In England by Eller Student

It’s exhausting to reflect on this first week in London, the activities we’ve accomplished and the fun we’ve encountered. Trips to the Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, and the National Gallery have fascinated us. With tea at Kensington Palace, watching England play soccer at a pub, and strolling though famous markets, each day has presented a sweet surprise. In all the bustle of the city, lounging in Hyde Park on a sunny afternoon has also become a favorite activity, watching the dogs fetch and the clouds shift. However, I have most enjoyed engaging with the people of London. Within twenty minutes of arriving we had endless offers for help to find our way. People stopping on the streets to offer directions or give transportation advice. Since then I have always met friendly people. I had fears of the big city, thinking every person would be consumed in his or her own world. Yet I found just the opposite. People take time out of their days to help one another, offering up their seat on the tube or recommending activities. A woman at the grocery store around the corner has taught me the currency of coins each time I shop and always cracks a joke with a smile. Yesterday at the Queen’s birthday parade, two locals took us under their wings. They explained the history of each detail in the parade, the legacy of the royals, and the events to unfold. They were so kind as to show us where to stand to get the best picture and told us about the top sites to see while in town. Where I thought I would find impatience and hostility in a big city I have found welcoming arms. I look forward to see what the coming weeks have in store, and whoever else I will cross paths with.