KFBC Middle School Serving Helen, Ga.

Helen, Georgia, U.S.A. - Sister City - Füssen, Bavaria - Germany

Helen, Georgia, U.S.A. – Sister City – Füssen, Bavaria – Germany

No, this is not Bavaria, but Helen, Ga. is set up to resemble a picturesque Alpine village. Helen, Georgia, U.S.’s friendship sister city is Füssen, Bavaria, F.R.D.
The middle school students and chaperones who chose to serve on a mission trip to Helen, Georgia for a couple days the first week in June are featured in this video. The work they were doing was serving the Helen, Ga. area and supporting the work of the Georgia Mountains Resort Ministry, which is part of the Georgia Baptist Convention. Keith Ivey is the director of the resort ministry, his team and him were wonderful to work with.


Jeffrey Davis, Chris Gerald, Logan Madden, McKenna Farmer, Olivia Foster, Katelyn Messer, Jody Livingston, Sarah Livingston, Jack Livingston, Lizzy Livingston, Anna Livingston, Lisa Gerald, Kathy Couch

I am so happy I was privileged to serve with this team. Have you been on a mission trip? What was the age of the participants? Where did you go? What did you do? Would you ever go on another mission trip?

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Barcelona’s Secret Spots

Today’s post is written by Mary Harris. She is highlighting some unique and interesting places in the never boring Barcelona, Spain.

Barcelona_flickr (1)
Barcelona by ooznu (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Barcelona is one of the few cities that you can visit time and time again, without anything seeming repetitive or boring. But, like any city, the touristy areas can get a bit stale if you are visiting the Catalan capital for the second or even third time. This is when you have to explore some of the hidden spots and lesser known wonders of the city. Of course, planning ahead is a good idea since you will arrive prepared and knowing what to do and see. Reserving your accommodation before your arrival is a must. This helps you find better deals and arrive more relaxed. Internet platforms such as Venere can provide you with all useful information you may need to select the right accommodation in Barcelona. When thinking about your itinerary, you can be sure that Barcelona has limitless amounts of incredible buildings and parks, so here are a few hidden gems of the beautiful city.

In Montjuic there is the incredible cactus garden that is located near the Miramar hotel. The garden overlooks the harbor and is a little desert with huge cacti, only when you look around you are surrounded by the Mediterranean.

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Also on Montjuic are the Greek Gardens, which are a great place to escape the crowds of the city center. There are beautiful plants and flowers but the real highlight is the Greek amphitheater. The park always seems to have some concert or performance going on, making a true hidden gem of the city.




Although it is in many guide books the La Boqueria market is always something to go to no matter how many trips you have taken to Barcelona. After exploring the market you can wander around and explore the great quarter of Raval. This neighborhood has amazing little cafes, bookstores and vintage shops and is the perfect place to relax and wind through the crowded medieval alleyways.

One of the best things to see on a return journey is the Cosmo Caixa, the science museum in Barcelona.

The Caixa Forum in Barcelona attribution: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/CaixaForum_Barcelona

The Caixa Forum in Barcelona attribution: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki

The architecture of the building is awe inspiring in itself as well as the amazing permanent installations. The museum has an Amazon forest display with an entire cross section of the forest and river. The exhibit also has wildlife from the Amazon including crocodiles and piranhas, making it a truly unique experience in the city. Another incredible museum is the El Refugi 307, an old bomb shelter from the Spanish Civil War era that was turned into a museum. Here you can explore sprawling tunnels and gain some insight as to what life was like during this time in Spanish history.

For food one of the best places of the beaten path is Euskal Extea Taberna where the specialty is pinxto. This is essentially the northern Spanish version of tapas and has become a trend in the Catalonian capita in recent years. The ambience of the tapas bar is incredible and the food is some of the best you will find in the city. It is a refreshing change from the normal tapas and paella found all over Barcelona.

Whether this is your first visit, or you have visited many times, Barcelona is the city to find many hidden gems.

What is your favorite place to see in Barcelona or the area?

