Weekend with Oma (Gma)

Trip Start Feb 01, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Germany  , Lower Saxony,
Tuesday, April 27, 2010

On my Gma's birthday, April 23, I took my first roadtrip in a Skoda to Nick's Oma's house. I'm not sure why the Europeans love to hate these little cars... probably because they're similar to a little Hyundai or another car without much pick-up or comfort. Regardless, I'll forever be grateful to the car that gave me my first Autobahn driving experience! Driving the manual through slower construction traffic was a bit stressful thanks to the narrowest lanes I've EVER seen, but I did it and we had a great road tripping weekend. Six hours of driving each way never felt so good!
Oma doesn't speak English but she said a few things to me in English, which I took as quite the compliment. My German is of course still very much at beginner level so there are a lot of "es ist good" and "ja, danke." :) My big accomplishment of the weekend is ordering my Sunday lunch in a restaurant on my own ("Kann Ich bitte die Fisch haben?"). Oma lives in Peine, a little town just outside Braunsweig, which is where Nick was born. We spent Saturday afternoon in Braunsweig buying me a German book, having a delicious Paulaner beer, and taking in the charming and pleasant people and streets. Nick's on photo-editing duty, so I'll be sure to post plenty of pics from the trip when he gets them up!

I'm not sure I'll ever get used to Oma insisting on cooking every meal when we visit, but I also didn't think it appropriate nor respectful to argue with an 84-year-old woman. She served us every meal and had ice cream cones with us every night. Opa passed away last May so we walked across the street to thevisit his grave everyday. Oma says she stops there at least once a day... I would think it's comforting for her to have him close by. Nick & I brought Oma a rose plant and on Sunday morning we went with her to plant it at Opa's site. 

Aside from listening to Oma & Nick reminisce about Opa, I was nearly in tears listening to Oma tell us basically her life story starting from when she was a 19-year-old in East Germany following WWII. It doesn't seem right to write too much about it, but I think everyone should try to understand what people went through during times of loss and starting over to really get a sense of just how cherished life should be... I also got to meet Nick's Oma's sister, Johanna, who is, I believe, seven years younger than Oma. What an awesome lady. She speaks English quite well and was very encouraging of my German. Oma & Johanna's brother's son, Achim, also came to see us on Sunday. He spoke English as well and was very interested in my life and family back in the states.

Aside from our relaxing weekend with Oma, my most recent activity involves my TEFL training, which started yesterday. It'll be a lot of work, but I'm ready for it! I taught my first lesson today to a group of nine ladies ranging from 35 to 55 years old.

On that note, we're about to start a movie and probably crash in 30 minutes (it's 9:30pm here). Hope all is well wherever you are...more next time.

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