Last Saturday, Rahel and Christian came to visit.
Peter and Eliane Sieck had come up to Bremen from Switzerland, where they live, and had brought along Rahel and Christian and Jasmin. Peter is Stella's natural father, and he had married Eliane. Rahel is Eliane's daughter from a previous marriage, and Christian is her husband. Jasmin is Rahel and Christian's two-year-old.
They came over to Hamburg from Bremen for a day. Debby, Stella's sister, also came down from Kiel to meet them; she had never met Rahel and Christian before.
Rahel looked pretty much the same as she had done when we were in Switzerland last summer: about five months pregnant. (It's a body, apparently.)
We went to Planten un Blomen, a park in central Hamburg. At first, we went to the large playground were Jasmin played around first in the sandpit, then later on the swings and slides. Some of us older ones also played with some of the equipment such as the slides or the water toys. It was a fair amount of fun.
After a couple of hours of that, when Jasmin was tired, we went off to do something that appealed more to the adults—just walking through the park.
We came to the lake just after six o'clock in the evening—just in time to see a fountain display. I had forgotten that they have water displays during the daytime as well; I only remembered the display with water, coloured lights, and music at 10 p.m. during the summer, but they also have displays just with water at 2 and 4 and 6 p.m.
Peter bought an ice-cream for each of us (except Stella, who preferred a Danish-style hot dog) and we sat by a little table at the edge of the lake and talked.
Later, we went over to a stand where you had to try to get a balloon into a basket with a stream of water directed at it. There was one girl who was really good at it and managed it four times in a row.
We had arranged to meet Sister Gysler at the exit at 7 p.m.; she said she would call us on Stella's mobile phone beforehand to confirm the appointment, in case we decided to leave early. Someone had called while we were at the balloon game, but I probably hadn't heard the ring because of the background noise. So I wasn't sure whether she would be coming.
Rahel's sister Alvin married Marlen Gysler from the west of Switzerland. A brother and a sister of Marlen are currently both serving a mission in the Hamburg mission (for a while, they were even in the same district). Sister Gysler is currently in the Altona ward. Since she's Marlen's sister, that would make her Rahel's sister-in-law… or my sister-in-law's sister-in-law :).
She had a big package she wanted to send to Switzerland (to her sister, I think) and wanted to take advantage of her relatives' visit by passing the package on to them. She did show up finally with her companion, Sister Morley. Poor sister, she's only been in Germany for two weeks and when Sister Gysler talked with her relatives, she didn't understand a word. On the other hand, neither did I; Swiss German is essentially a foreign language for me.
We talked for another little while, took some pictures of the group, and then went home. When we got there, Debby took off for Kiel again and then the others left fairly soon afterwards as well.