My new colleagues were the most interesting people with whom I'd ever worked. They had lived and worked all over the world, and most were adventurous, hard-working, and fun-loving. As ex-pats, we became "family" to each other. We traveled together, celebrated holidays together, helped each other through good times and bad, and formed bonds beyond those of normal school colleagues.
During my five years in this school, I moved slowly but surely out of reading and into English. I became the department chair. I became active in the union as a faculty representative. I attended wonderful staff development opportunities, which, in those days, were week-long events at wonderful hotels in the spa towns of Germany, like Bad Kissingen. Wow! I took kids on field trips to France. My soccer team played in the championship at the Olympic soccer field in Munich. The kids were great. Ansbach itself is a lovely medieval and Baroque Bavarian small city with everything you could want or need. We traveled every chance we got to dozens of countries. We drove to Berlin when it was still divided and Dubrovnik when it was still Yugoslavia. Life was good.
It got even better when I was introduced to AVID, but that's the next story.
Our rowhouse (in the middle) in Langenloh, outside of Ansbach.