europe

I might not write another post in Kiel again, so I guess I’ll hurry and post one now!

It is Day 125 and tomorrow at 2:00a.m. I’ll wake up, grab a taxi at 2:30a.m., take the bus, arrive at Hamburg at 4:30a.m., leave at 6:00a.m. and I’ll be on my flight journey back home. Please pray that I’ll catch the flight to Salt Lake. I only have an hour layover in Seattle. Pray real hard!

It’s 9:15a.m. and I am waiting for the handtowels to dry so I can give them back to Petra. Today I’ll say goodbye to my co-workers. I am so sad to say goodbye. Goodbyes are never fun. But I am the luckiest person in the world that I got to meet them. There’s still a lifetime ahead of me and I’m sure I will see them again.

The Hausmeister comes at 2:45 today and I hope everything will go smoothly. I’m excited to get my 250 euro deposit back. I’ve been cleaning for the past two hours and all night yesterday, so everything should be fine.

Tonight for my last hurrah my roommates Lane and Svenja and I are going to the Kiel Weihnachtsmarkt. I think I’ll go to the stand where they sell the bread boards and buy two for Spence and me. Spence likes the idea of doing Abendbrot. I don’t mind (I love Abendbrot), as long as we can buy some good meat and bread. I am also all up for doing what Renate and Hans do for breakfast–cutting up lots and lots of fruit and putting it on a big plate in the middle of the table. Yummy.

Wanna know some set plans for when I get home? I will hopefully not miss my flight to Salt Lake and will arrive in the evening, just in time to grab some Zupas before we go home. Mmm. Then Spence has school on Thursday so I’ll see what I do–I might go change my name. On Friday I’ve got a hair appointment with Jami, which I’m super excited about since I haven’t seen her in forever and I feel like a wookie. I think I’m going to dye it. I won’t tell you how, but I think I’ll keep my hair long and just do something different with the color. Then I’ll stop by my grandparents, stop by my mom’s when she gets home from work and say hi to sibbies, and meet up with Spence when he’s done with school.

Satuday–laser tag for Katie’s birthday, Bryant’s wedding dinner (Bryant is getting married, yippi!), and Tab Choir concert.

Sunday–The Margetts homecoming!

And more and more. Ana and Megan and I also planned a little Christmas get together for the three of us. I’m in charge of hot chocolate. Mmm-hmm.

This journey has been rad. WAY more awesome than I thought it’d be. Like way more. I didn’t know I could love Germany more than I already had. Schleswig-Holstein is a beautiful state with some awesome people taking care of it in the state chancellery. But seriously. This state is beautiful. So much to see.

When I get home I’m sure I’ll write a post of me looking back at it all, since it sounds like something I would do. 🙂 But for now I’m so sad to say goodbye to everyone today and so excited to be in that taxi tomorrow morning on the way for home. This middle stage where everything is packed and uncomfortable is just bleh. Time to get out of it.

Have a wonderful day. See y’all soon.

Days 114-116.
On Saturday morning Josa, Herbert and I drove to the Holland market, about fifteen minutes away from home. They often go Saturday mornings to pick up fresh fruits and vegetables. I love seeing all those double a’s and e’s on the dutch signs. I love hearing the Dutch people at their stands, yelling “Mandarins, Mandarins right here! Come get em!” And I listen and I’m like, holy crap that is the weirdest language but I just understood everything they said. 
I love that the Netherlands is fifteen minutes away and it feels like totally different people. Dutch people immediately feel more laid back and silly. Look at these two:

“Are you taking a picture of me?!” the guy yelled.
“Um, uh, no, but can I?”
“Yes, take a picture!” he yelled at the woman at the other stand, “Hey get over here! We’re taking a picture!”
She jumped up immediately. “Here we go, we’re taking a picture,” and she crawled over the table to stand next to the man. 
Even though I’ve been in and out of Holland, I always feel when I’m there that I need to eat up all my time and look at everything as much as possible. My grandma lived here, my great grandparents lived here, and it’s like I need to catch a glimpse of my ancestors as much as I can. 

