Tuesday, 8 September 2009

First Update from Germany

Guten Tag, hello, everybody back in Canada.
Wie geht es dir?  That’s “how are you” in German.

I’ve been here in Germany for one month now and I’ve been learning a whole lot about the culture and the language. 

            The first two weeks I spent in Munich at a Language and Culture Camp organized by EF, the organization I am on this year abroad with.  It was a lot of fun.  I met many teenagers from all over the world, all in the same state of excitement as I was.  In the morning on the weekdays at the camp we spent 2 hours in small groups learning the language from a certified teacher, and then we got together into a bigger group and learned about German Culture and what to expect or not to expect in our host families and schools.  In the afternoons we had planned activities, such as an art museum or castle, or free time.  They taught us how to use the subway system of Munich, and provided us with week-long subway tickets.  We were allowed to go out in the city as long as we were at least in pairs.  On the weekend between the two weeks of camp we went to a castle in the Alps and the next day we went hiking in the Alps.  The hike was spectacular.  On the Friday before we left we had an end of camp party complete with entertainment that we had to come up with in groups.  Our group led two games, Knights, Horses, and Cavaliers, and the numbered ladder game.  It’s nice to know that my years as a CILT are useful outside of LCC Camp!  I wore my Dirndl on Friday for the end party, and a bunch of the other girls also wore theirs.  We all bought them sometime during our stay in Munich. 
            On Saturday we all parted ways and left to go to our host families.  All of us except for two girls had to take trains to cities near our host families.  I got to travel with four other students going to the state of Saxony.  We all went to the Dresden station and were picked up by our host families. 
            I have a host father, Wieland, who is only at the house on weekends because during the week he works three hours away as an electrical engineer at Siemens, a host mother, Annegret, who is a stay-at-home mom and can’t speak English, and two host sisters; Elisabeth, 19, and Theresia, 17.  There is also Thomas, Elisabeth’s boyfriend who usually spends all weekend with us.  They are all helping me learn German.  They are all really nice and I’m starting to feel like a part of the family. 
            I missed the first two weeks of school because of the Language and Culture camp, but I think I’m fitting in pretty well.  I’m in Klasse 10b, which is the equivalent of grade ten in Canada.  I’ve become friends with many of my classmates.  They are all able to speak some degree of English, and are also helping me to learn German and understand what is going on in the lessons.  I have many different lessons!  I have sixteen different courses that I am taking now; English, Geography, Deutsch(German), Math, Religion, Biology, Computer, Drama, History, Chemistry, Physics, French, Art, Music, German Social Studies, and Physical Education.  Of course it is all in German except for English! 
            On the weekends we spend time together, or just relax.  I went last Saturday, with Theresia to the horse stable in the next village to ride.  On Sunday I go to church.  It’s quite different from Grace Church, a lot smaller and a LOT more traditional.        
Well that’s all for now, I hope to hear from you!
Yours truly all the way from Deutschland,
Kammy Birkett Willbond      

Danke shön!  Thank you.
Auf Wiedersehen!  Good-bye.

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