We had our last concert in Nidderau, a small city about a half-hour drive away from Frankfurt. We were told nothing special about Nidderau; it was a last-minute, second-choice concert that was really just filler. Nevertheless, it was our last concert, which marked the end of the accomplishment of the European choir tour and the end of the senior class’ college experience.
The church was cute. It wasn’t Erfurt or Prague, that’s for sure; it had a flat ceiling (our first flat ceiling, mind you), and the rest really wasn’t too spectacular.
I wasn’t looking forward to another homestay. As fun as they are, it still takes a lot of energy to meet new people in a new place and stay with them. I simply wanted to go back to La Crosse and sleep for two days straight.
Carl and Dortea were my hosts. At first, Dortea was talking to my roommate and I in German, which made me think, Man, if I have to deal with charades for two days, this is not going to be fun. And then, after a linguistic struggle, Carl said, in perfect English, “Oh, you don’t speak German, do you? That’s fine.”
Carl and Dortea were an old retired couple who lived in a beautiful 200-year-old house. (Mom, Dad…I’m putting pictures of the house so you can see it. I know this kind of house would be a dream for you.)
Dortea played the piano and sang quite beautifully. She let me and Josh play our musical for them too, which wasn’t the classical stuff they were used to, but Carl said, “It’s okay that it’s not Brahms; it’s you.” And then Carl showed us what was him…He plays the didgeridoo. He also plays the duducki, which is a more authentic, strict-technique instrument. He was great.
This couple was so kind to us. They had a Red Corrant bush, which is a berry that is very rare in the States. Josh and I ate more than we should have, but they were delicious.
Oh, and they showed me where I would be sleeping, which was the attic. There was a hole in the top for ventilation. Take a look.
After dinner, we went to the concert. In all the places that we sang, we may have sung the best in Nidderau. We were finally completely comfortable with our songs, and the audience was into it, and we had motivation to sing our best. And we did.
I’m sure that every person in the choir cried at least once during the concert. I definitely was not able to sing through three of the songs. This was a big time for me—it marked the end of my time with the choir for the year, and the beginning of my big, scary summer adventure. I was afraid of my future and thankful for the people around me at the same time. I couldn’t help but cry when we sang words like, “Stay with us, Lord Jesus, stay with us,” and, “Eternal Savior, come to me.” It was amazing.
We prayed together after the concert, cried together, laughed together, and shared hundreds of hugs. I’m always amazed how attached I become to the choir at the end of the tour. I love every single one of them.
And thus starts the next step of my journey.
Lord God, You have called Your servants
to ventures of which we cannot see the ending—
by paths as yet untrod, through perils unknown.
Give us strength to go out with courage,
not knowing where we go,
but only that Your hand is leading and supporting us.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.