I arrived in Frankfurt at a bright and early 6:20am on Tuesday morning. After several sleepy train rides, (following two seven-hour flights, I might add), I arrived in Delitzsch, the nearest train station to my new temporary home. Waiting for me was Emma, a Canadian family friend I know from childhood summers on Prince Edward Island. I haven’t seen Emma for thirteen years (I was ten, she was sixteen), but we have a lot of overlapping memories of those summers. My mom reconnected with her a few years ago, and found out that she was now married and living in Germany with 2 (make that 3) daughters. I was in touch with Emma once I became interested in visiting Germany and she and her husband generously opened their home to me for a few weeks.
As a result, I’m living in Wannewitz, a little village in Saxony with a population of around 100. Taking windy walks among cows and fields with the baby has made realize that it’s been a long time since I’ve been out of a city and I’m enjoying this rural retreat. Perhaps best of all, by living with a family with kids ages 4, 2, and 5 weeks, I have a natural in to all kinds of destinations that are perfect for conversations about names. Life has already been filled with kindergartens, play groups and church events in Delitzsch and Leipzig which has meant that I’m meeting many people who recently went through the naming process.
I've been enjoying learning about the stories behind these old homes from the days when this village was a part of the GDR.
Besides these outings, my days so far have largely been spent in a sunny kitchen getting used to Germany by sampling local beers and learning to make “eierschecke” cake and picking up on the language from some very vocal toddlers (note: with a two year-old in the house, the first word you learn is “Nein”). I’m giving Emma a helping hand next week while her husband is away for work and life is currently very busy and very full—full of projects and ballerinas and sticky fingers and meltdowns and pink coats and quite a few exceedingly adorable smiles.
It’s a good change for a solo traveler.