Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Annual End of School Plunge

For many years now, we have celebrated the end of the school year with a jump into a body of water. Here in Germany that means a plunge into Lake Starnberg, located just blocks away from the kids’ school. Some years have been cold and gray. Some years  mild. Luckily for this year’s jumpers, this year was hot. After a cold spring, Germany is in the throes of a heat wave with temps in the mid to upper 30’s!
School ends late in Germany. It was a busy June, up until the very end. Tori had grade eight exams, sort of preparation for senior school final exams, and then the middle school graduation boat party. All kids had school trips to the water slides and sports day and sleep overs with best friends. The last week of school we had various friends sleeping over every night of the week or at least one of our own kids at someone else’s house. And then there were the good bye parties too!
We are indeed getting ready to leave Germany at the end of the summer when we return to the states. In some ways we are ready for a change. Many of the kids’ friends are also leaving this year, particularly in grade eight as kids move into boarding schools for senior school. But we love the friends that are staying here. We love our school, located on a field near a forest, an old castle on the ground, the Alps visible in the distance. We love the cleanliness, the safety, the green space but yes, it is time to go.
Even I had a friend over in the final week of school. A good friend from the Romania days who now lives in Zurich stopped by en route to a business meeting in Munich. He definitely lightened the mood at our place, laughing about the old days.  Seeing him, and another good friend from London, who came to visit twice in June, is another thing that is hard about leaving…the proximity of Europe, of places, of friends, of history. . But these friends have been in our lives for decades now and we have to trust our paths will continue to cross.
We thank our newer friends in Munich for many things, including joining us at this year's lake jump and making it the biggest one yet!


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