Herbst Ferien Part II

Authored By:

Mary P.

This past week has been focused less on travel and more on becoming part of my community here in Germany. On Tuesday I joined a local soccer team at the request of one of my friends from school. Even though I’ve never played soccer before, I am so glad I said yes to this opportunity because I was able to make so many new friends (one friend I made was even an exchange student in America). I also have found that I enjoy soccer and am excited to continue playing on the team.  

On Wednesday I went to a nearby farm with my host family and carved pumpkins. I really enjoyed trying pumpkin bread and seeing the cows and cats that lived there. Later in the day I was invited to my friend’s 16th birthday party at a bowling alley. It was so fun to become closer to the girls in my class and also improve my terrible bowling skills. Afterwards we walked to McDonalds, and they filled me in on all the gossip of our tenth-grade class as we ate our dinner :)  

On Thursday I took a day trip with my host dad and host brothers to a tiny amusement park that was about two hours away. It was really well themed and fun to spend that time with my little host brothers. On our way back home, we stopped in a nearby city called Verden with breathtaking architecture, impressive history, and many many ice cream shops.  

On Friday I spent the day with a new friend from my class and we took a little trip to Bergedorf where we went to boba shops, bookstores, and enjoyed the crisp fall weather with the golden leaves falling all around us. I finally even bought a disposable camera to document the next few months on film! 

On Saturday I began my volunteer work at my local animal shelter. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but I will definitely continue my work there. The animal shelter is so beautiful and well maintained; situated in the center of a lush forest and reflecting the nature around it. There were birds, dogs, very fat rabbits, Guinea pigs, and many adorable cats. After volunteering, I spent the rest of the day making waffles with my host mom and eating Greek food with my host family’s friends.  

Yesterday (Sunday), I took a very long train ride to meet up with another exchange student. We spent the day exploring the city of Münster and catching up on the past two months. It was just what we both needed – to check in with an old friend and laugh until it hurt. We got lost a couple of times wandering around the big city but this actual ended up being to our advantage because we stumbled upon a fair (where we rode a Ferris wheel), hopped on a double decker bus (but got kicked off unfortunately), and found a Starbucks which pleasantly reminded us of home. We ended the day at an amazing Nepalian restaurant but had to hurry back to the train station to make it home. Little did we know at that point that we didn’t need to hurry at all because, as it turned out, both of our trains were delayed by over an hour. That led to standing tiredly at the train station, wondering desperately whether our trains were canceled. When I finally got home it was after 11 pm and I was absolutely exhausted but so glad that I made the trip.  

Tomorrow’s Halloween plans are to spend the day with my little host brothers following the family’s traditions and later hanging out with some friends from school and going trick-or-treating with them. I’m so excited for winter but also so happy to enjoy this fall season and start school once again! In the following weeks I am planning on going to Berlin with my host family, skiing at Hamburg’s indoor ski park, and visiting many Christmas markets as soon as they open for the season.  

Happy Halloween,  

Mary P.