Since our friend Eliza is a semester exchange student, she left Germany to go back to the U.S. on January 15th. Will and I decided that we absolutely couldn't allow Eliza to leave without seeing us one last time in Germany, so we bought roundtrip tickets to surprise Eliza in Frankfurt. I'm starting this post off with a picture of the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof because this is where Will and I unintentionally spent the majority of our day trip at.
After arriving, we bought a snack and then sat down to finish working on a scrapbook that I made for Eliza that included lots of pictures, a letter from each of us, and of course the obligatory page full of cheesy quotes about goodbyes/travel/being an exchange student.
Finally, after waiting four hours for Eliza's train (which was 30 minutes late) we finally got to ambush Eliza after she got off the train. After a quick little reunion in the middle of the platform, we hurried to get a taxi to the hostel because we were already late from the train delay.
Will and his sign.
When all three of us arrived together at the hostel with only two pieces of luggage, the volunteer and the other returning exchange students were a little confused. After explaining our whole situation, we sat down with some of the other kids and just talked about our experiences.
One last group pic.
At around 7:15, Will and I had to leave to head back to the train station to catch our 8:10 train. With one last three-way hug, we said goodbye to Eliza. Our goodbye didn't feel real to me. We've shared so many cool experiences and now she's gone, back to the U.S. where they speak English and don't eat bread everyday for breakfast. We won't ever all meet up somewhere in Germany during our exchange year again. Our group will never be the same without Eliza here. Even though Eliza's departure signals the halfway mark of my exchange it just didn't cross my mind that the rest of the Americans that I came to Germany with would all be in the same boat as her in July. It seems impossible. It feels like there's so much that still needs to be done. I'm not ready to leave behind this new life now, and I doubt that I will be ready in July either.