Hi! I’m Tasha, and I’m related to at least half of the 46 accused witches of Salem. How do I know this? I’m a genealogist. Now that I’ve got your attention, here are some things you should know about me: I grew up in Clive and graduated from Valley High School, going on to study at Simpson College, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. I also studied German language and literature, and Theatre. I’m fascinated by languages and I love to help people find things–people, answers, solutions–you name it. I’m currently the 2nd Vice President and Cataloging Librarian for the Iowa Genealogical Society, where I’ve been a member for 11 years. I’m also working with Des Moines European Heritage Association‘s Saturday School (Samstagsschule) to help kids learn German. When I’m not working on one of those projects, I’m learning Czech and Norwegian to help assist with my family history research. All of these activities are in addition to my day job in the corporate world. I love loud music, the X-Men, ice hockey, Doctor Who, and spending time with my family: my husband and daughter, and our 2 pet chinchillas.
I got involved with the Christkindlmarket after hearing about it at the Iowa Genealogical Society’s Fall Open House in September. I wasn’t able to study abroad in college, but I’ve continued to study German over the years, teaching some to my daughter as well. I’ve never been to a Christmas Market, but I’ve always wanted to go to one. My husband and I went to Basel, Switzerland and Munich, Germany on our honeymoon several years ago, and I was fluent enough in German to spend 10 days there without an interpreter. The culture and scenery were fantastic, and I want to be able to help bring some part of that experience to other people. I think more people should take the time to learn another language, and I think everyone can benefit from exposure to other cultures. Not everyone can go to Europe–but we can bring Europe to you!
It’s an opportunity to meet new people, enjoy good food and drinks, and learn about the culture and traditions that many of your ancestors may have been a part of, while experiencing sights, sounds, and smells of the holiday season!