I arrived in Frankfurt, Germany on the 7th of January after sad farewells at the MSP airport and tiring flights to London and then Frankfurt. But all was smooth and uneventful, except for a few extra questions at London's customs where my girlfriend, Caroline, and I were saved thanks to David Lauth's meticulous planning skills, (THANKS DAVID!). I'm here until February 1st when I leave with Caroline to visit Cremona, Italy and one of my dearest friends, Stina, who is on a gap year of her own with the Rotary youth exchange program. During my time in Frankfurt, I am living with my dad's younger brother, Paul, his wife, Petra, and their 2 children, Moritz (9) and Zoe (5). Life with my fellow Abbotts is delightful. I love getting to know my extended family better, being immersed in German culture, and, for the first time in my life, living in a city!
I spent my first week here settling in to my new schedule and learning my way around the neighborhood. I also started an internship at a local Reformhaus called Andersch. A Reformhaus is a business quite similar to a Coop in the States. They originally only sold "natural" body product -lotions, soaps, candles, etc. But now most focus on bio, Germany's term for organic, foods. My work is good, basic. I help set up the fruit and vegetable displays outside, bring shipments in and sort and shelve the new foods. The exciting part for me is seeing the business/consumer end of the process which I will be joining as a farmer in the coming months. For instance, on a Friday a farmer from just outside of Frankfurt came and delivered 500 kg of apples to the store! I'll be getting a full tour of one type of food system this trip as a producer, retailer, and consumer!