Freunde und familie

26 Jul

We’re back!  And of the two suitcases I came home with (which is one more than I left with…) one of them is actually fully unpacked.  Less than a week later!  An achievement, indeed.

Next time I go to a family reunion, please remind me to travel to Germany at least a week in advance.  I thought that arriving on a Wednesday for an event that didn’t start until Friday night would be enough time to recuperate, but losing 9 hours takes more than a day to recover from… especially when there’s a baby who won’t let you just sleep it off. 

Also, it took at least a week for me to recover some semblance of fluency in German. The first night of the reunion, I felt uncomfortably limited and unable to communicate.  Halia took some of the pressure off, although she also presented a kind of barrier.  I’ve observed in the past how a baby can completely captivate a room full of adults, often bringing conversation to a stand-still.  Or is that just me?  (I’m not complaining, though.  Halia made the very long trip from Whitehorse to Lüchow with little fuss, thank goodness.)

Anyway, when there are 30 people in one place, five years since the last meeting, and just a little over a day to visit, it’s no wonder it doesn’t feel like I got a chance to really see everyone.  The great thing is, every time we have a family reunion I get to know someone in the family better.  I grew up far away and not speaking the language (I didn’t learn German until I was 16) so there are quite a few people in the family with whom I haven’t got much of a relationship at all.

This time around, I was particularly looking forward to seeing a cousin I’d hardly ever talked to before.  My sister and I were very close to his older sister Heidi because she lived with us for a year when we were kids.  Udo was always just her bratty younger brother. Of course, twenty odd years can change a person.  And technology can change a relationship.  Other people grow up with their cousins; for me it took the Internet and a faulty alternator to get to know this cousin.  This past year, I connected with Udo a few times on Skype chats, but it was his car troubles (which forced him to stay in town for an extra day after the reunion) that really gave us a chance to visit.  What a pleasure to discover new friends within one’s own family!

Besides the family reunion, there were visits to old haunts, a trip with my parents to the Harz region for hiking and sight-seeing, and, of course, plenty of good, rich German food, as well as my mom’s homemade Chinese delicacies.  There were friends right in town that I didn’t get a chance to visit because my time there somehow just slipped through my fingers.

Time is continuing to slip through my fingers now that I’m home.  Strange, after getting my 9 hours back, you’d think I’d have plenty of time to spare, wouldn’t you?  Ah, it’s lovely to travel… but it’s oh so wonderful to be home.

5 Responses to “Freunde und familie”

  1. Jenny July 27, 2009 at 6:01 am #

    I always look forward to getting back in my own bed!
    I unpacked right away, got laundry done right away. But 2 weeks later the was still washed and folded in the basket!

  2. Barbara July 27, 2009 at 5:35 pm #

    Welcome home, Fawn! You were missed, but now we get to enjoy reading about your trip. Be sure to give a few details on Jade and Michael, too. 😉

  3. Sharleen July 28, 2009 at 9:04 am #

    Hi Fawn! Good to hear you had a great trip!


  4. Mike July 30, 2009 at 8:50 am #

    Eigner Herd ist Goldes wert. oder so ähnlich, heißt ein deutsches Sprichwort. Wie ist es dann erst mit dem eigenen gewohnten Bett 🙂
    Es war schön, Euch wieder zusehen. Und für 9 fehlende Stunden war Halia doch ein sonniges friedliches pflegeleichtes waches!! Kind.


  1. I’m five today « Fawnahareo’s Place - April 23, 2010

    […] 2009: Halia and I travel to Germany […]

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