This is exactly where I am meant to be.

Birmingham Travel Blog

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Barnes Close

I have never been more certain that I am exactly where I should be, doing exactly what I should be doing.

Training for African Quest has been here at the absolutely beautiful Barnes Close building, complete with family style meals and not one but two conservat'ries.  The English-English language barrier has been more intense than I had expected, but I am learning - apparently not quite quick enough though.  The other day a young boy stared blankly at me when I had asked for a trash can, until Rhys explained that I meant a "rubbish bin".  It was me, however, who was lost when I was told to put my luggage in the "boot" (not the "bonnet") - rather than the trunk (not the hood).  I always thought I spoke English, until I came here and realized that I speak American.

Climbing

Meeting and spending time with the group has been wonderful.  The team is amazing - the English Laura, Fred and Tim, the Welschy Rhys, and the Americans Kurt and I.  We have gotten a long great from the very beginning.  The first night we took a hike out in the dark and found a great hill with a 280 degree view of the city lights.  We have gone on tree climbing expeditions as well, I have found the home of the perfect climbing trees - tall and sapless with smoothe painless bark and seriously sturdy branches - and one outside the lower conservatory even has an awesome makeshift swing.  I am really loving the English coutryside other than the obnoxious nettles (though doc weed is wonderful).  I already want to come back.

We fly out for Africa tomorrow.  I am anxious, though extremely grateful for the amount of training we have gotten in.  We have learned a lot of valuable information about culture and health and all that - John and Grace are brilliant and have amazing stories.  Little things like worms that burrow into bare feet and long glances implying marriage are good to know about.  It has been wonderful here though, and I am already going to miss it here.  Tea five times a day has become normal in my mind, and I am going to have withdrawals!

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Barnes Close
Barnes Close
Climbing
Climbing
Fred and Tim in our tree
Fred and Tim in our tree
Laura
Laura
Tim, Rhys, Kurt, Laura
Tim, Rhys, Kurt, Laura
Our sweet dizzy tree swing - a rop…
Our sweet dizzy tree swing - a ro…
Kurt reading in the our tree
Kurt reading in the our tree
A walk up the hill:  Kurt, Rhys, L…
A walk up the hill: Kurt, Rhys, …
The invisible Fred, Kurt, Rhys, Me…
The invisible Fred, Kurt, Rhys, M…
A statue of Rhys and Emily: a meet…
A statue of Rhys and Emily: a mee…
Em, Louise, Tim, Rhys, Laura, Kurt
Em, Louise, Tim, Rhys, Laura, Kurt
Birmingham
photo by: eddie8498