Saturday, February 7, 2009

Rainy day in Kaiserslautern

Earlier this week something was wrong w/ our van. We knew we had to hurry up and get it repaired b/c I was picking up Cory's parents on Thurs morning. Well, Monday the car was repaired and all was happy in our house. I picked up my MIL and FIL Thurs morning. Friday morning I got in the van to bring the boys to school and it was running very rough and the engine light was flashing. Well, shit. Cory and I brought the van to the service station and they'll keep it until next week. In the meantime, we have only his 20 year old beater car which seats 4, 5 if the only people in the backseat are children. LOL We didn't want to sit around all day Saturday...I know my in-laws came to see us, but I'm sure they didn't want to sit around w/ us staring at the walls. LOL So, we did the European thing, we decided to walk and take the bus. Since it was raining, um like almost always LOL, we armed ourselves w/ jackets, hats, gloves and umbrellas. Along the way to the bus stop we were stopped by a Red Bull car. Seriously. There were 2 ladies in there giving out free cans of Red Bull. Then we continued on our way to the bus stop with our Red Bull. ;)

On the bus

In Kaiserslautern in front of the Protestant Church

We were happy to see the farmer's market b/c we had never ventured downtown for the market.

Here's Charlie w/ his carrots. He bugged us until we got him carrots.

We made our way to the fresh honey stand. We got a jar of honey mixed w/ cream. Yum! DAvid is holding gummy bears made w/ honey.

Here is the monument w/ pieces from buildings destroyed during WWII

David and Granny in the oldest church (kirche) of Kaiserslautern, St Martin's

Here is the main monument/fountain in Kaiserslautern, each part represents some part of Kaiserslautern. Here is Charlie on the infamous carp w/ the ring of Barbarossa

Syl and Skipper

Kaiserslautern's medieval mile marker, it basically says 18 hours to Saarbrucken which is now an hour drive.

We ate lunch at Restaurant Himalaya that has "the finest nepalese and tibetan cuisine".

Here's our food.

We had fried vegetable momo (Tibetian fried dumplings filled with vegetables served with special chutney)
fresh nan (Leavened bread from fine flour)
David and Granny shared Chicken Sekuwa ( Boneless chicken pieces marinated for 24 hours and roasted in Tandoor)
Cory had Chicken Ledobedo (Typical nepali chicken curry)
Skipper had Chicken Solukhumbu (Chicken cooked with potatoes in a spicy tangy sauce popular in Himalayan region)
Charlie and I shared Shrimp Chaumien (Tibetian fried noodles with king prawns and shrimps)
The boys had baraf for dessert ( Homemade icecream from fresh milk, almonds, pistachios and cardamom). It was all VERY good!!!

We bought tix for the Judas Priest concert (David and Cory, not me LOL) and then caught the bus and walked home in the rain. But it wasn't bad. Really. :)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

"May No Soldier Go Unloved"

I decided to find a volunteer job a while back. I had volunteered at the church the whole time we were at Ft Sam and figured I should continue to do so here. I decided on Soldiers' Angels. "Soldiers' Angels is a volunteer-led 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and their families. Founded by the mother of two American soldiers, we are an international, volunteer-led organization supporting America's men and women in uniform. With over 30 different teams and programs, our nearly 200,000 volunteers assist veterans, wounded and deployed personnel and their families in a variety of unique and effective ways."

I first found out about Soldiers Angels while, lurking, um, reading a military blog, From My Position, On the Way! The blog is written by Major Chuck Ziegenfuss, a wounded soldier, who benefited from the Soldiers Angels team at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC). It was b/c of Chuck's experience that Project Valour IT was born. Please read his story at the previous link!

Anyway, Chuck blogged about Soldiers' Angels needing some shoes for wounded soldiers at LRMC. I thought, "I could help with that." The project coordinator (sorry if I get actual title wrong), Maryanne Phillips, in Landstuhl sent me a very nice email of thanks. When I found out we were coming to Germany, I thought I should volunteer with the Soldiers Angels Germany team. "Soldiers' Angels Germany is a group of volunteers - military and civilians - living in Germany. We are supported by the Soldiers' Angels Foundation and many private donors. So, I contacted MaryAnn. And here I am now... ;)

As part of the Soldiers' Angels Medical Support Team, our mission is to support wounded and ill soldiers being treated at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center facilities. Although we are small compared to the wonderful efforts of the LRMC Pastoral Department (Wounded Warrior Ministry Center), we serve approximately 400 hospital inpatients and outpatients with up to 1000 lbs of donations each month.

Donations include phone cards, clothing, Blankets of Hope, snacks, get well cards, and much more."

Please visit Maryann's blog for Soldiers Angels Germany.

Also, here's a video interview of MaryAnn: Interview

Remember that the soldiers are being wounded all year long. I know we tend to think of them more at the holiday time, but Soldiers' Angels provides every day. Please visit the links I've provided if you would like to donate in some way.