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Spring Break in Scotland – Terry and Sue Anderson

Do you enjoy traveling or does the uncertainty of changing your surroundings give you feelings of trepidation?

We have just returned from a Spring break week in Scotland. We joined Siri Jystad, junior at UJ and her parents, Phil and Shelly Jystad who planned to visit Siri’s older sister, Dana Jystad.

Dana’s year long commitment and assignment by the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Missions (YAGM) is in Edinburgh, Scotland where she has completed her first half at Bethany House, a homeless shelter to young men. We were able to meet her clients and it was very obvious that she was doing an excellent job. They are gratefully housed in a building with meager yet adequate surroundings. The staff helps with the cooking, outings, recreational activities and encouragement and education for working toward independence in society.

Knowing that Jesus guarantees the protection of all of his sheep, we began the fifteen hour trip on Friday, March 4th along with many of you setting off to destinations.

We faced overcast skies and drizzling rain with temps in the upper thirties and low forties. It was actually colder there than the temperatures here in Jamestown. The people seemed so happy to be outside enjoying the warmer weather and the narrow streets were filled with residents, students, and tourists who ate while walking or sat at outside tables and benches.

The city of Edinburgh was fascinating and the people were charming and helpful in all circumstances. The city has 455,000 people who all walk at a brisk pace up and down the steep, cobblestone streets and stairs. We did purchase bus passes for the city navigation system to shorten our trips.

Some of the sights included the Royal Museum of Scotland which as a very modern, beautiful building with four floors of interesting, well documented items. We also visited the Edinburgh Castle and the Elephant House where J.K. Rowling crafted the Harry Potter series.

Our hotel was adjacent to a grocery store, and a Starbucks in the middle of the Edinburgh University campus.

We observed younger children dressed in private school uniforms in yellow and blue, Scotland’s flag colors. They were on their lunch hours. We learned later that the school was started by a Scottish benefactor who provides all fatherless children of Edinburgh free tuition so they might graduate with the tools needed to enter the University. Edinburgh University ranks third behind Cambridge and Oxford in Great Britain.

We also attended a concert of music majors studying jazz who were hosted by “The Jazz Club”. The pubs provided the rest of the entertainment we enjoyed and as we left the city, our cabbie told us the clubs of Scotland are open until 3 A.M.

So even though the students participate in sports, rallies, and mission projects, they seem to give great importance to their studies in order to stay in school. In that respect, it was much like being on campus at UJ. We were both wishing we had kept a journal hoping that could keep the days of the trip from evaporating.

Fortunately, you readers have a lifetime ahead of you to dare to travel.

We wish you the best,
Chaplain Terry Anderson and Sue

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Posted:March 18, 2016

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