Shannon DeVito

About Shannon DeVito

I am not the person pictured in the red poncho.

In spite of less than ideal weather, many of the New Heights group, as well as members from the California, N. Dakota, and Chicago contingents, toured the historic city of Kremnica yesterday. We visited the oldest operating mint in the world, a historical museum of the town, a retired gold mine, and a lovely old church that had once been a castle. Afterward, we had time to browse for souvenirs, followed […]

Afternoon in Kremnica

Although still feeling somewhat confined, we were very excited to be through with airports and planes for a while! In the comfort of our air conditioned bus we began to enjoy the scenic four hour drive from Vienna to Martin, as some of us dozed off and on, while others stared wide-eyed at the beauty of the rural countryside.  Both of these stunning sights could be seen from the rest […]

The Drive to Martin

One of the biggest frustrations for me personally here is the unreliable internet, coupled with my relative incompetence in navigating it. Somehow I always seem to find a way to make things harder than they have to be. I also feel strongly that computers are like cats; they know whether you like them or not and treat you accordingly. The text I prepared to accompany the picture in my previous […]

Katy and Lucy: Take 2

The past two evenings have provided wonderful opportunities to connect with students from this year and year’s past. Some of you will remember Tomas, a student who attended our English classes in years 1-3. He visited Vancouver a couple of years ago and his photo is presently on the Serving Slovakia bulletin board in the main hallway. Tomas recently graduated from the University of Zilina with a degree in what […]

Nightlife in Slovakia

This was my favorite of the goulashes. Very tasty with a little bit of heat. I tried to get them to smile for the camera, and then I remembered that they probably didn’t understand English! Summertime, and the Livin’ is Easy… That is what was being performed as I snapped these pictures at the Martin Lutheran Congregation Festival this afternoon. Pastor Tomas, in the center playing with his American-style blues […]

Cultural Exchange

  This is a broad topic and several others have written wonderful verbal snapshots of the week, but I will add a few more since each year in Slovakia, and each person’s experiences, are unique. When asked earlier in the week what my favorite part of the trip had been so far, my answer was twofold. First, I listed the pleasure of getting to know the other members of the team more intimately. Upon […]

Week One Highlights and Reflections

Breakfast before church this morning. This, and the morning devotions that typically follow, is how we begin most days. It is a special time when the team is all together, talking about the previous day’s adventures and planning for this day. Much of our time is spent with our individual teams, so this is a great opportunity to catch up on how God is working in, and using, the other […]

Our First Communal Meal

As it turns out, the real international language seems to be “fun”, manifested today in the form of Dum Dum Dee Dee and other games used by our stellar Global Outreach team to break the ice and entertain half of 60+ students at a time while the EFL team conducted language skill evaluations on the other half. The process took much longer than is typical as New Heights is the […]

The Real International Language

This is my fourth trip to Slovakia, and sometimes people wonder what draws me back. Certainly I have a love of travel, which was probably the primary reason I came the first time if I am completely honest.  It also serves to invigorate my faith as I focus intentionally on serving God through serving people, and working as a team with other believers to accomplish this purpose. And frankly, it’s […]

Why I Return

In four visits to Slovakia this is possibly the fullest day I have ever spent here! We began the day with a bus ride to a ski area called Chata Vratna-Chleb. We rode gondolas to the chalet, and then hiked to the top of the mountain for the reward of stunning views of the Tatra Mountains and surrounding countryside. Even though the distance wasn’t terribly far, the steep, rocky terrain […]

All Tuckered Out

The campus was a good deal quieter and less energetic this afternoon with the departure of our Global Outreach team, off to lead a 6 day New Heights-style camp for the incoming freshmen of the CCE high school. The EFL team and the Slovak students have enjoyed so much having their lively participation in class during our morning sessions the past week.  We are excited for their opportunity to serve […]

And So They’re Off…