Saturday, December 15, 2012

Farewell Brunnenburg 2012 - The end and a new beginning!

Three wonderful months drew to an end but not without several exciting events occurring.  Our last two weeks in Dorf Tirol were busy with workdays, classes, Thanksgiving, outings with the family and a delightful, delicious Farewell Dinner.  Also, one last adventure in Munich, Germany was a highlight for the group.

Tony, Amber, Ramsey and I headed to Merano on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day to shop for dinner.  What an interesting experience!  We bought vegetables, turkey breast, ham, etc.  Thank goodness for our translation books and the German we learned in Michi’s class.  We headed back to the castle in time for lunch with our backpacks full.  Around 3:00 , Amber and I started some of the cooking.  Amber worked on deviled eggs.   While the students attended Sizzo’s class, I fixed the turkey and ham.  Ramsey made chocolate banana nut muffins and garlic mashed potatoes while I made dressing and gravy.  Tony set up the computer so the guys could watch football.  What fun!  Everyone had a great time and we all were truly thankful.

The weekend prior to the last week was spent relaxing and packing.  The students were busy studying for their final exams and we had our last Sunday tea with Mary.  The week began with Tony and I enjoying dinner with the family in Merano on Monday night.  The pizza was so good!  Rainy weather prevented us from having a workday the last week other than cleaning the croft and our apartment.  Exams went well.  Everyone was excited about the farewell dinner in Sizzo and Brigette’s apartment.  Brigitte out did herself with the meal.  Everyone’s plate was clean and hardly any scraps for the animals.

Tony had Mike, Danny and Sebastian share with the group a slide presentation they had made of the full three months abroad.  Sizzo thanked the group and Nik, of course, brought out the wine the students made and gave each of us some to take home.

Everyone headed to finish packing and prepare for our trip to Munich and home.  We awoke to snowflakes but not enough to keep our bus from coming down the hill to pick us up.  Goodbyes were said by all and off to Munich and good ol’ USA.

Saturday and Sunday were spent exploring Munich.  Temperatures were chilly but the Christmas markets were beautiful.  We all were getting excited.  Monday, December 3 has finally arrived along with several inches of snow.  Not enough to stop us from getting to the airport and boarding our plane to London and on to Raleigh-Durham Airport.  After 9 long hours we touched down.  Everyone was on pins and needles.  Will we be in customs a while and will suitcases arrive intact?  No problems.  Amber’s family is waiting for her and our ride is also there.  Tim and Kay have the van ready to go.  It’s 73 degrees here.  We left 35 degrees or less.  Sebastian and Danny head out to catch their flights to their homes.  Mike, Ramsey, Megan, Tony and I head out in the van while Amber leaves with her family.

We are home safe and sound.  What a WONDERFUL experience!  Hope all of you have enjoyed our journey.  We had an amazing group and THANKS to Mary, Sizzo, Brigitte, Michi, and Nik for opening your home to us.  Most of all, thank you St. Andrews University for allowing this opportunity to your students and to the both of us.
Written by:  Gloria Cates

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