Salutations from Middle Earth!

Typically this is where I would begin telling you about myself.  For all intents and purposes, I would deem it necessary to inform you that I have shoulder-length hair, listen primarily to metal, and love being with friends.  I could try to convince you to refer to me as “Shaggy,” since 1,482 people have confused me with him.  No exaggeration.

My doppelganger.

I should probably mention that I plan to graduate from Grace in 2012 with a B.A. in P.R. and Int’l. Business or that I started snowboarding last season.  In theory, such details would conjure thoughts like, “oh, this guy seems interesting,” or “shoulder-length? I thought this was dude’s post?”

But frankly, after two and a half months of average introductions, I thought I should try to spice things up a bit.  Here goes nothin’.

Hey, uh, my name’s Karl Johnson, and this morning I discovered I have Athlete’s Foot.  Since a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch last Saturday and caused the school to be closed for two weeks (I’m studying abroad at Uni. of Canterbury in New Zealand), I haven’t really been doing much studying.  In fact, I’ve been making a sorry attempt to teach myself Japanese, playing Super Mario RPG (holla!), and much to my embarrassment, hunting down Taio Cruz’s latest club hit.  Don’t judge!  …too harshly…

For the record, this is my first blog, international or otherwise.  In all honesty, I love Grace College more than Quizno’s and Chipotlé Mexican Grill, which, by the way, is a big deal.  When my buddy Asher Bontreger asked if I would write this, I told him I would be more than happy to help.  (By the way, Asher, that’s a shout out.  You mah BOY!)  But seriously, being away from Grace for a semester made me realize that it really is my home away from home.  And to say that the friends I’ve discovered there are a second family would be an understatement.

Nevertheless, the choice to give up a semester at Grace to spend in another country was an opportunity I could not pass up.  I would be lying if I said it has all been peachy and I’ve loved every minute of my stay, but I have learned an IMMENSE amount about others and myself.  And ultimately, that’s why we attend school, right?

I would also be lying if I said my relationship with God has been perfect.  Being outside of the Grace/Christian family bubble, I’m faced with so many doubts and fears.  Living with Kiwi’s (New Zealander’s) who don’t give a rip about “religion” has me questioning my priorities.  But I know this is necessary to solidify my relationship with God.  To Him be the glory!

I hope that was atypical enough.  Better tales from New Zealand and abroad to come.  Cheers!

- Karl A. Johnson, in Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand

New Zealand. Get some.

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