Later in the day Josa, Herbert, Marie and I went to Jülich and checked out the little Weihnachtsmarkt. I also went into a store and BOUGHT something–a blue big sweater shirt thing. It felt so good. When I get home I really need to invest in some cute, warm, long sleeved shirts.

Look at this cute growing girl.

I’m always lucky to get a piece of this family. I’m so, so happy I got to see them again before I head back.

Good day! Day 111!

Tonight was the Christmas party at my work. I’ll tell you what I ate, so you get a glimpse of my day:

1. Hot chocolate, with whipped cream and a cookie.

I feel like the most high maintenance person on the planet sometimes. While everyone else can drink coffee and tea, I’m like “Oh yeah, sorry, but yeah, I can’t drink any of that.” And I feel so stupid. I guess if that’s the only thing I feel stupid about than I’m okay. I’d feel stupider if I said, “Oh yeah, my religion asks me not to drink hot chocolate or tea, but I don’t want to be high maintenance so I’ll drink it anyway,” but STILL. Germany is so different because people just drink all the time. You sit down at a meeting at work and there’s coffee and tea. You get invited to someone’s home and there’s coffee and tea. And I LOVE that about European culture. It is a wonderful time to chat and get together and snuggle in the winter time next to the Christmas markets and drink some hot glühwein. It is a beautiful part of the culture. My hot chocolate makes me feel like a four-year-old.

Sunna, though, is a sweet heart and doesn’t blink an eye. She just knows to get me hot chocolate, she knows I like it with whipped cream, and all is well. It’s my own self-consciousness. (Gosh, have I told you how much I love my co-workers?)

2. One fried mozarella stick.

After Sunna, Petra, and I set up decorations at the city gallery for the Christmas party, we walked across the street to the Christmas Market and got some lunch. The mozarella stick was a delicious choice.

Also, why don’t we do Christmas markets? What is up with that? Why? Like here you are again, University of Utah. What to do with all that giant cement space in front of the Marriott Library. Christmas Market, duh. Get on it. (For how much I have complained about this giant space of nothing at the Marriott Library, I might as well devote the rest of my college experience to doing something about it.)

3. Hot cranberry punch, alcohol free.

At the Christmas Market if you bought a drink you could keep the mug that came with it. So along with my yummy cranberry punch, I get to also take home a bright orange cup that says “Kiel’s 41st Christmas Market.” Bomb dig!

4. Cake.

Our Christmas fest started at the opera house where we got to tour the stages, dressing rooms, where they make the costumes, etc. After the opera house, we walked over to the city gallery and had cake. I got the chocolate cake with whipped cream on it.

Cake is another German culture thing. Along with coffee and tea, there’s always cake. I’m sure we could do this in America, but if you did this we’d all be dead. There is so much more butter and sugar in our cake at home. I love American cake more than anything, but there’s a reason we only eat cake on special occasions.

Unless you’re me, then you bake a cake every week, hide it from your husband, and eat it all by yourself.

Don’t judge.

5. Another cup of hot chocolate.

We don’t need to go over this again.

The thing is, I love hot chocolate. I will always choose hot chocolate over herbal tea or any other hot drink.

6. Cauliflower curry soup.

With bread.

What else about today except food? At the city gallery we watched an improvisation performance. I have always wanted to go to an improv performance. Super fun.

Pictures will be up tomorrow. I’m too tired to sort through them and wait for them do load.

Kiss kiss, friends.

This is me at 6p.m. on a Monday. It looks like 11pm outside so maybe I’ll just lie here all night… Until it really is 11pm.
Day 110.
I’m sorry my posts per week have been going down. I know you missed me. 😉  It’s just, it’s gotten really dark in Kiel. Like, really dark. By 4 it’s dark. It’s setting at 3. And today we were so lucky to have blue skies and sun so I could look out of my office and sigh at the beautiful day and soak in as much vitamin D as possible. But other than that, if you’ve been to Germany it’s just… grey. 
And I know people say it’s not like that everywhere and that it’s really bad in Schleswig-Holstein, but my goodness it was grey in Berlin and my goodness it was grey in Köln and Aachen, so yes, my overall idea of Germany’s weather is grey. Any other thoughts on the matter?
I have two and a half more weeks until I go home. How freaking crazy is that, guys? Where did the past three months go?
So the time has gone by fast, but it’s going incredibly slow right now. I’m glad I got to come on the internship early and enjoy two whole months of sun, because these clouds do a doozy on my emotions. I haven’t really picked up my go-to motivational happy Anne mode since I went to Berlin, as you can see from the absent blog posts. 
But that doesn’t mean there’s been some way rad times, so let me talk about those too:

