A bit of a messy post since a lot has happened over here in Liverpool.
A Terrorist Attack in Liverpool
Last weekend there was an attack that occurred in Liverpool. I was up in the Lake District region when it happened, so the three of us learned about the incident a few hours later. When texts came in asking if we were ok. What we knew at the start was that there was a taxi that exploded outside the Women’s hospital. I was scared taking the bus back home because none of us knew if there was going to be another one. There were talks about another one happening and some suspected places, but nothing for sure. I had made it home just fine. The days that followed were very hard for me as I have been in a similar situation involving a bomb, which triggered a lot of fear in me.
It is important to know that the day this happened was Remembrance Day. The full story is a taxi driver picked up a man. He was taking him to the event when he noticed something strange. He rerouted the taxi a couple streets over. He got out of the car and locked the suspect inside. At the start of the nationwide two minutes of silence, the bomb went off. Since the suspect was in the car the damages to the surrounding buildings and street was minimal.
In the aftermath, I now take a new route to school, still held quite a lot of fear the first three days, and there was lots of security presence downtown. I walked into a grocery store and there were security guards. I can also see them in the streets when walking. The town is starting to settle back down, but I for sure did not expect an attack to happen during my abroad experience. I am just glad everyone is okay, minus the suicide bomber.
I would like to leave the post on a high. The day before the attack we went to The Beatles Story. A friend of mine works there and had eight free tickets. Her parents and boyfriend came from France to visit and then Loana, Sarah, Yann, Oriel, and I tagged along. I must mention that ALL of them are from France. I think it is hilarious.
At The Beatles Story, they give you a headset to follow through the story. You meander through the rooms that are set up to look like significant places in The Beatles journey. It was really cool to be able to see what Liverpool would have looked like in the time of the Beatles. We also “visited” Germany, London, and America. I learned a lot about The Beatles and it was a nice morning with friends.
I started a new volunteer role related to the Beatles this week as well. For my abroad program, we need to dedicate 12 hours volunteering in our community. Twelve hours sounds easy, but it really isn’t because people do not want such a short-time volunteer. Luckily, Strawberry Field took in about six of us to help. I am so thankful they took me in after I was rejected from ten different volunteering options. Not because I didn’t fit the role, but because it was more work than help for such a short-term.
Last thing I want to mention is Thanksgiving. So, Liverpool Hope University is a bit larger than Hope College and also has Masters and PhD programs. Within the whole school, there are about a half dozen Americans. Going back up to the volunteering point, I was asked to help volunteer by decorating the canteen. I thought we would do the traditional decorations that are related to Thanksgiving, but we decorated the canteen with American flags.
The second part to Thanksgiving was the dinner. I have the absolute best friends. Since I am the only American, I am the only person who partakes in Thanksgiving. So the other abroad students planned a Thanksgiving just for me. This was so sweet and thoughtful! However, no one knew what exactly happens, so I found them googling what to bring to a Thanksgiving dinner.
Salome: “I heard there is pumpkin pie.”
Tradition was out the door with so may backgrounds and the Swiss becoming vegetarian as well as food preferences. So everyone brought a dish to share. We had mashed sweet potatoes, potato wedges (not chips or fries), salad, tomato-mozzarella salad, goldfish, crisps, dips, veggies, garlic bread, stuffing, chicken pie, two kinds of brownies, and fruit. It was so yummy and a great time to hang out with each other.