My German friends are always telling me when I came from California, I brought the sun with me because we have had relatively little snow here in Hameln. Now I am sure they are right seeing as last weekend when I went out of town it snowed and when I came back it stopped.
Last weekend all the exchange students went to Uelzen for a Rotex weekend. I missed the last Rotex weekend due to interfering plans with my host-family, and I was surprised how many people noticed, it feels like all 73 inbounds asked me where I was last time. It was great to see all my friends again, I seem to be one of the few Rotary exchange students here in Lower Saxony without another Rotary student in my town, so it’s always a lot of fun to see everyone. It’s amazing how different we all are, and how we we’re all raised in completely different cultures, yet we’re all good friends. I don’t even remember how many times I laughed to the point of crying, we simply had that much fun. Throughout the course of the weekend, we toured one of Germany’s largest sugar factories (a lot more interesting than it sounds), went to a Christmas Market (typical German, every town has one), had a gift exchange and sung Christmas carols in 18 different languages, had two massive dance parties, and had a country fair with all the outbound students (the students leaving Germany to go to a different country next year). Seeing all the different cultures and languages together is indescribable.
During school, I was talking with one of my German friends, and of course he started making fun of my accent and trying to teach me the German ‘ch.’ Similar to how Germans cannot generally say ‘th,’ Americans (and other nations) have trouble saying the German ‘ch.’ After awhile, I gave up and told my friend he sounded like a dying cat because the ‘ch’ noise alone sounds similar to hissing. He responded with “No, this is a dying cat *strange noise*” which of course sounded nothing like a dying cat, but rather a dying goat.
Yesterday (Thursday) was the last day of school before Ferien, (or the two-week school break we now have). Schiller Gymnasium’s (my German school) last week of school is nothing like Maria Carrillo’s (my American school). Carrillo’s last week is ‘Finals week’ where everyday the students take 2 big tests in different tests. Schiller’s last week, we watched movies, more classes than normal were canceled (one teacher even decided we would not have the lesson and simply go to the Christmas Market as a class instead), and on the very last day all the students crowed into the gym and different groups did small performances and we watched a video made by the students. I thought it was funny how all the songs people performed were depressing English songs about break-ups (such as Christina Perri’s Jar of Hearts), as compared to happy, upbeat German Christmas songs.
Ever since our Thanksgiving feast, Leo has been telling me I need to learn to peel potatoes. It’s now on our list of “Things That Need to Happen Before Angie’s Goes Back” because I cut two fingers open trying to peel them again this week.
After the last day of school I dragged Leo and Johannes Christmas shopping with me which was rather unsuccessful, and met up with my Rotary councilor so that he could give me a Christmas gift from my Rotary Club (Vielen dank Rotary Club Hameln. ).
Last night my host-brother and I went to Hannover, alongside 20 other exchange students, for a going-away party for our Australian friend Anton. He plays the ukulele so we all sang and seeing as there we’re only three of with with English as our first language, I ended up speaking a lot of Spanish, German and even some Portuguese. Who knew I could speak ANY Portuguese, because I sure didn’t!
Christmas in Germany is absolutely beautiful, I love the Christmas Markets, the (occasional!) snow, the advent celebrations, EVERYTHING, but it’s almost sad that it is already Christmas because that means my exchange is that much closer to being over. Where does the time go?