Letter: Happy new year from CrailsheimI have been living with the Grüner family for a little over two months now, and my year is almost half over. I just can’t believe how fast it is going!
By: Nicole Janssen, Crailsheim exchange student, Worthington Daily Globe
I have been living with the Grüner family for a little over two months now, and my year is almost half over. I just can’t believe how fast it is going! I feel like I can really relate to the Grüners, and we have a lot of fun together. I already know that it is going to be just as hard to leave the Grüners in February as it was to leave the Wiesers in November.
We had winter break from school Dec. 23, 2009–Jan. 11, 2010. I spent my time shopping, going to the movies, attending a “USA Gospel Choir,” spending time with the Grüners, celebrating the holidays, celebrating Marie’s 16th birthday, and of course sleeping in late! Over the break the Grüners brought me to Wurzburg; here we saw an old fort that existed back in 1250. We also went shopping! Unfortunately, we didn’t have any snow for Christmas or New Year’s, but we have some now — the temperatures don’t get as cold as they do in Minnesota.
On Christmas Eve I attended church with the Grüners and my host dad’s parents. After church we had supper at the Grüners, and then my host mom’s parents came over and we opened our Christmas gifts. On Christmas Day we went out to eat with my host mom’s side of the family. After Christmas dinner we went to my host Mom’s sister’s house and spent the afternoon playing cards, opening a few more gifts, eating cookies and cake, and visiting with each other. On the day after Christmas we went to dinner with my host dad’s side of the family. I had a wonderful German Christmas!
There is nothing like ringing in the New Year German style! I went with the Grüners to a family friend’s house, where we ate a traditional meal called “Raclette.” This wasn’t developed in Germany, but some Germans eat it on Halloween, Christmas and/or New Year’s. You make it on a little grill, using a little tray, and you can put whatever you want in it — vegetables, meat and/or cheese; there is also bread to eat with it too. It was really good! Then after that we just hung out and waited until midnight. Shortly before midnight, we went outside and set up sparklers and fireworks; then at midnight we set them all off! About every house on the street was shooting off fireworks, and the whole street was all lit up. Also, my host sister, Marie, turned 16 on the 1st! It was a lot of fun and an unforgettable New Year’s for me.
I have been attending a Catholic church with one of my friends from school and her family. My experience in Crailsheim is going just great — Worthington has a wonderful sister city! I am fluent with my German speaking now. I am so glad that I am here! I encourage everyone to definitely consider being the exchange student some day. I wouldn’t trade this year for anything!
“I hope everyone had a Frohe Weihnachten (Merry Christmas) and I wish you a Glückliches Neues Jahr (Happy New Year)”!