Sunday, August 28, 2011
We all got together for lunch. I was extremely nervous to be staying with little Antonia because I knew she did not speak any English, and I only knew about ten words of German. However, it is amazing how far a little smile and a laugh will go. Although we really didn't understand each other, we had a great time. After lunch at a local gausthaus (a bed and breakfast) we went to the park. Seeing Antonia play, I realized I hadn't seen any other children the entire five days I had been in Germany.
Luckily I was taught about this issue. Apparently the birthrate in Germany is extremely low. By the year 2030 the population of Germany will drop from today's 80 million to 60 billion. The birthrate is currently rising though and the government has created excellent programs to benefit parents with children. Some of these benefits include cheap child care and long maternity leaves.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
On the bridge is statue of Carlos Theodoro. He is the same man that owned the summer castle I wrote of earlier. He also lived in the Heidelberg castle. It is said that he was such a ladies man that his big nose is all over Germany. Haha
Next we stopped at Kathe Wohlfahrt. This is a huge store dedicated to only Christmas items. The store in Heidelberg is not the largest of the chain of stores, but its enough Christmas to get me in the holiday spirit. Just about everything in the store is made by hand. The store carries everything I could ever image for Christmas. Apparently, during the holiday season, so many tourists go to this store that they charge a two euro entrance fee. However in the middle of August less people are intersted on stocking up for Christmas so entering is free.
Again Heidelberg was so amazing. It was a gorgeous town with a grest history. I do not know how it is during the school year, but otherwise it is so relaxed and charming. I really had a great time.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Officer: (happy, although big and buff) Can I see your passport?
Emilee: Oh sure (whips out passport)
Officer: How are you?
Officer: So where are you going?
(I was a little confused because I thought he knew that everyone on the plane was heading to Frankfurt. Then all of the sudden his tone got very serious. Here I thought we were just making small talk. He was thumbing through my passport real quick and then he would check the other passengers. Oh no, I was wrong.)
Officer: (very sharp and forceful) How long are you going to be gone? Why are you going? Are you going anywhere else?
How many eighteen year olds have the opportunity to go to Germany? Not many. I am so excited to be able to visit this wonderful country. My New Year's Resolution for 2011 was to get my first stamp on my passport. Never did I imagine my goal taking me to Germany, but here I am. My great friend Kathy, is a lady I help about once a week with chores around the house. She knew I was wanting to go aboard and immediately took it upon herself to help me go. I am so lucky to have her. In the end of our searching for a location to travel, we concluded that I would accompany her to Germany. She had lived in Germany for five years and has many friends that she was already planning on visiting this year. I was delighted. We prepared several months in advance, so I have been long looking forward to the actual trip. For about five days I will be staying in Heidelberg with Kathy and two of her closest friends. Then I will travel to Aachen and nanny three young girls for two and a half weeks. I will hopefully see two parks of Germany. First the vacation, relaxtion part as I have been informed that the friends are very likely to pamper me. Then I will get the full experience of living in Germany and getting around on my own as I travel to Aachen alone. This is going to be GREAT!!