Aug 23, 2008

my big adventure - memories

Bethany lives in Kandern, Germany - a smallish German town nestled in the beautiful rolling hills of the Black Forest. Kandern is home to the Black Forest Academy, a boarding school for missionary kids Bethany is in her third year of teaching there. I went to school there from tenth grade to twelfth grade. When we first moved to Europe in 1986 we picked up a calendar with some pictures of Kandern and information about BFA at a missions conference in Holland. At that time we just thought it was a nice calendar. Five months later, after I'd been in the German Gymnasium for half a year, trying to learn chemistry in German - which I was also just learning - we recognized that I needed to find an English speaking high school. The calendar pictures were enticing, and the thought of boarding school with other missionary kids was exciting. We visited the school and liked it, so I enrolled. It was fun for me to show John yesterday where I went to school. To take him around and tell him about different memories I had. So much has changed since I attended school there from 1987 to 1990. And yet, as we walked through, so many memories came rushing back. I don't know if John was as excited about seeing the school as I was to show him, but at the end of the day while we were talking about our "favorite parts of the day" he said he liked seeing where I went to school. But his favorite part he said was eating the Spagghetti Eis. Of course I had to take him to the cafe we would go to (didn't tell him that I skipped a couple study halls to go there). One of their specialties is ice cream that looks like spaghetti topped with raspberry sauce and white chocolate sprinkles to imitate spaghetti sauce with Parmesan cheese. We took the obligatory pictures and a few silly ones, too. After a jet-lag induced cat nap we headed for Holzen, a village about a ten minute drive from Kandern were I lived when I was in high school, first at a dorm as a boarding student in tenth grade, then as a home student from eleventh to twelfth. We toured the dorm and told John how it was way back when. Showed him the board we'd have to sign out on if we left the dorm. Showed him the phone booth where we waited to talk to our parents (or boyfriends - didn't tell him that either). Showed him the mailboxes that we would faithfully check to see if we got news from home. Told him about the chores we had to do, the wait for the shower, and the lunch making table no longer there. Outside we stopped by the old horse trough fountain and told John about the birthday tradition of getting dunked in the fountain. He thought that was pretty funny. I showed him the house we used to live in and pointed out the place where the manure was piled outside the barn attached to our house, right by my bedroom window. We walked up the hill behind our house and took in the view of the surrounding villages and vineyards. So much had changed since we lived there, and yet it was frozen in time. It was a full day. A day full of memories. I'm so glad I got to share them with John. Kandern and Holzen are so much a part of my life. My past life, but also who I am today.

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