... to help me feel more a part of the community.
When I moved to Germany, I expected to have difficulty with the big things like the language barrier. But to my surprise, it was the little, everyday things that made me feel like a foreigner: Holding up an entire line of customers at the grocery store because I didn't know I was supposed to weigh the fruits and vegetables myself. Or drawing attention because I didn't know that customers who only buy ice cream cones aren't supposed to sit at the tables. Trying to learn the local geography and navigate the intricate system of buses and trains. Or figuring out the differences in the way Kindergarten and children's birthday parties work. Even dialing a phone number!
Fumbling through all of this on my own made me feel like an outsider. But then I met Kira. In her warm, patient way, she guided me through all the intricacies of German life. I can't express what a comfort it was to be able to contact her when I needed help. She went above and beyond by introducing me to other mothers and inviting me to join her yoga class to help me feel more a part of the community. Once I understood the basics, she helped me find joy in the unique aspects of German culture, like shopping at the various markets instead of just the grocery store.
I spent three years in Germany and thanks to the help of Kira's kind and generous spirit, I feel that my family and I were able to fully enjoy the experience. In fact, I wish everyday that I could go back!