Christmas in Germany

IMG_20171203_132000_546
My in-laws backyard

Christmas comes once a year! It’s the period when Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus. People travel from all walks of life to be with their loved ones, the streets and houses get decorated with Christmas trees and beautiful lights and everything looks radiant. This season comes with lots of food and drinks; I know a couple of people who put on weight during this season.  ha ha ha

I’ve never been a huge Christmas enthusiast… not in my adult life at least.  Well, this year I got to celebrate Christmas with my husband and his side of the family and it was beautiful but very different. First off, it’s my first winter so you can imagine how amazing and annoying it gets. It’s amazing seeing snow falling from the sky but the cold…oh boy!

IMG-20171204-WA0006 (1)
Schloss Bückeberg

Well… It’s been an incredible experience. Every December, there’s the Christmas market known as Weinhachtsmarkt; It’s a tradition. Oh my… It’s mind-blowing. It’s by far one of my best experiences in Germany. The Christmas market is so beautiful with many stands selling all kinds of stuff. The most crowded are the food and Glühwein stands.Glühwein is a beverage usually made with red wine along with various mulling spices e.g cinnamon and sometimes raisins. It’s served hot or warm and is alcoholic, although there are non-alcoholic versions. It’s a tradition during winter especially around Christmas.

DSC_0230

IMG_20171202_223354_818
Enjoying some Glühwein

 

The 24th is very important here I learned. It’s basically like the 25th back in Kenya.  On this day gifts are exchanged, families share a three-course meal. The food was amazing (my mother-in-law Conny is such an incredible cook). with some help from Stefan (my father-in-law) and Lino (my brother-in-law). So my husband and I just availed ourselves to eat. haha, how helpful!

On the actual Christmas day we had an amazing family lunch with my husbands entire family in a very fancy and beautiful restaurant. Three-course meal again… Everyday should be Christmas (well, at least if they promise to serve some Ugali and Nyama choma).
img_20171225_174148_3881591674146.jpg
This was a beautiful and intimate Christmas. Love was key. Giving and receiving gifts was an amazing experience. Seeing how a simple act of giving brought so much happiness. I definitely want to have many more Christmas celebrations with my German family and I hope to show them how we do it in Kenya in the coming years.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year! Lot’s of warm hugs and love from me to you. 🙂

Zitat: I think as you grow older your Christmas list gets shorter, because the things you want can’t be bought.

 

Damaged.

 

free1

Grief I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give but cannot. All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of our eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.

I lost a very important person in my life 11 months ago. That was the most traumatizing moment of my life. I wasn’t ready… Well,  no one ever is when death knocks.

Have you ever been in a situation where you’re not in touch with your emotions? You don’t know if questioning God, crying or drinking yourself silly is the right thing to do. For 11 months I’ve lived in denial. Every single day I see her image or hear her voice. It’s not easy to forget someone who was a part of my life since I was a baby. Someone who was literally there every step of the way.

The night my dearest aunt took her last breath came as a rude shock to everyone. At that time I was still living in Kenya; Nairobi to be precise. One week earlier I got a call from my Dad informing me that my aunt was in the hospital and I should find time to pay her a visit. My family is based in Kisumu, that’s approximately 360 Kilometers from Nairobi; so its a 40-minute flight. The following day I was on my way to Kisumu.

She was really happy to see me when I got there. To me she looked so healthy and fine. Though her hand and face were a bit swollen; she looked very well and happy. Little did we know she was just trying to put on a brave face. We spent around an hour together catching up. Not knowing it would be our last. My aunt was a giver and she had the biggest heart ever. With a deep voice and the American height, she stood out in the crowd. In fact, her nickname was ‘height’. The most jovial woman ever. Its true, God takes the best among us.

My family is a large one. My aunt, the deceased was actually my step mother’s sister, so no blood relation; but you wouldn’t know. We were really close. She was everyone’s confidant and true to her words she took our secrets to her grave. She was Affable and had the most practical advice for every situation.

One thing I’ll always remember is how she was always present for all my important days. For instance my graduation from the university. If she sent me anywhere, I would go (like for my cousin’s visiting days in high school). During my wedding I knew something was missing. All my family members were present but I still felt a hollow space in my heart because she wasn’t there to witness another very important day in my life. I always loved being around her because she wasn’t afraid to criticize or compliment where due.

Like any normal person, she had every reason to be sad but always chose to be happy; or did a great job hiding her problems, pains and sorrows.  When I heard the news of her demise, I didn’t shed a tear. In fact since my aunt left, living in denial all this while and believing that shes still around and that I’m gonna see her soon have kept me going. Its so hard and painful to think about. My mind is still having trouble wrapping itself around the fact that she’s gone.

Goodbye…How can I say goodbye? To all the fun and laughter…To all the beautiful memories. How do I say goodbye to someone I loved and looked up to so much? To my confidant and friend. It hurts and its  amazing that the heart makes no noise when it cracks. I see her in my dreams and she smiles and looks happy. I believe she’s trying to tell me that she’s in a better place.

Since the day you got your wings, I’ve never been the same. I’ve learnt very valuable lessons from your departure:

  1. Be in love with your life. Every minute of it. The modern generation says YOLO (You Only Live Once).
  2. Constantly remind our loved of our love because, the harsh truth is that nothing lasts forever, so when you have it, enjoy it, appreciate it. Don’t take it for granted.
  3. Nothing lasts forever. Forever is a lie.All we have is whats between hello and goodbye.
  4. Love fiercely, because this all ends.
  5. Never give up on what you really want to do. the person with big dreams is more powerful than the one with all the facts. -Albert Einstein.

In loving memory of my aunt Tabitha Nyarumba. Rest with the angels dearest aunt ‘Height’. Till we meet again. If love could have saved you, you’d have lived forever.

Zitat: I wish heaven had visiting hours.

 

 

 

 

To new beginnings

free6Making a big life change is scary, but you know what’s even scarier? Regret! With this in mind; I left all I knew behind to start this new journey. I was skeptical; was this worth it? Would I like it here? Will I get ugali flour? Will my new family like me? Will  I survive the weather?  I had many concerns just to mention a few.

Before saying “I DO”, my husband and I hadn’t  spent a lot of everyday life together. Ours was a long distance relationship.Owing to the nature of his job, he didn’t have much time off, but when he did, he’d pay me visits in Kenya. All in all we survived the storm and here we are today as one. I’m in a very happy place in my life; like a wild  flower springing up in the middle of nowhere.

With no friends around, I’m not affected one bit; don’t get me wrong, I do miss my family and friends and I try my best to keep in touch. I just don’t want life to pass me by while I’m busy wallowing in my pain. On this journey to finding myself and my potential,  distractions of any form or state are not welcome.

I’m learning the new language by attending an integration course daily for 4 1/2 hours so I’m quite occupied. I read a lot in my free time, keep the apartment clean, water the plants and flowers. This is a new hobby and I’m slowly creating a collection of beautiful flowers and plants. I also apply for English-speaking jobs online but no luck so far. I take care of my skin, go for long walks, take care of my hair. I’m a better cook than I was when I left home because we rarely eat out. Slowly but surely adapting to the beer and currywurst culture.

I have the best family here. My husband is the best and his family is amazing. So welcoming and humble, patient and understanding, loving and caring. Did I mention they love hiking? My in-laws are in great shape and I wanna look just like Conny (my mother-in-law) in my 50s. I particularly love my in-laws because they are great listeners and they have a perfect garden 🙂

My dreams and ambitions are still alive. I’m currently undergoing a transition. I need to master the German language to be able to study, work or have a social life. I’m leaning how everything works, from public transportation to road signs and driving on the opposite side of the road to being polite all the time!

Zitat : If not now… then WHEN?