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Showing posts from June, 2016

Trip to England, Part VII, in Which We Stop in Turkey on Our Way Back to Niger

John was born in Turkey and lived there until he was four years old.  He has few memories of it, but we've both always been fascinated by his dad's pictures of Turkey.  We'd love to have time to see some of the biblical sites and famous places, but that's a trip that would take planning and an outlay of money.  So, we were excited to find out that we could schedule our flight back to Niger in such a way as to give us an overnight in Istanbul, Turkey.  John has a college friend living in Istanbul and they offered to have us stay with them.

We arrived from London late in the afternoon and his friend met us there.  Istanbul is a HUGE city and our friend decided it was easier to take the train home than to try to drive all the way.  Istanbul is half in Europe and half in Asia and John's friends live on the Asia side.  It took us almost two hours to get there by train and then the last little bit by taxi.  We changed trains numerous times and went in a tunnel under the B…

Trip to England, Part VI in Which We Visit Christ Church College

After our weekend in Nottingham, we returned to Oxford to prepare for our return to Niger.  We took the train back, arriving around noon. 

 After lunch at our host family's house, we hopped on the bus and went back into Oxford.  The different times I've been in Oxford with John, I used my time to visit the different colleges the comprise Oxford University.  Poor John, though, is there to study and work hard so he had hardly seen any of the colleges.  We decided to rectify that by visiting one on our last day and decided to visit one of the most well known and iconic, Christ Church College.

Most of us Americans are used to having a university all on one campus.  Within that university we will have the School or College of Medicine, School of Journalism, School of Literature, etc.  There are probably some universities like that in England, but many, including Oxford University and Cambridge University, have a very different structure.  There are 38 colleges and six Permanent Priva…

Trip to England, Part V in Which We Travel to Nottingham and Meet the Sheriff

Our last weekend in England, we traveled up to Nottingham to visit friends of ours, Clive and Karen.  We had gotten to know them when they did a short-term in Niger.  Their kids are the same ages as ours.  We went up by train on a Thursday afternoon.  They had a niece and her husband also visiting them that evening.  He's a that's how we met the sheriff.  (He's not based in Nottingham, though.)

On Friday Clive and Karen planned a special outing for us.  We drove about 36 miles northeast where we visited the Chatsworth House, just inside the Peak District National Park.  This area is also known as the Derbyshire Dales and books such as Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice are set in this area.  The current Duke and Duchess of Devonshire have private apartments there and they are able to keep the house going by opening it for tours, weddings, and photography of special events.  I looked on the website to see how much a wedding package would cost and they don&…

Trip to England, Part IV in Which I Get Special Treatment at the Museum

On the day that we had breakfast with Brian and Lura, I mentioned that since it was a rainy day I'd go to the Ashmolean Museum and look around there until it was time to meet John for lunch.  It's a nice museum and is free and I figured it would be a good day to spend a rainy morning even though I'd been there before.

Lura said she'd heard that there was a Lilias Trotter display at the museum.  Lilias Trotter was born in 1853 into a wealthy family.  She had a natural gift for art and took some lessons under John Ruskin who assured her she could be a great artist.  However, she felt the call of God on her life and became a missionary to Algeria.  When I got to the museum, rather than spend all my time wandering around looking for the display, I inquired at the help desk.  "No," they told me, "there is no such display here.  But let me look it up just to make sure."  The Help Lady's research showed that there were, indeed, some of Lilias Trotter…