Sunday, July 22, 2012

Freunden und Amigos

We started the day yesterday with a continental breakfast in our hotel room. We had picked some bread, cheese and fruit from the grocery store the night before. The Gouda and the Nussig cheese were great. The Havarti might have also been great, but none of us could get past the smell. Crystal said it smelled like "toots." We had to pass on it.

The Kiel Ward meets in a very nice building. They must have had 120 or 150 people there. They had a group of young single adults from England and other parts of Europe that were traveling together. The ward was very welcoming towards us, and even mentioned our visit in Sacrament meeting. They were all happy to see Amanda again. Ed and Crystal used headphones for the English translation, and I happily understood about 50 percent of the German. I was so proud!

We dropped by to see some of Amanda's friends afterwards. Herr Dammers invited us to drop by after church. He has been attending church since Amanda contacted him on the street earlier this year. I asked him to leave his glasses on for our picture bvecause they made him look so intelligent.

We also visited Dorothea, who was home sick on Sunday. She rarely misses church, but it gave us the opportunity to spend some one on one time with her. Crystal loved Dorothea's cat, Mickey, but, as it turned out, German cat's are just as stand-offish as American cats!

Crystal and I got a good Spanish-speaking workout when we stopped by to visit Ana Maria and Lenka. They both speak German also, so there was a lot of languages changing back and forth! Ana Maria is from Chile. Her daughter has a lovely voice and sang a Beyoncé song for us in English!

In our spare time we stopped to see the Laboe Monument built to honor sailors from all over the world. Kiel is very proud of its sailing heritage.

We also visited a U-Boat, which looked a lot like the submarine we saw in Baltimore last month. It was cozy in there!

There was a beautiful view from the top of the monument. There were lots of giant kites flying, with a carnival on the beach below. Lots of families were out with their children. Not too many people were in the water. It was about 65 degrees out! Summer still hasn't arrived, although the Kiel ward didn't know yet. They had the English speaking Sunday School class meet out on the porch, as they thought the weather was so mild!

By the time we stopped by to see the beginning of the Kiel Canal, it was getting late. We still hadn't had dinner, but it was so fascinating watching the ships enter the locks that we couldn't leave. The canal cuts across the base of the Jutland peninsula. It saves shippers a lot of time and fuel costs to not go up and around Denmark. It gets more traffic than the Panama Canal. We saw some really big ships come through. We met an information officer, who knew everything about the ships and the canal. I tried my German on him, and he told me he didn't speak English. And just when I thought I was getting good! When he realized Amanda REALLY spoke German he was more than happy to answer all our questions.

We tore ourselves away from the lock in time to pick up pizza and eat at 10 p.m.! If the sun would set before 10 p.m. it would help remind us to go to bed on time!

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