Friday, 21 October 2011

I made it!

This morning I woke up in a little attic bedroom with fresh flowers on my night stand and my half unpacked, monster of a suitcase on the floor. I'm in Tecklenburg baby, and I'm here for two years (provided: a. they let me stay and b. I can hack it auf deutsch). Teckenburg says its a Stadt (city) but its really a Dorf (village) So far I have only seen it in the dark so I have nothing to report there except there is a school next to our house. There are three houses in this Arche Gemeinschaft. The first big house, the Apfels, the second house, the Bodels, und wir in the third house, are the Campers (süß das es A,B,C ist).

I arrived here from Geneva after three days with the legendary Krisin Flroy. I loved our visit/ European orientation. Geneva has a great international flair owing in part to it being the seat of the European UN. It is mostly french speaking, but you hear smatterings of German, English, Spanish, Turkish, Japanese etc. on the trams (or just around Kristin's office). Its also a very friendly place. Everyone smiles and says “Bonjour” on the streets. The lake is beautiful, especially on a clear day (we had one :D) when you can see the mountains in the distance. One night Katarina and I went exploring on our own and (after getting a little turned around in a mall of all places) ended up just sitting on a bench by water, listening to it lap, the swans yapping at each other, and the people passing by.

On our last full day it rained (boo) but we were inside for the worst of it. In Kristin's office we went over other details about our upcoming projects and watched some videos that past volunteers had made (as well as official ones from the projects themselves). There weren't any on die Arche in Germany but we watched some l'Arche Belfast videos and I got all psyched up. After that we went to the UN to meet up with Kristin's husband, a journalist with an office there. He gave us a very nice private tour and tolerated the silly pictures we took in chairs we probably shouldn't have sat in. Outside the main building is a monument to Woodrow Wilson, who's League of Nations originally meet in Geneva (down by the lake). We ended the day with traditional Fondue in a cozy place called Cafe du Soleil. There are all kinds of rules for eating it properly, including one where if you drop the bread in the pot you get thrown into the lake...oops!

After a full day on the trains, changing in Hannover (Lena's hometown) I arrived in Ibbenbüren. I was meet on the platform by members of my house and an assistant from A House. After driving into Tecklenburg everything is a blur because I was exhausted. I was introduced to a lot of assistants and Bewohnern and shown to my room where I collapsed. I live ganz oben in the house with another volunteer. She has been here for a year already. We have a kitchenette and a bathroom just for us up here which is very nice.

Today I am "frei" which means I dont have any work to do...kind of a recover/observe day. I'll be worked into the regular rotation soon (I hope) ich lerne noch....

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