“Home is now behind you; The world is ahead…” The Hobbit
I can’t believe its been two and a half weeks since I arrived in Deutschland. I miss my “hobbit-hole”, but I can return there after my adventures.
My mind is waking up to the amazing gift I have been given in being able to work overseas (and travel whenever possible!) I can’t say a ton about my job, but I do work with children and they are like little radiant lights of laughter, innocence, and delight. I was dubious at first, but now I appreciate God’s wisdom in it. I needed more children in my life. I don’t live near my nieces and nephews, and its so fun to interact with these kids regularly.
I tell you what, I am beyond grateful for the waves of love I feel from home. I have been homesick, sleep-deprived, and cold, but that is lifting off me now. I just received a care package from a dear friend that has delighted my heart. It was full of things to write on, pretty accessories to wear, and a card that made me feel special. Shout outs to my family, life group, co-workers, and friends who pray for me regularly! I could not have done this without your support.
Goodies from home!
It has been rainy and cloudy most of the time so far, an unusual winter I hear. Normally snow is on the ground by now. I am in the process of planning some day trips and hope to take in fun sights very soon.
Reflections on the Culture
Let me say that the Germans I’ve encountered have been generally friendly and helpful, especially if you attempt to begin your conversation in German (thanks www.duolingo.com, where I study German online). Almost all Germans can speak English, but you have to remember its their country, so I think they just don’t appreciate being expected to speak in English just because we Americans haven’t bothered to learn German. However, while sitting in a deli with a colleague, one older gentleman approached and asked us if we were Americans. He then sat down with us and chatted, even hugged me when I said “I like Germany” in very bad German. I was so pleasantly surprised at how open he was (I had been told not to expect that type of friendliness) that I didn’t clue into the fact that he may have been a little TOO friendly… until I felt his hand on my thigh–oh my! I was not ready for that one. But it was an interesting interaction, nonetheless.
I think Bavaria is like the South of the U.S. for Germans. There are lots of forests and fields, cozy neighborhoods, walking trails, and more churches than I expected. Germany is a very efficient and tidy country. People recycle ALL trash, as its built into the system. The food is fresh and often organic. The restaurants have fun décor. And you can buy all types of inexpensive clothes and household items–I bought snow pants for 10 euro– they even have EURO Stores like our Dollar Stores. So, I went looking for shoes the other day because, well, you’ll find out why.
I entered a shoe store and told the saleswoman I needed cheap tennis shoes AND I had big feet. (Yes I did.) When I told her what size, she told me I would need a man’s shoe. I thought, “Wow, same as in the U.S.” She pulled out some granddaddy looking shoes for me that had Velcro snaps…hmmm.
“How much?” I asked. “25 euro.” she explained. I was happy–I haven’t gotten paid yet and I’m on a budget. I double checked the style. “Ok, but do people wear those, snaps, over here?”
Because in the States my friends would laugh at me in front of my back for wearing them. You know who you are!
“Oh yes,” she answered. “Lots of people do.” I decided to trust her.
“Ok…cause I really do need to buy some more sneakers. My other ones…well, a cat, katze, you know? urinated on them. And they smell bad.”
“Ohh,” she said, tossing her head back and stifling a laugh. “I understand. That’s very bad.”
My mother is a witness, I washed those sneakers at least 3x and they still smell very strange, so I had to do something. I won’t throw them out though because they’re awesome New Balances and feel like heaven on my feet.
- What do you think?