Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Long day

Today has been a long day and I must get some sleep. I will blog in more detail tomorrow. Everything is good though. I'll probably nap tomorrow after school and then I'll blog. In much detail for your pleasure. Good night!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Oh i forgot

So today I was going to try and look my best. I was gonna straighten my hair in the morning because it was getting late last night. After plugging it in and seeing that it was normal, I did my make up and went back so it could warm up. I noticed the little light was off. It was supposed to be blinking when it warmed and plain red when warming. Never off when it was turned on. I couldn't get it to warm up or the light to come back on. I hope its not broken forever and just with the German plugs. So I had to wear my curly bed head to school. Oh well. It looked on purpose at least. So I'll just have to borrow my host sister's straightener. Sorry mom. Germany might have broken your straightener even with the converter.


I'm having a few issues uploading pictures onto my blog. So I've uploaded them to facebook. I'll keep doing that until I can figure out how to simply put many pictures on here at once. I havent taken pictures of everything. Just the outside of the house, my room, the street, and the yard. If I took pictures of everything I would look like a tourist.

Success! (imagine a dexter's laboratory voice)

I finally got the door open today! woo hoo! I can work the lock now. Theres a couple tricks to it, but I got it. Last time I was stuck outside at night for 20 minutes just trying to work the lock. They have no doorknobs here! I don't remember if I wrote this, but Rebekka and I made pizza last night and it was delicious. It wasn't like american pizza though. There was no crust. Like no bread sticking out at the edges, only underneath. We made it all from scratch like we make everything here. Our bread didn't rise for some reason though so it took forever to roll it to the right size. There were many things on the pizza. There was tuna, ham, peppers, tomatoes, pineapple, and cheese I believe. Maybe more. It was really thick lol. School is totally weird here. It really is more like college where you just sign up for the classes you want and show up when you have them. And they rotate weeks, so I have and A week and B week. With a different schedule each week. The classes don't really have much homework because the teachers work really hard to get everyone active in the class so everyone understands instead. They don't have the same grading system either. They have a number system instead that I don't quite understand yet. But they aren't grades, they're called marks. I don't get any marks being an exchange student. But that's awesome for me cause I have no idea whats going on :D! Half of your "grade" is based on participation. In every class. I not only will be taking the classes I wanted, but about a billion others. Wierd ones like catholic religion (more a religion philosophy class), education (for kids), Literature (which is like drama), English, Singing, Music, Mathematics, Physics, German, Exchange student tutoring, and much much more. I can't remember it all. When I get my official schedule I'll post it. It took my entire first day just to figure it out and it will probably change because I still have alot of free periods. Alot. As in I have no classes on mondays until the 5th period. Then another free period and then two afternoon classes. Most people don't have afternoon classes. Theses are extra so usually I will get out of school at about 12:50. The first class starts at 7:30. I also get to come in late on fridays. If I have an afternoon class or two then I would get out of school at 2, 3, maybe 4. There are two 15 minute breaks after 2nd and 4th period. Otherwise we have 5 minutes. No lunch break. You can leave the school whenever you want. It's your decision whether you attend class or not. If you have a free period or on breaks you can walk into town and get food or drink or whatever. Most people just bring bread from the bakery and bottled water and eat on the breaks. If the student wants to smoke then you are not allowed in the school building, but can in designated places outside or right outside the doors. I thought this was beyond weird but whatever floats their boat I guess. After awhile of reflection I've decided I think I like the school. It's very strange and different, but I like it. It's pretty easy and simple to get around. I made friends with the Australian girl Meghan. She showed me around and stuck with me the whole day pretty much. She now speaks German and says I can expect to understand it in a couple of months and speak it fairly well in about 6 months. Since it took all day to arrange my schedule, I was sitting outside almost the entire school day. I only attended one class. Physics. Theres only four girls in that class including me. It was boring, but I think I got the point of the class because of the interaction. Tomorrow is Hartmut's birthday party (my host father) so I'm glad I get out of school at normal time, 1, so I can be here for that and I have to run by the bank to make my German bank account tomorrow at 4. That way rotary can put my monthly allowance in it. It's free for students to make a bank account here. Turns out that the rotex weekend is actually at my school. So I'll be spending the night in my gym that night. The australian girl Meghan is actually from rotary too, so I got alot of info from her about things tonight. Like how much the tours are and how long and where we go and etc. The German tour is two weeks long and we go everywhere lol. The Euro tour is also alot of fun she said. And that one is three weeks long and we also go everywhere. 13 major cities and at least two nights in each city. All over Europe. I didn't get the price for that one. I'll ask tomorrow. The rotary meetings are the first tuesday of every month, so I'll be going to those. I don't think there is anything else to do tonight besides eat dinner so that's why I'm blogging now. Hope I'm doing ok. I've never blogged before and I've never been much of a writer.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Oh I forgot

