Austria Column: Guten Tag from Gaming, Austria!


As I am writing this column, we have just officially wrapped up orientation week here in the Kartause. If I were to sum it up in one word? COLD! Lots of snow, and up here in the mountains, this cold air has a way of slipping in through any and every crevice. 

In the six days we have been here, our class of 177 has learned its way around the 14th-century Carthusian monastery, which we are so blessed to be able to call home for these next four months. We have also gone to the Melk Abbey, which was incredibly beautiful, and have explored the town of Gaming.

Some things are taking longer to adjust to than others: the very limited Wi-Fi, six hour time difference to call home (nine hours for me!), early breakfast hours and, of course, the German language barrier. I myself am a testament to the idea that one should learn some key German phrases before flying out, being that on my first excursion into town, I managed to set off an alarm in the Spar (the grocery store) by exiting the wrong door. Oops!

Despite this, I can already tell that this semester will be one of immense growth and adventure. The sisters and priests here are extremely welcoming, and the more intimate amount of students allows for more personal relationships with the religious and for the possibility of spiritual direction. Many students have also begun to build relationships with the children here at the Kartause by ice skating with them or by teaching them to play sports.

Tomorrow we embark for a day trip to Salzburg! I’m very excited to see what the city holds for us.

Until next time!

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