Friday, November 14, 2014

First days in Werne, Germany!

Upon arriving to this beautiful little town in  Germany, the group was tired from traveling. Though I felt as if my eyelids weighed 1000lbs and took everything in my to keep them open, I was excited to be touring the school I will be teaching for two weeks at during my stay here! (the other two weeks i will be teaching at an Elementary School!)

After touring the school, my host mom, Sandra picked me up! Once arriving at the house that I would call home for four weeks, I was very thankful for the opportunity to have a hot shower and rest a bit. (no sleeping though!) While I showered, Sandra cooked me a wonderful meal! My first real German meal!! And just so everyone knows, it was absolutely delicious! Here is a picture.. (yes i was one of THOSE people to took a picture of their food! But hey, Doesn't it look good!?)

(This was a pork dish served with potatoes, peas and carrots. The pork was very good. Not sure what in America it is similar to, but it was yummy!! )

After having a yummy dinner, my host mom and siblings took me into the city of Werne to look around! I felt as if i was walking through a movie set. ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!! Here are a few snapshots I took during out little walk! 
 This is a picture of one of the main market streets in Werne. There were many little shops where locals went to buy clothes, jewelry and what not!

 This is a picture of Market Square! Every Wednesday and Saturday farmers come and set up tables to sale their fresh produce. I explained to my host mom that this is very similar to what we have in America called Farmers Markets!

Werne has a lot of history in the walls of the city. The picture above of the location the walls of the city used to be. Werne was once surrounded by a wall, like many German cities back many years ago.  This wall protected a knights castle that once stood in Werne, a monastery, and the main catholic church that stands in the middle of the town that is still used today for Mass every week! This is a picture of Südmauer Street. Südmauer translated to English means "South Wall". So this picture is of where the south end of the wall was located in Werne. They also have a street called  Nordmauer, which is the location where the north portion of the wall was. Very interesting!! Very Neat!! Even more Beautiful! I'll have more pictures of the town to post later! Here is a picture of Werne from 1649 that my host mom Sandra showed me! 

After leaving the city, we went home to get ready for the Sankt Martins Festival in a small neighboring village called Stockhum. This is a holiday that the Protestant church celebrates a man name Sankt Martin. He was a roman solider who was noticed for his kindness when he gave a poor man his cape during a cold day. Jesus then met Sankt Martin in his dreams and told him that the man he gave warmth to was in fact Jesus himself. Sankt Martin then became a Priest and lived his life dedicated to the work of Jesus. This was such a beautiful story which touched my heart. Not only was this the first Protestant church i have ever attended, my heart overflowed with the kindness of the people! Below is a picture of "Sankt Martin" and his horse. He would be the leader of the Parade after  the children's program in the church. 

The tradition during this festival always starts with a program in the church done by children. I honestly had no idea what they were saying but it was fun to watch and just experience the German culture! After the program, everyone then went outside to "follow" Sankt Martin in a parade. Children made lanterns of all shapes, sizes, and creations that they held while following Sankt Martin! There was a band that played the traditional Sankt Martin song the whole length of the parade as well.  Below is a picture of one of my host siblings lantern they carried a few years ago. 

After the parade, all the members of the church met in the church court yard to eat and talk to one another. This was my first chance to try a true German Brautwurst, and i must say... it was delicious! I also had a "coke-a-cola" as well. This didn't taste like they do in America but still yummy! Overall my first full day in Germany was wonderful! I am beginning to fall in love with this culture and i can't seem to learn enough about this little city we are staying in! Tomorrow we are traveling to see a Knights Castle in a neighboring city and possibly do some shopping!! Until then Gute Nacht or Goodnight Friends!! 

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