Day 105. I went to Thanksgiving at the RIZ’s and my (English accent) flat mate, Lane, came with me. Lane is from Nebraska and his wife is teaching English in Bulgaria right now. We drooled over our food as we ate Thanksgiving that the wonderful Margetts prepared for us. I got to see Spencer’s mission president again in which I came up to him with my hands flying everywhere cause I was so excited, so he held my hands.
“You are my husband’s mission president.”
He got a big grin on his face, still holding my hands. “Who is your husband?”
“Well, I’m scared to tell you his name,” I said, laughing.
I told him Spence’s name.
And then he grinned again. Grin, grin, grin. And I laughed because that grin, I’m sure, could mean so many things, knowing all of Spencer’s stories from his mission. 
“And you are his wife,” he said.
“Yes.”
He squeezed my hands. “Give him a very big, wonderful greeting from me.” (I don’t know how to translate that without it coming off as awkward, but you get what I mean.)
We had a huge crowd for Thanksgiving. The missionaries invited some super fun people, the Margetts are just always a blast, ALL of the young adults were there–it was a party. Oh yes, and everyone thought Lane was an investigator so Lane got missionaryized. Lane took it well. Lane is like the nicest person around so I wasn’t too worried. Plus there was delicious food and nothing could go wrong at a Thanksgiving fest.
On Day 106 Sunna, Petra and I visited our co-worker Anika, who just had a baby a couple weeks before. I nearly died when I saw her apartment. Oh. My. Gosh. I was walking into a living Pinterest. Every room was decorated in its own personality. First off, she had all light wood floors which I want in my house. And then french doors. And then she had two rooms that were both open so it looked like a long room and at the end of the long room was a bar in the corner. With stools! Like, how much fun would that be? You could have a whole classy dance party or a super fun Christmas party with bunches of fun drinks, alcohol free cause I’m cool that way and ohhh my. 
And then the kitchen was rad too. There was a spiral staircase and then two of the walls had this like graffiti wallpaper on it. Ohhh man you guys oh man oh man. 
…Okay so yes, maybe one of the coolest things that has happened to me in the past few weeks is that I walked into an apartment, but whatever.
I got to hold baby too. Oh baby baby baby. And baby is wearing pink and blue. Love it.

THEN on Saturday Day 108 Petra and the fam and some friends and I saw Catching Fire. Ohh man. All of Kiel was at the movies. Popcorn EVERYWHERE. You just walk around and wonder if there was a hole in the bottom of everyone’s popcorn buckets because holy crap. And the movie was so good. Gah! Jennifer Lawrence is a babe. So good. 
Sunday on Day 109 was the last Sunday for the Margetts before they go home, as well as for Elder Casper and Elder Paul, who have been transferred. Elder Casper is going to Forst and he will be opening a new program there. Elder Paul is going to Magdeburg, so look out for him, Sandra! I’m going to miss those two like crazy.
Anyway we had lots of fun taking pictures. 

Top: Elder Dospil (Austria), Elder Larsen (Idaho), Elder Casper  (Utah), Sister Rimmasch (Utah)Bottom: Elder Paul (Stuttgart on the military base), Me, and Sister Johnson (Utah (Lindon! She knows my cousin Cass!))Sister Johnson is the newest one and she is a blast. I laugh my head off every time I’m with her. She makes the funniest faces, the funniest jokes. I die. Yup. I just die of laughter. 

