Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A new addition to our family

Our family is in the middle of one of the most wonderful opportunities you can imagine! We have welcomed a new addition into our family; alas, only for two months though. Our new foreign exchange student, Johanna, arrived last Thursday from her home near Rottenburg, Germany. This is not your typical exchange situation. Johanna's Aunt Elke and my mom know each other via their time with HP. The end of last year Elke contacted my mom and asked if she knew of a family who would like to host a young german girl. Immediately my mom thought about my family and we set the wheels in motion. Over the last seven months our family has exchanged emails with Johanna's family (and even "skyped" once), and have gotten to know each other. Johanna and Cassie have been sending emails on a fairly frequent basis and have really gotten acquainted.
This is the most darling girl you could ever want to meet! We're trying to fit a lot of fun activities in before school starts in two weeks, and she seems to be having fun getting to know the California way of life. I've attached a few photos of some of our recent excursions and will be posting some more during her time here. With the way we all sit around here and laugh you'd think we'd been friends with each other for years. We get a kick out of some of her expressions, and she laughts a lot at us when we pronounce the german words she's TRYING to teach us :) I think one of the funniest things was when we were around the firepit last night and she saw Nick put a flaming marshmallow in his mouth. She let out a gasp and then started laughing. It was hilarious!!! We took her to San Francisco the other day and let her see a lot of the popular sites. Because it was so late in the day, we didn't get to ride a cable car, but took our photo on one. That was quite an experience, and if you want to hear a funny story, ask me about the dog that Ali is holding in the photo!
One of the things we've been so surprised about is how much she actually has in common with the girls. From their clothes, their music, and even the food, german teens are a lot like american teens. The one type of food Johanna had never eaten was mexican and we couldn't wait to introduce her to it! When we were in San Francisco the other day, we had mexican food for dinner and she loved it!
I'd always heard people refer to their exchange students as their "sons" or "daughters" and now I know completely what they mean! I'm trying very hard not to think about the end of September when she leaves, because I know we're all going to be very sad...but until then, we have lots of fun things in our future!

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