Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

BYU Chamber Orchestra

On Wednesday and Thursday, the BYU Chamber Orchestra was in Hamburg as part of a month-long tour of Europe which had started the Sunday before, in Amsterdam and Kiel, and would take them to Berlin, Prague, and Athens, among other places.

On Wednesday, there was supper for them and those who went to Institute, followed by a little testimony meeting. I thought that was a really great idea, especially the supper—it meant a chance to sit at a table with a couple of them and talk and get to know them as real people. And the testimony meeting helped reinforce the idea that they're people who belong to our faith, not just nameless musicians.

I was asked to interpret for the testimony meeting, which I did—both ways (en->de, de->en). I thought that de->en was more difficult and that I was less fluent, but someone told me he found I did a better job in that direction. Eh. (What I found hardest was interpreting for President Warncke, since he, a German, addressed the musicians in English and I had to translate it back to German.)

We took two young men home with us: Andrew and Brian Clement, identical twins from Chicagoland (somewhere north of the city; I didn't think to ask them for the exact name of the place). Their mother's side is Japanese, so they looked Asian (they didn't speak any Japanese, though; nor did their mother or grandmother, who was born in the States already).

They asked us whether we had Internet at home and whether they could use it. Apparently, they were waiting for their mission calls to come in and were a bit worried that everyone would know before they did :)

So I let them use my computer. They had a bit of a problem at first with the German keyboard—my keyboard layout switcher is weird and wouldn't let itself be switched to en-US (kept switching back—though sometimes it seems to switch spontaneously to something else, and you never know what since the indicator keeps disappearing from the task bar), so they finally used the "native" German layout of the keyboard, which is, after all, not too different, especially in the letter keys.

However, when one of them wanted to compose an email address, the browser suddenly disappeared, and they had to come fetch me. Turned out they wanted to press Ctrl+Q, since the @ sign is printed on the bottom right corner of the Q key—and Ctrl+Q is "quit browser" in Opera :p. So I told them to use AltGr+Q instead.

On Thursday, the musicians gave their concert. I liked it, or most of it (some pieces, e.g. the Bártok, weren't my cup of tea).

When we got home, they had another look in the Internet, and their mission calls were there! They were both really excited.

They both got called to the same country (Chile) at the same time, but to different missions (IIRC, Andrew was called to the Chile Viña del Mar Mission, while Bryan was called to the Chile Antofagasta Mission). Their calls were for an earlier date than they had anticipated; they had counted on leaving sometime after their birthday in September, but their calls were for June already. So they'll have some excitement to come back to!

I have no idea where either place lies, but my trusty Encarta Atlas says that both cities are on the seacoast of Chile, with Antofagasta being the more northerly at about 23°40' S (in Región de Antofagasta aka Region II) and Viña del Mar a bit more southerly at 33° 0' S (in Región de Valparaíso aka Region V—Viña del Mar is part of the same conurbation with Valparaíso, the capital of the region).

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