Swapping Traditions

This week teaching has been far superior to those past. It’s almost as though right before I leave, I being to understand how my kids tick and they understand my expectations. I’m learning more how to teach within real life experiences verses the stale repetitive nature surrounding such a structured environment that I initially introduced them to.

One thing I look forward to every Christmas is making smore’s with the family. We make them indoors, we make them outdoors, and we usually end up with chocolate from ear to ear…ok that usually just me.

I was at the store with Esther and Tira and told her I would like to make S’mores with her family because they had never had them. HOW? How is that possible? My friend from France said he had never had them either. I’m just dumbfounded. It’s a right of passage in America. Every little girl and boy scout makes these. So, we bought the ingredients after standing in the longest line known to mankind. I’m pretty sure Tira actually fell asleep at some point.

We  came home and somehow I was entrusted to build the fire. Me? Do they know me? My hair is about the only thing I can set on fire – kidding. And so I finally made this tiny fire where we, and by we I mean I, roasted the marshmallows and taught them about the magic that is S’mores.

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I have since been badgered every day to make S’mores. I think they might think this is the instigator the the American obesity epidemic, however, I keep trying to explain to them that this is a maybe once or twice a year special occasion type thing.

In the spirit of Christmas and all things sugary, I offered to make them a breakfast of French Toast – one of my favorites. It seems strange to be an American offering such a breakfast when France is only an hour or two away, but when have I ever shied away from a challenge? The answer is never, absolutely never. As is tradition in our family, we put peanut butter on our French Toast. (I’m really really not helping with the image of how America eats – my apologies.) To everyone else, I promise we eat our veggies – Those are the little green and orange things right? …Kidding! But breakfast was a success and after, I ventured with Kayla to experience this incredible fairy tale land filled with Christmas Markets.

Complete with a backdrop fit for royalty, the Köln Christmas Market exceeds expectations and that’s saying something because I have a wild and vivid imagination. At the center, stands a Christmas tree so tall that if it was fitted with a proper star, it would kiss the heavens. Lights drape to the edges of the city center creating a tent with cascading jewels and bows adorning each branch. I have been lucky enough to visit 5 Christmas markets so far. Each has it’s own theme ranging from gnomes, to Nikolas, to one completely dedicated to gay pride.

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While the gift are exquisite, the food is the star of the show. Somewhere in the old Roman Ruins, there must be some of Santa’s little workers burning the midnight oil to create this magical roll called a BaumKuchen. Basically someone sprinkled fairy dust on  it and gave it to the German people to share with the world. 2015-11-27 15.43.58

This week, the boys have been sick and so we have tried a variety of teaching methods from gymnastics to UNO to watching movies in English. Here were some of the results.

My time in Germany has taught me more about life than I ever imagined. I am so happy to announce that I will be staying for 11 months beginning in January. Thank you to my friends an family who have encouraged me and supported me. My aim is to become fluent, continue with my research on musician injuries, and perhaps even be able to play.

I touch down on American soil in a little over a week. I wasn’t sure I would ever want to leave Germany, but the prospect of returning has me itching to snuggle in my own bed, Cheer on Auburn at the bowl game, and dig my toes in the sand of the Gulf.

Blessings to you all!

~Kens

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One thought on “Swapping Traditions

  1. So glad you are sharing some Americanism with your new friends in Germany. Glad that you can be such a great ambassador. Excited for your next adventure! Merry Christmas and be safe coming home.

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