Jul 272012
 
Seems like a good day for Medals….



Confusion Says….

Today as I was driving the kids back from town we happened upon an older lady with very died blond hair standing in the middle of the street frantically waving us down.  This was a quiet stretch of road connecting the train station (and the building where David works) with one of our smaller grocery stores and what I think of as the Back End of Town.  As we pulled up, we could see that there was a man and his bicycle on the ground between two cars.

Remember her?
This image is somehow scarier
now that I am older.

Remembering my German Red Cross training, I blocked traffic near the accident with our vehicle and hit my hazard lights.  The woman was aflutter and the man was lying with his head down on his arm oozing blood from some large scrapes across his face.  I couldn’t tell at first if she was his wife or just someone who saw him go down.  But, whatever the case, it was clear that she needed help and so did he.

I pulled out my cell phone and, for the second time in 1 week, called emergency services.  This time I remembered 112, but when the dispatcher came on the phone, he had trouble understanding me.  I passed the phone to DS, but they hung up on him!  So, then DS and I *both* dialed back.  And, we both got through.  I started to explain as best I could in my broken German what had happened

“Ein Mann hast fallen und hast blut!”  (A man did falling and have blood!)  But, then things got confusing, so I handed to the phone to DS, not realizing he had his own dispatcher on the line.  DOH!  That got sorted out quickly.  DS described the situation, then handed the phone to the older woman, who still seemed flustered.  The dispatchers were trying to figure out where we were, but all she could say was “By the train station, near Kaufland!” which is exactly what DS had already told them.

So, DS and I jogged to the end of the block where we could view the street signs and reported back the names.

Somewhere in all of this I had grabbed out my first aid kit, but there wasn’t really much I could do with it.  The man was sitting up and talking, but his speech was slurred.  He seemed confused and kept trying to get up.  He was a bit grungy and unshaved.  I was starting to think he might be mentally challenged, or otherwise impaired. Whatever the case, he kept chuckling and trying to tell us he was fine.  I couldn’t tell if he was just abashed at what had happened or if he was altered and trying stupidly to wander off.  But, he kept trying to stand.  The woman, who we had figured out was unrelated to him, just kept repeating loudly “You are BLEEDING, stay sitting!!!”

Yup, that is a Beer Purse.

While we were waiting for the ambulance, a young couple pulled up and came over to help.  They seemed more with-it than the older lady and started taking down information, etc.  At one point the young woman searched the bag that was hanging off the man’s bike.  It was definitely incongruous with his appearance.  It seemed to be some sort of faux Gucchi style purse with a name plate that said ‘Wendy’.  When she opened it, all that was in it was some paper and a bottle of beer!  I suppose that could explain the slurred speech and the fall.  But, then again, we are in Germany.

The ambulance arrived shortly after that.  They asked the man his name and he said “My name is…. I have a problem…”

“Yes, you have a problem!”  they agreed.   The ambulance attendant took one arm and the young woman took the other.  As they hauled him up, his sandal became stuck in the grate where he had been sitting.  I showed them, so that his ankle didn’t get wrenched.  Once he was up, he looked me full in the face and made a speech that DS tells me was pretty much incoherent.  I tried to smile reassuringly, then silently wished him well as they hustled him slowly into the van.

We checked with the young couple to make sure that there was nothing else we could do.  The young woman said a few words in English by way of “thank you, that is all”.  Then we toodled off to McDonalds for a well-earned air-conditioned lunch.

End of School at Durmstrang

DS’s Durmstrang Class

As long as I am blogging, I might as well take a moment and mention that this was DS’ last week of school at Durmstrang.  Oddly enough, the closer to the end of school it got, the more French the Germans became!  Every day was a dice roll to see what hours DS was supposed to be there.  I got many phone calls that amounted to “Well, yeah, I thought we were going until noon today, but its only 11 and they just let us go.”  The final weeks were mostly filled with party events.  There was the all day PE event, movies and videos, a walking fieldtrip to get ice cream, assemblies, and an evening party.  There were also playdates, exchanging of contact info, and the revelation that one of DS’ main teachers won’t be back next year, either.  So, teary farewells all around.

One thing DS loved was that they had a box climbing station set up at the evening party.  He got to try box climbing for the first time at landschulheim (STILL waiting on those photos… how did we ever cope before digital?).  He made it up just as high this time.  He really enjoys the challenge of it.  This time he asked them to test the ropes after 4 boxes so he could be sure they would hold him.   Then, he built himself a tower 14 tall!  Woot!  He says that his knees shook with fear the entire time, but he just kept his mind on his goal.  SO proud of this aspect of him!

Ready to go

They pass him the boxes and he builds as he climbs
14 boxes high!
Hanging around waiting to get unhooked

Actually, it is a pretty nice part of German (and to a lesser degree French) schooling.  They are educating the whole person, and believe that non-academics have a place- and in particular, that giving kids the chance to overcome physical and emotional challenges is valuable.  DS learned how to juggle and make a human pyramid as part of his schooling this year!  Plus, of course, they had art, music, square dance (!), robotics, acrobatics, etc. 

Accidents do happen.  A friend tripped over him on the ground last week and kicked him in the face.  Small black eye, but no big deal.

His final report card was good, actually.  Considering that 12 months ago he had NO German and was dumped into full-immersion at a junior high school level!  All in all, I think he will miss Durmstrang, but that Hogwarts will hopefully be a better fit. 

Tomorrow is my birthday, so I suspect there will be more interesting things to report soon.  Trying to overcome some technical difficulties and finish up the final two books currently on my plate.  Then, a couple weeks of Vacation (knock wood)!  I need it!

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