Monday, 4 November 2013

The weekend of... hibernation temptation

I’m not entirely sure how civilisation blossomed up here in the North Pole Marburg because, really, it’s too cold to do anything. But, trying to fit in, we did do some stuff this weekend, despite our instincts to hibernate.

On Friday afternoon I went to see what goes on at the Kids Club which runs once a week for the kids in the area to learn about Jesus and have fun. It’s a great team that works there, and the project is really blessed. At one point I needed to stand and introduce myself to the kids and tell them a little about myself. When I told them I’m from SA I was met with gasps and the question “then why aren't you black?” and “what do you eat there?” and so forth. Apparently our country's tourism efforts are successful in creating a false image of our country. I think I may have been a bit disappointing to the kids, and I certainly felt rather fraudulent, but they were sweet anyway. When one child sidled up to me and asked “warum sprechts du so komisch?”, I even managed to find her cute and laugh it off. I think the kids asked what a lot of adults have wanted to ask, and I appreciate their inquisitiveness – how will they develop a faith of their own if they don’t ask questions and make sense of the world themselves?

Saturday was a whole lot less exciting. Some of you may have seen this picture on Instagram or Facebook... and let me say that had I done a time-lapse video, not much would have changed. 

side note : isn't this photo evidence that we should get a new camera? Sponsors? 
Malcolm was so diligent in working hard all day on a presentation he needs to give on his master’s work this week. I tried to be a domestic goddess and tackled the enormous pile of dishes and did our grocery shopping, though a lot of my time was spent in the chair next to Malcolm, reading. 
But, it pretty much made my day when I was out and ran into people we know up at the shops... having grown up in a small town, and PMB feeling like a small town too, constantly running into people at the mall or at the bank or wherever, coming across people I know has been one of the things I’ve missed the most since leaving. In Koln, I got so used to going out and not seeing anybody I knew, that it makes me SO happy to recognise people – somehow it makes it feel like we actually live here, like we belong a little, and makes it feel a little more like a home.

My day was also made by our skype chat to Malcolm’s parents. It was the first time since we got to Marburg that we had a clear line and no connection difficulties, and even though on our side we had no video feed and our screen froze, it was a great time chatting and catching up.

Sunday was a little busier. When we woke up, it was miserable and rainy and we were rather disappointed that we said we’d be somewhere other than our apartment. But, we put on our big girl and big boy pants and headed out into the Obenstadt. 

we haven't had a chocolate croissant since we got to Marburg, and sharing one made the cold a little more bearable. 


Up in the Obenstadt, we met up with other DAAD students who are studying in Marburg. We went for a tour of a few places in the centre of the Aldtstadt, and learned a lot about the town – from its origins to its existence as a pilgrimage destination, to its role in the Reformation, to the way the buildings were built (we also saw the house with the first toilet in town), to the purpose of stones jutting out of walls, to the reason the town hall’s lion looks like a monkey, and so on. It was really interesting and I just wish I could remember everything. 

Some of the paintings in the Alte Aula in the Old University Building. The pictures show the history of the town.

One of the two chandeliers in the Aula. 

The house where the Brothers Grimm lived in 1802-1803.

The sun eventually peeped out.

The Lutheran Church


After the tour, we went to the oldest coffee shop in town and got to know one another a little better there. It was cosy and warm and the cake, though we didn’t have any, looked delicious. We definitely plan on returning!

We eventually got home and then got ready to go out again. There’s a church service and coffee and cake gathering once a month in the cafe thing (called CenTral) for people up in this area that we went to. It was so nice to see people again and get to introduce Malcolm to some of the people I’d met at the homework club and the kids club this week. People had also brought cake, which was amazing – to them it might be ordinary, but to us everything still looks so exciting and interesting. The worship time was also really good, and it was a very blessed time for sure. Afterwards, after some more chatting, we eventually headed home. There was a welcome party happening later for new people at church, but we were so tired and had met so many people, that we just went home. It’s tricky getting used to the sun setting earlier now, because when we got home at 6pm, it really felt much, much later. But, Malcolm still had time for some more work, and then some chilling before bed.


I think we definitely made up for Saturday’s lack of excitement on Sunday! Now, I can hardly believe it’s already Monday AGAIN, and the butterflies in my tummy are in full flutter for ballet this evening! I hope you all have a wonderful Monday, and a great week ahead! 

16 comments:

  1. Looks like fun! When I studied in France they brought some of the international students to the French elementary school to teach them about different cultures. My poor sweet German friend had to introduce himself right after the teacher jogged their memory about Germany by mentioning WWII...all the kids were scared stiff of him haha. Luckily he won their favor with gummy bears ;)

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    1. Oh shame! That's so terrible! I'm never quite sure how to respond to it when people say stuff like... "Oh, you guys had apartheid, right?" and it's sort of like "yes." and then awkwardness because they haven't really asked anything more about it or anything. And when that's the first thing they ask about, it kinda sucks - I'm much happier being asked why I'm not black! :D I think I should carry sweets though, just in case ;)

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  2. "then why aren't you black?" oh kids, they just say whatever they think!! Hilarious.
    And I know what it's like to be so cold you feel like you can't do anything other than try really hard to just not be cold anymore!

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    1. Absolutely, and while adults might hush them, I think secretly we ask the same questions as kids. ;)

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  3. I just had a very hard time getting out of bed because it is so chilly in the mornings in our apartment, so good for you for getting out and about on Sunday! Marburg looks really cute and I am glad it is starting to feel a bit more like a home.

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    1. It's soooo difficult! If Malcolm didn't need to get to varsity in the morning, I doubt I'd get out of bed til quite late! Thanks, me too!

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  4. Haha. I love those questions the kiddos asked you. :-)

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  5. isn't running into people the best? it just makes wherever you are feel more like home :) also- what are you reading? (i'm always anxious to know what people read.. can't help it :) ) glad to see things are settling down a bit, and i can definitely relate on the weather (minneapolis is expecting a huge snow storm tonight).

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    1. Absolutely, I didn't realise how much I've missed it! At the moment, I just finished The Importance of Being Earnest, and now I'm getting through a kids book called Petit Hector Apprend la Vie... it's got some good lessons for adults too, and when it teaches kids the difference between Kantian and Utilitarianism philosophy, it makes me wonder.

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  6. I love seeing all your photos!

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    1. Thanks! I'm getting frustrated by how grainy the photos are - I think my lense could just do with some cleaning, and I should check if I've changed something, because I'm sure they used to be better! :)

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  7. I kind of adore hibernation mode that hits when it gets cold but I am giving you a standing ovation for braving the cold and doing such a lovely tour!

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    1. I love it to, if only I could just hibernate!!! :D

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  8. Haha, love the kid's reaction about you being from South Africa! I bet that one never gets old ;).

    Kate | Diaries of a Essex Girl

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    1. Haha, well, I liked how direct they asked. Usually I can tell people are confused because they ask where our parents are from, and I can just see them trying to figure out what happened that we are white. ;)

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