I went to a horse competition today! It was my first time ever being at one. There were more horses than I've ever seen before. They were jumping and stuff. I love the way the riders looked and how graceful the horses are. Rebekkah trained a girl that was in it and the girl placed! A different girl that was in the competition had been injured before. She almost died in an accident. She was recovered and competed today, but her mother was very worried. Turns out she was right to be because after a jump, the girl fell of her horse and the horse stepped on her. I saw it all almost in slow motion. She was injured and it looked bad, but her mom called later and said it wasn't as bad as it looked. Poor girl. Such a trooper. She tried to get up, but clutched her midsection and fell down again. God help her.

My first Sunday

There was a beautiful rainbow today. Actually two right in a row. It hailed earlier! Its summer! I'm wearing my north face jacket already. This will be fun...grr. I'm excited for school tomorrow. A chance to meet new friends. haha christoph and philip found me on facebook and thats why I corrected thier names. I now have a solid sleeping plan. If I follow my own studies of the bible at home and wait until I know more German to attend church, my host parents go to church until about 11! I can sleep in one day a week! woo hoo!!! I slept in today and I feel soooo much better. Alot more like my old self. I feel terrible when I know I look this bad. I knew it was worse than I thought when I was showing pictures to christoff and a few other ppl at the table pictures from home and they were completely shocked at how I look on a normal day at home. Good shocked. Meaning they thought I was way prettier then and I probably look like a completely different person. That is so wrong. So I'm determined to look normally now. If I shower at night and do my hair all at night, then I can get up a little later on school mornings and get sleep, but still look good. Tomorrow I will get up at 7 for school because I don't have to get there until an hour later being a new student. All the rest of the year I'll get up at 6. And that is sleeping as late as possible with breakfast at 6:15 or 6:30. Then I have to catch the bus at a quarter till 7 on a normal day. Not fun. Wish me luck!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

oh oops

Kristoff is actually Christoph and the boy in front of me was philipp

Fourth day

For some reason, today I thought it was sunday. I was under the impression I had school tomorrow until I asked if Benjamin would be home today from his archery competition and they said no. He would be home tomorrow. So I asked if he would be missing the first day of school. Once again no. It's sunday tomorrow. I guess I had a blonde moment. I have everything ready for school on monday then. Kristoff, the boy I met a few days ago, is going to help with my classes and the bus. My host family set this up. They keep mentioning him. Makes me think they're trying to hook us up or something. Weird. Yesterdays fireworks were wonderful! They were so pretty with loud music in the background. Alot was american :). There were soooo many people there. Everyone was dancing and talking and standing and drinking and having a good time. I finally saw a little bit of the party side of Germany and it makes me like it alot more than I already did. Tonight we had the neighborhood BBQ. It wasnt the same at all haha. Not that I expected it to be. But it was fun. There were lots of people and everyone was again drinking and eating and talking. I was offered beer alot. I didn't drink it. They mixed it with coke too. Gross. About half way through a whole bunch of younger guys came and sat at the table I was at. Probably because I was with Kristoff. They were nice lol. They talked to me alot, but mostly just the guy that sat in front of me. I don't remember his name. He was like 19 though or 20. And he was one of the oldest. The other oldest was about the same age. They were fun to talk to and listen to. Typical guys, but with more beer. They drank a ton. Plus a few shots. I took pictures of all the beer they were drinking. All the glasses. It was crazy. And they kept offering it to me, but I kept refusing. I was the only girl at the table. Go figure I would be the only girl at the table and finally get to hear how guys talk at their tables and it would be in Germany where I have no idea what they are saying. And they told Kristoff and the guy in front of me not to translate. Thats probably for the best lol. I laughed pretty hard when they started writing on each other in pen and one guy put a piece of meat in the other guys beer. Then they started putting random stuff from the table in the beer. Like a candle, candy bar still in its wrapper, a pen, etc. With a nice flower to go on top. I should have taken a picture of that. Oh well. They reminded me of a bunch of frat boys. The biggest one there and I think the youngest was my age. He was 16. Some of them were cute too lol. The first cute German boys I've seen. Too bad I wouldn't date a guy here. If not cause of the rotary, because some of them barely speak english! Gah! How come the cute ones never speak my language? lol. I'm also starting to notice people here that remind me of people at home. I met a German woman who was like the blonde German version of Mrs. Cindy McCoy. It was great. She doesn't speak any english though. But what she could get out, plus the way she dressed and her attitude reminded me of you! There were others, but I don't want to go into all of them. My host family parents are going to church tomorrow, but I don't think I will join them. As it turns out, there are only two types of churches here. Catholic and Protastant. They are the latter. I would rather study the bible and pray on my own time. Maybe later I will go once I speak German and do a little research. But for now, no.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The sun is starting to shine (not in the litteral sense at all)