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Top 10 Cities to Live In Georgia, USA

Whether you are traveling in Georgia, or planning on living in Georgia in the USA, you will enjoy this gallery of the top 10 cities. There is a lot more to say about them, but here is a glimpse. I happen to live in one of them.

The 10 Best Places In Georgia By Movoto Real Estate

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Taxes Around the World

I am featuring today an interactive chart which shows tax rates on personal income taxes around the world. If you click on a country, it will also tell you whether they have universal health care, and paid maternity leave.

From living in Sweden for a large part of the year in 2012, I will tell you that this chart does not tell it all. In Sweden there are numerous benefits for families with children. Including 480 days paid per child after they are born, which can be taken by either parent or both divided. Sounds good but everyone pays. The universal health care is complained about and many that are employed by companies that provide it, purchase private healthcare insurance, plus have to pay for universal care in their taxes. A 25% value added tax is put in the cost of everything except food. But, food is not cheap. How about $25 for a measurement close to a quart, for strawberries at the beginning of the season when demand is high for their holidays? An article I read from a Swede bank reported that with hidden taxes, including the employers share, the rate is 70%.

A Global Look at Personal Income Taxes - Interactive Infographic by TurboTax

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Påsk (Easter) in Sweden

I originally published this in 2012, when I was living in Sweden as an expat. It gives an overview of the celebration of Påsk (Easter) in Sweden. There are some similarities and some differences from the US.It was first published on April 19, 2012.

Traditional in Sweden

Although it is past Easter, I want to share this with my readers. I had hoped to have my blog ready by Easter, but it didn’t work out that way.
In the US, Easter celebrates new life, Spring, and most importantly the resurrection of Jesus. Not every US citizen recognizes the resurrection of Jesus as the true meaning of Easter, but it is the prevailing culture.

In Sweden, the majority of Swedes recognize Easter only as a secular holiday. Easter decorations that are common are bare birch branches decorated with colored feathers. Also, brightly decorated paper mache eggs filled with candy are everywhere. They are made in Germany, so they must be throughout Europe. These paper eggs are delightful. As you can see in the picture they are for sale plentifully in the stores. The price translates to $1.92. The candy is not included in these.

Brightly Decorated Eggs

I received one, and this candy was interesting. It looks like a fried egg, but it is a soft marshmallow like gum drop type candy.
The tradition of coloring eggs is celebrated in Sweden, but usually not decorated as elaborately as in other European countries.

Looking forward to the Easter bunny is not a tradition in Sweden. The tradition that is common, but thought of as strange to those who are not Swedes, is the Easter Witch tradition for the children. It sounds a lot like Halloween in the US. The children dress as witches, or (hags), and go door to door with a note, or picture to give, with the hopes of getting a sweet or coin, to put in their kettle. The girls and boys dress in oversize clothes, and the girls wear a bandanna on their head, while the boys may wear a black hat. Their cheeks are painted rosey.
Easter witch

This tradition is from the folklore that the witches fly to a mountain in Germany called the Blue Mountain, to meet the devil. This is on Thursday or Friday before Easter. Then when they fly back, on Easter eve, the tradition is to light bonfires, or shoot fireworks to scare the witches off.
Vintage Easter Postcard - Glad Pask Sweden

The traditional Easter meal is herring, salmon, meatballs, eggs, potatoes, asparagus, other vegetables, and usually lamb. Pies and pastries are often included, and it is set up as a smorgasbord.

Family time is very important at the holiday. The Swedish worker is given time off, starting with Maud Thursday afternoon through the Monday after Easter.

Attendance is down at most Lutheran churches, which had been the state church. However, attendance is up at FREE churches, which include Baptist, Pentecostal, and Salvation Army. In these churches the importance of Easter, and the resurrected Christ is taught.

He Lives!

Which parts of the Swedish Påsk, (Easter) celebration do you like? Are you surprised by any of them? Please comment below. If you are not subscribed to Globe Trottin Granny, why not subscribe? You will find the Subscribe area at the right top column.

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