First, I would like to apologize about maintaining this blog. I thought I would be much better at this. Frankly, I don’t really have any excuses either. I have plenty of time to write, but sometimes I just can’t seem to find the words. Anyways, I’m attempting to catch up on everything that happened post-hospital stay, but it will be several posts!
When I first arrived in Germany, I didn’t think I would have the opporutnity to celebrate Thanksgiving. However, I was able to celebrate twice with wonderful people! Several weeks ago, I received an email asking me if I would be interested in speaking at the Soropotmist Club Thanksgiving Event in Bad Sobernheim. I thought this would be a great opportunity to share American culture with some Germans, plus it would give me something to do and not focus on not being with my family in Texas because it would be on actual Thanksgiving. Ilse, who had previously worked with Fulbright, found me through the German Fulbright Commission and they thought I would be a good fit since I studied Communication. I was so glad that Ilse contacted me about the event. The speech would be in German, but didn’t need to be longer than 10 minutes. I was a bit nervous about giving a speech in German.
I also emailed with another club member, Aleta, who is an American that has been living in Germany for 30 years, picked me up from the train station. About 10 years ago, she started the Thanksgiving event because the club met on the 4th Thursday of every month anyways. She thought it would be a great event to raise money and share the American culture. She was an amazing woman because she actually did a similar program as me, fell in love and then just stayed here. Aleta works hard to get the meal to be just right by giving recipes to the hotel restaurant. She even manages to get real Butterball Turkeys from the American base nearby.
On Thursday, I traveled to Bad Sobernheim with the train. Aleta picked me up from the train station. It was a bit odd because we spoke in English at first, but switched to German We drove to the venue, the BollAnt’s im Park Hotel, and it was gorgeous. Even though it was already dark, I could still see the beauty of the place. Actually, three sisters owned the hotel and were actually members of the club. The event hall was gorgeous as well. Everything was just perfect.The hotel restaurant has really high rankings, so I was excited about the meal. Everyone was very welcoming and excited to hear from me about my Thanksgiving traditions.
After some mingling and champagne, we sat down for the official welcome from the Club President. She previewed the evening and introduced all the special guests. There was still some extra time, so my speech got moved forward, which I was glad it did. I managed to give the speech in German about my impressions of Germany so far and what Thanksgiving means to me. I didn’t think it was a very eloquent speech, but everyone seemed to enjoy it. I was relieved that it was done and I could enjoy the rest of the evening.
For the appetizer, we had a delicious spinach dip, cornbread and a yummy pumpkin soup. It was all very delicious, but the cornbread didn’t quite live up to my dad’s cornbread. The main meal was a very typical Thanksgiving meal: turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green beans, stuffing, cranberries and corn casserole. It was all very yummy and surprisingly quite authentic! I was so thankful for the opportunity to be part of the event and able to enjoy such a delicious meal with some amazing people.
After the meal, there was a live auction to raise money for their selected charity. It was a type of auction that I had never seen before, but it was lots of fun. There was an auctioneer and then two ladies with buckets. When the auctioneer would say start, any one could put 5 euros into the bucket. There would be someone else that is timing the whole thing for an unknown amount of time. The last person to place 5 euros in the bucket would be the winner of the prize. The prizes for the evening included: 1950s American style Christmas ornaments, a sculpture, and a gift card to the hotel spa. It was lots of fun to watch. After the auction, there was magician who provided some entertainment.
Overall, the evening was enjoyable and went late into the night. I am so happy I was able to be part of such a cool event. I met some amazing women and hope to meet them again in the future. Several of them invited me to their homes, so I hope I can take them up on that! I couldn’t have imagined spending Thanksgiving in Germany any other way! Enjoy some pictures from the evening:
Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of me during the speech or with any of the women I met!