Today I had my last lecture at Manchester University! Its hard to believe the semester is over, and even harder to believe that I actually spent a semester studying in another country! A lovely coffee date with my friend Annice, enjoying our lattes under the warm sun is a great touch to any day :)
“I will carry this cup with me even when I’m done with all the coffee, because it makes me feel cool” LOL Tanya&Annice
A beginning of a new month brings a new challenge for me- keep up with my blog. Honestly,this always happens to me. Whenever I decide to make a blog it usually doesn’t make it past 7 posts. And even thought this one has beat that record, I have not been putting any effort into updating this blog for a few months now, and I am apologize to those who actually brought this up to me :( So, one of my goals for this May is to record as many exciting things that will be happening here as possible!
And so, it is a gorgeous day here in Manchester today, and I am loving all this sun that I get to enjoy from the window of my business school. Most of my classes are over now, and exams are right around the corner. Therefore, after the usual Wednesday free soup with my friends, it is all about the books and meeting some deadlines.
Anyway, I am so excited for this month, and can not believe this is my last full month here in England. Aside from the super exciting exams and all that, some of the things I am looking forward to and will try to write about are: Manchester Business School Farewell Event, going to Manchester City game, a weekend with Hannah who is coming from London, Bethel Music Conference and much, much more!!
Exactly six years ago, on February 23 was born a little boy with dark hair and high pitch scream. I held this little boy, so tiny, so precious, so delicate and watched him take his very first breaths, make his first moves. At that moment, I was holding a brand new life in my hand, and I never wanted to miss out on any part of it. That littles boy name is Ivan. Ivan Hryn, my little baby brother. Except he is not that little anymore. Years went by, and today he turned six years old. Every one of those birthdays I spent with him, observing him tearing apart his presents, watching as he grew from being fed cake to eating himself, and so much more. As foolish as it might sound, I never thought a day would come, and come so soon when I will not be there to share what to him is the biggest, most important day of his life. I mean he starts his count down while tanning at the beach with me! Unfortunately, my hugs and kisses can’t reach him from here, and I can’t show him how much I miss him and wish I was with him. And with all the things I want for him, he could drown in my wishes!
I made my usual stop at the Business school before one of my 4 classes this early morning to pick up a newspaper and a drink. A couple of hours later, and I still can’t manage to put the newspaper down, which makes paying attention during lecture a bit difficult. But, who knew that Apple. Inc is worth more than the Greek economy, or that their period in 2011 earned more money than the whole company was worth 8 years ago ? Good thing the Eurozone finance ministers have agreed on a second bail out to save Greece. Hopefully, after this bail out the land of my far relatives will not be this overshadowed in such comparisons. For all of the facebook fans, or just people interested in investing their money, facebook is proceeding with IPO. First public trading in facebook shares is schedueled to take place in May. Maybe it’s time to spend a little less time on facebook and a little more investing into it..definitely worth looking into :) Anyways, that is my little dose of business news for the day, for now at least. Ahead are 2 more lectures, a seminar, and a 3hr MLP workshop after which I will be First Aid certified. I guess the business school here wants its students to be well rounded. Makes sense to me, an extra certificate or two outside your field can’t hurt. The less you know the better you sleep, or is it the more you know the better you live? :)
Tonight was my second time attending Christ Church Manchester. I love the services there, the worship, and the people. But that is a story for another time. As I was sitting in church, I was overwhelmed by such an awesome “realization”. I thought of all the beauty I have seen so far while being here. The magnificent buildings, sunsets, nature, people… However, tonight I saw beauty that can not be compared to any of what I have seen so far. this beauty surpasses every creation of man, even the gorgeous waterfalls and the highest of mountains created by God are in the shadow of the beauty I saw and realized tonight. What is it? It’s unity in the body of Christ, it is lifting hands unashamed towards heaven, it is letting the tears fall and being broken before God,even doing a silly dance out of pure joy. It’s corporate worship, or humble silence. It is praying, encouraging, and loving each other. Such beauty can not be described by adjectives or captured in pictures. This true beauty reflects God, and is found in nothing else but His presence. It is not a beauty that is observed, it is a force that changes hearts. The most beautiful scene is the heart of man glorifying its Maker in His presence.
It has been two weeks since I left home, but it feels like it has been 2 years. I feel so familiar and comfortable here that I still have to remind myself it has only been 2 weeks. A lot has changed in the last two weeks, and as the place I came from seems to be getting further and further away, Manchester is becoming more and more welcoming, more “mine”. And as much as I miss home, I know this is where I belong at this time in my life.
Today is the first day of classes at the Manchester Uni. Even though I was planning on first cathing up with all the posts and pictures and videos from the previous days, I decided I will do that later, eventually and just pick up from today. This is my first post from the library computer here. I should mention that University of Manchester has 9 libraries, the main one, John Rylands, is the 3rd largest in UK after Oxford and Cambridge. The business school has its own library, the Precinct Library, where I am writing this from. Getting here was an adventure in itself, making my way through the maze in the buildings, then over a bridge from which the busy streets are seen in all their beauty, then through two sets of double doors that are completely in the middle of nowhere, and another bridge. Still so much exploring that needs to be done around here! My first and only class of the day is in less than one hour, a course in Finance with about 400 other students. I feel great knowing at least one of them, one of the guys who lives in my flat. Now is probably a great time to make my way back and learn about the time value of money :)
I buckled the seat belt of my Delta plane and looked eagerly outside the little window watching the white liquid from the deicer slowly drip down the glass covering my view of the busy runway. As the wheels of the aircraft slowly began departing from the surface of the ground, I beamed with excitement and…. pain, as the strong grip of my nervous friend only tightened with every foot off the ground. Hours went by, a bag of salted peanuts, restless nap, a little bit of turbulence, a lot of laughter and the beautiful land of Netherlands was unfolding in the dark. My eyes were fixed on the lighted bridges, buildings, and shapes strategically assembled over the dark waters. To me it will forevermore remain the city of lights on water. I marveled in a daze at the beauty beneath me, but as the altitude began to drop, so did my crazy excitement. And then it hit me: this is it. An ocean now separates me from the people I love most. Nostalgic, I turned up the volume of one of my favorite praise songs, remembering and focusing on all the hopes and dreams that guided me to this foreign land.
The stay in Amsterdam was short and sadly, a bit unpleasant. Sleep deprived and agitated we made our way through the foreign airport awaiting to be taken to our destination that was waiting for us just around the corner.
A stamp in my passport, a suitcase in hand, a bag over my shoulder with my brown hair wildly tossed by the strong wind , the city of Manchester welcomed me. The fresh crisp air made its way through my Northface slightly piercing my skin, and the mild rays of sun filled me with much needed energy…to cross the street. Speedy drivers operating on the “awkward” side of their mini cars passing inches away from the sidewalk payed little attention to the struggling pedestrians. I truly was no longer in the United States.
The beginning of the day to my exhausted body might as well have been the middle of the night. The 15 minute drive from the airport, the 5 hour time difference,the 5 pound passport pictures, the 5 minute wait to receive my key and I was ready for a 5 day nap. But despite being worn out, we took a walk guided by my friend’s lively aunt around the unfamiliar neighborhood . The occupied streets, shops & restaurants, the double decker buses, and the people all seemed strange and interesting. And even though the new beauty surrounding me was sadly overshadowed by the need for rest, it was acknowledged with genuine awe. And so, hours later, laying underneath the newly purchased blanket, and resting my head on the sweater which was to replace my pillow for the night, I thought….Is this real life?