How are you? I hope all is well. Hope you are getting some rest after trying “secure the bag”1 during the Christmas and New Year with your entertainment business. I loved the set up at the ice cream fair. I cannot wait to get back and get my nieces and nephews to have fun with the games you have lined up.
Well, since it is my first Christmas away from Ghana, I have mixed feelings, not in a negative way but in a positive way. Christmas in Bremen is an exciting time for almost everybody I met, be it old or young. Everyone looked forward to spending time with family. They usually start with the advent calendar, where from the 1st to 24th December, they open up gifts. Different persons and how they design their advent calendar. The gifts could range from chocolate, to a story, poem or scripture. I find this very thoughtful, puts one in a good mood for the festivities.
On the 17th, I went to the Weihnachtsmarkt with two friends. It was lovely to see the lights and the items that were on display. There was a Zauber Markt, where I could see Bremen in the mid centuries. I loved the set up and the costumes of the vendors there. One stall had potions for sale, I was tempted to buy and try it out but the superstition in me is too strong. Lol!
On the 22nd, I came down with a headache, flu, sore throat and cough. That made me sad that I was not even home. I missed my family. on the 24th, I was invited by a colleague, Ines to spend Christmas eve with her family. I honoured the invite because I wanted to enjoy the German Christmas package. It was Ines, her husband, her two lovely children, her mother in law and Lila the other volunteer in Bremen.
At 4pm, the children stayed at home and Lila and I went with the rest to a church service. The service was short but nice. It was like a nine lessons and carol service. But I don’t think they were nine readings. We lighted candles, representing the light in Bethlehem. We then went back and had dinner together. It was a Raclette grill, it was amazing and had me stuffed. After we opened presents, I was surprised cause I didn’t expect anything, neither did I buy anything for them so I felt so bad. For the opening of presents, everyone had to throw a dice, if it lands on six; you can go pick up your present and open it. I was blessed with many gifts, I was so happy. I mean who doesn’t love gifts?
The 25th was spent with Manuela and her family as well. As usual, she also gave me amazing gifts. What did I do to deserve all this love? Her husband cooked a lovely meal. We then played a game of cards called 10 phases. That was fun, funny and good. After, we had dessert, a new recipe Manuela tried which was great. It was delightful not staying alone in my room, but being in the company of lovely people. I then had dinner with them and Manuela brought me home.
27th was a good day cause it was bonding time with the francophone family, we had a party. Dancing, singing and laughing together as usual. Then I fell ill again on the 28th and 29th! On the 30th, I packed my bags to go see my auntie in Darmstadt, a 6-hour bus drive from Bremen. It was so worth it, family is indeed everything. The gifts, the laughter, the warmth and the love was all I needed to start the New Year. On 31st my auntie, uncle and three cousins, we all had fondue for dinner. I will definitely try and introduce that to my family and friends in Ghana. We danced and laughed into the new year. I then stepped out to watch the fireworks on the street.
After New Year, I spent some time with my aunt and family. They took me shopping; we played games and visited Frankfurt. One of the best nights I had was the time we went bowling. It was my first time, though I was last. I had fun and can’t wait to try it again. It was so sad to say goodbye but also a great way to start the year. Next week, I will write to you about my job.
Happy New Year Kordei.
- Secure the bag – another term for making money