Wednesday, August 24, 2005

visting relatives

This is the second time that I have written this. Its been a while since I have posted because I went to vist my dad's cousin in Werl, which is near Dortmund (or about an hour and 30 min from Cologne) over the weekend. I just learned that you can't post more than 5 pictures in one post. And even then, it might not work. So, if you want to see the pictures, go to ringo. I had a wonderful time in Werl and it was just like I pictured Germany to be like. But even though it was so pretty, I came to realize that I really love Ostfriesland as well. Tomorrow I start school and I am nervous and also looking forward to it. I still don't know what grade I am in... but I should know tomorrow morning, hopefully!!!

There are lots of beautiful churches in Werl. The town is home to mostly Catholics (with 3 chuches, one is a Basilica!) and a neat Mosque where many of the Turkish imigrants worship (similar to our Mexican problem). They churches are made of old stone and all have artifacts in them of saints. The Basilica has a crypt and a golden statue of Mary.

Werl grew up as a rich town because of the springs in the area hold an exceptional amount of salt. In addition, Werl is one of the most popular pilgramage sites in Germany. There were many wars fought over the rights to produce salt because salt used to be such an important and valuable spice (much more valuabe than gold). To this day, the town still has a militia thing, that is actaully typical of most german small towns. Lucky for me, the Schuzenfest (sp?) was this weekend, where the Schuzen (the town militia) chooses a new ''king'' and ''queen'' and there is a lot of celerations for days. I didn't see much of it but I did see the parade. Many of the larger towns and cities ''own'' smaller ones in the area around them (think, castles and wars and domination) so there is a Schuzen King, Queen, and band and\or milita for each town that celebrate in the main city). The town center of the main city holds the central market place, shopping centers, and churches. (On a side note, Esens owns smaller towns, but is furthermore owned by nearby Wittmund.) The Schutzenfest is quite a sight to see.

In addition, saturday night I went to a Discotek with some girls my own age that Bobby knew. That was really neat. I wish that American towns would have Discoteks. It would be a good Edify project!! I also learned that the Youth Centers have little cafes and bars in them. What a great idea (well, maybe not the bars)!! Both Saturday and Sunday afternoons I did some sightseeing. Saturday I went to a nearby lake and saw lots of hills\mountains. Its sooo flat in East Frisa that it was a welcome sight. We also went to a thatched roof restaurant and gardens that had delicious german cakes (ooooo, german desserts are soooo good). The neatest part of the gardens, besides being tons better than Sonnenburg gardens was that the tree stumps were painted to look like gnomes!

So now I'm back here in Esens, and last nite I got together with my host sister from the Hoyers (my next family) and with Cor (the Thai student who is living with them now). We went out for pizza bread at a local bar\restaurant and then went back to the Hoyer's house to watch a movie. We watched a german comedy called the 7 Dwarfs (sp?)... not the disney version. I also met my next host parents, and I like them very much. My host dad is really cool and he is also the french teacher at my school, so I might be able to work out a chance to go to France! This is my last day of summer vacation and I have to say, this has been the strangest summer I have ever had. Hopefully I will hear from you all soon!


Mom said...

Your pictures didn't come through on Ringo. Sounds like you are having fun. Good luck with your first day of school.
Love, Mom

Dad said...


Yes, the old kingdom system. Here we have a similar thing, with the Town of Mendon "owning" for example, the Village of Honeoye Falls, and the Hamlet of Mendon "4-Corners."

Sounds like a great time with the cousins. I'll try to hook you up with the Volzer's in Tuttlingen.

Great about the entertainment - don't drink too much beir!!!

And, of course best of luck with school - and move to the Hoyers'