Monday, August 6, 2012

German Farm Life

From Hamburg and our adventures setting ourselves up with residency, we took a train to Dresden and then to a tiny little town that is more like a cluster of small farms. We are very close to the Polish border to the east and to the south lies the Czech Republic. Deep in former East Germany. Before we get into that, check out the bike seatbelt and space on the tiny local train that took us out here to the boondocks.

Pretty sweet, right? Can you see the sticker on the bottom of the seat that shows how you're supposed to secure your bike? Just don't let your bike block the pathway to the bathroom, okay?

We were warmly welcomed into a very busy household. This family numbers 6, plus they had a guy helping out through Workaway International. Big busy meals, kids running around all the time, and plenty of noise. The kids are 4, 6, 8, and 10. And they are laughing all the time. In fact, it feels like people here are laughing more often than anywhere we've ever been. Life is joyous, I suppose. 

The house and the coming thunderstorm, day 1

The farm also has a number of ducks, geese, and chickens as well as a handful of sheep and 11 goats.  The garden loves weeding and bean picking, there's land to be cleared, and there's grass and stinging nettles to scythe and feed to the goats. 

The kids stayed with their grandparents for the first couple of nights, so we adults finished the roof on the new goat barn and busted off for a swim before the thunderstorm came. There's so much water around here. And in some spots that means wonderful lakes.

Just before they left us to handle things on our own, we had a Sunday funday that included a 2km bike ride to the next town over, then a 5k walk to the next town from there - where we ate big ol'ice creams - then the 5k walk and 2k ride back home.

Bike team

First town, where we ditched the bikes

Down to the river

Joshua in the tree with a couple other monkeys

The littlest wanted to go, too, so mama had to adventure along

Joshua cooling his feet. It was hot and mosquito-filled on the way there.

Great bridge over the river

Town hall

Just after turning around to head back, it started to rain a bit. And then we got soaked by a big, fast summer storm. It was dramatic with thunder and lightning, and incredibly wet. Joshua and I ran back most of the way with the two boys. It feels good to be able to just run for 10 minutes if we want to. There are fields and woods to run through around here, so we've been working towards 10k, in between feeding animals, carrying water buckets, weeding the garden, picking blackberries, and eating as many eggs as we can. There is no way we'll keep up with these chickens... 9 eggs a day. And they are such good eggs. Somebody around here needs to learn how to bake cakes like the Germans do. This family eats cake... often. And definitely on Sundays.

Now the family is on vacation, they drove up to Sweden and then will rent a cabin for a week. Afterwards they'll all go bike riding around together. All of them. They'll be gone for about 3 weeks altogether. 

Already, the grandparents came by on Saturday to bring us some cake, lest we go without one on Sunday. 

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