Almost Time to Leaf

Trip Start Jan 08, 2010
Trip End Sep 27, 2010

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Flag of Sweden  , Gotland,
Saturday, May 15, 2010

Haha get it? I think I'm so funny! Bad humour runs in the family! Well it is almost time to leave (only 2 weeks left of the course) and the trees are just about to leaf, so there's the explainer for you who didn't get it first time around!

Anyway, enough of that.  So Visby is still just as beautiful as ever, changing every day: the grass gets greener (if that's possible) and some flowers fade away and others take their place.  Little duckies and other springlings have been popping their heads out and the weather goes from gloriously sunny and warm to misty and rainy, but still quite warm.  This place is beautiful no matter what the weather is doing, each change makes it possible for something new to grow so every day when we go for a walk there's something else to amaze us.

Today we went for a wander which turned into a couple of hours walking around the town (with only a T-shirt on! plus other essentials, but no jumper!) and it was just stunning to see the incredibly green grass sprinkled with white daisy things and the buds on the trees getting fuller and greener.  There are more and more people arriving to see the town (it gets absolutely packed in summer) so we don't feel so out of place photographing everything.  The place smells amazing too, the flowers and warm air mixed with the smell of the sea and summer in general makes it hard to come inside again.

I said in the last blog that we had a great teacher last week but I had written to much already.  His name was Asher Reda and he is a refugee from Eritrea.  He came to this church when there was a refugee camp type thing here on Gotland a few years ago and then he lived here in the church for a couple of years.  I didn't know this but apparently in Eritrea Christians are persecuted really badly by the government and because he was a minister he and his family had to flee the country.  Most of his collegues who didn't make it out are now in prison.  They keep them in metal containers in the desert, heaps of people packed into each container.  It gets stiflingly hot during the day as you can imagine and freezing cold at night.  They also get beaten and told that if they just give up their faith and say that they were wrong they will be set free.  

Asher told us his story in an evening session and showed us a video about Eritrea that an organisation has made (you can see it at  It is a horrible but inspiring story.  While he was teaching it was clear that Asher is a really genuine and honest guy, as well as hilarious and good for a laugh, and it was amazing to think that after all he's been through he can still have such a great personality.

During the class sessions he was teaching us about how to interpret the Bible and the importance of not pulling verses out of context, but looking at both the historical and literary contexts before drawing conclusions about the meaning.  He gave us some guidelines about how to find out the context and some examples of how people have got it horribly wrong.  He knows the bible so well that no matter what tricky questions came up he just said with his funny little chuckle ''that's a good question, you're thinking now'' and then explain it logically (and exhaustively; he sure could talk!!!)

Well I think that's it for this week, the time will fly by and we'll be gone in no time.  Sad but exciting, I think we'll miss this place and the people here, but the next stage is 2 weeks of seeing more of Sweden & Norway so can't be too sad!  We're just really hoping this volcano doesn't stuff up our flights, that could get interesting! 
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angelasusan on

I'm not sure that I am ready for you to leave Visby yet - there's so much more I want to see and hear about as the seasons unfold!

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