Wednesday, 5 November 2008

we got the black lung, went around wales, and learned a little about the church.

On Monday and Tuesday we got to go to Wales! Our first stop was at The Big Pit. A coal mine that was shut down in 1980 but still looks as it did back in the day. At first I was a little nervous about going 350 feet down into the earth, especially with all of the horror stories and the problems that I know have happened down in mines (thank you hollywood), but I knew that if I didn't go that I would have been mad with myself. So, after we got our hardhats, and our belts with the heavy batteries and the air tanks in case we were to, you know, die.. we crammed into an elevator and dropped 7 feet per second down into the darkness.

I honestly can say that I loved the tour. Lots of respect for the workers in the towns and the people who went through the physical and mentally frightening work to help our society progress. The ceilings got so short in some places that you had double over so that you wouldn't bang your head. There would have been tons of rats, complete darkness (the whole, literally can't see your hand in front of your face thing most definitely applies here), and dust, and did I mention "The Widow Maker"- or the huge, man pushed, chainsaw that would cut into the walls of coal so that the guys with the pic-axes could come in...not a job that I envy in the least. The one thing new that I did learn was that most of these people had a lot of pride in what they did, and had a great friendships and loyalty with those they worked with.
Next, we were off to the historical national museum/land preservation in wales. It was awesome and had lots of old buildings that were from the old Celtic huts, a castle, houses dating from 1900s-the future, a pottery, shops, a tannery, bakery... basically every type of building that has been present ever in wales! it was a beautiful place with meadows and pastures with sheep and cows. Now that is the life! living as an animal in a wild life preserve. Free food and happiness for everyone!

Then we spent the night in Cardiff, and in the morning we were off on our church history trip! We started by going to Tintern Abbey, a place that inspired a lot of poetry and art (some by wordsworth). It was a great misty morning that settled on the fall trees and the remains of the abbey. Very picturesque.

Then, we picked up Peter Fagg (our church tour guide) in Ledbury, and went to the Benbow farm (where lots of saints were baptized and lots of stuff happened), we walked up a look out spot where lots of prophets have been, and to the first meeting house that the saints had. I think my favorite story is of all of the preachers of different churches that sent men to disrupt meetings, and these men who came listened and were converted, thus converting the preachers they reported to, and entire congregations. Also, the story of the United Brethren who were just waiting for a church to come by that they believed in. Yay Mormons!

Basically, we had a great trip. Learned a lot. Saw a lot. Loved it!

No comments: