As a first year in the Auxiliares de Conversación program I spent my first Christmas miles away from my family. As Thanksgiving came and went, I began to anticipate homesickness. Strangely, it didn’t quite hit as soon as I thought it would. This year, Christmas didn’t seem as real to me. It could be a result that my apartment was lacking a tree, decorations, cookies, Christmas tunes, etc. Despite the fact that it didn’t really feel like the holiday season; I really wanted to take advantage of the vacation days and get some traveling in. Fortunately for me, my family friends are currently living in Germany – so that’s where my holiday travels started.
I left Santiago and arrived in Nuremberg around 2:00 pm and was warmly greeted by Frank, Olga, and Luckey at the airport. After we left the airport, we went to the Nuremberg Christmas Market to grab some dinner and do a little sight-seeing. The market was beautifully decorated with lights and vendors. As expected, Germany was cold, but we warmed up with some delicious glühwein (hot mulled wine)!
My stay with the Rivera’s was so wonderful. The house was constantly filled with bachata, good conversation and good company. Over the course of my four-day stay, Frank made me breakfast every morning after waking up (coffee, juice, eggs, pancakes, etc. – so spoiled!) We visited another Christmas market in Weiden, where we indulged in bratwarst and more glühwein. The Christmas markets serve glühwein in mugs decorated with the name and year of the market (I ended up coming home with 4 mugs). After the Christmas markets, we took a drive through one of the scenic routes in the woods and hiked up to a small castle and wandered through some beautiful churches.
Christmas dinner was absolutely amazing. Olga cooked up a storm for four people. Dinner consisted of pernil, ham, gravy, potato salad, puerto rican style rice, and more. By this time, the homesickness had begun to sink in, but dinner with Frank, Olga, and Robert (a coworker of Frank’s) definitely helped take my mind off of it. Another good note about Christmas, was that I was able to Skype with my family – including Kobe, which definitely made the night that much better.
- Antwerp, Belgium
- New Year’s celebration in Paris