Sunday September 30, 2018

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Another busy day for us as we get ready to leave our first stop. Our first stop was to church this morning for a kids service where Lucia sang in the children choir and Johannes did a wonderful blessing for us during the service. Today we celebrated Ernterdank (or thanksgiving) with a wonderful soup lunch and some fellowship.

Jeff and I then headed off to pack for our departure tomorrow, though I still can’t believe we are leaving already. We have a few hours to pack and then we began making a “sort of” traditional American Thanksgiving dinner; we had to adjust the menu a bit to account for the fact that we can’t find some of the necessary items : ) Our menu tonight…roasted duck with stuffing (with homemade breadcrumbs), mashed potatoes with hard-boiled eggs (a Wood family tradition), candied yams (mom’s recipe), Brötchen, and Napoleon pastry for dessert with lots of wine, beer, and cordials. Jeff and I divided up the menu items and took turns in our very small kitchen.

Tonight we cooked and served dinner to Johannes and Birgit and to the Hoffman’s (René, Susi, and Emma). Dinner turned out amazing (homemade stuffing and roasted duck are the way to go—it was amazing!), but the company of our friends was more than I could have ever imagined. These people mean so much to me and this is much harder than I expected. I had no idea that we would feel so attached to a place that we were only in for two months. I don’t want to speak for Anjali, but based on her reaction and emotions after dinner, she is also really going to miss the people here. She and Emma got very close and this goodbye was very difficult. As she put it, “it reminded me of having to say goodbye to Nadia all over again”.

Here are some pictures of dinner.

Here are some pictures from after dinner and just visiting with these wonderful people.

Anjali and Emma stayed up very late to take advantage of every moment they have together.

Tonight we all shed tears, and for me it was almost surreal—I felt like I was leaving home, but it just didn’t seem possible to feel this way after only such a short time. These people have welcomed us as family and have given us the wonderful blessing of friendship. I look back and am so grateful for the time that we had and the opportunities we took advantage of,  I look forward to the future and the new adventures and people that await us, but in this moment I feel sadness to leave it all.

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