Me with the Margetts’. 
My apologies for the extremely awful iphone resolution. Ick. 
Tonight, back to Day 110, I got out of my bed after 6pm and went to Family Home Evening. I said goodbye to the Margetts and Elder Casper and Elder Paul. The Margetts have been a huge blessing to me. I always felt loved and wanted when I came to Family Home Evening and Institute and I loved talking about home and American things. They are wonderful people. The lucky part for me is that I get to go to their homecoming in December because I will be home and we live very close. AND my friend Saher is going to be in town until January so he’ll be there too. I don’t know why you’d want to come to Utah to celebrate Christmas when your family is in Nazareth. It’s his first time in America and I hope he enjoys it. I always worry when people are so excited to come to America that they’re going to be disappointed. It’s beautiful, but I think it’s so hard for some to grasp how gigantic America is. It’s a lot of traveling to get from A to B.
Tomorrow is the Christmas party at work and I’m taking pictures. Friends, have a good week. Salt Lakers, I’ll see you super soon.

Sunna and Petra were my lifesavers during my internship in Kiel, Germany!

Want to see more of my adventure in Kiel? Click here!


On Day 102 I gave a talk at church:

In English
My time in Kiel is full of blessings. When my professor asked if I would be an intern at the state chancellery, my husband and I had no idea how we would pay for it. The plane ticket, the rent for two apartments, our expensive tuition—it’s impossible, I thought. One night I kneeled next to my bed and prayed with remembrance of the scripture in Mark chapter 11 verse 24, which says, “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” The next day I received an email from my professor who said I received a 1500 dollar scholarship. The next week I received another email with another scholarship. Later my husband and I received grants for our tuition. God answered my prayer. He answered with a storm of blessings.
The blessings didn’t stop. My husband and I prayed for my safety and protection, for nice co-workers, and peace in my heart. On the first day in Kiel my co-worker Sunna was immediately my friend. She asked me how I felt and that I must tell her if I need anything. On the first Sunday at church Brother Zickler asked who I was and invited me to dinner that night. My co-worker Petra showed me Kiel and took me grocery shopping. The Margetts gave me their number and said I should call even in the middle of the night if anything happens.
Although I was so surprised by how fast God answered my prayers, I am even more surprised by how many people showed me and charity and served me. We always read in the scriptures and hear from our prophet that service and charity are unbelievably important. In Luke chapter 6 verse 35 it says, “But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be children of the Highest.”
I can’t say that service is easy. We are busy. We have kids, spouses, jobs, callings, and sometime we have to find time for ourselves. I often feel that I can’t serve in Kiel because German isn’t my native language, I don’t have enough money to help others, and I always burn the cookies I bake. How can I serve in Kiel?
One day Sister Rimmasch called me. “We have an appointment in a half hour and we need a third person. Can you come with?” I met the sisters at the RIZ and was surprised by their reactions. “You are SERIOUSLY the answer to our prayers!” Sister Rimmasch said. “We had no idea how we were going to make it.”
We are all blessings for others when we serve, just like the Zicklers, the Margetts, and my co-workers are blessings for me. In Moroni chapter 7 verse 47 it says that charity is “the pure love of Christ.”
I am thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows my desires and answers my prayers. I am thankful for our church that teaches us as children how important serving and loving others is. I know we will be blessed if we serve others. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

