27 September 2010

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Monday, 27th September 2010

Oh dear, too many photos bombed out the website! Thank you, Sam, for sorting out our problem so easily! Never again will he say 'unlimited anything' to me!

On Saturday we woke up and bade a sad goodbye to our wonderful (yes, they were wonderful too) hosts in Schmeltz. The weather did not look too promising, but by the time we reached Trier, it had lifted and although it was cold, we had no rain.

Martin Berger and his beautiful partner, Charlotte, joined us on the bus and sponsored a guided tour through the historic oldest town of Germany. The vibe in the town was fantastic! The town had celebrated its 2037th birthday last week and the festivities were still in full swing - mainly of the musical kind. On every corner was a band / singing group of some sorts, belting it out for all and sundry to hear. The old buildings are phenomenal, with stonework so precise that no mortar was needed and the crown hall (now used as a church) made one wonder how the Romans ever managed to build these tremendously large structures without the modern technology of today.

The three hours shopping was well used by most and all went home with an order to ask their hosts for a scale, as the weight of some of the suitcases has become a real concern. Now you will all understand why we set our weight limit upon leaving SA on 15kg!

Neunkirchen saw another hearty welcome. The priest was especially jovial and the warmth of the people wiped out any difficulties regarding language in a jiffy. We purposely did not make any plans for the weekend, to give all a bit of a break and a time to catch up. However, we believe some went to party in Saarbrucken on Saturday evening!

Sunday morning's mass was certainly one with a difference. Just as we were getting ready for the Kyrie the priest announced that he wanted us to sing an African song first ('Any European Choir can sing a Kyrie...'). We did perform the mass and ended with our other two African songs. The warmth of the congregation really enveloped us and showed us that the evening's concert will be just as wonderful. The children really rise to every occasion and we can say with honesty that they are giving of their absolute best. We are SO proud of them!

We arrived in Donaueschingen about an hour ago. Yes, to another warm welcome. In a bit we'll meet for a tour of the city, before spending the evening with the hosts.

This far our tour has been blessed. Louis is working hard to keep the sore throats under control and a few of the children suffer from motion sickness, but we've had no real illness or injury. Some of us get a bit homesick from time to time, but that is all in a day's work and we know that they'll appreciate their parents, brothers and sisters (at least for a little while) when they return home!

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