Welche Sprache sprechen Sie?

German Class (Welche Sprache sprechen Sie?)

We've been going to our German class this week. It's great. This is a tough language for me, but I'll get it. Summer and Jean are really doing well with it. At one point in my life I was fluent in Spanish so I thought another language would be easier, it's not. Maybe I'm just getting too old ;-) Give me a few months and I'll be speaking like the Chancellor!

(click here to see a short video from tonight's class)

Also, I found this to be very interesting. I am starting to do research on the death camps in Poland and Germany. It's a sad and sick history.

First rabbis to be ordained in Germany since Holocaust
Sep 14 12:35 AM US/Eastern

Three rabbis are to be ordained in the eastern German city of Dresden in the first such ceremony in the country since World War II.
They studied at the Abraham Geiger College in Potsdam outside Berlin which was founded in 1999 with the aim of strengthening the Jewish religion in Germany after the ravages of the Holocaust.

The college is the only institution in Germany that trains rabbis.

The three rabbis are planning to take up positions at synagogues in Munich in southern Germany, in Oldenburg in the northwest of the country and in Cape Town in South Africa, the college said on Wednesday.

The historical moment has been welcomed by the Central Council of Jews in Germany as a "return to normality".

"We need many more rabbis, 30, 40 times as many as we have," the deputy president of the council, Dieter Graumann, said on Wednesday.

Some 600,000 Jews lived in Germany before the Holocaust.

Today the country's Jewish community counts about 110,000 members, the vast majority of whom emigrated from the former Soviet bloc after its collapse and the reunification of Germany.

Coleman Barracks

I always feel compelled to post an image with every blog. I suppose I'm used to seeing words and images together - a storytelling thing..

Anyway, we're slowly, but surely, settling in and getting our bearing. We're painting the house, taking German classes and assimilating as much as possible. It's a process.

I work on a remote Kaserne near Sandhofen, right off of the Autobahn. It's called Coleman Barracks. It's really an air field (Called Coleman Army Airfield). It was a concentration camp for a short time; 1944-1945. It's small and very empty (for all intents and purposes). You can tell that it was a bustling place in its time but now the "cold war" is over, these places are going away. It's scheduled to close in 2010 or 2011. I hope to stay to the end (unless something better comes along).

Driving on Coleman at sunrise this morning.


Innerstadt Fest: Viernheim, Germany

Saturday night we went to the "innerstadt fest" in our village. It's literally a five minute walk to the village center (the big church) from our house.
It was very fun. A lot of eye-candy and interesting food and drink.

Here's a small video describing and showing interaction with the locals.

(7.2 MB WMV Movie)

Life Begins.. Kind Of

Summer starts high school tomorrow. I'm opening the photo studio to shoot DA photos starting tomorrow too. We will be in our house Friday! We can't wait! Our lives are beginning here, we can feel it.
The questions that I'm writing about now are, "When do you feel like you are no longer a 'tourist' and become a member of the community?" "Is it over time? How do you measure that? Can you?" I feel small changes taking place. Work and life begins, I'm becoming familiar with the area. I see less and less of the Tom-Tom. I know where things are, what food is good, where to buy my favorite pastry, things like that. Things are changing.


170 Kmph

We've been very busy lately. Summer starts school Monday, Jean and I have been in a "cultural immersion" class in Heidelberg all week and we moved to a different hotel. Internet connections aren't as easy to get here as in the states, hence the delay in posts, emails and general communication. We'll get better when we get in our house and get settled!

We are now staying at the Alexandros Hotel & Restuarant in Kaefertal. It's MUCH BIGGER than our previous places. We have our own rooms and the shower is huge! The best part is that there is authentic Greek food a few steps from our door!

Here is an abstract Autobahn and Beer Bottles video. FYI: 170 kmph equals 106 mph. The idea here was the these beer bottles that I had rolling around in the back of the car, kept tipping over and almost breaking. It's all about the autobahn and beer here, okay?

(6.6 MB WMV Movie)