DAY 1- Sprachcamp (language camp)
Jetlag is a real thing. Sleep depravation, also, very real. I stayed up for the entire plane ride, nervous excitement exuding from every part of my body. It was there on the plane where I heard real-life german conversations that wasn't in my classroom. The first thing I noticed in Frankfurt was, of course, all the signs in german. The monastery is really large and beautiful, and the little town is exactly what I had been picturing it to be! I have two roommates which means I have one of the largest rooms. So far I haven't noticed any big differences between Germany and America except for how the roads and sidewalks are paved. Both are made of cement, but here they are made up of cobblestone, also ther are fences surrounding every single house. I am so excited to see what the language courses are going to be I can hardly wait!
DAY 2- NK (store)
We were sorted into colored classes based on the level of German we knew. The first class was basically all review so that Sevin could see what level of german speaking we were at. At the end of the lesson, she asked us what we wanted to learn so in the next class we spoke of politics and read articles that were much more challenging compared to the first lesson. A few of us walked to the local store (NK) where I saw the largest assortment of chocolate and liquor I have ever seen in such a small shop! I was very shocked to see that the prices were much cheaper than they would have been in America, but I did have to take into account the exchange rate. So far I have had bread with every single meal, also, the chocolate is not hyped up here. It's one of the best chocolates I have ever eaten.
DAY 3- Deutsch Klasse
The language classes are kind of intense. We have 6 hours of classes where we write vocabulary, read texts, exchange conversations, and listen to articles. Every day, the classes come together to watch german news with german subtitles. We also have an hour of scheduled homework time with our individual teachers. It isn't too much to handle at the moment, but I know it will soon become harder. It is a lot of work, but I am happy at the pace my teacher is going and how quickly I have started to understand her directions in german. I changed my phone settings into the german language so that I might more fully immerge myself into the language. I haven't come across any problems so far.
DAY 4 & 5- Vokabular
I have definitely improved on my level of german speaking, writing, and listening within these past few days. In addition to politics, my class is learning daily tasks that we might need to use in school, such as math vocabulary words. Sevin gave us an article to read, translate, and understand which gave me a real-life scenario of what I might have to do in school. In fact, I understood significantly more in the news today! The other CBYX people here are so much fun and easy to talk to! It does take time to find the right group, but even then you can easily get to know people and talk to them without any shy or awkward feelings because everyone here is going through the same thing.
DAY 6- Feuerwehr
It's pretty helpful not fully understanding what's going on in the world around you because it forces you to try new things without you even knowing. Today at lunch I had liver, and guess what... I loved it! Back home, you would never have been able to get me to try it, but without even knowing it, I came to find a new enjoyable food. Half of us went to the firestation today to learn about the german fireman system (feuerwehr). It is basically the same systems and technology used in the United States, except with small changes in how to hook it up to the water system and what the fireman need to do for training. We were able to climb up on the top and shoot water like they would in an emergency. That was pretty cool, but WOW is it heavy!!
DAY 7- Leipzig
Leipzig is phenominal! Leipzig is a city about an hour and a half away from language camp. It is a historical city where people met outside of a cathedral to protest their right to travel in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. We first went through that cathedral and then went though a guided tour of the Zeitgesichtlsliches Forum (history house). There we learned about the conditions of East Germany DDR after WWII before the reunification. It gave me a new perspective seeing how the socialist party was trying to do to rebuild the country, while also capturing the thoughts and feelings of the people. We then split up into groups of three or more to explore the city. I had wienerschnizel for the very first time and it was wonderful! We shopped around some where I purchased stracciatelle eis and bought a german book. We saw four impressive street performers including a dance crew, a saxophone duet, a xylephone player, and an accordian player (first accordian citing!!). While today was splendid, I am really excited to have a day of rest tomorrow.
DAY 8- Ruhetag
I went to a catholic german speaking church this morning, and while I didn't understand much, I feel it was really good practice. We sang some hymns, which gave me a good feel of what the german accent is in this part of the country. Later in the day, a protestant church was saying goodbye to their pastor by giving speeches and singing songs, Amazing Grace was my personal favorite of their selections. I understood more of that than this morning, however, that could've been because it wasn't so early in the morning. After that I had my much needed day of rest and organization.