Sunday, November 13, 2011

Guess Whose Back...

...back again. Lizzie's back, tell a friend

Hi Everyone!!!!

I'd like to sincerely apologize for my long absence!! It's been over a month! In my defense, I have a semi good excuse. I moved from Marburg to my host family, who live next to a small town called Groß-Gerau. Groß-Gerau is near Frankfurt, Mainz, and Darmstadt. If one imagines a triangle formed by the three aforementioned cities, Groß-Gerau is in the middle of that triangle. 

Showing this picture makes me realize that I should probably tell you all briefly about Germany geography because if you are anything like I was before I moved here, you probably know that Germany is somewhere in Europe. If you're my dad then you know all the countries surrounding it because you have read all about who tried to invade who in World War II (and World War I...and every other was in Europe).
Sorry I digress (which I am apparently very good at today. Maybe this is why I shouldn't try to write blog posts at 10 o'clock on a Sunday night). Anyway German geography here we go...Germany is in Europe (I think we have covered that/you already knew that one)

There are 16 federal states. Marburg, Darmstadt, and Groß-Gerau are all in Hessen. Ok...geography lesson over. 

Now back to my excuse of why I left you all for so long. I spent two weeks at my host families house (which I will talk about in detail in just a minute) and then I moved into my apartment in Darmstadt. I have now been here for three weeks and I am finally almost settled. My room has furniture in it!!! (It didn't until a week ago). Anyway, now that I am getting into the swing of things here, I will start posting on a more regular basis. And be prepared for an immediate onslaught of posts because I have to catch you up. 

I would first like to tell you about my host family. I stayed with a wonderful family; Martina (my host mom), Gerald (my host dad), Jennifer (Age 22-the older host sister), and Celine (Age 12-the younger host sister). I did not spend very much time with Gerald, because he was a farmer and worked very long hours. No one in the family spoke English very well, which was wonderful for me! My understanding abilities dramatically improved in those two weeks. Besides listening to my host family, I watched a huge amount of German TV. Including many American movies and TV shows dubbing in German. Which, by the way, is just really strange! For one thing the mouths and the speaking doesn't match up and for another when you are watching Kate Hudson, it is really off putting to hear someone other person's voice speaking her lines. 

Martina, Celine and family friends of theirs took me on many excursions all over Hessen. The weather was beautiful for my entire stay! One day we went to Hessenpark.

Hessenpark is huge half park half museum. A lot of old buildings were taken from all around Hessen and rebuilt in this one area. There are windmills, churches, old-fashioned schools, beautiful fountains, and tons of livestock!

The family friends who accompanied my host mom, sister and I on this outing are wonderful people! My host mom has been friends with Tanya for 11 years! Tanya has two children that are right about Celine's age. Tanya's parents also came along on our many excursions. Tanya's parents were amazing, especially her dad. He reminded me of santa clause

He laughed a lot and always explained things to me. After touring Hessenpark, we had a picnic in the parking lot of the museum. Tanya's parents own a beautiful living van (for everyone that hasn't lived with my sister that is her term for an RV), so we ate in there.

(That is Tanya's mom)

Another day we took an adventure to my host mother's camping platz. Camping places are a very typical thing to have in Germany. In many rural areas, usually near rivers or lakes, there are sections of land that have been subdivided. On each plot is an RV that has several beds and cupboards. There is also usually a tent that has a makeshift kitchen in it.

 My host family has one of these places. We spent a wonderful afternoon eating bread and butter and drinking tea in the gorgeous sun shine and swimming in a freezing cold lake! Their plot was beautiful with lots of flowers.

After our adventure at the camping platz, we went over to Tanya's house to make dinner. We made pumpkin soup. The Germans LOVE cooking with pumpkins. I have adopted this habit and have made alot of things with pumpkins the last few weeks. They are such a wonderful fall flavor. I made a wonderful stew with pumpkin, chicken, white beans, tomatoes, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Oh my gosh was it good!!! I also made gluten-free pumpkin cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting (one of my roommates can't eat gluten). These were devoured in approximately 48 hours between my three roomates and myself.

I have unfortunately digressed again. Apparently staying on the topic of my homestay was just not meant to be. Suffice it to say that I had a wonderful time.

Bis gleich (until soon),


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