On November 12th I switched my host family. I now live in town, rather than on the top of a mountain. I have two host sisters: Lynn (19-20) and Gesa (17). Both of them are very, very nice and very, very fun to hang out with. My host parents, Astrid and Charles, are also awesome. Charles is actually from England... yes, England. It's actually quite helpful to have someone who went through the same process of learning German though. My German has improved tenfold since I moved in.
Thanksgiving was a depressing and fun time at the same time. Depressing because I only saw digitalized versions of the delicious food and wonderful family, and fun because I saw digitalized versions of the delicious food and wonderful family. Jealousy to all you people who actually saw your families in the flesh and got to EAT THAT FOOD. My mind was quickly drawn away from Thanksgiving because the next day I drove to a Rotary weekend in Wenigrode. Wenigrode is a small town about forty-five minutes from my town, and it was definitely me favorite weekend yet because all my Rotary friends that live in and around Hannover (that = all of them) got to see what the country looks like, and quasi where I live. They thought it was so beautiful and quaint. Don't get me wrong, it is both these things, but they forget that I am also cut off from all the things they get to experience. Each place has its advantages and disadvantages.
Christmas is a huge deal in Germany. Not the buy blow-up/light up snowmen for the yard crazy, but city-wide Christmas market crazy. They have a book full of foods solely for the Christmas season. It will make me fat, this book. Advent is also an important part of the way they celebrate Christmas, meaning that the Advent Calendars are out of this world. Advent Calendars are actually large cloth things that people buy here. Some are in the shapes of Christmas trees, with little pockets, some are a string with 24 stockings on it, etc. Then what they do is that they buy 24 things to put inside each year. Not just candy, other things too. Then there is the evening of December 5th/ the morning of December 6th, which is the time you put your biggest shoe out for Saint Nicholas to fill with candy and presents. basically, I have a mini Christmas morning out. My host mother told this funny story about how when she was a kid, she would put her shoe out the first night, get presents; put it out the next night, get presents; put it out the next night, get presents; and put it out the next night, and get coal. Haha. I decided that I have enough candy and sweets, no need to test that theory out.
Hope you all had wonderful Thanksgivings and wonderful Christmas preparations, please enjoy it all a little bit extra for those exchange students that don't get to do so. Until next time, which will hopefully be soon!