What's it like day to day in a new country?

Slovenie_70023328.jpgWednesday 18 July 2018 13:05

Sarah Deacon recently arrived in Slovenia. Here's a link to her blog sharing what it is like to settle into another part of Europe.

Here's an excerpt from a recent blog by Sarah. To read her latest entry, click here.

Food Glorious Food...

One of the things I love about living and serving in Slovenia is the relational aspect of the culture. Meeting up with people seems to always involve food of some kind and most definitely coffee! I have learnt that Slovenes love their coffee, it's almost a way of life for them. It is not common for to go to other people's houses, instead you meet them at a kavarna (coffee shop just doesn't sound as good or encompass the full meaning of the place) where you can sit and talk for hours. I have been firmly informed that the stuff Starbucks/Costa/ any other chain you can think of do not serve anything more than hot water and milk. Even mentioning the words 'instant coffee' produces blank stares and questions of why one would even think about drinking it!

Coffee here is made Turkish style on the stove. My housemate made a whole panful and served it with a ladle. She was quick to assure me that it wasn't normal but it was because she was providing for a large number of people at once. Even though this was different from normal coffee is still made in a pan, strong and with residue left in the bottom of the cup. I love it!

In Britain it is completely normal to open your house up to friends and guests especially on a Sunday (at least that was my experience growing up). As I've already said, it's not that common here. As a house, we've decided we want to be different. We're all in ministry although in completely different contexts. We all wanted to be able to feel free to invite people over and to make them feel welcome in our flat. It's great, it's not a constant flow of people in our flat (yet!) but it is a steady trickle of people in and out. As such we decided that it would be a nice idea to host a British Sunday dinner last Sunday.
Many of you may know that I was brought up by a very proud Yorkshire woman (as in my Mum is very proud to come from Yorkshire, not that she herself is proud). I believe that she would have considered herself a failure if she had not taught us how to make a proper Sunday roast complete with homemade Yorkshire puddings. I'm sorry Mum, we didn't have them the traditional way as a separate course before the meat and vegetables, it seemed a step too far after I'd had to explain that they were savoury and not actually a pudding! The meal was a complete success! We provided for 7 people (including ourselves), a mixture of Christians and non Christians. It was such a joyful time together, getting to know people better and being able to share some of our culture (even though we produced so much food we only finished the leftovers today). I even didn't mind missing the England world cup football match, people are my priority here.

That's not just a glib sentence ending, it's a really important part of my work here. People are the priority, I can study for as much as I want but if I'm not meeting with people then it's almost useless. It's a bit harder over the summer holidays as lots of people are away but my prayer is that I can be building on the relationships I've already made. Please pray for me as I'm the one who needs to take the initiative and as an introvert it's a bit out of my comfort zone. I love being with people once I'm there or if other people invite me but it take an extra effort for me to reach out to people. We were talking about this a bit in ministry training this week - as much as I love the studying part, it's no good if it's not put into practice by spending time with people. If that just happens to be accompanied by food or coffee then so be it.

« Back