Monday, January 21, 2013

Beautiful Whirlwind

When I first arrived here in Austria, I was honestly a little worried that I would have sooo much extra time, and that I'd be sitting around doing nothing for hours.  In the last 4 days, I have realized that I couldn't have been more wrong, and that is a wonderful thing.

Saturday morning, we woke up early, ate a hurried breakfast, and jumped on board a bus to Vienna!  After the 2-hour drive, we arrived and walked to Mass (which was at a Cistercian Monastery).  Following Mass, we had an hour long walking tour of the city which led to our lunching location- the Twelve Apostles Keller.  3 flights of stairs into the basement, and we were in what seemed like a safe place to be if a bomb went off.  It was a cute bomb shelter, though :D

My friends ordered wine, I got a lovely cup of coffee, and we all had traditional Wienerschnitzel, German potato salad, and apple streusel!

Following lunch, we were on our own for 5 hours.  My friends and I decided to venture to the National Treasury, where we saw Imperial robes, baptismal sets (be warned: my expectations for the Baptisms of my future nieces and nephews have been raised! :P hehe), and lots of relics: a piece of the true Cross, a piece of St. John's robes, relics of all 12 apostles, St. Veronica's veil, and many more!
And then we did what every awesome Catholic tour group does: Church hopping!  We visited 4 or 5 different churches; oh, goodness, were they beautiful!  Our faith is just full of beauty upon beauty, and I absolutely love it!

After running around chasing a good place to eat dinner, the group split up: half ate dessert in a small cafe, and the other half (including myself) ate "real dinner" in .... an Italian restaurant.  Except we didn't know it was Italian until we were seated.  I have to say- it was delicious!  I had gnocchi with a garlic sauce, spinach, and tomatos.  We had our first experience of ordering (and paying for) water, and of giving a much smaller tip than we're used to.  European culture is so interesting!

The drive back to the Kartause was rather uninteresting... pretty much everyone slept :D

Sunday was also uneventful, except for Mass (where all the Liturgical minsters were commissioned!) and a wonderful brunch (waffles and Nutella, anyone?).

This semester, I have once again volunteered to be the student head of the Extraordinary Ministers, so I'll be working with one of the sisters here for that.  I will also be her "assistant" of sorts, with other things she may need.  I started today, and I'm excited to be serving in this way again!

And THEN, I said a couple posts ago that I hoped to help one of the families here with their children..... I will actually be helping TWO families!  One will be on Wednesday mornings, and the other on Thursday mornings.  I start on Wednesday, and I am extremely excited...

That's one thing I am loving about Gaming- the professors and their families are so much more present and accessible to us students!  I don't fault the professors on main campus for doing otherwise, but when we're all far away from our families here in Europe, it's nice to have families who are willing to let us into their lives for at least a short time.  Most, if not all, of the Kartause families attend daily Mass with us, and we see the children playing in the snow in the courtyard on a regular basis.  Such a blessing!

Oh yeah, and we've got some homework too :P  Meaning, I have lots of reading to do for almost every class.... at least it interesting!  Yes, even Philosophy, although my encouraging brother has assured me that I will very quickly dislike it.  We shall see, we shall see....

All that being said, there is no possible way that I'm going to be bored while I'm here.
So long for now, I must go clean my room for our room check tomorrow!!

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