Earlier in September, I received a very nice invitation to go to my host grandparent’s 50th-anniversary celebration with the rest of my host family. My host mom explained to me that we were going to drive to my host grandparent’s house (about a 3-and-a-half-hour drive) and stay there for the majority of our fall break. I was really excited to meet my host grandparents and see the area where they live.
On Sunday, we all piled into the car and drove to Mandel (the town where my host grandparents live). When we arrived at the house, everybody was so nice and welcoming. Even though my host grandparents can’t speak much English, I was still able to tell them a bit about myself in my broken German.
Josie and I walked around Mandel with the dogs almost every single day, and I can easily say that by the end of our two weeks there, I had seen every single part of Mandel. The town is very small; there are only about 900 people living there. Fortunately, there’s a larger city near Mandel called Bad Kreuznach. My host family and I drove to Bad Kreuznach one day and they showed me around the city. The city sits on the Nahe River, which is really beautiful.
On Thursday, we went to my host grandparent’s anniversary party. There was a lot of great food and it was fun to meet some of my host family’s friends. Everyone was really kind and kept asking me questions about America and my exchange year.
Sunday was also a super fun day because I was able to meet up with my friend Emily from language camp. She lives in Idar-Oberstein, which is only about 45 minutes away from where my host grandparents live. Idar-Oberstein is known for its mining industry as well as the famous Felsenkirche (church in the rocks). It was nice to catch up with Emily and hear what it’s like to live in a completely different region of Germany.
We said goodbye to my host grandparents and drove back to Höxter on Tuesday. The area where my host grandparents live is so beautiful; there are a lot of vineyards, which made the drive pretty.