Thursday, October 12, 2006

1,000 watts

It's been awfully quiet around here this week. That's because our resident chatterbox and bundle of energy Boy10 has been away on a five-day class trip to a youth hostel in the small town of Otterndorf on the North Sea in the region of Cuxhaven close to the mouth of the Elbe River.

Boy13 is enjoying the silence - no one following him around the house, coming into his room and touching his stuff without permission or making silly faces at him from across the dinner table, but I think he does miss his little brother a tiny bit.

The school kids explored the village, did some biking and visited an indoor wave pool. But the big highlight, at least for Boy10, was taking part in a Wattwanderung - wadlopen (really a Dutch word) or mudwalking as it's more commonly called in English. Whatever you call it, involves slogging through the muddy sand of the Wadden Sea at low tide and getting very, very dirty.

Boy10 phoned us last night,(as he had done every night since Monday - I think he's homesick!) and told us that the Wattwanderung was really great and that his rubber boots and socks got completely wet and muddy. In the summertime, many people go mudwalking in their bare feet, but it's a bit too cold for that at this time of year, so rubber boots it was. I've heard it's the most fun when you sink in right up to your knees and Boy10 apparently achieved that goal. Concerned mother that I am, I asked him what he had done with his soggy socks, if he had perhaps hung them up to dry somewhere. "Nope." he replied, "I just stuffed them back into my boots. And, sorry, but my pants kind of got wrecked too." I can see I've got my work cut out for me when he gets back. ChicagoKarl's kids did some mudwalking earlier this year and just look how they ended up. Boys will be boys, I guess!

Just a note on the pronunciation of Wattwanderung should you ever have the chance to use that word in casual conversation. The "watt" part isn't pronounced the way the English word watt would be, it's more of a "vhaaahhhht" sound. Say it with me - vhaaaahhhtvonderoong. Got that? Perfect. I knew you could do it.

The children arrive back in town tomorrow at lunch time and I'll be there to pick up my muddy little guy. I've missed him and can't wait to see his 1,000 watt smile when he gets off the bus.


At October 12, 2006 8:11 p.m., Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

My muddy experience was in October 2000 in the Swiss mountains (remember the mudslides?? Well, I was there! Not fun.) But I'm sure he loved it! BTW, don't you mean a 1'000 vhaaaahhht smile??

At October 13, 2006 1:19 a.m., Blogger Haddock said...

Mud walking sounds like a lot of fun. I lost a pair of wellie boots in the mud when I was a kid :)

At October 13, 2006 1:31 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

christina!!! i would be having a hissy fit if Jack had to go on a trip for five days without me!!! i ADMIRE you!!! i think i would be on tranquilzers when i heard about the mudwalk---when i looked a the pics ,though,it didn't look much different than the mudflats on the Atlantic Ocean {down the street from here!} xoxo marianne

At October 13, 2006 10:06 a.m., Blogger Betsy said...

Sounds like heaven for little boys! S and B are mud aficionados and will be extremely jealous when I tell them about Boy10's fieldtrip...

Enjoy your reunion with that 1,000 watt smile!

At October 13, 2006 10:45 a.m., Blogger Sandra said...

Wow, 5 days is a long time for a 10 year old to be away. I bet you really miss him. But about those socks...they are going to be really gross, all wet and balled up in his boots for a few days. What is with kids? Will they NEVER learn to hang up wet stuff????

At October 13, 2006 10:47 a.m., Blogger christina said...

CanSwiss - That must have been awful! I find mud kind of scary, actually. It's so unpredictable.

haddock - I think I lost a wellie or two as a kid as well. I wonder if there's an abandoned wellie graveyard somewhere?

marianne darling! - They start them off in the 4th grade here going on 5 day trips so I'm used to it by now. I've already been through three of them with the big guy and one with the little one. I guess it's the same as mudflats everywhere. I hear there are some cool ones in Korea too.

Betsy - They'll probably go on trips in 4th grade if you're still in Germany. I have no idea how they choose the location - it's usually some place where the kids can learn something as well. And if mud is included, all the better. :-)

At October 13, 2006 10:50 a.m., Blogger christina said...

Sandra - It is a long time, but it seems to be pretty normal here for them to go on these trips. Some of them do get really homesick, though, especially in 4th grade when they go for the first time, but they say it's to help them bond with their classmates.

I'm NOT looking forward to the socks. I told him to hang them up, but I'm almost sure he didn't. We'll see.

At October 13, 2006 12:48 p.m., Blogger Elemmaciltur said...

The Wadlopen seems long as the mud doesn't stink. :-p

At October 13, 2006 5:03 p.m., Blogger Julia said...

If Boy10 got a kick out of the mudwalking, he might like the Arthur Ransome novel, Secret Water, about just that. And then there is The Riddle of the Sands for older readers. It is set pretty close to where the kids wadlope(d?).

At October 13, 2006 5:24 p.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

Too much fun, if you ask me. So glad you can take it all in stride because, well, what's the alternative?!

At October 14, 2006 3:56 p.m., Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

In my experience, it was VERY unpredictable.

At October 15, 2006 11:07 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Elemm - I don't know if it stinks but I guess it's a bit fishy.

Julia - Hi, nice to "meet" you and thanks for the recommendations. I'll definitely look into those books.

ginnie - I've learned to take lots of things in stride - it builds character, right? :-)

CanSwiss - I'm glad you came out of it in once piece at least!

At August 01, 2010 4:49 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a woman, you can do the mud walking by car, of course.

(Remember your husband's earlier web search?)



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