Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Next Leg of My Journey

After five short days with Helga and Gunter it was time to say good bye and begin the next section of my journey. I would be staying with Sonja, Helga and Gunter's daughter. She is married to Martin, and they have the cutest little girl named Antonia.

 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.

 Anways I hadn't realized how exciting it was to see a little three and a half year old child. We had blast at the park. Then we began to walk around and I noticed the first parent trap. ICE CREAM! Or as the Germans call it eis (pronounced ice). Just about every single eis parlor has a large statue of and ice cream cone standing outside. Of course a child recognizes this single symbol of a tasty treat. And Antonia was no exception! 

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