For more talk ideas for sacrament meeting, check out my father’s day talk and my talk on gratitude.
Auf Deutsch—
Meine Zeit in Kiel ist voller Segnungen. Wenn meine Professorin mich gefragt hat, ob ich eine Praktikantin bei der Staatskanzlei sein wurde, hatten mein Mann und ich keine Ahnung wie wir das bezahlen könnten—das Flugticket, die Miete für zwei Wohnungen, unsere teure Studiengebühr. Es ist unmöglich, dachte ich. Eine Nacht habe ich neben meinem Bett gesessen und habe mit der Erinnerung von Markus Kapitel 11 Vers 24 gebetet: „Darum sage ich euch: Alles, worum ihr betet und bittet—glaubt nur, dass ihr es schon erhalten habt, dann wird es euch tu teil.“ Am nächsten Tag habe ich eine E-Mail von meiner Professorin bekommen, die sagt, dass ich ein 1500 Dollar Stipendium bekommen habe. Die nächste Woche habe ich eine andere E-Mail mit noch einen Stipendium bekommen. Später haben mein Mann und ich Geld von der Uni bekommen, damit unsere Studiengebühr nicht so teuer wurde. Gott hat mein Gebet gehört. Er hat mit einem Sturm von Segnungen geantwortet.
Die Segnungen haben nicht aufgehört. Mein Mann und ich haben für meinen Schutz und meine Sicherheit gebetet, und auch für gute Mitarbeiter und Frieden in meinem Herz. Am ersten Tag in Kiel war meine Mitarbeiterin Sunna sofort meine Freundin. Sie hat mich gefragt, ob ich mich wohl fühlte und dass ich ihr sagen muss, wenn ich was brauche. An den ersten Sonntag bei der Kirche hat Bruder Zickler mich gefragt, wer ich bin und hat mich zum Abendessen eingeladen. Meine andere Mitarbeiterin Petra hat mir Kiel gezeigt und nahm mich zum Einkaufen mit. Die Margetts haben mir ihre Nummer gegeben und sagte, ich soll anrufen, auch in der Mitte der Nacht, wenn etwas passiert.
Obwohl ich immer überrascht war, von wie oft und schnell Gott meine Gebete geantwortet hat, bin ich mehr überrascht wie viele Leute mir Dienen und Nächstenliebe gezeigt haben. Wie lesen immer in den Schriften und hören immer von unserem Prophet, dass Liebe, Dienen, und Nächstenliebe unglaublich wichtig sind. In Lukas Kapitel 6 Verse 35, steht es, „Ihr aber sollt eure Feinde lieben und sollt Gutes tun und leihen, auch wo ihr nichts dafür erhoffen könnt. Dann wird euer Lohn groß sein und ihr werdet Söhne des Höchsten sein.“
Ich kann aber nicht sagen, dass Dienen einfach ist. Wir sind sehr beschäftigt. Wie haben Kinder, Ehegatten, Berufe, Berufungen in der Kirche, und irgendwann müssen wir Zeit für uns selbst finden. Ich fühle mich oft, dass ich in Kiel nicht gut dienen kann, weil Deutsch nicht meine Muttersprache ist, weil ich nicht genug Geld habe, anderen zu helfen, oder weil meine Kekse immer verbrannt sind und ich kann sie überhaupt nicht zu anderen geben. Wie kann ich in Kiel dienen?
Ein Tag hat Sister Rimmasch mich angerufen. „Wir haben einen Termin in eine halbe Stunde und brauche eine dritte Person“ sagte sie. „Können Sie mit uns kommen?“ Ich habe die Sisters beim RIZ getroffen. Ich war überrascht von ihren Reaktionen als sie mich gesehen haben. „Sie sind SERIOUSLY die Antwort von unserem Gebet“ sagte Sister Rimmasch. „Wir hatten keine Ahnung, wie wir zu dem Termin kommen könnten.“
Wir sind alle Segnungen für anderen, wenn wir dienen, genau wie die Zicklers, die Margetts, und meine Mitarbeiter, Segnungen für mich sind. In Moroni Kapitel 7 Vers 47, steht es, dass Nächstenliebe „die reine Christusliebe“ ist.
Ich bin dankbar für ein liebevoller Vater im Himmel, der meine Wunsche kennt und meine Gebete antwortet. Ich bin dankbar für unsere Kirche, die uns schon als Kinder lehrt, die Wichtigkeit anderen zu lieben und dienen. Ich weiß, dass wir gesegnet werden, wenn wir für anderen dienen. Ich sage das in Name Jesus Christus. Amen.

When the Berlin trip ended, I took the train from Alexander Platz to Magdeburg and met Sandra’s mother at the main train station. In an hour, Sandra would arrive from Leipzig. It was her birthday weekend and her family wanted to surprise her… with me. 
Days 93-95
Sandra was the first to see us. She had a big grin on her face as she walked up. Then she cried. I don’t know if it was because I was there, or because the past couple days had been awful for her (she cut her hand on glass (that’s the short version that she tells her grandparents, haha!)), but either way I take credit. 
If you’re a long time reader, you already know this, but Sandra was an exchange student at my high school during senior year (right when I had gotten back from Germany). We’ve been friends ever since. 
It was super fun getting to know Sandra’s parents after I had seen them on Skype and her countless stories about them. And it was fun to see Sandra’s actual home. Loved it.

