This Global Home | Day 28: Germany

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Guten Tag! (German for “Good day!”) My name is Rachel and my handsome husband and I have been married 13 years, and have two elementary-aged children. We live on a military base in Southwest Germany and have been here since the summer of 2017. We are enjoying our time here and the opportunity to travel and experience so many lovely people and cultures! We do not know how long we’ll be here, so the suspense of the military nomad life keeps it interesting, and is always an adventure! I’m originally from central Florida, although I’ve never lived anywhere longer than 8 years my entire life. I considered it great prep for the military life! My hobbies include cooking, as well as eating my way around the world, and I consider myself a foodie “nerd.” I love teaching others how to problem-solve recipes, how to make kombucha, yogurt, cheese, etc. I also teach women’s bible studies at our church, love to read, dabble in all kinds of art, and like to sit on my balcony with a cup of single-origin coffee - hold the sugar, please! I am a stay-at-home mom, who “works” outside of the home by volunteering for a non-profit organization here reaching out to women forced into prostitution. I wasn’t aware of the fact that all around me were modern-day slaves, and that they outnumber all the slaves in history combined…It’s a sobering realization. Germany is considered the “brothel of Europe,” and while it is heartbreaking to see, it’s a privilege to be working for such a just cause.


All our doors here are very industrial-looking, and our walls cement, so I use a lot of command strips to hang things, including the wreath on my front door!My favorite color is blue, and my kids are messy. Therefore, blue couches just make sense - it’s a happy color that hides the messes! Also, I love having different sets of throw pillow covers that I change out for different seasons. I own way too many curtains in all shapes and sizes because each location the military moves us to tends to need something different than the last house we lived. I love the big windows in our German apartment, but it does take at least 4 panels + blackout curtains to fit across the living room and master bedroom!I’m thankful we have an open floor-plan here. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so I can still see what’s going on as homework is underway at the dining room table, or as the kids' craft at their little art table, etc. Note the stand-fan: There is no A/C in Germany, so these are a lifesaver! And we also have to prop the doors and windows open every day to ventilate the apartment. Small cultural differences that take some getting used to, but now I love the indoor-outdoor sense we get when everything is opened up! I’ll miss that when we move back to the States one day.My favorite place to sit with a cup of coffee and listen to the breeze. I do check and see if any of my neighbors are on their balconies first so we don’t startle each other if we happen to sit out there at the same time! I’m thankful for any balcony at all, small as it may be, but I do miss having my own back yard.I’m grateful for a refrigerator that more closely resembles American ones than the petite European ones. However, our apartment has no pantry, so I thought you’d also like a peek behind the cabinets! Note also the stacks of dirty dishes and clean dishes that are ever present (remember I mentioned cooking was my hobby?!). We also have multiple recycle bins, because the Germans take recycling very seriously (which I love, but can get confusing at times!). Some of the categories: paper, plastic, glass & metal, regular waste, compost, as well as the plastic bottles you pay a deposit on and then get back when you return at the store. My son has fun looking for those “pfand” bottles so he can collect the spare change!I’m thankful for a sink with a view! It also comes with the military territory that they have caution stickers on a lot of stuff that we’re not allowed to remove – like the dishwasher here. (Also, the stove, fridge, and washer, to name a few.) I am glad to have a dishwasher at all, however, even if my American-style dinner plates are too tall to fit in it. :)The kid’s bathroom - They really like white walls, white tile, and white floors in these units! No, that’s not a bug on the floor to the left, which I thought at first…it’s a barbie shoe as it turns out!We don’t have a spare guest room here, so there is an extra mattress under the bed for my daughter to use when we have to “borrow” her room. We didn’t have room here to fit a dresser in my son’s room, but there is a built-in closet which most Germans tend to prefer here, we’ve found out.We could fit a dresser in my daughter’s room, so she uses her built-in closet to hold dresses, dress up clothes, and all her collections of toys. I lucked out to have caught her room on a super clean day for her!!I am SO thankful for an actual laundry room and an “American-sized” washer and dryer. Many Germans don’t even own a dryer, and their washers can fit about 1/3 of what this washer can. I don’t take that for granted! I was able to fit a cabinet in here too, on the left, to hold of our craft supplies. We love art around here!I love the natural light in here, but it does wake up my husband too early, so blackout curtains are a must. You’ll notice no less than 3 different curtains here - all hanging from clips on the pre-existing track, so the good news is that I didn’t have to hang any curtain rods at this house. (I have a lot of those too in all shapes and sizes.) And yay for a real closet!!We have a modest-sized master bath with a few quirks like shower rods that were way too tall for any shower curtain we bought, so we had to rig up a shorter one! I mean, I’m pretty tall myself, but that rod was really tall! We don’t have a lot of counter space, so I like using my hanging toiletry bag to hold all my makeup and daily-use things.We don’t have garages here, so this is the storage area we’re assigned down in the “creepy” basement, as my kids like to call it! Among many things, we store our bikes here, as well as my daughter’s huge doll house that didn’t fit in the apartment. Thanks for touring our home in Germany!
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