So they were right when they said it is always raining here. It really is always raining. I have to wear a hoodie and jeans everyday! It's summer, but it's cold here. I even get chills through my jacket. But things are looking up. I feel much better today. I'm refreshed and while my nose is still runny and my cough is not good my emotions are better. I have not cried once today and while I will always miss home, I'm starting to settle in. I talked with one of my teachers today. He is the one in charge of all exchange students at my school. He has put me in his highest level english class with the other exchange student from australia to give his students real experience talking with someone who knows english very well. haha very well...only language i know. He will also tutor me in German, one on one i believe. His daughter is my age and she also knows english very well and is eager to meet me. Maybe she will help to teach me German? I don't know. I'm actually very excited for school to start. I want to make new friends and be around teenagers! My life is actually about to get very busy. There are lots of events planned for the next couple of weeks. There is a rotary party and many parties actually. Not the teenage kind. The birthday of my host father and the birthday of an old woman in the neighborhood and a neighborhood get together to bbq kind. They bbq here apparently. I also have an orientation done by rotex on sept 10 and 11th. Its a spend the night in a gym thing and ill need some money for it (mom and dad that last bit was for you), i believe 15 euro. maybe just a few more. All of this and school and I believe there is more, I've just forgotten. I've noticed a few things while here that I only just noticed today. First off, my host family has worn the same clothing for the past three days. Every day I've been here, they have been wearing the same clothing. I'm a bit thrown off by this. Then the guests that were over spent the night and they didn't change their clothes either. Am I the only one that thinks that is kinda...i don't want to say strange or weird ;)...just interesting. I can't do that. I'm changing lol. The other thing I've noticed is something in myself. Not anything deep. I've noticed deeper things about myself in the past few days, but this thing is more obvious. I'm talking differently. I make sounds I never made before. I almost have an accent, it's weird. My wording is different and everything I say in my head or read is now in an accented voice. My internal voice has an accent now!!!! Is that not the weirdest thing? I'm learning more German phrases by the day, but not near enough to consitute actually knowing the language at all. Just enough to say I don't know the language, but I know these few sentences. I'm working on my introductory sentences. They're easy, I just keep forgetting them. I can say yes, no, what?, please, thankyou, thankyou so much, your welcome, good, and ok all in conversation automatically. Everything else I have to think first. But I can read German now. I know how to pronouce most words while reading and that is what I call a good start. I really want to journal on paper for private usage along with this blog, but I don't know if I will have time. I have lots of things to do. Like read books, school, social, read bible, etc etc. It all takes time. My host brother did the sweetest thing today! he brought me blackberries from their yard :). They were yummy. I also met my host brother jonas today who is currently teaching english in tailand, over the computer. He's really nice and speaks superb english. He was like hey whats up? :) Probably because he went to canada for a year, as did Rebekkah. Well I have to go. Don't want to spend too much time on here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

