Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Garni Girls

I am sitting on my balcony watching the sun rise over the rolling green of the German mountains. My room is located in the northeast corner of the third floor of the Garni House. I have a little balcony that I can walk out onto and enjoy a lovely view of the neighbor’s garden and the surrounding hills. It’s nice to have a garden just outside my window. It reminds me so much of home and my dad’s garden in the backyard. Although, I suppose that dad’s garden is filled mostly with vegetables, while my German neighbors only seem to care about flowers (which is just fine with me!) They have so many varieties—blue and purple hydrangea, pink hibiscus, roses, daisies, mums, and a wide assortment of delicate wild flowers. Sometimes, my neighbors sit outside on their balcony (which is directly across from mine) and chat or play cards and work on crafts. I have tried talking to them, but so far we haven’t gotten much past, “Hallo!” and “Guten Morgen!” 
Some of my neighbor's flowers

The Garni House
Even though I have only been here about a week, I am starting to settle into life at the Garni House. I have some terrific roommates who have come from all over the US to serve God and teach the students at the Black Forest Academy. There are four of us living on the third floor—two in rooms to the east, and two in rooms to the west. Laura lives in the room next to mine. She is from Portland, Oregon and is going to serve as the freshman English teacher at BFA. How exciting to have another literature lover right next door! Across the hall of the third floor are BFA’s two new orchestra instructors. Dayla lives in the room across from mine. She moved here from Boston, plays the viola and violin, and is going to teach the advanced orchestra class. Next to her is Johanna who is from Vermont, plays violin, and is going to teach the beginner orchestra class. So, interestingly enough, the third floor is the land of books, writing, and music. :)

 If you continue down our twisting marble staircase (okay, it’s not really marble, but it’s something like marble) you will arrive on the second floor/main living area of the building. There are two bedrooms on this floor—one occupied by Hanna, the new BFA Spanish teacher from the Chicago suburbs who used to play as a goalkeeper for the Georgetown soccer team. The other room is occupied (temporarily, until her actual apartment becomes available) by Julie the new BFA health teacher. Julie grew up in France and actually attended BFA while in high school! 

Living Room :)
  The living room has four big picture windows that let in lots of sunshine (well, that is, of course, if it is one of those blessed days when Germany actually decides to be sunny). Connected to the living room is the dining room and kitchen. We currently have only two mini-fridges in the upstairs kitchen…not sure how this is going to pan out with eight girls living in the house…pray for us. :) 

Dining room and kitchen

The first floor has three more bedrooms, plus the “guest room” and the cupboard-under-the-stairs. The guest room is a pretty tight squeeze…there’s a big water heater thing in there, so it’s kind of creepy. But, hey, at least there’s a bed! The other bedrooms on the first floor are fairly big and spacious. They also come more furnished than the other rooms in the house, probably because no one really wanted to carry all that large German furniture up the stairs. There is a small kitchenette in the front bedroom…which will definitely help since there will be so many of us living at the house. Currently, there is only one housemate living on the first floor. Her name is Christine and she will be teaching special education at BFA this year. Our other housemates are still on their way to Kandern, but should be here within the next couple of weeks.

Well, I hope that served as a good introduction to a little of my life here in Kandern. I will be sure to add more stories of our adventures at the Garni. :)

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