Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sunday 21st October 2007. Reunion Day

This morning Papa took me to Weener (a nearby township), and before you all get the giggles, it’s pronounced vee-ner. It’s funny, because it’s not that far away, but I’ve never been there before. One of the other Australian girls stayed there for her year, but I never had much time for her. She was nice enough, I suppose, but she came from country Victoria, and at 16 knew she was going to marry the boy from the farm next door. The only reason she came on exchange is because they had taken in the boy from the family she came to here, as a direct placement. I guess I didn’t really think of her as adventurous enough, and she wasn’t. Back then I saw that as a weakness, rather than her just knowing her own limitations, I guess. Funny how 20 years makes you far more understanding of other people’s traits (guess that’s part of growing up – dammit – I’ve avoided it so far)! J

Anyway, Papa just told me when I came down for breakfast that he and I were going out at 10.30am. I didn’t ask and he didn’t say – so I left it as a surprise.

Papa is very active with the youth wing of the German Red Cross. Where we went was actually a celebration of Weener finally getting a permanent home for the Red Cross to meet at and plan etc. They’ve been in Weener since 1910 (I did pay attention during the 3 long speeches), but they’ve kind of been shoved around a bit. They had a place for a few years at a time, and then needed to move on for one reason or another. It was pretty good. They had some fund raising stuff (as you’d expect) and I spent some time with one of the guys who works in their ambulance. (And again, before anyone gets any ideas – he was about 5 foot nothing – full shaggy beard, and has been married for 35 years). He showed me what they had on board, so what they could and couldn’t do, basically. The German system is much different to ours. They don’t have paramedics as such. The people who work on the wagons are specially trained and often an actual doctor rides along too. I will have to get the full explanation from Vera when I get to Kiel, I know she’s done some ambulance shifts – she really enjoyed it. What the wagon basically is, is a mini emergency room. Even to the point of some emergency procedures could be safely performed on board – especially if the doctor is there too.

So that was my morning.

My afternoon was excellent too. Today we went to Meike and Hannes’ place for coffee – most of the ‘gang’ from 2000 was there too. We had a great afternoon. It’s always good to catch up with everyone. Menna and Dieter weren’t there, and I really hope that I get to see them – but since time is ticking away quickly, I’m not sure I can fit it in. If nothing else, I will try to get into Leer through the week and see Menna at work!
Meike and Hannes are the parents of Katja who was just in Brisbane for 2 months as part of her degree. They seem to think that I did a lot for Katja – which I didn’t really. But as Hannes said, it made it much less stressful to think that she had friends nearby if there was any kind of problem.

No comments: