Initial Impressions and Week One (June 27, 2022) by Reese Dickerhoff

Hey y’all! I have been in the United Kingdom for over a week now and the pace of life and the culture have surprised me in a number of ways. It may be a blind spot for me as I am a country boy, but everyone walks quickly down the street and starts their day with a purpose I am unaccustomed to. That may be a product of living in the affluent Burrough of South Kensington and Chelsea, where wealth and power are evident in the buildings, the quality of comfort, and truly pervades into every element of life. I can certainly say that this is a different experience than I have ever had.

What I have done recently has really centered around my courses. The professors have done an excellent job of taking us to different parts of the city and I have made my own plans accordingly. Whether that was staying at a museum longer, seeking out a different museum after our lecture, or finding a cool little spot to eat and tour with the other three guys on the trip, I have been all around London. For me, the most enjoyable parts of my stay thus far have been running around in Hyde Park, as I deeply enjoy running, and attending a sung Eucharist in the Anglican Cathedral of Saint Paul. While I am not Anglican, this experience has been incredibly developmental for my relationship with Christ, and I have recommitted myself to praying at every church we attend along my travels, as I did in Italy when I was younger. England, and especially London, is a place with a rich history in the Christian tradition and I have truly enjoyed that element of my stay.

In addition to my time in London, I also went abroad to Lyon, France to see some long-time family friends. This was a very striking experience, not due to the environment of France as I have spent extensive time there, but due to the extreme contrast between my experience in London and my experience in France. The French are a more deliberate people who spend time on the important things in life: family, long meals, and recreational time. This is so not the case in London, which is more akin to the incredible pace of say New York City. However, my time in France was incredibly enjoyable, and while it was only for a weekend, it was well worth the flight! I appreciate your time and I look forward to updating you again soon. Cheers!

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