Sleepless in Germany

German Time: 1:42 am

Bowling Green Time: 6:42 pm

My time:  ???

After spending the past three and a half hours tossing and turning, I’m beginning to regret that three hour nap this afternoon.  But, hey, at least I can write about it from my attic.  Climb up  the spiral stairs with me  to the sloped ceiling of my room, make sure to walk only down the center so as not to bump your head, and join me in my restless night.

I arrived yesterday to Germany feeling far more nauseous than excited.  Let me rephrase that:  I arrived feeling one hundred percent nauseous and zero percent excited.  I spent the last hour of the plane ride from Toronto to Frankfurt throwing up, prayed that I could make it through customs without showing how sick and miserable I felt, hopped on a short flight to the town of Munster and went straight to school.  Keeping up with my theme of fabulous first impressions that began with meeting my Barcelona host family with my pants almost on the ground due to the button popping off the day before, I met my German host family with purple puke (sorry, I just couldn’t resist the alliteration) speckled pants and boots. Yay!

Oh what a dear host family I have.  Holger is a  quiet, kind man.  He has run over sixty marathon and just ran a one-hundred mile race.  It only took eighteen hours.  He teaches sports at the school where I am working and rides his bike every day.  He told me that he never takes the shortest route.  Christine is lively and fun and another teacher.  She works at a local primary school and her goal is to become the headmistress in the next two years.  She has only run thirty marathons (her goal is fifty) and qualified for the prestigious Boston Marathon.  Anna, their fourteen year old daughter, missed the running gene of her parents and writes her own guitar songs and does origami.  She has already left me two little origami gifts on my bed.

Yesterday, Heike, our German contact, excitedly told me that my first class today would be sports because “I am sporty.”  Uhhh, outdoorsy sure, sporty, no.  Sometimes communication gets lost in translation.   I was saved by the bell, otherwise known as Ms. Eckert, a wonderful German English teacher, who asked me to come to her classes this morning instead of sports.  I’m already amazed at the rigor of the German school system.  The students I observed were discussing themes and current connections  in a language that isn’t even their native tongue far better than many native English speakers.

Tomorrow, or today, however you want to view it, I’m heading off to Munster to explore.  Once I woke up from afternoon nap, my sweet host family told me that they had called my friend Kathryn’s family and invited her to come to Munster with us.  Man, it feels nice to be like a kid again with planning responsibilities in the hands of adults!

So much more could be said, but I’m going to try to count some sheep and get some sleep before getting up in a couple of hours.  Good night from Anna’s attic!

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