We just celebrated the high school graduation of daughter number 2. It was a grand affair here in Germany. Several days of parties, lots of well wishes and hugs all around. As we prepared for the festivities, I thought about Lauren’s crazy educational plan up to now:
(1) Since kindergarten, Lauren has attended 7 schools, and 3 different high schools.
(2) Her air travel plan included these stops: Anchorage, Alaska, Los Angeles, CA, back to Anchorage, Alaska, Fayetteville NC, El Paso TX, Fayetteville NC, Kansas City, KS and finally, Munich Germany.
(3) Her graduating class at Hohenfels was 31 students; a far cry from the 800 students at (Franklin) El Paso high school
(4) As a junior, Lauren did not get her driver’s license because 16 year olds cannot drive cars in Germany
(5) Lauren played soccer all four years of high school and traveled around Germany playing against other DoDS teams while stationed overseas
(6) Lauren graduated with honors, even though she didn’t know this until 2 days before graduation–which was likely due to the numerous restarts she’s had to her class schedule.
Graduation night was a special evening in Amberg, a village about 30 minutes from our home. The ceremony was hosted at a wonderful facility with ample seating. Because it’s a military-affiliated affair, we had to have entry tickets and pass through security to enter. Once inside, you couldn’t leave (also for security purposes). Not to fret!…this is the first graduation I’ve been to where there was a bar offering wine, beer and french fries to keep us occupied until graduation. Afterwards, we walked to the Amberg marktplatz (the large shopping square in most german towns) and found a brewery open for dinner. Where else but Germany can you just stumble upon the perfect place to celebrate with friends? I ordered a “Watkins Cake” for Lauren and it came in at a whopping 30 pounds (that’s an exaggeration, but it was heavy).
On Sunday, we co-hosted an Open House with the Sink family for our lovely graduates. When you live overseas, planning far in advance for any type of “American style” celebration is a necessity. We have a post box and regular US mail service but we can’t simply stop at Walmart or Target to stock up on cheap party supplies. We have a small store on the installation that has a selection of Hallmark items, but I ended up stopping at the Ramstein Air Force Base on our way back from France to find plates, napkins and decor. A friend of ours, Dena Braeger, is a photographer and she did the shoot for Lauren’s graduation photo. We love the fresh and natural look of the pic we selected and sent it off to Shutterfly to print as announcements. It was as close to “normal” as we were going to achieve here in Germany.