"Ich lebt in einem wereweinerhundgeisterhaus mit einer vogelscheuche und einem hexenmeister."
I live in a were-weinerdog ghost house with a scarecrow and a warlock.
-Doug, at dinner, speaking his own very special brand of German
I took today off because I am beat. Exhausted. And feeling that "I'm going to throw up or pass out" kind of feeling. So being home, curled up with many dogs and the Steelers Fleece is the best place to be. I updated the Boy Scout Troop website (we have a huge fundraiser coming up at the end of October) and before I slip off into sleepies I thought I ought to write an update.
Our exchange student is spectacular.
I took the day off on Friday to clean house and have decided I want a cleaning lady. Yikes. But I digress. Jess and I picked her up on Friday evening, and brought her home where Doug had just arrived and where Geoff was waiting for us. We decided to go out to eat. The girl she is actually doing her exchange with (Raina) came with us (long story, Raina couldn't host her at all, so a 2nd family was asked to host her and then they backed out... if you read my last entry, that's how we ended up hosting. It wasn't Raina's fault at all, and she feels horrible about the whole situation, but we're not mad at her or anything. She's a gem and we love her).
We had a lot of fun and unlike 2 years ago when Jess didn't talk much in German and our exchange student was shy, the languages were flying. Raina and Jess were speaking German. Melanie was speaking English, and Geoff was speaking some crazy Geoff language of Spanish, German and English as he so desperately tried to fit in. It was entertaining and sad at the same time. I had to pull him aside and ask him to scale it back, not compete, and just be himself. He had decided since she was from Germany she wouldn't know any English so he had better at least pretend to speak her language. I understood his efforts, and thought them very kind. He's figured out she speaks perfectly good English, and has finally calmed down. Doug and I spoke "Denglish" as Raina calls it.... English mixed with some Deutsch words. Lots of laughs were flying.
Saturday afternoon we went out to Salisbury Beach. The dogs needed a good run, and swim, and she wanted to see the ocean from somewhere other than a plane. She's been to places like Spain and whatnot but wanted to see our ocean. So we threw sticks and looked at Newburyport and watched a ton of people with their horses and I took more pictures of strangers and horses than I've ever taken in my life. They were so pretty on the beach.
Saturday night Jess and I went to a Bat Mitzvah party and Melanie spent the evening with Raina's family. I think Melanie would have enjoyed the Bat Mitzvah party because they played all of her favorite music and there were Rebels there who would have embraced her. I know the mom of the Bat Mitzvah gal would have welcomed her to the party no problem... but I didn't want to overwhelm her with 10,000 new strangers after being here for less than 24 hours. Upon reflection, I think she would have done just fine, splendid, wonderfully. Ah well. I took a million pictures of Rebels and others with glow stick necklaces and chaos... the photos are here if you want to see. A couple particularly nice ones are there of our Jess.
Sunday we took her to our church, and it was a special and different service. Our pastor dresses up as one of the most famous of the Great Awakening church fathers and he does a truncated version of one of his 3 hour sermons. I'm sure it was impossible for her to follow because I was lost and confused... but Rob (our pastor) was all dressed up with the wig and everything so a good time was had by all.
Afterwards, we toured the church from top to bottom, and she got to enjoy the view from the steeple. It was a very nice time.
The work week started and our German Guest went to the high school for the first time -- she said that she had a great time, and that everyone was really friendly. We watched "House" in English and she liked it. She didn't know Hugh Laurie was that guy... yeah. That guy. I was happy to finally see the season premiere, which I hadn't had a chance to catch yet. In fact, now that I think of it I missed the last two episodes of last season, so ... hmmm. Gotta go back and dig into some Hulu or Fox online and catch up.
Melanie has a great sense of humor. The other night we were watching a news report about the German elections, and they kept showing footage of revelers at München's Hofbrauhäus and I said "Look at all these stereotypes! Look how the American media portrays Germans!!! Like a bunch of drunken jerks!" She responded "Oh but that IS how Germans are all the time!" Which I thought was adorable. Monday night we sat around the dining table while Doug looked up words in Google Translator and tried to say them, and it made her laugh so hard. She would correct him, he'd try and say it... and so on and so on, much to our great amusement. At one point he was yelling about Bird Poop and Scarecrows (vogelscheuche) because his "scheuche" was coming out like Scheiße (oh I do love the German double S thingie!). I told her basically I would put money on the fact there wasn't another family in our school district with an exchange student at their house from Germany sitting around the dining table talking about wereweinerhundgeister and vogelscheuche. Guaranteed.
This weekend, the girls are off to NYC in an adventurous trip with Germans and American's mixing it up. Two 2 years ago when The Germans were here, you'll recall that on the same NYC weekend we went to someone's wedding with our German exchange student (GES, remember me calling her that for short? lol). And then we spent two days enjoying Manhattan, which you can read about here and here, if you are so bored at work you can't think of anything else to do.
Melanie is with us through the 15th, when we put her on an airplane and send her away. I already feel like I'll miss her. Three weeks is such a short time. Wow. But ... today she is in Boston doing the Museum of Science. Then to NYC with my daughter. Then they'll have a couple field trips during the week, including one to the town where I work and I may try and see them for a few minutes while they are there. I also think I will take her to the second annual Salem Zombie Walk, which takes place on October 10th (she said it sounds like fun, and I think she honestly means it). We may go with Pastor Rob out on his boat out to see whales on the 10th too, if that works out. Not sure yet... Have to wait and see.
Doug's parents are coming up to nearby Manchester NH for some sort of convention for some glass stuff that they're into. So we'll have a visit with them in late October... I wish they were actually coming to visit while Melanie is here.
Anyway, I so desperately need a nap right now. This has taken me longer to write than I thought because I got two phone calls and a house guest in the middle of it. I'm sure there will be more adventures coming up soon.