A sweater odyssey
September 29, 2021 10:47

Whenever we are expecting a child from Latin America, we inform the children before they arrive that they shouldn't buy winter clothes in their home country. You are much better off buying clothes for the winter here in Germany. Not that these are necessarily cheaper, but to get suitable clothes in an area where the coldest temperature is 18°C, that might be a bit difficult. We also found that every child feels the temperature differently here. Many of our children then followed the advice. Unfortunately, if you want to buy fashionable winter clothing, you must start looking early in autumn. When Indra came to us, the temperatures were very summery, and you didn't need to think about warm clothes. At least we didn’t.

Indra, however, felt cold more often. We noticed that when it was 20 degrees Celsius outside, she was wearing three T-shirts on top of each other.

It quickly became clear that Indra needed warm clothes, as she froze very quickly.

The clothes she brought with her were rather something for a stay in the Sahara, but not sufficient for German standards.

Indra was immediately enthusiastic when we suggested a shopping trip. Only when we had the first textile shops behind us, it was clear that we were facing a bigger problem.

Indra is more interested in airy beach dresses or T-shirts than in jackets, scarves or sweaters. When we got home we hadn't bought a single piece of warm clothing. We were able to keep her from buying a T-shirt, but the clothes she brought would hardly warm her if it was below zero outside. A second shopping trip didn't really improve the situation either. She had bought a jacket now, but it was best suited for the transition, but not for the whole winter. The attempt to send her to go shopping with a German classmate also failed. The shoes could only be interpreted as suited for winter with a lot of goodwill.

Before going on another shopping trip, we talked intensely to Indra. We tried to make it clear to her that she needed warm clothes, she was already freezing. Nevertheless, she showed little interest in sweaters and the like. When asked why she didn't want to buy a sweater, she replied that although they look nice, they felt so strange on the skin. Even with a hat, your hair would no longer come into its own. It was only the threat that we would only go home when she had a sweater that moved her to deal more seriously with the subject. In the end, she bought a sweater, a scarf, a matching hat with gloves and a bag! Later she started loving these warming pieces of clothing

Even when she going back to Brazil, she insisted on taking the things with her despite the lack of space. She said it could be that if she would go all the way to the south of Brazil or Argentina, it would be cold there and she might need them then!

Author: Robert Thomitzek, YFU Germany
YFU Host family 

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