October in Germany! Oktober in Deutschland :D

Hey! Sorry it's so long since my last blog. I've been quite busy doing many different things. The first weekend in October was a long weekend, as Monday was a National Holiday (Tag des Deutsche Einheit/German Unity Day). On the Saturday we went to Bremen. On the train we met an Irish band called "Spellbound". It was the first time in 5 weeks that I got to speak English face to face with somebody. Surprisingly, I found it extremely difficult, as German words kept coming to mind. When we arrived in Bremen, we went to the "Universum" there. It was a really cool Science Museum, that had exhibits related to cosmos, the earth and people. Most of the things were pretty cool. There was a sitting room, and when you sat on the sofa, an earthquake from the past would occur eg. 1906 Sanfransisco Earthquake. It was so authentic. The pictures began to shake on the wall, the music on the radio cut out and there were even aftershocks. It mimicked the actual earthquake. Monday was German Unity Day, so we had no school. The weather was so nice 22 degrees that we had a barbeque

During the week, I made a powerpoint presentation about Ireland with the help of my host sister Jenny, and then on Friday I showed it to my class. I can't believe that I only realised after doing the presentation, that there are so many unique and interesting things about Ireland and our culture :O. My classmates found out that the majority of the Stereotypes of Irish people are false (not all of us have red hair, drink Guiness for breakfast and are drunk and lazy). When I first came to Germany, somebody actually asked me, were my ancestors originally from Ireland as I have brown hair :L Everyone found Gaelic Football, Hurling and Irish Dancing quite interesting as they had never seen anything like it before. Some described Gaelic as a mixture of basketball, volleyball, soccer and rugby and many said that hurling was like playing hockey in the air. I thought my classmates cupla focail and they quickly learned that it is a completly different language to English. Many of them were actually surprised to learn that the majority of Irish people don't speak Irish at home.

The next weekend I went to the Salt Museum in Lunenburg (a salt town about 15km from my German home). I was able to see many different types of salt crystals, the process of making salt. After that I went to a German 1960's house. My last school week in Germany, we had a project week. Every yeargroup were given different themes. My theme was from text to film. We were given 4 texts, we had to choose one text, interpret it and make a film from the text. After filming, we had to edit the scenes, add appropiate music to the background and add credits. It was soo fun and something that I had never done before. During the project week, my host sister went to Rome for the week with her Latin course, so things were quite different. On my last day of school, everyone presented their projects so the whole school and parents could see them. After school, I went to my friends house to celebrate her 15th birthday. It also turned out to be a goodbye party for me, because the next week most of my friends were going on holidays,. We made pizza's ourselves, watched two movies (shopoholic and Inception in German) and played many board games.It was very sad, when I had to leave, but they promised me they'd come to visit during the summer holidays

Last Sunday, I went to Neungamme Concentration Camp with my family. It was the one thing that I felt I had to do when I went to Germany. We learned about the Holocaust last year in History class, but I didn't hear about a lot of things that happened. It was so very interesting and  educational but I found it unbelivably sad. I had a constant lump in my throat and when I read diaries of those who were in the concention camp, and stories of what had actually happend, the tears streamed down my face. It is something that I'll never forget but I'm glad I went there.

On thursday, I went to Hamburg, and did a bus tour of the city, so I could see everything. Friday night, was my last night in Germany. I stayed up till three O'clock with my family, playing kareoke, listening to music, talking about my time in Germany and their culture. They gave me a beautiful necklace, with a key. They told me that the key symolises the key of their house and that I'm welcome back whenever I want. My host sister is also welcome to come to Ireland whenever she wants, but first of all she has to do her German Leaving Cert.

Thanks sooooo much once again for the opportunity!

Brid <3