We. Are. In. SHEFFIELD! Sheffield, England, that is!
Whenever I first knew I would be going to study abroad in London, I immediately thought of my friends, John and Ira Book, who were living in Sheffield, England and knew I had to see them!
Lindsay and I bought tickets to go see them, since we both came from Antioch back home. Carson later wanted to tag along to see what Antioch was like.
The train ride was epic: so, so green and hilly! I could almost taste the brilliant sunshine.
We got to the train station and were flabbergasted. The infrastructure was grand: it was a museum built into the train station, and we visited this awesome aquarium-themed room where anyone could crochet something to hang on the wall like coral reef! This is when I first saw Nadia, their 4-year-old daughter.
Oh. Em. Grapes! How presh! Last time I saw her she was not even one years old and I could not even touch her! She has grown so much, and she is so polite: my favorite part was that she not only spoke in an adorable British accent, but she always said, “Excuse me,” to start off every sentance! John took us around and showed us Sheffield. The first thing he asked us was if we were hungry, and if we missed Mexican food. Uh, YES!!! So we got these awesome chicken burritos! Sorry, Chipotle, but I WILL be importing these burritos, because they are made in heaven! Anyways, Nadia wanted ice cream, and she got it. Or it got her? We caved in as well…haha!
We just crashed at their place, after that, and got to know Joshie, their one-year-old who’s favorite thing to do (besides drool) was to look cute and be loved. Lindsay fell IN LOVE with these kiddos! You could not get her off of them! And the same way around as well. She is so good with kids, I just loved watching her, haha (but not in a creepy way!). Later that evening we helped Ira with getting stuff for this Kurdish-Arabic party at the church that night. We took the Tram, which is not at all like the nice, friendly Tube we know. It opens and closes within 5 seconds, and they dont stop for those cute little old ladies, even, who are inches away! So rude!
Kurdish night was interesting. So much hummus! And dancing, and ornate costumes, and equally ornate and confusing dances. I felt okay about getting up to dance with them, it did not seem hard! Just jump! And move your interlocked-by-the-pinky hands in a circular motion. Feel free to post a video of yourself attempting this. So yes, it was crazy acause we were expecting 20 people, not 50. Talk about friends bringing friends and their neighbors and their dogs! Pretty much the whole neighborhood came. We were surrounded by people from Iraq, Iran, Kurdistan, Somalia, and Eritrea, and a lot of people spoke Arabic. So sweet. Lindsay was happy to try the food, but when it came to dancing, she held the babies pretty conveniently so they couldn’t make her go!
Next morning was glorious. We slept in and were woken up by Nadia (we shared her room), who said, “Excuse me, do you think I can switch on the lights?” How can you say no to that?! So presh, so presh. We got up and got ready to go to the PEAKS! Before you freak out too much, its the site of where Pride and Prejudice, and also The Princess Bride were filmed! It was so expansive: there were brownish-purple hills, and we learned just how dangerous drivers are in Sheffield. 60 mph speed limits down a narrow two-way crevice on a mountain. 10 dollars a gallon for petrol/gas. And we found out its called, “tyube” not “tube”, so we are total hicks if we don’t enunciate the “y” sound!
At the end of that journey we went to a 920 year old church that John Wesley preached at! It was alive and kicking. We stopped there to play hide-and-seek with Nadia in the open graveyard. Then we went inside because the service just ended and a flood of old people greeted us. It was Mum’s day! They gave me a pot of gorgeous purple flowers, forever emblazoned in my mind. But they deserved to go to Ira, the real hero. Nadia promptly gave them to her when we returned.
The Antioch Sheffield service started around 4, and there was supposed to be a baptism service! So cool, another girl was added as well. She said she saw the tub and knew today was the day she was going to be baptized, so that made it 13 people! So cool, because young and old, male and female, Chinese, British, American, and any-other-ans all went in, all united in Christ. I caught their splashy debuts on film, so I’ll see if I can upload a video of that for Sheffield, if you want to take a look. How beautiful.
Alas, like all things good and chocolately, must come to an end. Now I regret not getting that Twinkie I saw in the American Store. But John took us back, we hugged our goodbyes, and left Sheffield, refreshed and encouraged.