Friday, August 12, 2005

BAHS Dreaming

Approaching the end of my summer travels, I land in Plittersdorf, which might come as close as any place to being my "village" in the Cameroonian sense. Much has changed here since the capital officially moved away in 1991 and I've only started coming back recently - since my parents re-relocated a year ago. Pretty much everything I associate with my formative years in Bonn has disappeared - the movie theater, shopping center, teen club, library, and my old high school (BAHS) and the attached Rec Center. Admittedly, it all badly needed tearing down, but still I wince.

Over the past year or so, I've had time to digest the shock of it all disappearing. The old community compound, or Amerikanische Siedlung as it is advertised on Real Estate posters, has taken on a distictive flair of quiet nostalgia. The old bilingual parking signs have been left up, as well as some of the now deserted security booths. Lots of Germans have moved into the apartment buildings, but there is still a strong international presence and even a few old schoolers like my folks. Shapiro Field - where I once played Football - has been turned into a professional baseball stadium (home of the Bonn Capitals) and the fields next to the school play host to three other 'anglo' sports - rugby, cricket and American football. So I come "home" now to a place that isn't the home I once knew but in a strange way feels more like the home that should have been, a truly international community, open and integrated into the larger community .

For the few that might possibly be interested, here's a picture of the new school building (Bonn International School) taken from where the racquetball court used to be.


And the Club? Still standing but in need of a buyer. Currently used as skater hangout.

Fortunately, some things don't change - most importantly Old Father Rhine, always good for an evening stroll.

4 Comments:

Blogger jon said...

After we paid for our kids summer camp 2005 we found it tough to recover! I totally agree with you!

1:44 AM  
Anonymous Therese said...

Hmm, Karl, did I just hear that you're engaged???

1:31 AM  
Anonymous Therese said...

If so, thumbs up and congrats! :)

1:36 AM  
Anonymous Tom W. said...

Hey Karl, thanks for the Bonn update. I had seen some satellite photos (GoogleEarth) that told me the shopping center was gone, but didn't know what else had been happening. So I appreciate the update, even if it means that the places we knew are gone.

6:27 PM  

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