Things are settling back to normal here, and from the sound of it, for Toby too. Sharon has stopped asking if we're going to be depressed all year, perhaps because we're not both moping around, or maybe because we took her to Ikea to scope out new bedroom furniture.
Sharon is still envious of Toby's bedroom there, even after he explained that the bed is in a loft, not a second floor, and that he bumps his head on the ceiling all the time moving around up there!
Good news for Toby is that his family has a computer, and a flat rate internet access plan. (Apparently, it's common in some European countries to have metered access...so goes the story of an AFS student from a previous year who consumed his family's monthly allocation of internet access in his first several days there...yikes!) We're hoping to see photos from him soon, but probably not for a couple of weeks.
I said before he was starting a language camp for two days. I mis-heard him; it's for two weeks. Guess that makes sense. I mean how much could somebody learn in two days anyway?
He's also already made contact with someone associated with an Ultimate team in Hamburg, and is working out logistics for getting into town for practices. (It's about a 45-50minute trip for him each way.)
Rabbi Offner (our rabbi) made contact with a reform/liberal rabbi in the Hamburg area, and he offered to have Toby come with him for High Holidays services. Because the communities of reform/liberal Jews are very small there, he travels to several communities. It should be fun!
The last thing on my list to worry about was his visa. He needed to wait and apply there, which he has now done...according to him, he got his visa at the rathaus (loosely translates to city hall). He said it's the first of many forms he needs to fill out for things like his bahn-card for the train, etc.
Oh yeah, it sounds like his younger brother scored by having Toby there. He's taking English as a language course in school this year. Can't hurt to have a brother who's fluent, eh?
Ok, so maybe things aren't quite "normal", as I'm obviously still thinking about this that and the other thing for him (and maybe still worrying just a bit too), but I'm definitely heading that way. It's funny. I find myself worrying, but not quite about him. Here's an example. I was thinking the other night what I imagined would be going through my head right after arriving, something along the lines of "oh #*$@! what have I gotten myself into...what was I thinking? I didn't understand a thing they said all evening...how am I going to get by..." etc. I think I would be terrified, but too proud to admit it. Here's the weird part. I'm not really projecting any of that on Toby. I don't imagine he's experiencing that, or at least not like I would. I can see him being mildly amused at my concern and fear, and somewhat puzzled about why it would be a big deal.