I saw a post a few days ago by an exchange student from the U.S. in my district in Germany. It talked about how they’ve only got 100 days left until they return home. On May the first, I will have spent 100 days in Germany which is pretty crazy. Time is flying and it’s both so exciting and completely terrifying. It’s like the time between each of these reports just get shorter and shorter each month and it feels like it was such a short time ago that me another Australia to Germany exchange student were in Frankfurt airport trying to find our gates and order soup in a coffee cup.
We knew we had no idea what we were doing that day (especially when we walked into the bathrooms at the Frankfurt airport and spent an embarrassingly long time trying to figure out how to use the soap and the paper towel dispenser) and while I don’t think anyone’s actually figured out what’s happening or what they’re doing, that’s just part of the fun.
So much has changed in the past nearly 100 days that there’s really not that much that’s the same as it was in Germany. In Australia I never spoke German and I never had to figure out German bus timetables. Being at Bishop Tyrrell since Kindergarten, I’ve never had to learn to go to a new school or learn the names of the 25 people in my class. But now I’m doing all these things and more and I’ve had an amazing time doing it.
There’s been a lot of hard days when I thought that maybe I would like to sleep in my bed in Australia just once and maybe spend a couple hours with my parents but then I remember all the times where I just couldn’t stop laughing with my friends because of a mistake in my German or even the numerous mistakes that I make in English or like this morning when my neighbour was out for a walk and let me pat his two tiny dogs and then none of that other stuff matters as much anymore.
Like every month, April was packed with some really cool things. This month we had our two-week Easter holidays and my host family invited me to a pony farm where they teach you how to ride a horse. There were over 50 kids there ranging from total beginners (like me) to people who come every year and some who come twice a year. It was my host family’s seventh time at the pony farm as both Lilia and my host mum ride horses. It was six days with an hour in the morning and then another hour again in the afternoon. We also spent half an hour or so each time brushing the horse and getting it ready for riding.
I had never ridden a horse. I assume that learning to a ride horse is hard but I was also doing it mostly in German which caused a couple of misunderstandings but we got there in the end.
My horse was called Emily and was absolutely beautiful. By the last two days we could gallop and I understood a few more German words. You could tell that all the instructors really loved the animals and they were incredibly nice to both them and to us. It was a really good week.
It was ANZAC Day was last week and although I’m not in Australia, I still think it’s an important thing to remember and commemorate. There’s a WWI memorial site only a five-minute walk from my house and so on the 25th I went down and laid some flowers.
A few of you who have added me on snapchat may have seen my attempt at ANZAC biscuits the day before ANZAC Day. As always, it seemed as if my attempt at baking didn’t go quite as well as it could have. For example; I called over my host sister to help with rolling the biscuits and she asked me if I had put in the rolled oats yet because they’re a pretty important part of the biscuit. I had not. There was also the forgetting to put the golden syrup in with the butter until much later than I should have and also the coconut that fell all over the ground. Not my finest hour.
Luckily, they’re pretty hard to mess up and they taste heavenly. There are a couple of things that I think I’ll do differently next time and I have to do it again because there’s a few things I want to try differently and also because I now have a 500 gram bag of rolled oats (yeah, nearly a hundred days and I’m still terrified of German shopping centres).
My parents surprised me this month with a package from Australia. Some of the very exciting things were a few Cabury Easter bilbies for my host family, some chocolate eggs, and Kangaroo, Crocodile, and Emu Jerky. I also now have Vegemite coming out my ears (if anyone in Europe wants to stop by Germany and take some Vegemite, please do-I have so much). There were also some ANZAC biscuits and 1kg of Bundaberg Golden Syrup which I used in mine. Thanks so much Mum and Dad xx
Very exciting news is that Sunday, I’m going on my Eurotour!! It’s 19 days long with heaps of other exchange students. We will travel to six different countries in Europe. We’ll first go to the Czech Republic, then to Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Italy, and then back to Germany for a few days. I’m so excited because I’ve looked at the itinerary and from what German I could understand, it’s going to be great!
There’ll be over 100 exchange students with about half from districts other than my own. We’ll be on two busses with some nights spent in the bus and I’ll be sure to bring my Tim Tams and my Vegemite.
I’ll have my camera with me and I’ll make a post about it once I come back so expect lots of photos!
I’ve got to finish packing now but I’m really excited and there was so much work put in to this by the district organisers and so I know it’s going to be a great time.