March has been the month of rising temperatures (today it was 24 C/75F!), blooming flowers, and more sunlight (DST sprung us an hour forward on the 26th, so now the sun is out until at least 8pm everyday!).
On the 11th, Will and I visited Schloss Drachenburg, a castle near Bonn that was putting on a light show. You can read more about that adventure here.
Before I came on my yearlong exchange here in Germany, I participated in an exchange program with my high school called GAPP, where I was paired with a girl my age from Düsseldorf, Germany and we both visited each other in the other's country. I visited Celina in June of 2016 and again this month. The train ride from Bedburg, where I live, to Düsseldorf, where Celina lives, is only about an hour, which made our meet up easy. I met up quick with two other girls from GAPP and we went to the Rheintreppen, steps right by the river, and a gummy bear store before Celina met me by the U-Bahn entrance in the Altstadt. As we hugged for the first time in nine months, I couldn't help thinking that it didn't feel like we were apart that long. We could still talk just like we did in October and June. We discussed school, our GAPP experiences, and anything else that came to our minds over two glasses of heiße Schokolade which were cooled to perfection.
Even though it was kind of a dreary day, we walked all around the Altstadt, occasionally ducking into random stores to avoid the rain that came and went. Celina showed me a really cool bookstore that sold all types of art, architecture, and pop culture books written in both English and German. After it started getting darker and rainier, we said goodbye before heading to our respective trams. With three and a half months left, the probability of us meeting up again is pretty likely!
The following weekend I made a trip to Bochum, a city two hours from Bedburg by train, to see Will in Germany for the last time. After I got off my train, I met up with Will and another exchange student named Courtney and we all got ice cream together.
One of my close exchange friends, Will, is going back to the U.S. on April 1st. Although this last meeting in Bochum was bittersweet, looking back on our weekend adventures fills me with happiness. Will, thank you so much for always being up for experiencing Germany with me, whether it was just wondering around a new city or going to old castles with me. Even though you won't be in Germany anymore, pictures of our times together are still stuck to the walls of my room here in Germany. Bis später!
My host dad's birthday was the 21st and the Saturday after he had his party. My host sisters baked this amazing cake and decorated it with symbols from two of his favorite bands, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. If you count all the candles and then add two, you can figure out how old he turned!
My host sister Svenja plays the drums, and every year she gets placed in a band with other musicians to play a piece in a concert. Together as a family, we watched her play her piece in the concert on the 26th.
With the rising temperatures, my desire to eat Eis (ice cream) has increased. The perks of having two ice cream parlors within a five minute walk from my school makes fulfilling this much easier.
I started my Praktikum (internship) on the 29th at the hospital in my town. At my school, every student in the 10th grade must complete an internship. The internship is from March 29th to April 7th. Every weekday for eight days at 7 AM, I change into my white scrubs and then go to each room and make the beds. Then I help deliver breakfast to all of the patients, take vitals, and disinfect the rooms of people who are going home. Sometimes I also take patients to and from x-rays and get people coffee after lunch is distributed. Then at 2 PM my shift is done. So far it has been a very cool experience!
This month has made me realize that I really am very close to the end of my exchange, which is upsetting to me. I only have one week of school in April because of my Praktikum and then we have two weeks of Easter vacation. My remaining months will be filled with many little trips and sadly, many "lasts". However, I am still making the best of my remaining time and always looking forward to the next day.