And a month can go by in a blink. You know when you are getting settled when routines that seems so unreal become familiar. I still love that I cross over the Firth of Tay when going to get groceries. One minute I am pulling out of our sleepy little town and the next I am driving over a four lane bridge stretched over two miles of water. The bridge with a speed limit that changes with how strong the wind gusts are. Dundee is on the other side and it seems as if I am entering another world.
The boys know and still enjoy the schools they are in. They wake up at 7 am, uniforms on, breakfast, and teeth brushed. By 8:30 am shoes and coats are on. 8:40 am helmets and backpacks are on and we wave good bye to Luke and Levi on their bikes (or Levi often catching the school van) By 8:45 I am already heading to the door with Ian to take him in the opposite direction to his school. Then there are three hours for phone calls, emails and meetings for Young Life. Mondays are Young Life game nights. On Tuesdays I get an hour and a half Greek lesson from Bob, my neighbor. Wednesdays are training days. Thursdays are one on one meetings. And on Fridays I have been painting instead of writing a blog post (sorry about that). Jeff's days are like mine but ten times busier with pastors, head teachers, committees, and students. It is all becoming more familiar as we grow deeper into the community around us.
Maybe that is why it seems more important to explain just what that community is. So here goes. We are in the Burgh Wormit, If you look at the first map we are the last blue circle on the left that is on the waters edge. You can see the rail bridge to the left and then the town next to us on the right, Newport. Newport has the road bridge that I cross over to get to Dundee and groceries. Further over to the right is Tayport. These are called the Taybridge area in Fife. Each of these three areas have their own Primary school. Kids from age 4 to 11/12 are in primary school. Then, when these students are done with Primary School they will take double decker buses to St. Andrews to go to Madras College. Madras College is really a Secondary school (think American middle and high school combined). St. Andrews is the big kidney bean shape at the bottom of the second map. This is where we are starting Young Life, Madras College. We have been working with a small group of Madras students that live in the Taybridge area and training University students that attend St. Andrews University. It may all seem very far away on the map but St. Andrews is only 10-12 miles away. That is twenty minutes driving in Scotland weather and on their smaller roads.
We are getting more familiar with each of the areas as we zig zag through our days. The more we get settled and enjoy where God has planted us the more we are feeling some pangs of homesickness. Pictures of our friends, family, and even friends pets make us sigh. A sigh mixed with remembering, and missing. In a perfect world we would smush Scotland and Virginia together in a big happy family. Phone calls home make us weepy and grateful. The connecting with friends and family is harder than we thought it would be. As the world here grows bigger and deeper in our hearts we are having to figure out how to carve time out of our nights to call or write home. The homesickness is hard but there is so much to be grateful for.
Tonight at dinner Luke and Levi described again why school is so amazing. How welcoming their classmates have been, and how much they enjoy their teachers. Ian pipes up to say, "I can't wait to be in Primary one! Next year I will get to finally have a desk and work! This year I just play and bake cookies and do art", insert frown and Luke and Levi laughing and shaking their heads. And school is such a big part of their world right now, so I cannot even begin to tell you how much this encourages Jeff and I. Here is a picture of the boy's schools. Luke and Levi's is on the left. Those huge windows look out over the Tay Estuary and the train bridge crossing over it into Dundee. The field is where they spill out of the school to play on each day from 12-1 pm. Sometimes Levi will bike home only to change and bike back again to play football (soccer) with kids who don't want the day to end just yet. Ian is standing under a mosaic at his school. He will be there just for this year, and it is only a town over. Next year he will be at Wormit Primary with a desk and big work to do!