Safely in Germany!
The GoGrace Germany team has made it safely to Germany! Our flights went smoothly for the most part. Kip, Katelyn, Janell, Regina, Felicia, and Nate all arrived in Detroit just fine. Brittany was supposed to meet us in Detroit, but her flight was canceled. The airline gave her a direct flight to Paris and she ended up beating us there by 3 hours! The rest of us slept a little bit on the plane ride from Detroit to Paris, but not much.
In Paris we went back through security and the border crossing just fine. Janell left her coat on the airplane, (but got a great one for a great price here in Germany). We all ate some baguettes, cheese and meat for lunch in the airport, and then took a nap.
After our long layover in Paris, we boarded our flight to Stuttgart with everyone in tow. All of our luggage made it safely to Stuttgart. John Pappas picked us up at the airport. Janell and Felicia went with John and the luggage to the church. Kip, Katelyn, Brittany, Nate, and Regina all took a series of trains from Stuttgart to Aalen Germany! It was quite the adventure, and we made the train we wanted to catch (though there was some running involved). It was neat to see the train system and learn how to navigate the way.
John picked us up from the train depot in Aalen and we got together with everyone to eat dinner. It was a wonderful meal of bread, meat and cheese. The large soft pretzels were amazing! That night our host families came to get us and we headed home with them. I am staying with Regina and a young family from a neighboring village. they have 3 boys (ages 8-4) and a 2 year old daughter. We chatted with them a bit, but then took showers and headed to bed.
We were picked up this morning at 8am (Germany time) to go to the school system to participate in the English classes there. Regina, Brittany, and I all headed to a middle-school type of school while Nate, Felicia, and Janell headed to a college-prep type of school. The public school system is different than in the states with students staying in one room, and the teachers switch classrooms.
The teacher I had was really great! She was very friendly and nice. She managed the classroom superbly, and the students were very responsive. We were even introduced to ALL of the teachers at the school. They seemed really happy to have us there and the kids cheered when they heard we are coming back to their classes. We spoke to 5th and 7th grade classes. They asked good questions (nothing too hard). My favorite was they asked how many fast food restaurants there are in Indiana.
While Nate, Janell, and Felicia were at the school system, Katelyn, Regina, John Pappas, and Brittany all headed to the little downtown of Aalen. Today was one of the two fresh market days they have a week. The fresh produce and meat and cheese was very interesting. We didn’t have our money with us, but we will be going back there sometime soon for a shopping trip. The others were able to explore a bit later too.
Right now we are just chilling out and taking naps (while I type this at the Pappas’ house). Nate is going to basketball practice with John later and the rest of the group is going to dinner together.
Tonight there is German Bible study at the church at 8pm (our time).
Tomorrow we head out to our first “day off”. We might go to this ancient walled city’s ruins.