WISHING HIM SAFE AND ADVENTUROUS TRAVELS, UNTIL HE RETURNS TO HIS FAMILY IN GERMANY!A friend of many years, DIETHARD AM-ENDE, from Johanngeorgenstadt, Germany, was here this week. Having a visitor from Germany is not so extraordinary for our family, given that we have some deep and treasured connections with Deutschland and Deutschlanders. But this was was indeed EXTRAORDINARY! Diethard got here for his first visit with us in OUR country, on his BMW GS 800 motorcycle. We're only one stop on his around the world trip. This trip had been a long held dream of Diethard's, who spent nearly all of his life, living behind the Iron Curtain, in the former German Democratic Republic, or East Germany. He left home May 9th, and traveled through Poland, Russian (Siberia), Korea, and Japan, before sending his BMW motorcycle air cargo to Vancouver BC, while he flew there. Once reunited with his chosen mode of transport, he then visited Alaska, much of British Columbia, Washington state and then into Oregon. We enjoyed a great, informative and too short visit with Diethard, and his temporary traveling companion from British Columbia, Michael. Michael will return to BC this coming week, and Diethard will proceed alone, to cross the US from west to east, on a yet undetermined route. We will reunite with Diethard one more time in the Boston area in late August, and hear more about his travels across the US.
We met Diethard many years ago, after the collapse of the Berlin wall, in his hometown. He is now retired but was the headmaster of a primary school. He and I facilitated contact between his students and mine as 'e-pals', something that certainly fostered intercultural appreciation for the German AND American students. We have visited Diethard and his family several times in Johanngeorgenstadt, but this was his first visit to us here.