You have given me wings to explore new horizons, and home where my roots will always be.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The end!

This may have to be my last blog entry since I only have three more weeks in Germany, and they all seem to be packed full of seeing the things I haven't yet, and saying good bye to everyone. So I hope you have enjoyed reading this over the year, and enjoy this last entry!
This past month has been a complete whirl wind; with Euro-Tour, our farewell orientation, and getting ready for my mom to come. I'd to put an update about Euro-Tour Euro-tour but right now I am having problems uploading pictures, and it just isn't the same explaining it without the photos. So sadly I will have to wait until I am home to show everyone how amazing that trip was. I can say this though; it was the highlight of this whole year for me. It brought all the exchange students even closer, showed us so many different places, and just allowed us to relax and have fun for almost three weeks.
The weekend after Euro-tour was our farewell orientation, and the district conference. This was a weekend filled with tears, and laughter. I believe this was a harder goodbye then when I left everyone back in Canada, since I don't know for sure if or when I will see some of these people again. They say you have three different families while you are a Rotary exchange student, but for me I found four. I had my three host families who I moved between, but there was a constant family always there for me, the other exchange students. This year would not have been what it was without all the people I got to meet, and become close to.
I was told many times before leaving that Rotary is a cultural exchange, and I assumed it just meant sharing my culture with the Germans, and learning their culture. Little did I know I would get to learn the culture of over 15 other countries. Although as we say we all come from different places, however in Germany we are one land, and one family.
This was the best year of my life, it was hard at times, but it has made me a better person for those hardships. I want to thank everyone who helped me have this opportunity; my two clubs, the families who invited me into their homes, and especially my own family back home. When I return home I hope to have the opportunity to promote the Rotary Exchange because I feel it is something that more people should have the opportunity to experience.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Paris dans la printemps, c'est un cliché, but I love it!!

During part of my easter vacation I was fortunate enough to get the chance to go visit JP in Paris, and enjoy some beautiful weather. I spent almost a week getting to know his family, and seeing a bit more of Paris. I would probably have to sit here for a few hours if I wanted to write about everything we had done and seen, so I will shorten it up to more of the basics.
My first day we went into Paris in the afternoon and went walking around, he showed me the main mall type places. One was absolutely gorgeous inside, and was probably anyone womans dream shopping; tiffany's, dior, chanel everywhere you looked. After we walked down the Champs Elysees to see L'Arc de Triumph, and walk around that area. After we walked down through one of the most well known parks in Paris; I can't remember the name though, and over top of the Louvre.
My second day we returned to Paris again and went to take some pictures around the eiffel tour, which was absolutely packed with tourist. Then took a boat tour down to Notre Damn, we didn't get to go in that day since the line was so long. We also saw the big modern art museum in that area, and went inside to see some of the displays. It was a really cool building inside and out also, and very colorful.
My third day we went into Paris again to go to Mont Martre and see Sacre Couer, this was probably my favorite area in Paris. It is considered the artist district, so you walk down the streets and see sketch artist everywhere, and many musicians as well. It is one of those areas where you could just sit down at one of the outdoor cafes, and watch people all day.
My fourth day we headed to Disney Land Paris, YAY!! For an 18 year old I think I was a little to excited for this, but it was my first time every going to any Disney Land. That was a really fun day, except we didn't get to do to many rides since the wait for most rides was anywhere from thirty mintues to an hour and a half. It was cool though seeing all the characters, and one of the parades. Sadly I didn't get my picture with Mickey like I wanted.
My last night the whole family and I went into Paris at night to walk around, and have dinner. Paris is a city that just absolutely comes to life at night, and just gets so much prettier. The streets are filled with so many people, and everything is light up, including the eiffel tower.
My last day there also happened to be easter so I was able to have a nice easter lunch with the family before I returned back to Germany. We had a very large almost five course meal I believe, including the typical french cheese. I was also forced to try absolutely everything; wasn't protesting to much, except I think I was full for a full 2 days after.

I had a wonderful trip and it was really nice to see JP again and get to know his family. Also to use my french once again, sadly that took a little longer to get better than I would of liked, but by the end I was comfortable with it. I can't wait to return to Paris again in the future, I believe it is a place I could return to over and over again.

You all have ten fingers? Lets try to keep it that way

Karmen and I were lucky enough to attend a German cooking course with other exchange students, inbound and outbounds. They were all from other organizations so we had a chance to meet more exchange students from other countries, many who had just arrived in Germany.
For the course we learned how to make a typical three course german meal. We made a spring salad with baked mushroms, chicken breats with carrots and chive sauve and fried potatoes, and a type of pancakes with apples for dessert. We also got a german/english cook book to take home, with tons of typical german recipes in it. So now when I come home I can try and cook some of the things that became pretty typical over here for me, which mostly consists of potatoes, and different types of pasteries.
All in all it was a really fun type with some other exchange students, with food flying everywhere, and everyone eating way too much.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Atomkraft? Nein danke

I attended my first demonstartion with my host mom a few weekends ago, it was a small demonstartion as part of the anti nuclear movement throughout Germany.
It was just a small event in our town, I'm not exactly sure you can even call it a protest of demonstartion since it just involved a long line of people through the main street, stepping from the sidewalk into the middle of the road. However it was still fun to see all the people out, many had signs on against the movement, or signs referring to all the distruction the nuclear power plants have caused in Japan. Right now this seems to be a big subject in Germany, or atleast in my area, you see people everywhere with pins, and stickers saying; Atomkraft? Nein danke. Which means nuclear power? No thank you.
Here are some photos from the day, there was a large turn out of over 300 people, which I think is quit a bit for a smaller town.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A little behind

So I am a little behind on updating everyone on life in Germany, and still don't have much time now for a proper update. I'm sorry that I have gotten so behind byt life has been crazy busy lately. So I am just writting this short blog to say Happy Easter to everyone, and tell you what you can look forward to hearing about next week.
  • Exchange student cooking class
  • My first demonstartion/protest
  • My easter holidays visting JP in Paris
I believe those are the major updates that are missing from the blog, I will try and get up to date next week when I return home, and upload plenty of pictures.
Happy Easter,
Frohe Ostern,
Joyeuse Pâques!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring is here!

Spring has officially hit Germany, and so far I am loving it; especially when I hear how the weather is back in Lethbridge. It hasn't been to crazy warm, a few days close to 20 though. However along with that warm weather we do still get our rainy days, that I am finally getting used to.
I did manage to get out and enjoy the nice days we had. Luckily they all fell on the saturday, and sundays so I was able to go out to the Baltic Sea with my host sister and some of her friends. We spent some time lying on the beach soaking up the sun, but avoided the water; it was a bit chilly. I can't wait for summer and even warmer weather, I am hoping to learn how to kite board before coming back. We will see how that goes, since it has been a few years since I walkboarded.
Here are some photos oh the beach we went to.

 More to come soon, hope everyone back home is enjoying the snow

Friday, April 1, 2011

Another awesome exchange weekend

 A few weekends we had another inbound Rotary orientation, this one was actually our last orientation, we just have our Euro tour left, and the district conference. This orientation took place on an island called Foehr. It was a good weekend, with the beginning of some spring weather, and a three hour walk across the beach. Some exchange students got brave and decided to go for a swim in the ocean, personally I thought it was a little to cold for that. After the walk on the beach we went to a hotel for a giant cake buffet, the perfect thing for exchange students.
After we got back to the hostel that night we all had to do short individual presentations about our favorite class at school; in German. It wasn't as fun as all the musical presentations we usually do, but it was good to see how everyone's German was doing.
Here are just a few of the photos taken over the weekend