Diana visited my mom's hometown last weekend. She got to see where my mom grew up and worked. Probably even more than that, but that's all she's told me about so far. The pub my grandfather owned is now a pizza place (hey, that works... they still serve beer, I'll bet!).
There are pictures on Martina's blog (Diana's host mom's blog link on the right). Diana also met my mom's Godson, Gerhard. She had a little trouble understanding him though.
One of the reasons they send our kids to Luneburg is their lack of dialect in their speech. It sounds very close to the german our kids learn in school. Conversely, German students learn British english, so it's kind of funny when they ask where the "loo" is or if they have to stand in a "queue" for a long time.
When Carolyn & I stayed in Lindau, that was Southern Germany and it took us quite a while to get accustomed to the dialect. Our first breakfast at the dorm, one girl started talking to us about where we were from, and all the other girls giggled. It wasn't the question, it was that the girl talking to us was speaking "Hoch (high)" german rather than the dialect. The others found it funny - it would be like someone you know adopting a british accent to speak to a german person. "I say, old chap, could you direct me to the nearest loo?"
If Diana hung around Gummersbach a while longer, or even visited a bit longer with her relatives, she would have caught on after a while. I'm glad she was with Leonie and her family as kind of a buffer. I think she might have been a little freaked had she been on her own. That being said, maybe she would have been fine. I managed okay when one of my dad's friends picked me up from that school in Lindau to take me out to eat with his son. He just wanted to visit with the daughter of his old buddy from school. I couldn't make out half of what he was telling me because of his dialect. But you know, after the "strong" beer, it didn't matter much...
Go look at the pictures!!!