First few days

Well if you did not already hear over facebook, I'm in Germany. I got here at 7 in the morning German time on wednsday. We are 7 hours ahead in Germany from the united states so it was midnight at home. I could not sleep until that night, so I was up for over 28 hours straight. Unfortunately, I could not sleep on the plane. My host family is very nice. They treat me well, so I feel bad that I can't just turn on my happy switch. I'm having durastic mood swings. It is better now that I have slept, but still crazy. I'm what most people would call miserable, but not because I am in Germany. I really thought the pain in my mouth would be gone by now, but it hasn't. My host family has friends staying over tonight and we went out to eat. It was a nine course meal. Half way through my mouth started hurting so bad that I had to fight tears and eventually went to the bathroom and let it out. This pain is in addition to my sudden cold like symptoms, stuffy/runny nose, hurting throat, coughing, head aches, stomache aches, drainage, feeling like I'm gonna throw up. So this is why my experience here has not been wonderful so far. I'm really hoping that the first few days is the worst because just the thought of home brings me to tears and I have to stop myself or go to my room and hide it. Other times it all feels like no big deal. Germany is nothing like I thought it would be, but at the same time I was trying to expect the unexpected. The house I'm staying in is very tasteful. It's a modern style house with lots of levels, 7 in fact, and windows everywhere. There are even lots of motion sensor lights. My room is actually bigger than my one at home. It was a boy's room though so its filled with soccer things and posters and boy things. The only girly thing in sight is purple covers on my bed. I thought that it was just going to be my host brother and host parents, but my host sister is actually home until the middle of october. I'm very very grateful for that. She has been so helpful. Germany itself is very green. There are wonderful gardens and trees everywhere. The streets are all brick or stone mostly in this area. There is also horses everywhere. Like on every street in my neighborhood. All kinds of horses. There is also many castles in this region. I think they said there is like three hundred. Very old buildings. I can walk everywhere. I was going to use one of their bikes to get around, but it was too big because everyone here is much taller than me! So I walk. Everywhere. I swear I'm going to lose like 20 pounds cause I've probably walked 10 miles since I've gotten here. No exaggeration either. Theres like no fat people lol. And two times a day all I eat is bread and butter or cheese and meat. Anything else I've eaten is unrecognizable and I don't ask. It's good though. The sausage made me feel sick today though. They also drink tons of coffee. The only thing I've drank since I've been here is water. They carbonate their water so they fill up a special bottle from the tap of regular water just for me. The only exception is I had coke at dinner tonight because we went out. I also baked my first cake from scratch today with my host sister. She translated the directions and we made it together. The translation was it was just called apple cake. It was good. I also cut myself in the process by chopping apples. Oh well. My host sister put a bandaid on it and it wasn't brought up again. And before you ask, no I obviously don't speak German yet. I know very little. But I'll learn eventually. Most of the time I have no idea what everyone is saying because they don't use english unless they want me specifically to know what's going on. Or when addressing me. But every once in awhile I get some of it. Key words and hand motions (they use alot) and cognates. I've been reading my bible every night or when I get a chance. I find that it helps. The other thing that keeps me sane or makes me cry depending on the moment is that american music is played on the radio all the time. I was pretty surprised when the first song I heard on the radio in Germany was Justin Timberlake haha. And later when I heard workers listening to Jason Derulo singing Ridin solo and Taio Cruz singing Break Your heart in the kitchen. Oh and the thing about the radio, they do not edit apparently. All the american songs I can understand have every curse word no matter what it is. Eminem and Rhianna got all those f bombs played here. Maybe it's cause it is technically foreign music, or maybe because theres only four radio stations so they dont have the money to bleep or something. Idk. But it's 11:43 here so I have to go. We have breakfast all together every morning at eight. Good night until next time.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Last day in the States

I can't believe it's almost time. Today is my last day here and time flew by so so fast. My emotions are so mixed. I don't know what I feel at all. Everything's ready and I'm not sure what to do with myself. I really just want to spend time with my family, but Becca and Ike are at school and Mom and Dad have to work :/. Guess it's gonna be a bible and internet day.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Two Days...

