One week in Germany (eine Woche in Deutschland)

Grüße aus Deutschland! (Greetings from Germany)

Brid's first photo in German getting to terms with her new surroundings and new home for the next 2 months. Brid is participating in the Secondary School Programme Abroad during her 5th year.I'm now here in Germany one week and I must say that I'm loving it! I flew into Frankfurt Airport (Flughafen Frankfurt) at 10.00 last Wednesday, and only then did it seem real that I'd be living here for 8 weeks :)I said in my last blog that I was nervous about travelling alone and afraid that something would go wrong. Everything went according to plan, and I now realise that there was nothing to worry about (even if something did go wrong). I was met at the airport by somebody from Experiment e.V. We waited for more exchange students to arrive and then we took the train to Mainz, where the orientation was being held.

The orientation was fantastic! We learned a lot about the German culture, way of life, which stereotypes of Germans are true/false, culture shock, how to use the transport system and how to deal with many difficult situations.There were exchange students from Brazil, Equador, Japan, Korea, Argentina and France. The whole lot of us mixed with each other and we had mad craic! We got up every morning at 7, had breakfast at 8, then played many games, did activities and learned a lot about Germany. Some of the activities we had to do were just CRAZY! One day, we were divided into small groups of five and were given a boiled egg. We had to go to the local park, and ask random people there, would the give us anything for our boiled egg (do a swap). Surprisingly most people actually listened to what we were saying and gave us something. we first exchanged the egg for a pear, then the pear for an apple, the apple for a pen, the pen for a packet of gummi-bears and finally the gummi-bears for a toy sheep. It seems really weird, but it was soooo much fun and we got to speak German! Another day, we went to Hauptbahnhof Mainz (train station) and were shown how to use the trains/ transport system. After that we were alowed to go shopping! :) Our last night in Mainz, we had a talentshow. Everyone had to do something, even if you didn't have a talent (LIKE ME! :P). It was actually really interesting. Most people did something from their country- the Japanese did oragami, the Koreans dressed in the traditional clothes and sang Korean songs, the Brazilians sang a Brazilian song, the Equadorians sang in Spanish and I sang our National Anthem.

On Saturday I took a train to Hamburg ( 6hrs) and I finally met my host family. It was a really exciting moment for me, as I was in regualr contact with them and was looking forward to meeting them. They welcomed me to there country/home, they are soooooooo nice and understanding and they make me feel right at home! They speak quite slow with me so I can understand, and if I don't understand something they are more than happy to explain it again. (so patient). When I arrived in Hamburg, we had a Bratwurst (German sausage) and it was lecker (tasty)

Sunday we did a tour of the village where I now live and they also brought me to Scharnebeck to see my school. It's soooo beautiful!It's Beside a river. there was also a fair/festival in the village to celebrate it's 850th year. It was really intersting as people dressed up in clothes from then. After that we went to  Lüneburg and had something to eat. 

Monday I started school here. It's quite different than the schools in Ireland but I like it. the schools here are mixed, we don't have to wear a uniform and most days I finish school 13.15! I could hardly understand anything in the History, Politics, German class, but I learned sooo many new words as I made a list of the words that I didn't know. As for the English class, I helped the others. I love to watch tv here. They have all the programmes and movies that we have in Ireland, except in German! Awesome! I can't speaK a lot of German, and sometimes I find it hard to understand people, but I find that with every day I understand more and more

bis hoffentlich bald

Brid