These were the work days. We worked on a building that will someday be a meeting center for missionaries in Germany. My job was mostly cleaning and organizing, but that first day, I did a fair amount of heavy lifting up and down stairs. That was not a cup of tea.
There was a retired gentleman working there with us who only knew German. One day, I heard whistling. Specifically, someone whistling the song “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady. AND IT WAS HIM! So I started whistling with him, and soon he realized that I was and it was a super neat language-barrier-crossing thing.
One of the days, I got to help in a kids club and talk to little German kids. I played Connect 4 and had a minimal conversation with one girl using Google Translate, but as more kids poured in, the only English I heard was “I love you,” because that’s about all the English they know at that age.
One of the last days, we had to clear out a collection of shoes on the top floor of the building. (I think there were four floors to the place.) Two of us started chucking them out the window to retrieve later. Once we went downstairs to gather them all in a pile and put them in a bag, we realized we needed something to tie up the bag. Our fatigued brains immediately went to one shoestring we had noticed… On the top floor. I cheerfully skipped up the stairs and found the string, but when I brought it down, it had apparently struck their minds that we might just use ONE OF THE SHOESTRINGS IN THE BAG OF SHOES WE WERE THROWING AWAY! Needless to say, the shoestring I walked up for was, well, needless.
The very last day, a few of us guys on the team decided to take a walk on the trail behind the building. We soon realized it ran along a rather numerous series of bridges, and we stopped at each one to take a few pictures. Here’s a picture that I took on that walk.
The dog in the picture was walking leashless with its owner. As we passed, it stopped and watched me. It acted as if it may stay there forever, but as we turned a corner in the trail, it finally pranced away.