Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Come climb with me!

Another year, marked by Tori’s mid-January birthday, has come and gone. While there is a little sadness that Tori is starting to leave behind little girl traits and activities, we can’t help but think it was a good year despite the start of middle school!  While the year was good and stationary (no international moves!)Tori’s birthday party was good but not stationary! Tori invited some friends for a rock climbing party and it was a lot of fun for all, even the friend who came with a broken arm in a purple cast and cheered the others on.

Here in Munich, there a plenty of things to do. The trick is to find them. Mostly, this has taken us awhile due to the language. Everything is in German, with very little translation. (In Hong Kong, most things were in Chinese and English). Also here, local schools get out for the day around noon or one, so kids activities start before our kids are out of school at four. All this is said to excuse the fact that it took us almost a year to find a top notch climbing center ten minutes from our house.
When we drove there to scoop it out for the party, we drove through forest and horse pastures on a single lane road out of our little village. Once in the clear, a large building drew our eyes. Painted with the letters DAV, we guessed correctly that it was where we wanted to be; DAV Kletterzentrum Gilching (the climbing center in the village of Gilching, one village over from ours). Village climbing center doesn’t quite capture it. The place has outdoor and indoor climbing walls, a couple of bouldering rooms and twenty to forty foot walls for rope climbing. Inside we found a café, an area to sit and watch (rare here) and a bunch of people wearing climbing tee shirts from California. We knew we had found a new hang out.
Climbing is huge here, with the Alps just one hour away. The rope system here is a little different than the one the kids used in Hong Kong, so I’ve hesitated in starting up here. For Tori’s party, we had two instructors working with eight kids, playing games and helping them get up the walls. While both instructors spoke good English, one was particularly fluent. We thought she must’ve lived in the states. When I asked her, she told me she still lived there but was home for a month visiting her parents! Our girls have taken a few extra lessons with her. Just this past weekend, I watched Tori climb a very huge wall with Royce holding the rope system. It’s all a little crazy, this convoluted circle of trust. The girls trust each other but me? I’m trusting our instructor and the California vibe I’m getting. I can't explain it but I feel at home in Gilching, even though my girls are dangling far above the ground (with huge smiles on their faces.)


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