Tuesday, June 28, 2011
I remember my first week in Germany. I was overwhelmed, exhausted, and terrified. I felt so proud of myself after making it through those 'tough' 7 days. Look at me now. Just like my arrival in September, my departure in July seemed like one of those things that was talked about but never actually came around. Now it's less than a week away: I'm going home. If words could describe the mixture of feelings in my head maybe this would feel a bit more realistic. For the past 2 weeks we've been on holiday from school. I had time to spend with friends, to make little day trips and to meet even more people. I also had time to pack my ever-growing luggage and plan my life out a bit for once I get home. Now, I'm sitting in school for another week. Not the most exciting climax to my departure, but there's nothing to be done about that. I've begun wrapping up the official things like Rotary (saying my many 'thank you's), school (getting signatures for credits back home), and flight finalizations (how many suitcases can I bring, again?). Then there's friends. I'm trying to meet up with them all as much as possible before I go. They've been such a crucial part of my experience here and I owe them a lot. Saturday will be the hardest on my tear glands. We are having our Farewell Weekend with the Rotex. Of course, for most of the exchange students it's just another weekend with the friends, but it's my last day in Germany. It's fitting that I get to spend it with the family I've made over here. I only get to stay until Saturday night, as I fly out on Sunday, but we'll be doing a high ropes course and having a bonfire. It should be the perfect end to my year with the people I love. Then, on Sunday July 3rd, 2011, I am coming home. Back to the United States of America, Michigan, my family, my friends, and most importantly, my bed. Some things will be different; some will be exactly the same (my room, hopefully). I guess I'll see in a couple days. That's just the mystery of a whole new adventure with a different zip code. Bring it on. See you all Stateside, my faithful readers and wish me luck!--sjinternational
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Here it goes: the last month of my exchange. I've switched to my last host family and am still pretty much living out of my suitcase. The first exciting thing this month was Prague! I've had a lot of experiences this year, and this was one of the best. Prague is a breathtaking city. The architechture was so beautiful that every time we passed through the main square of the old town I felt the re-occuring need to take pictures. As exchange students, we needed to find the cheapest way to do everything. Our train and hostel together added up to about 85 Euro, which for 4 days/ 3 nights in the heart of Prague isnt' too shabby. Not to mention our hostel had a pool. And our train had carriages, so we all felt like we were going to Hogwarts. We got 72 hour tickets for the city trams for 15 Euro which we used every day at least 4 times. On Friday, we took a really good city tour for free that took 3 hours to see the whole city. That night we got the best deal by joining in on this thing called a "Pub Crawl" which highlighted 3 or 4 of the cities most popular bars and clubs. That's about enough explanation on that one... Saturday, we spent the day up at the castle with a great view overlooking the whole city. One thing about Prague is how tourist oriented it is. I couldn't walk down a street without seeing at least 3 souvenir shops. At one point, I walked through a throng of people watching the astronomical clock do it's hourly thing. As I held tightly to my purse, I kid you not, in a span of 10 seconds, I heard at least 7 different languages. It definitely made it easier that everything was in English. However tourist oriented the city. the culture is thriving through the inquisitive hearts of visitors from all over the world. This was an amazing trip to highlight our exchange year. The final hurrah of us traveling all together, because much to our dismay, we realized that the next time we all gather will be the last time. Now on to the present: I have 2 more days of school until we have 2 weeks off. Although I'm not going to France or Italy like some of the other exchange students, I will have time to spend with my friends here in Friedberg and, well, sleep. My 3 week point is coming up and the clock is ticking.--sjinternational. P.S. A happy last day of school to FHS. I'm officially a SENIOR!