I have almost been in Germany for four months and over that time I have lost contact with many friends from back home. Many of these friends were ones that I thought I would be in contact with the most, but things change, and so do people. However I have also been fortunate enough to gain 53 new friends, ones who I know will always be there for me, and have been like family lately.Orientation weekends; that is one of the things I am so grateful that rotary organizes for us. It is just a weekend where we all get together, these exchange students have become my family here in Germany, and I love them all.
I just retured from my second orientation weekend where we spent the weekend in Bad Oldesloe and Lubeck. There is no youth hostel in Bad Oldesloe, therefore members from the rotary club were kind enough to open there homes to us. I was hosted my a woman who is part of the inner wheel I believe it is called. She made me feel right at home even though I was only there for three days, and gave me her number to call if I ever have any problems. It still shocks me to see this kindness from complete strangers, but being part of this exchange i've been fortunate enough to see plenty of it.
Friday was just the welcoming day where we had supper with some of the families, then proceeded over to a youth center to have a little party. I love how they can just put us in a room with some music and we will find the most random ways to keep ourselves entertained. I had always thought that was something you could only do with small children, but I guess it also works with exchagne students. It was a fun night of playing games such as charades; which is even harder in a language you aren't fluent in.
The next morning we woke up bright and early and took a train to Lubeck, where we took a short tour throughout the city. Right now is also when all the Christmas markets are set up, but sadly we only got to take a fast walk through them and not enjoy them; lucky for me I'm close to Lubeck and will be able to return. The Christmas markets are absolutely amazing, and were also the top thing to see on my bucket list, so I can officially cross it off. After the tour we ate at the famous restaurant called "Schiffergesellschaft" that was built sometime around 1530. To finish of the day in Lubeck we went go carting, it was pretty fun, but I think it was more fun to watch all the people from the latin american countries that had never seen go carting before.
I forgot to mention we had a first snow, nothing like Canada but it's enough to keep me happy, but also to make our day in Lubeck very cold. Winter has finally found me :)
Today was a short day where we just met in a school and had some presentations from all the countries about what Christmas is like for them. I joined the Americans in singing Rudolph the Red nose Reindeer for everyone.
It felt as if this orientation was shorter than the first since we weren't staying in a hostel and staying up all night, but it was still just as good. This one was a bit sadder since we had to say goodbye to 8 of the exchange students who will be leaving before the next orientation. It's never easy saying goodbye, but here it's even harder, these exchange students become your family.