Wow!! Airlines hate me. I'm pretty sure my bags have to be under 44 pounds for Lufthansa. This is ridiculous. Oh well. At least I'm close. I think one bag was 47 and the other was less. So I'll just trade a few things and such. This is so frustrating. I thought I was done packing too. Maybe this is for the best though, cause I really wasn't sure whether to cry or jump for joy. Now I'm just mad. It doesn't help that I'm having issues getting microsoft on my laptop. For some reason our version won't go on my computer cause we don't have this key thing. Dumb! I have so many mixed feeling about leaving. I'm sad to leave my family and my friends, but then I think about what my life would have been like if I didn't do this and stayed....and I know I made the right decision. My life will be forever changed by this, for the better. I have many worries about once I get there, but being worried that I made the right choice is not one of them. I got my wisdom teeth out a few days ago and it hurts! I have huge cheeks that are finally getting smaller and i have stitches and bruising. I just hope I'm off pain meds by the time I leave. I also have to constantly be drinking fluids cause it makes me feel better and it keeps my mouth all washed out haha. My breath is probably terrible. Plus fluids help me keep hydrated and therefore heal faster ;). Speaking of...I could use some Sprite so ill talk at ya later.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Ten days until departure! I finally have almost all my pins made and everything is coming together. I have the Rotary party thing today. It's for the new inbounds, but since I'm an outbound and still here I get to go. I'm also going to Worlds of Fun afterwards :). Then on everyones first day of school (except me of course), the 17th, I'm having surgery. Wisdom teeth are getting removed. I don't want to risk them coming in and ruining my straight teeth while I'm in Germany. Especially since I have five wisdom teeth and no room in my mouth for any of them. That's about it. Now it's all down to the fine details of getting ready. Like packing my bag. Making sure I have full containers of product so I don't have to buy shampoo and stuff as soon as I get there. Stocking up on acid reducers for my reflux. Buying more powder for my face. Oh! And my straightener decides that it's going to break two weeks before leaving the country for a year after many years of trusty use. I'm gonna take my mom's. I loved that straightener...it was so nice and blue...oh well...RIP blue chi straightener.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I mentioned before that there was going to be a few trips I'll be taking during my stay in Germany. Well I just got an email from my host father saying that he got some more information on the trip around Europe. Turns out there are two trips I can take. One around Europe and the other around Germany. The one around Europe is three weeks long and takes place on Easter vacation. I was just surprised they have an Easter vacation. The one around Germany takes place on a school break in October. From the 9th to the 23rd. Unfortunately it interferes with the trip I was going to take to Crete. So I'm probably going to have to choose. Both would be really great experiences so I'm not sure which I'm going to do. I think I'm leaning toward Germany though because it is important to take part in all the rotary events I can while abroad. And I should see the country I'll be in for a year. On another note, while in their home I'll be staying in their son Samiel's room because he will be on exchange in Brazil at the same time. Apparently he has a loft bed. I'm praying it isn't wood. Or if it is, the wood is super sturdy cause I had a wooden bunk bed as a kid. The ladder broke under my weight. I'm not scared. More just afraid it's gonna break and I'm gonna have to tell my host family. Which is not only embarrassing on my part but also kinda....not disrespectful, but I'd feel terrible cause I would be a guest and I broke their bed. Just like if you were to go to someones house and overflow their toilet or sit in a chair and it breaks. It's not your fault, but it sure feels like it. So....big question for today. Crete or Germany? Anyone have an opinion? Please comment

Sunday, August 1, 2010

To Write Love On Her Arms, Vision


For some reason it won't let me copy and paste their vision and mission statement on here so here is the link for it written above. The best i can do right now is type out their mission statement for those who don't want to look at the website.

To Write Love On Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.

Most people reading this blog know about Isaiah and so I think you can imagine why I would find this organization so intriguing. It's all about helping people and if buying a cute tshirt helps people then I'm all for it because the world is continually giving to Ike and it's time I at least tried to give back in this small way.

Preparations 2

Things are mostly the same. The Spring Hill Rotary threw me a going away party, which was super sweet of them :). I've been attempting to have a social life before I leave. I still need another suitcase...lol but I now have everything else I needed and more! My space bags are even in pretty colors :D. I got a package from the travel agent the other day. I wasn't aware I would be getting one, but I guess so! They gave me my official intinerary, luggage tags, pamphlets on safe flying and packing (not that I really needed them since I've flew so many times before...but it was a nice thought), and some other things too....I just don't remember. I finally went shopping with all that birthday money in my pocket! I was in desperate need of some plain colored fitted tshirts and a new pair of jeans. Not only did I get both, but I also managed to get some plainish Abercrombie & Fitch tshirts that fit perfectly and a "To Write Love On Her Arms" tshirt that fit really well. If you don't know what TWLOHA is, I'll make another entry with just their vision in it. It's very inspiring. If you want to look it up it's just www.twloha.com. ANYWAY....I needed that stuff cause theres no place where it would be out of style. I also bought an itunes giftcard so I would be able to keep up on my music for awhile. I was saving up all my money to buy some other more necissary things for Germany, but then people gave them to me as gifts! The date keeps getting closer....I'm starting to get more nervous. Especially when that package from the travel agent came. lol I had the strangest thought today....I have alot of perfume and I love it all. How am I supposed to get that to Germany? Does this mean I'm going to go a year without perfume? Thats an obsession of mine, smelling good. I can't not smell good. Those are the kind of thoughts going through my head these days....how sad. Well bed time for me!