The strangest thing occurred today, I was having a conversation with my host-dad (and it wasn’t small talk), and I actually understood everything he said and I could reply to it without taking long pauses to think about vocabulary or grammar. That being said, I was so shocked to understand, that I don’t think I actually comprehended what he was saying…
One of the most common topics between exchange students is how difficult it is to make friends in the host country, but I got really lucky. Back in September a group of 11th grade boys ‘adopted me’ and I’m closer with some of them than I am with a lot people back in California. Last Wednesday after school, I went to Leo’s house where we began preparing our Thanksgiving. It was quite an adventure seeing as I had never prepared a turkey and Leo had never even tried one before, and the biggest turkey we could five was a mere 10 pounds, but to be fair, we were surprised we could even find one to begin with. We spent the entire evening planning the meal, and then Thursday our school lessons were cancelled, so I went to Leo’s again at 10 in the morning, and we spent the whole day preparing our Thanksgiving meal for Leo’s family and our friends. Leo and I laughed until we cried while trying to remove the giblets from the turkey, because even after setting it out for a night, our turkey was not defrosted in the morning. In the end, all the food turned out great, and my friends decided they would continue the tradition of “Thanksgiving” in the years to come. It was definitely one of the funniest Thanksgivings I have ever attended. I have a lot to be Thankful for, my German friends are amazing.
Friday was my 18th birthday. I was woken up by my host-family singing to me (though I’m not sure whether it was French, German, or English)and we had a nice breakfast before school, followed by some more singing. In the afternoon my Rotary Youth Exchange Officer and Counselor came over with their families, as well as Leo, and we ate cake and listened to a very interesting “typical German” CD that I received for my birthday. (Vielen Dank Familie Vogeley und Familie Albrecht.) In the evening my friends and I went out (along with my host-brother) to the Christmas market and then to go dancing and play foosball. Yet another time I am incredibly thankful to have such an amazing host-family and friends.
This past weekend, my host-sister’s school for goldsmiths and engravers had an open house, so we drove to Frankfurt and stayed with her for the weekend. It was nice to finally meet her(Josi) and her boyfriend (Björn), as well as my host-brothers girlfriend (Jasmin) who also came for the weekend. Sunday night after we got home, I was watching a movie with my host-mom and I understood most of what was going on, but the evil girl kept talking about giving a “gift” and I did not understand why… then my host-mom explained “gift” means poison in German, and rather than meaning to give a gift, ‘giftig’ means poisonous.. Talk about ‘unfriendly friends.’
Finally, last night in Hannover I went to a Black Spiders and Monster Magnet concert with my friends Leo and Johannes, and it was AMAZING. I was particularly impressed by the light show and how awesome the sound quality was… that being said, I still cannot hear properly and probably will not be able to for a couple more days now. While at the concert, I had one of those “What are the odds of this happening?” moments. Really, think about it, I was at an awesome concert, speaking German, in Germany, with my two best German friends… and I’m from the other side of the world. Literally. It’s amazing how life works out sometimes.