In the land of lambs, leeks and daffodils

Yes, that’s right, we’re in Wales. No, we’re not wale riding, Wales the country. (Geography lesson: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as Britain or the UK, consists of 4 separate countries – England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.) Leeks and daffodils are both Welsh emblems and there’s even a £1 coin with a leek on it to represent Wales.

Wales has been under British control since 1283 and since then the “Prince of Wales” has been English. There have also been many attempts throughout history to Anglicize the Welsh, especially discouraging them from speaking Welsh. But the language and the culture have survived, and in 1967 the Welsh language was finally legally made on-par with English. However only 21% of the population of Wales speaks or reads Welsh.

Most people know Charlotte Church is Welsh, but Shirley Bassey also grew up in Wales and the Maniac Street Preachers and Stereophonics are also Welsh. More Welsh claims to fame: Laura Ashley was Welsh, as was the person who invented the + and = symbols. There’s also a Welsh community in Patagonia, Argentina. And there’s evidence that the Welsh discovered North America in the 1100s. Yes, really.

So, what are we doing in this amazing country? Well, we’re with 3 other teammates (the other 1/2 of the team is in Amsterdam) working alongside local churches, praying and providing practical assistance. Right now we’re in Beddgalert, the village our housemate Angharad grew up in. It’s in Snowdonia, has charming stone houses, a river with a fun bridge jump and we’ve had legit summer weather. Plus Angharad’s dad’s house is an interior designer’s dream. It’s really funky and hip. Tonight we’re sleeping in the “pod” in his garden and tomorrow we’re climbing Snowdon! Yipee! Or should I say: Bendigedig!