Who I met on my trip
April 11, 2011
When I get the chance to travel, I like to evaluate the trip based on the people I got to meet along the way. So, let me tell you about some neat people I got to meet while I was in Germany:
1. Alex. On the 8 hour flight to Germany I sat next to Alex. Alex is working on his masters at a University in Austria, where he is studying linguistics. We had quite a discussion about linguistics on the flight, and Alex was very interested when I told him how linguistics is being applied to the study of the NT. I also shared with Alex about how I am applying discourse analysis, a special field of linguistics, to the letter of James. As a result of our conversation, Alex told me he is very curious to read the NT and discover what it says.
2. Couch surfers. I had a great time with my couch-surfing hosts. Oz made some delicious lasagna. His friend and I (I forget her name), had a great discussion. When she learned I was hoping to study the NT at the doctoral level, she wanted to know what the NT says, especially what Paul says. I told her about Paul’s teaching in Philippians 2:5-11, where Christ’s self emptying is a model for Christians. This led to a great discussion!
3. My roommates in the youth hostel. I discovered that my elderly German roommate was staying in the youth hostel because it is located close to the hospital. His wife is in the hospital, awaiting brain surgery for a cancerous tumor. Zaher, my roommate from Damascus, is a doctor specializing in the field of embryonic genetics. He has just moved to Heidelberg to work for a few years. We have exchanged emails and hope to continue our discussions.
4. The lady next to me on the bus in Heidelberg. She turned out to be employed by the DAAD — the very scholarship fund I plan on applying to in order to fund doctoral studies in Germany. She was eager to answer questions about the fund, to offer tips on making my application more appealing, and she gave me her card and told me to use her as a reference on the application (she said she would put in a good word for me with the DAAD). Wow, what are the odds of that!
5. Renee, the woman I sat next to yesterday on the flight home. Renee was wrestling through reformed theology and wanted to discuss this, especially Romans 9-11. And of course, no discussion on that passage is ever short.
These are just a few of the people I got to meet in Germany. Soon, I hope to post some thoughts about my experiences with trying to communicate in German. Stay tuned.