We've been making plans, changing them, and changing them again since we first heard the news in early August. Now we have a place to live, dates, and a good grasp on what our life will look like.
Garrick was offered a three year research post at the Kirchliche Hochschule (Ki-Ho for short), a university associated with the protestant church in Wuppertal, Germany, beginning 1st October of this year. As this would have been far too soon for us to say goodbye to St Andrews and for me to learn German, we requested a later move date. We need to be there for 1st April as the funding body requires, and until then Garrick will continue working from abroad.
There are six Biblical scholars on the project and they will create a new critical edition of the Greek text of Revelation. Garrick will read manuscripts, translate manuscripts into English, manage the student helpers, and possibly teach Hebrew and Greek (in German!). The post goes until September 2017.
Wuppertal is in Western Germany near Dusseldorf. Spend two hours on a train, and you can be in Amsterdam, Brussels, or even Paris. It has a suspended railway that cuts the city in half and has a population of 350,000. It was mostly destroyed after the war, and has since been rebuilt. It's fairly industrial, but has lots of green space and amenities. I've visited once, Garrick twice. The people have been friendly and welcoming, and it's good to picture ourselves there. When we moved to Scotland, we got on a plane having never seen our new town!
We've been blessed to meet Moritz, a current MLitt student, and his wife Kim, who are from Wuppertal. They have given us lots of information and will even be moving back to the area in June, two months after we move! They are wonderful friends here and will continue to be in Germany.
Transition isn't easy. We love our life and friends in St Andrews. A woman came to look at our flat this week and after she left, I cried. This season has been one of the best in our lives and in our marriage. We've lived in Scotland longer than the US since marrying in 2008. But, we can't stay forever; our visas tell us that. And soon our friends will start leaving, and we've already said goodbye to several others. I still remember thinking during our first year here that leaving was a long way off. Time flew!
It's great to have an answer to the question of "Where will we go after St Andrews?" Plus, GARRICK HAS A JOB! We still have hopes of settling in the Seattle area (or anywhere on the West Coast) after Germany. This research post will likely make that goal more achievable. If all goes according to plan, Garrick will graduate in June 2015 and officially be Dr Allen, although I'll never call him that. :)
So, the over the next few months, you'll find us at the beaches in St Andrews, reading in our favourite coffee shops, and most importantly, spending time with our cherished friends. Oh, and I'll be learning German with the help of Rosetta Stone and our German friends. Upon arriving in Wuppertal, I plan to enroll in an all-day German immersion course at a local university. At this point I can say most colours, numbers, and body parts. I have a long way to go!
Thanks for reading. As always, we give thanks to God for his provision and guidance.
Here is the Schwebebahn (the suspended train) that we'll be riding very soon!