Well, folks, you may think I spent all my time just being a tourist, but I actually spent a fair amount of time keeping up with emails, dealing with an urgent matter, and receiving an on-line training. However, I probably got twice as much done as I do in Niger because the internet actually worked! :)
Thursday I went into Oxford around noon to meet up with a British gal who is interested in serving as a short-termer in Niger. I had arranged to meet John at Carfax Tower. As I was waiting for him, I saw a guy setting up a cart and laying out his items to sell on it. I thought, "Hmm, that really likes like Tamjaq jewelry." I went over and saw that it was indeed Tamajaq jewelry, so I struck up a conversation with him. He said he used to travel to Niger himself to get the jewelry, but now with travel cautions he goes to Marakech in Morocco and gets it there. He told me he wanders from town to town. He lives in a caravan and just moves on when he gets tired of a place. John showed up about then and we met our new friend and a SIM mobiliser in a pub and had a great lunch with them.
On Friday John and I took the bus to Cambridge.
John counted 58 round-abouts between Oxford and Cambridge. It took us three hours, 40 minutes to travel 60 miles, which we figured was an average of 15 miles per hour. The bus stopped a lot and only a little of it was highway driving. At least we got to see a lot of towns along the way! When we arrived we found a little park along the River Cam and ate our picnic lunch.
John's doctoral supervisor teaches in Cambridge.
He is retiring, so his office at Ridley Hall was devoid of books and personal belongings. Ridley Hall's website says that they have "an established identity as a vibrant, multi-activity, evangelical Anglican theological college within the Cambridge Theological Federation." Now you know as much as I do! It is a beautiful place, but I only went in the one office building.
John is one of the last students he's seeing through the process. He was very positive and affirming and gave John some great guidance for his dissertation writing.
While they were chatting, I went around the block and walked in the gardens of Newnham College, an all-women's school. It was really beautiful.
Spring is one of my favorite times of year with all the flowers in bloom and the grass so amazingly green. Or maybe it just seems so green to me after being in Niger!
I then walked around Cambridge a bit, but my leg was hurting after my adventure on Wednesday and I didn't have a phone and was afraid of getting lost, so I pretty much just re-traced my steps back to our pre-arranged meeting place. While I was waiting there I got witnessed to by some Mormons.
When John was done with his meeting, we piled back in the bus for another almost-four hour bus trip home. It was so nice to find a hot meal prepared by our hostess waiting for us when we got home!