“Dunoon’s a Long Ass Way to go Just for Dinner…”


Northern Lights, or dinner in Dunoon?

Not exactly the wording I used as we arrived at Glen Kin (sorry for swearing at you Alex…) the home of the GK’s residentials (camps). It was their staff launch to kick of the season and recognize the hard work and progress of the staff and volunteers. The house is tucked away a tiny yet stunning piece of the universe in Dunoon which is couple of hours from Glasgow and includes a ferry ride. The evening was indescribably beautiful in many ways, and as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, GK knows how to throw a party!

The Scotland YAVs get invited along to many a fete, our collection of friends and family here have been very gracious in including us in their various shenanigans. Personally for me, the best part of serving as a YAV has been the gift of being invited to experience things with other people. Whether it’s a holiday, a meeting with funders, a walk along the canal on a beautifully sunny day, a conference or a communion service. There’s been so many gems I’ve had the blessing of experience. There’s definitely been the “you totally don’t deserve this,” running around in my head, but I always try to remind myself that grace is that unearned gift that has been bestowed not only to me, but ALL of us. No matter who we are or what we do (or think we have done), there is absolutely nothing that can keep us from Him. I constantly have to remind myself of this.

My absolute favorite part of being a YAV has been having the opportunity to experience things, mundane and extraordinary (I’m planning a music festival in MILTON!!), WITH folks. Whether it’s my YAV sisters, my Scottish family here, my supervisors or new friends. Words almost fail to describe how amazing this is. From child protection trainings, beautiful hill walks in various parts of the country, dinners, dances or trips to Lidl. I don’t have to do any of this alone. I know I’ve harped on about this in previous blogs, but I am constantly reminded that my squad runs ever so deep.


my second communion Sunday in Milton


Girls’s Brigade getting one of their favorite games


Tenements to come down in Milton

That being said, Dunoon may be a long journey just for a dinner, but Scotland is an even longer journey to come on a mission. To leave my context to serve in that of others. That’s been the most difficult part of my year. There was a day of our orientation which we spent in New York City. We visited a few spots in the city, but for me the main takeaway of the day was the awkward and uncomfortable feeling of being an observer/tourist. That feeling, of being an awkward guest has permeated throughout my year. In Milton, I am in the middle of people’s journeys, their days, their established relationships, and as adaptable as I try to be, that feeling of being an outsider is always there. As uncomfortable as it is sometimes, I don’t think that this is a bad thing. It is what it is. I’m used to feeling like an outsider (a blog post for another day perhaps?). I think that having the ability to explore new things and places is how we are able to learn about God and his universe. I love that I get to do this, in this wonderful place with these wonderful people



                Okay kids, so finally a playlist. Some tunes that I get to hear played live on a Thursday morning from the folks from at the Music Sessions, tunes from Sunshine on Leith and Trainspotting (TRAINSPOTTING WAS SOLID AF, man like Renton) and some others that have floated through (one with a brief story from St. Patrick’s Day!) my year. Enjoys!!


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