An Ampelgirl! Haha.

Magdeburg has a Hundertwasser house. His building in Vienna is my background on twitter. Love, love love his stuff.

Look at that fountain! Those columns!

A pink baby on top of a fountain! Brilliant! Haha.

Miss Sandra Dee

Grandma, I had to do my own pose like you.

The old city wall.

Yeah, how could I not take a picture of these two?

Um. to die for. Spence, can we get married again so we can take pictures here in our white dress and brown suit?

Or maybe we could just do our own Taylor Swift music video. Sound good, Spence?

And then right here I’ll be elegantly walking down the stairs. 

I like her.

The TV tower restaurant turned slowly as we stared at Berlin from 300m high. I was in fantasyland for a moment. The rest was a disaster.


Days 91-93


Okay, maybe not a complete disaster. Not only did we get to eat like kings in the TV tower, but we saw the Kanzleramt, the Bundestag, the Bundesrat, the Stasi museum, the DDR jail. We had a wonderful city tour guide, ate delicious meals, rode around in a bus—and all of it was free.

It was the one group of guys, the triad, who made my life miserable. But it didn’t start miserable. It was the first moment anyone in the group had talked to me.

“Are you from the press?” he asked, watching me take pictures of the microphone in the Bundesrat.

“No, I actually work at the state chancellery,” I said. “I’m doing an internship there.”

He heard my accent, so I answered his question. “I’m from America.”

He raised his eyebrows, “Very interesting. Sounds like an adventure.”

“Ja.” I didn’t know what else to say about myself. I thought that sufficed. “And what are you doing here?”

“Oh, I’m from the (such and such), like the rest of the people here. I am the leader of the….” I nodded as he talked, even though I couldn’t catch the rest of his title. I was just relieved that someone was talking to me. We had all met in the bus at 6am this morning and I had tried to talk to the only girls there, but they didn’t seem too fond of me. I knew there was another lady around, but I hadn’t seen her since this morning. The rest of the 40 people were men.
We walked out of the Bundesrat towards the bus.

“Hey, this is Anne,” the guy, who I now knew was named Jan, said to two others. “Anne, this is Wolfgang and Nils.”

“Hello!” they both smiled and shook my hand.

The bus took us down a few blocks to Potsdamer Platz, where the Christmas market was already set up. We had thirty minutes to grab a cup of coffee and a snack before we’d go to the next meeting of the day. A big group of us, including the Wolfgang-Nils-Jan triad, gathered in a circle next to the wooden crepe stand.

I noticed that under everyone’s coats, most of them wore jeans and t-shirts, some without a button down shirt. Even the two girls—who didn’t stand with us in the group—wore jeans and converse. My long green coat covered my only professional grey skirt and pink sweater with a black and white necklace. I was contemplating on bringing my high heels, but now I’m glad I didn’t. But there was one guy, who looked about my age, that wore black slacks and a suit jacket. He timidly looked down at his shoes, his rim-less glasses falling down to the tip of his nose.

Jan must have been thinking the same thing as me, because the next words that came out of his mouth as he looked at Mr. Timid were, “Excuse me, can I ask you what f***ed up reason you decided to wear that today?”

I cringed.

“Me?” Mr. Timid said, looking up at Jan. “Well, we were invited by the state government and it didn’t say in the letter what the attire would be. I just wanted to be safe.”

The triade laughed. Mr. Timid kept a hard face.

“I thought the same thing,” I said to him. He nodded and shrugged.

Jan led the rest of the conversation in the big group, but I didn’t listen. Something about what he does at the Hamburg airport, and what not. I looked at his jeans that flared at the ankles, his black leather belt matching his black pointed shoes, and his black button-up shirt with too many buttons on the top open for such a fleshy chest. What a chump, I thought.

“We’re going to check out the Sony building,” Jan said, “Right guys?”

The guys followed behind him. Before they left the circle, Jan looked at me, “Are you coming with?”
“No, I’ve seen it.”

He stared at me for a few seconds longer, turned around and shrugged. “Come on, guys.”


