It is almost three weeks that we have been here and are falling into a groove. It does not seem as chaotic taking three kids to three different schools. Nor does it seem as exhausting walking everywhere.
There is 9am mass at the Dom on weekdays, which has side chapels and corners full of art to meditate on. We recently discovered the chapel that holds the remains of St. Willibald, who with his sister St. Walburga and brother Wunibald (who named these kids!?) built a monastery and Christianized this city. This chapel is a favorite devotional place to many and always has dozens of votive candles flickering. We also found out that the stained glass windows and many reliefs in the Dom were designed by famous German artists Hans Holbein the Elder and Albrecht Dürer.
As a family we have enjoyed a couple of the many bäckereien in town. German coffee is pressed, not drip-brewed, and strong; leaving nothing to be desired, except maybe a little more cream? But the baked goods and pastries are perfection itself. The kids are forced to try authentic German items, even though they are drawn to the American-style donuts they see in the glass case. But no matter the shape or size, it is still deep fried dough with sugar sprinkled on it. Mmmm.
Our landlady, Frau Körner, has been very welcoming and friendly. She does not know English, and is under the impression that Rachel knows German, or at least thinks that if she speaks very slowly and uses lots of hand gestures, that she will get her point across. The truth is, the trash-separating system in Germany is very complicated but at least the word “Pampers” is the same in German, and that they are “Restmüll”.
Edy has gelled with her class and has even desired (and has been granted) ability to stay in the after-school program. Her school day ends before lunch, so now she will stay two extra hours to eat with her friends and recreate. This gives her more exposure to the German language, and if she chooses, opportunity to do her homework.
Max came out of the abbey walls (St. Walburga Kindergarten) on Friday saying (direct quote), “I LOVE my school!” He made a puppet out of a potato, a stick and a napkin. Good craft! Good boy!