This fall Ferien school vacation was absolutely incredible. I have never had two full weeks of vacation from school, and it was an amazing way to further imerse myself in the German culture as well as taking a short brain break from my studying hours. I've traveled with my host family to new cities, toured museums, went to shops, listened to a concert, took a trip to my local coordinator, met up with a friend, carved a pumpkin, played card games, read books, and watched movies; to say the least these two weeks have been both busy and relaxing.
What I found most rewarding through these two weeks was the close relationship I have made with my host family and the tremendous strides in speaking in German. On the very first day of Ferien my family took a trip up to my host sister's (Kirsten's) internat school. I had my very first ever bike tour around the city! Wow my legs and back by the end of the day were tired, but the views were definitely worth it. My family and I took little trips here and there all throughout this vacation, whether it be a day shopping trip or a day at the museum. This really enabled me to connect with them by seeing new things and asking questions, which in turn deepened both of our cultural understandings. Even during the times we were watching TV or playing card games, I noticed small things that I was now able to ask questions over and fully understand the answers. For example, I learned that the wedding ring is worn on the right hand instead of the left. It's a small difference, but such a simple question can open a door to interesting cultural discussions, or even weird family stories (I have a lot of those) :).
While it's a bummer that Ferien is coming to an end, I'm overjoyed looking back at all that I have done and learned over this break. I am so excited to get back to learning and talk with my friends about what they've done over their holiday!