So it’s been another 4 months since I last posted. Things have been this way and that, and honestly blogging has simply been slipping my mind. You are always free to encourage me to post something new!
When we left off, I had just started my B2 Intensive German course. I continued this through October, thoroughly enjoying it. I also started to pursue an internship for my degree program and do some background research. At the end of the month, I got an offer to work with a diocese that has a goal to reach carbon neutral by the end of the decade. A perfect fit for what I want to write my Master’s thesis on!
We had our appointment with the immigration office, which did not go well. I mean, we got our applications submitted, but they treated us horribly and over the next 3 months we were negatively affected multiple times by what they claim is the standard procedure. Unfortunately, from our time in Kaufbeuren we know that this doesn’t have to be the case.
COVID cases climbed in Eberswalde as well as Berlin, threatening a second lockdown.
COVID numbers continued to rise, and my German course changed to a hybrid format. Due to the nature of the course, we were still allowed to meet in person, but it was decided that it would be best to meet part time online. Online language courses have benefits and disadvantages for sure, so this was a really nice compromise.
William and Herbert were able to continue to enjoy going to work and Kita. We had a quiet Thanksgiving dinner at home of turkey breast, mashed potatoes, peas, and pumpkin pie.
In December my German course was moved fully online and the country went into a second lockdown. Thankfully the state of Brandenburg has kept the Kitas open (childcare for ages 6 and under) and William continued to be able to work despite the storefront needing to close.
For the first couple weeks of Advent, there was a lovely “Christmas Boulevard,” made up of several Christmas Market stands sprinkled throughout the city center. No one was expecting this, since it had been announced there would be no Christmas market, so it was a wonderful surprise.
St. Nikolaus and the Weihnachtsmann (Santa) visited Herbert several times, which was very exciting for him. This was the first year that he was really into Christmas. He asked for approximately everything, but was very happy with the presents he got. And he still uses all the non-edible ones! My personal favorite was the digital piano that we bought for the whole family. William and I have been reteaching ourselves how to play.
Paperwork issues delayed the start of my internship, which to date still hasn’t started. But we’re slowly making progress. And for the month of December, this was nice, as it allowed me to focus on other projects and to take some time off. In the end of December, the whole family had off of school and work. What a lovely opportunity to just take a break and let go of responsibilities for a bit. I barely used my planner those two weeks!
Fireworks to ring in the New Year were deescalated this year from “probably an air raid” to “overexuberant 4th of July.” We all went to bed at our normal time, but were woken up precisely at midnight by the fireworks. Then at 6:50 the next morning, we poured glasses of champagne and called back home to ring in the New Year with the Central Time Zone.
German classes continued online. The course wrapped up for the semester and I passed my exam – on to the C1 intensive in March! If I pass the exam at the end of that course, I would be qualified to study at university in German. Which isn’t the plan, but the qualification will transfer well to a job in Germany that may be relatively academic. (Although we don’t know where we’re going after I graduate, gotta keep those options open)
Finally – finally! – we received our new residence permits after 3 months of waiting (and one month of them having the cards in the office, but not letting us pick them up). They gave us more pointless grief, that honestly creates more work for them. But we got the cards, so we can be here another 9 months.
William and Herbert continued to enjoy work and Kita. Herbert is always asking when the next Kita day is! Herbert’s most important news is probably the snow. It has actually been relatively snowy here! After a snowless 2019/2020 winter, it’s been a little boy’s dream come true. He’s even made a few snowmen.
COVID numbers have been going down steadily across the country since Christmas. I anticipate my German course starting online, but there is hope that it will be able to move to be in person.
And that gets us to now, February! Can’t say much has happened the past few weeks of my semester break. Just continuing our routines, trying to figure out our lives.