For being three and a half years old Brock has quite the schedule. German Kindergarten 4 times a week, speech therapy 3 times a week, gymnastics on Tuesday, and possibly his favorite, Mini Feuerwehr (mini fire department) on Thursdays at the village firehouse. Every other week Brock gets to learn how to be a fireman thanks to a few volunteers who run the Mini’s program at our fire department. We are good friends with the fire chief, and he proudly told us that this program for the youngest kids is the only in our entire state, Rhineland-Pfalz.
At each session there is a theme for learning and the kids have a blast. The first class was all about making the kids comfortable with firemen. Apparently, kids are frightened by the firemen and often hide… this class taught the kids not to be afraid and to go with the fireman. They filled a room with smoke and a fireman put on his suit and guided the kids through the smoke. The kids not only had that experience, but also got to see the fireman suit up and got to help him when he needed it. 🙂
At another session they learned about technical rescue and got to operate the jaws of life to crush and cut a tin can. Brock loved it and paid close attention. He especially liked the ride in the fire van after that.
It really is an amazing program. Sure, Brock gets to have fun at the firehouse with his friends… and what little kid would pass on the opportunity to put on real fireman gear and ride in the trucks. But I can also see him learning. Now, when he drives his imaginary firetruck around he pretends to push all the buttons and switches and buckle his seat belt before driving. The volunteers do a great job of balancing education and fun. Around the Karneval season (mardi gras) the kids made papier-mache fireman helmets, and just this week they trained like firemen and played sports in the gymnasium. Brock absolutely loves it.
For those of you who read this far into the post you will have a nice surprise…. The Martinez family is moving home to the United States! We just found out that near the end of August we will be leaving Germany. We both have mixed emotions about it, and we literally just found out a few days ago so it is still sinking in. Plus, we don’t know where we are going. Our possible locations are Utah, Georgia, Wisconsin, Illinois or Texas. I won’t jinx us and risk losing out on our top choice so I won’t say what we are hoping for, but I bet many of you can guess it anyways. That being said we have about 5 months left in Europe.
This weekend I will be on my last quilt retreat with my guild, and over Easter some of our very best friends are coming for a visit! We are so excited to have them here and see some new sights. After that I am not sure how much more traveling we will be doing over our last summer here. Fil’s mission schedule is pretty busy and with the move coming we have a lot to do. It’s hard to believe our time here is coming to an end. Brock was 4 months old when we arrived, and he will be 4 years old when we leave. As ready as we are to go home, this just feels too fast. August will be here before we know it.
Love to all, thanks for reading this and so many of our other blogs over the years!