Showing posts from November, 2009

German Advent Faux Pas!

A "normal" German Advent's wreath

Intercultural Relations Repaired

Seldom before in my life have I experienced how from the depths of despair, life can suddenly turn around into pure joy and pleasure and fresh experiences completely wiping away all bad memories that have gone before.

The mayor of Florange and our daughter (in white) laying a wreath in France on Remembrance Day 2009An ordinary November week started with A., the French exchange pupil we hosted in September, writing to our daughter, saying she would refuse to have anything to do with our daughter Rose once she came to France. It was only days before Rose had to go and stay with this family. The visit was part of a regional Schumann exchange organised by the Education Departments in the four bordering countries and is meant to foster inter-regional understanding.
We were aghast by the turn of events. Even more hurtful was watching the toll it took on our daughter. Both we and her French teacher kept on telling her, not all French are like that. So while all her close friends were packing f…

Intercultural Mis-Communication

We as a family had to this week painfully experience how an intercultural, inter-regional pupil exchange between our daughter and a pupil in the northern French region of Lorraine, barely 60 kilometres from Trier completely collapsed.
For 12 days in September, we played hosts to a homesick 12-year old French pupil from a migrant family in Loraine. We thought we did our best: investing time, energy and money to make her time in Germany special. Every day there was an activity: an outing with French and German pupils or visiting some of our eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One day they had a home-made pizza and film party with 12 French and German girls here in our house. On the Saturday we did a day-trip to Eltz Castle, 100 kilometres away.(c) Anli Serfontein 2009 Eltz CastleAfter receiving no thank you note from her, she deemed it fit to write my daughter an email this week, less than a week before my daughter was to go to France to tell her how she hated her time with us, that my da…