After establishing “office hours” at the church, it feels good to settle into a routine. Arriving in the morning, putting water on for coffee and tea and setting up our room for guests feels like we are doing something worthwhile. And we are. We have had a mix of people visit us for language help and that has helped us in our planning.
Initially, because there were so few people, we were able to offer one on one language assistance, helping students review work from their language classes. For those of you who have studied anything, having someone around to answer your individual questions and help you through exercises is a luxury.
Since then, we were happy to have more people join us (including our first women!), but it meant we had to rethink how we would offer help. It seemed to make sense to organize ourselves into two groups -a beginner and advanced. This gave Marla an opportunity to teach as well, reviewing basic introductions, letters and numbers.
But, as we publicized these sessions, many people asked: can we come in the afternoons, because we have our formal classes in the morning? So, we added afternoon sessions to our schedule. One of the people taking advantage of these sessions is Mohammed. Because of his enthusiasm and interest, we met him at the church outside of our normally scheduled times. Perhaps because he worked as a teacher in Syria, Mohammed is very keen on improving his German and finding employment. He is always asking questions about language and life here in Germany. Perhaps because we are similar in age, we have been able to connect in a unique way. We look forward to hosting him in our home sometime soon.
We also noticed that people were often rushing to come for the afternoon, so we decided to offer a simple lunch once a week. Starting this week Wednesday, we will also share a meal together.
We are also hearing that the weekends are very quiet for many refugees. How can we offer a warm place to gather, speak German and build relationships? How does that fit into our own need for rest and relaxation? We are contemplating what we can offer that will be positive for all of us.
In between all this, Marla and I are also needing to look into finding a new apartment. Our current sub-lease ends on Dec. 27th and we are realizing that we have it pretty good right now. For a reasonable price, we have approx. 65 square metres of furnished space, including a spare room for guests. There is no way we can find a similar living space within our budget. Therefore, we are preparing to downsize and see how that feels. We will view our first apartment next week.
German word of the week: frühstücken – some of you may recognize this as the English word ‘breakfast” and that would be close. This is the verb – to breakfast. Since we love breakfast, this is a fun word to use. So, in Germany, you don’t have to eat breakfast. You can simply breakfast. For eg., yesterday I breakfasted with my parents. Or, tomorrow morning I will breakfast at 9 am.