stopped in at a Starbucks and got some coffee. I didn’t want to be out when my hosts (Nina and Uel Barklay) got home. So I was out for about an hour and when I got back to the “flat” I watched some Friends on tv and skyped with my family.
            Even though I hadn’t done much I was tired and went to bed relatively early at about 1030pm.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


There is no countdown anymore!
Tomorrow I will leave for O'hare International Airport at 10am and hopefully be on a plane to London at 3:50pm. It's going to be a long day but worth it.
I was successful in accomplishing 2 of the 3 things I had planned to do before I left.
I completed my math exam. It was difficult and my professor said she would curve our scores...good thing
I took ballet with my old instructor. It was a lot of fun and so good to really dance (I take ballet at UWM but it sure doesn't seem like really ballet). I packed....but I was mostly packed on Friday and had just a few small things to put in my suitcase, and packing wasn't really one of my 3 things anyways, but I wanted you all to know that I did pack.
Unfortunately though because I'm leaving at 10am I will not be going to church. Definitely sad for me but already I have had encouragement from members of my church in Wauwatosa so I will be happy to see them when I come back.
All thats left to do is sleep and pack my toothbrush in the morning. Next blog may come from over the ocean!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I can hardly believe I’m three days away from going to London for the Test Event. Time has gone by so quickly and it is unbelievable. To think that over a year ago I filled out the application to volunteer and over 6 months ago I had my interview is crazy! But here it is.
Now that its so close I'm getting much more excited. Still a little nervous about the initial arrival and getting to my host family but God is watching. He will protect me so I should be fine. 
I'm packing and trying to think of everything I will need. The big thing right now is will I need my rain boots? Or as my wonderful British friend, Caroline, calls them; will I need my "wellies"? Of all the things I should be thinking and asking about that is the one question I can't answer.
Its wet in London right? Correct. I looked up the weather for the next 10 days, from today, and it is going to rain every day. So it makes sense to bring them I think. But it also probably violates whatever kind of volunteer uniform is in place. Bummer. I really like my "wellies". 
Let's see, I've been trying to think of how to make this blog more interesting. I don't want to bore people because all of this is exciting to me but how do I keep you interested. Since its three days till my departure I'll tell you one thing that I'm going to do each day. Probably none of them related to my trip either.
Friday: Take a math exam. YAY!!! Math is my absolute least favorite and worst subject. 
Saturday: Take a Ballet class. For real YAY!! It will be taught by my old instructor and I absolutely love taking his class. It'll be a good send off. Oh and I will probably pack too...
Sunday: Go to church. Its important. My church is like my family. And this trip is important to me, and I have the full support and prayers of my church family. I can't just skip out on the body of Christ that has supported me my whole life.
So maybe that was more interesting. Maybe not. The next post might be from London...might be from over the ocean, might be from O'hare international airport; or from my room the night before I leave because I can't sleep. We will see.