Friday was the first day at the new job, hence the slight delay in this post.

I’m on the staff at a protected workshop for clients with psychological disabilities, which provides a variety of occupations for people with varying psychological and cognitive abilities. To keep this range of options as broad as possible, departments can seem to be a bit random, which is why I’m on the team in charge of a laundry and a carpentry making wooden toys. Amongst other things this department makes wooden boats that are a popular souvenir of the city and which once a year take part in a race along the small streams that run along the main streets of the city centre. So I’m now partially responsible for an icon of the city of Freiburg* and if that isn’t integrating in my host culture I don’t know what is.

This is how the boats are made:

Here’s the state TV report on the boat race every year, hopefully with English subtitles, but you can get the idea from the pictures…

 

I got some really good news on day one; all the tedious report writing is dealt with by a social worker who comes in once a month. On the other hand, we have to run the department and deal with supplies and suppliers and make sure things are delivered on time.

And as I was finishing I was the person currently in charge of this department casually mentioned that he’s leaving in about two months and I’ll have to take over.

Useful experience, right, it’s all useful experience…

*Very ‘partially’ indeed, along with a lot of other people; thankfully…