This week I road tripped from where I lived in Columbus, Ohio to New York City to catch my plane to Zagreb, Croatia. Today is my third day here and I still am adjusting to the time difference. I want to go to bed at 3AM and sleep until Noon. UGH.
I have some successes since my arrival that I’d like to share with you!:
- Made it to the City Centre, the church (called The Hub), and to the end of my street via tram/walking without getting lost
- Stopped trying to smile at every single person on the sidewalk as apparently that makes me look weird (not the good weird either)
- Bought lunch and ordered by myself (mix of Croatian and English language used)
- Learned and used the Croatian phrase “dobar dan” which means “good day” in English
- Actually unpacked all my suitcases within two days (personal record)
- Had a comprehensible conversation with my Croatian roommate (Praise the Lord for Google Translate)
Two days in a row I was welcomed into the homes of two couples who happen to be refugees. They fed me, made me special treats (like Arabic coffee seasoned with spices!), and even gifted me with some spices to take home. The woman I live with is an older widow and she has “grandma’d” me since my arrival. I still have not cooked a meal for myself yet (I’m not complaining, she’s a great chef!).
I am hung up on the fact that I was so quickly welcomed – never second guessed and without hesitation. I ask myself if I have ever shown a fraction of this amount of hospitality?
Today I explored the beautiful city of Zagreb – emphasis on beautiful. The people, the buildings, the streets, the markets, the mountain nearby, the tastes, the music, and the smells. I doubt I am just in the honeymoon phase. I am excited and in disbelief that I have the opportunity and privilege to live in Zagreb for the next 11 months of my life.
I have this feeling that God is about to rock my world (even more than God already has!). I am trying to think intentionally about my actions and thoughts in my first couple days. To let them fly by and go with the breeze would dishonor this transition into new life. Intentionality is very important!
Whenever I go somewhere new and begin to learn about how people live, I feel myself falling deeper in love with God. We are a reflection of the Creator whether we are Croatian, South or North American, or Arabic. I worshipped this Sunday in 6 different languages and each one was a blessing for God to hear. God is pleased and smiles.
I am still processing this move to Croatia and have been getting lost in my thoughts very frequently. Right now I am in the “collecting data” or observation mode in order to help myself survive the cultural differences (such as the language, grocery shopping, and using public transportation).
If anyone has any thoughts on the observation mode, please feel free to share!
God has been so good in the journey and I know I am not to be forgotten now that I have finally arrived to Zagreb, Croatia.
Oh Lord, thank you. Thank you for the constant reminders that you are here in this city of Zagreb.
Peace and blessings,