I arrive back in the States and I begin to ponder what it really means to immigrate to a foreign country. My children have been studying this at school and we have planned at trip to Washington DC and New York over the Thanksgiving holiday both to be with family, but also to enhance their recent learning about American history.
One of the first stops in DC is the American history museum – made famous in our family from watching the movie Night At The Museum 2! We visited the evolution exhibit and were all struck by the opening video. It showed people – many of them children – from all over the world. The outward differences were obvious – skin color, hair type, face shape, etc. The cultural differences were sometimes represented by clothing, jewelry, etc. Lastly, you heard the language differences. At the end of the short movie, there was a statement that said we are all the same – 99.9% the same DNA.
At the end of this exhibit we went to lunch. While we enjoyed our hot dogs and chips (surrounded by aggressive, hungry birds!) we talked about DNA. We also talked about how we are all the same. The boys got it. No matter where you go – Seattle, Washington DC, New York, Germany, or Zimbabwe, we are all basically the same.
Hearing this made the thought of moving to Germany simple. We will find friends there – we are good at this! We will have fun there – we are good at that! We will learn a new language – we like to learn. We will enjoy life there just as we enjoy life everywhere we go – one moment at a time.
Next stop – New York City!! We arrive via train, directly into Grand Central Station.
Dunkin Donuts – woohoo!
New York Pizza – oh yeah!
And yes, one right after the other – why not? We are on vacation!
Lot’s of fun in NYC – too much to mention here, but what really stood out was our trip to Ellis Island. This is where the famous Statue of Liberty graces the harbor. Our tour through the process of coming to America made us realize so many things. One, our family moved to a new country and not only survived, but thrived – and in much more difficult times! We also realized that they came not knowing the language, not having a job, and having never been here before. What is there to fear? We have so much more to help us adjust than our forefathers had.
This whole vacation pointed out in so many ways the basic things we already knew. People are people. We adjust and adapt to our circumstances wherever we are. We learn from everything we do. Change is not scary, it is part of life. Germany will be an adventure, and we love adventure! We are ready for this!