(I’m done with the story. Blah dee blah. I wrote this up earlier this week and I’m too bored of it to keep going.)

Either way, I ended up finding a good group and being able to somewhat ignore them fellows. But they were extremely stupid.

Inside the Bundestag

Hanging out in the glass dome on top of the Bundestag

The Ampelmann. 🙂
The Bundestag from the front

Here’s where Angela Merkel’s office is.

Funky.

In the Kanzleramt, the building where Angela Merkel works, there’s a row of portraits of all the chancellors. 

Seeing Berlin from the TV tower

Eating like kings.

Amazing. My ultimate favorite part of the trip. And  it spins, people! You sit and it slowly spins so you get to see all of Berlin.

Delicious desserts. That are free (for me).

Learning about the Stasis.

A piece of the wall, not the main wall, but the other security wall. Looks like the Walking Dead.

That’s the wall wall. Looking through the wall to the main wall. Haha. Get it?

We took a tour into the DDR jail. Creepy, people!

This tour guide was spectacular because she had stayed in here and had so many stories to tell.

At 8am I walked downstairs and found the round table where Renate, Hans and I sat the night before. It was empty. There’s no way that I’m early, I thought. Where is everyone?
Then I heard a slight crumple of paper–a turning page. I followed the noise passed the the round table and into a (gasp) glass room. There was Hans, crossing his legs and reading a newspaper in the middle of this glass room. 
I ran back upstairs as Hans yelled, “Guten Morgen!” to me. Camera! Get the camera!
I was back in a flash, but Hans had already changed positions. 
“Take a picture of me with the newspaper,” Hans said. “With Obama on the front.”
I laughed as he posed with the newspaper. The headline said, “Der Ahnungslose President.” The clueless president. (About the NSA)

I could sit in this room all day and look at the giant yard with pine trees and the cacti sitting next to the windows. Ugh! Beautiful, beautiful.

For breakfast: 
passion fruit, pears, cantaloupe, oranges, craisins, bananas, apples, kiwi.
cheese, cheese, and more cheese.
eggs.
carrot juice and turkish milk (sour, but addicting).
black tea and herbal tea.
fluffy brown bread.
mettwurst (my favorite), 
nutella, honey, butter.
People, when I get home, Spencer and I will have a plate of fruit each morning and will pick at it with our forks, just like Renate and Hans did. I ate like a queen and sat in a glass palace. This will be my future, people. This is it, right here.
After breakfast, our adventures began.
Ribe.
Founded in 710, Ribe is the oldest city in Denmark. I took picture after picture of the decorated doors on the houses, each with its own personality. There were so many small things about this city that I loved. Near the water where a few boats lay, there was a pole with numbers on it. Each number was a date, and where the number was placed showed how high the water came up that year. One date was at the very top of the pole. 1634. In 1634 there was a huge flood “The Barchidard Flood” in Ribe and the other cities near the North Sea and thousands of people drowned. The city has so much history, so many stories.

I felt like I was in a fairy tale in Ribe.

Here is the pole that shows when the floods hit. See the highest number up there? 1634.

All of the old Danish houses looked like this. Blue and white tiles, dark wood.

This thing has a mirror on both sides. You look at it from the window and can see who is coming up the streets. Creepy, huh? Renate says once in a while you’ll see an old woman sitting at it. I guess it’s like people watching, but creepier.

Rømø.
Rømø is a Danish island in the North Sea. It was raining so hard when we got there that unfortunately I didn’t take pictures. We drove right up to the sand on the beach where teenagers practiced their stick shift skills near the water, and families attempted to have a rainy picnic. I had never before seen cars driving right onto the sand, right up to the water (some IN the water). It looked like a mad house, and I sort of wanted to drive in. But what if someone was lying in the sand? Would someone in a car see them? I was blown away.


In Rømø we ate a very fishy lunch—check this plate out. Yum yum yum.

Tønder.
After Rømø we went to Tønder, a quaint city in Denmark known for its Christmas attributes, such as the 42-room store with Christmas decorations year long. My Christmas decorations are very much lacking, since my husband and I are poor students living in a shabby apartment on campus. Plus I really hated having to help my mom take down everything after Christmas. Who wants Christmas to end? But as I was here, I thought perhaps I could get into the Christmas decorating stuff. Just maybe.


