The bumble bee

I love how life is filled with funny little ironies. Like the irony of being a trained entomologist with a last name that means Bumble Bee in German. Then going to work for a German company and moving to Germany with a German last name. Everyone thinks I’m German, which is actually a great thing when you’re an expat in a new country. I also look remarkably German and by purchasing a German wardrobe I have no trouble to blend in. But, here’s the kicker, my whole life I though I was 1/4 German and it turns out I actually have not a drop of German blood. The great grandparents I thought were German were actually Hungarian.

I first discovered that my name means bumble bee when I was searching for something on google and found the German soccer brand Hummel with the bumble bee as their logo. It was delightful and a nice surprise. I have now embraced this as a logo (my spirit animal one might say). I like the idea of being like a bumble bee. They’re delightful creatures and if you’ve had the chance to see them at work, they’re industrious little suckers – moving about with steadfast mission and purpose. Not always the fastest guys, but working nonetheless with a  mission in mind – collect the pollen to feed the brood. They live in small, loyal families. They can sting and not die, unlike their honeybee cousins. I like this about them that they don’t die in their self-defense, but can survive and live to fight another day. Their colors are bold and bright delivering a warning about the weapons they carry.

The clothing in bright colors, the small community, the industrious spirit, and love of flowers. These have been in my nature for pretty much my entire life. But the defense abilities, packing a punch and continuing to carry on, this I have begun to build in my time in Germany. And I have to say it’s refreshing, empowering and a welcome change.

So, this blog is about my life in Germany where I regularly introduce myself as “Hummel wie die Hummel” – Hummel like the bumble bee. A German friend suggested I should use this phrase so people learn my name quickly. This intro has two great benefits: people do learn my name quickly and they also smile. So, we’re always off to a great start. As are we, as I share my journeys with you.