The old apotheke, the old pharamacy, has 42 rooms. This is where all the Christmas decorations are.

The doors were meant for short people, haha. I had to duck to get into every room.

Mr. Cat checking out the cheese.
Emil Nolde Museum, Seebüll.
This may have been the most exciting thing about the day, which is crazy because after seeing three new cities in Denmark, I didn’t think the day could get any better. I already mentioned him in a blog earlier, but Emil Nolde was an expressionist painter during the 20th century. During the Nazi regime, he was no longer able to paint because the Nazis believed  his paintings, among other expressionist art, was “degenerate,” meaning it was art that reverted Germans to a simple, less functional, organized people. 

I loved it because I had done a presentation on it before and it was just so fun to see it in Germany and not online in Utah.

The awesome thing is that this is his house.

Me, dying of excitement (but keeping it cool).
At the museum store, Renate came up to me and said, “I’m buying a box of postcards with Nolde’s art on it for my friend. Which one do you think is the best?”
I looked through them and picked the one with Nolde’s paintings of the sky and sea. 
“Good. I’ll buy that one then.”
At home she handed me the postcards. “For you,” she said.
I laughed and thanked her. It’s the best souvenir yet. I will go home and frame these 5×7 paintings. 
One of my favorites.
I love Renate and her love for the skies in Nordfriesland. She looks at Emil Nolde’s paintings and says, “The skies really do look like that here. They really do.” 

Sylt.
Sylt is an island in Germany on the North Sea, just South of Rømø. It’s pretty much where all of the rich people have their summer houses, so in the winter time, the island is dead. The Friesians lived in Sylt and all of the architecture comes from them. Sylt is the farthest north you can go in Germany. Is that something I can brag about? Hey guys, I’ve been to the northern most tip of Germany. Yeah okay, not braggable, but Sylt is pretty amazing!

Renate and me chilling after a long day.

When you come out of the Bahnhof in Sylt, this is what you see. Giant green statues with hair blowing from the wind. And the kids for some reason have their faces upside down.

Like this girl. I guess the wind just blows so hard that it does things to you.

Die Badende. The bathing one.

The old Apotheke (pharmacy).

“Flut” – high tide. “Ebbe” – low tide. The arrows shows you if it’s high or low tide. Me likey.

And of course, the beautiful beach.

Hans and Renate. I can’t tell you how much I adore these people. I felt completely at home when I was with them. Really, the most loving (and funny!) people.

View from the small apartment Renate inherited from her mom. What a bummer for her.

I look a picture of the tiny bedroom because I love that sunset picture and I love how they 
matched the room to it. 

The dunes.

Don’t these houses look like they came right from a fairy tale story? That little statue thing came from a ship. Like in TV, you see all the ships with the naked mermaid at the front. Is there a word for it? I’m sure there is. (Too lazy to look it up right now)

The wind was blowing hard.

Hans, my eyes are watering!

This is now my wallpaper photo on my computer. Love this.

Bosch is a well-known restaurant in Germany. This is what it looks like in the inside.

Hans and me looking cool at a strandkorb table.

Very expensive houses in Sylt.

Look at those bushes. Renate said it looks like they used fingernail clippers to clip them. 

For dinner I ate muscles. Yummy yummy yummy!
Renate and Hans’ son went on a foreign exchange to Farmington, Utah twenty years ago. Since then, the host family and Renate and Hans have kept in contact and have visited one another in Germany and Utah. They call them their “American family.” 
I came back to Kiel completely at peace. I felt so warm and comfortable with Renate and Hans. They are people who love and love. I don’t get that feeling often. I can be very comfortable yet still have a trickle of anxiety. But I felt nothing but relaxed and safe and calm. 
And I learned so much. What an awesome mix of work and play. 
Phewf. And now for another week.
Days 82-85.
Loving Denmark? Check out the unique doors of Denmark or the city Sønderborg
For other beautiful cities in Germany, check out Magdeburg or Flensburg.