Sunday, December 4, 2011

Thanksgiving in Germany

Last week was thanksgiving in the United Stated and I decided to celebrate here in Germany with a few of my German friends. After finally finding somewhere that sold turkeys (45min away, yes its not that easy) we got two, beautiful nine pound turkeys.

We did it on a Saturday because unfortunately Germans don't have the school day off. A few friends came over to help me cook everything before dinner. These were my great helpers :) but in the end we had 10 Germans, 1 Americans, my host parents and my host brother.

I told my host father about the tradition of carving the turkey and he gladly obliged. It was defiantly a great evening.

Last week I spent some time with another school's choir on a retreat (because my school doesn't really have a choir). That means I am now in three choirs and my December is going to be full of concerts but I cant wait.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New post!

A lot has been going on recently but I'm going to stick to the theme of putting up a picture and telling you about it because that seems like the bast way to share what is going on with my life :)
I had the privilege of going to visit someone I met in California. Her name is Greta and she came to my Sweet Sixteen last year. we met up in Bremen and just had a really good time.

The Kooks! Well that was pretty much the coolest thing I have been too. A few other exchange students and I went to a Kooks concert. We seemed to push our way up to the front for one of the best views possible. :) Ohh yeah and I did take the picture myself.

Deustchland Reise!

Ahh man. What a great week that was. A bunch of kids from all over the world running around Germany for a week. We got to see some pretty amazing things too. Buchenwald, Wiemar, and lots of Berlin.

I took the picture on the left while we were in Buchenwald, a Concentration camp. If you can't see there are silver poles scattered in between the trees representing more than one person that died there. This forest looked like it went on forever and ever too me and I kept seeing more and more poles. I was with one other exchange student that took it just as seriously as I did so the mood wasn't the happies. We must have stayed here looking at the trees and poles for what seemed like hours untill we really couldnt take it any more.  

Well this is me out infront of the Germany Parlement. We got a tour and got a quick history lesson about the building. There was suprizingly a lot of security, to get in you had to have your passport and go through a screening like at the airport. It was interesting and I would recoment others to go there too.

Die Auto Statt
Thats pretty much all I can say with out exploding. It is a really cool place to go and see cool old and new cars but you need atleast a half of a day adn we only had a few hours.

Well after atempting for 2 days to get into The Hard Rock Cafe Berlin we finally did it! Guess what I ate? Yes a California Burger, and yes it was exactly like it should be! It was just the 4 American girls having a great time off on their own adventure. The atmospher was great and so were our moods.
So I think thats all for now :)
To everyone in California, have a wonderfull Thanksgiving, and again thank you and I love you :)

Monday, October 10, 2011 beautiful. The last week we have had great weather! In the 80-90s one or two days but now its getting cold again and I am told it is going to stay like this for a while. Every morning I ride my bike to school and this mornings ride required gloves and ear muffs. But hey if they can do it so can I.

To the left is a picture of me and two of my friends right before a dance. This dance happens once a year and is similar to homecoming because you get dressed up and take pictures but is far different because when you get there you dance formally. You must come with a partner and dance with them. There is also a promenade and my partner gave me flowers.

Here is a picture of my host dad preparing a barbecue for the family. This day the weather was great so we thought we should all sit outside and enjoy the weather, and we did.

The north sea! Now that is something you have to see if you are in the north of Germany. Yeah yeah its a beautiful ocean? No there actually is something special about it. Every day the tide goes so far out that you can walk to an island. Now my family and I didn't walk that far but we did walk a little bit and it was really cool. We also took my friend Lara and it was a great day!

Then, Luneburg with Melissa (another exchange student from Mexico). This is just one of the fantastic places my host family has taken me. It had to be one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.
I have also been in quite a few churches and I can tell you for sure that we don't have anything like them in the United States.

Ich liebe Deustchland

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ohh gosh well this last week has been crazy good! I just spent the week in Italy! Both of my host parents are teachers so they took their class on a trip through Italy for a week just for fun. The whole week we stayed in Peschiera in a little camping place of the Garda Lake.
Day 1: Verona!
Day 2: Sirmione
Day 3: Padua
Day 4: Venedig (Venice)
Day 5: A long walk to the next town over and some time at the beach.
Day 6: Free day where we went to the breach and walked around town.
I'm not sure if that is all right because we did so much in that week but you get the idea.

This had to have been one of the best trips I have ever been on and it is all thanks to my wonderful host parents! we all go home on Fridays and then on Saturday I had to go straight to Rotary orientation and sleepover.
Then! Monday (today) I just had my first German class. So like I said a great and crazy week.

Monday, August 29, 2011


Today I have now officially been here for 20 days and it has been great. The last two weeks I have had school and my host sister left for Argentina.

Today I am supposed to make a poster about myself to hang up in school. It will be interesting to see the other kids reactions after it goes up.
On Friday I am going to Italy for a week with my host parents. The are both teachers so I am going on their class trip with their students. The weather here is a little crazy 80 one day and 40 the next but if it rains it usually doesn't rain all day. I ride my bike to and from school and around town and my legs aren't really used it it yet.
The biggest difference I think I see so far in my family is their eating patterns. Mornings are the same but lunch and dinner are different. Lunch is usually around 2 in the afternoon and is as big or bigger than dinner in the U.S. Dinner is small, some bread and cheese and a little meat later in the afternoon. I love it this way.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Over the hill and through the woods...

I have arrived!
 After a long day or two of traveling I am finally in Rotenburg Germany.
Everything is so green and beautiful, I love it here. Yesterday I went to Bremen with my host sister Lea. We went shopping and say some of the tourist things like the Bremen town musicians.
Right now it rains all the time but I really don't mind. Lea leaves this Thursday for Argentina and I start school Wednesday. I am trying to keep busy and it's working!
As far as my German goes.... it's not as great as I would have liked. My family is extremely helpful and quizzes me all the time. It is almost like a game. I can understand what others say more than I can speak things back but I am learning how to say things I say often. for example, I'm full and me too.
That is all of my news for now. Check back soon!
From Germany, have a great day today :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Before I fly I'll say goobye

Yeah that's right! It is now 3 days before I leave and I could not be more excited. Last weekend some of my friends threw me a going away party that was really fun! They are great friends and I know that they will be here when I get back.
I am almost done packing! There are only a few more things that need to be tucked away before I am ready to go. I am taking one check in luggage, one carry on and a backpack. When I look at whats in there is all I need and then some.
Yesterday I purchased a new camera. Samsung wb210! It is fantastic with its touchscreen and all. I can't wait to capture all the fantastic moments I have this next week and year.
This is my last post before I leave this beautiful place in California. Here are some pictures I took in my backyard yesterday with my new camera.

Again, thank you so much Rotary for everything you have done to make this possible, I wont let you down.

Friday, July 22, 2011

18 days

"Hey what are you doing this summer?"
"Ohh nothin, just taking some classes at the JC."
"AWW man that sucks"

At the end of last year that was daily conversation. Later they found out home much it really didn't "suck" it is actually one of they best choices I have ever made (or at least I think that now). No in 6 weeks I completed all of my requirements for junior English in high school and now I have the privilege of going to Germany for a year. The class was fast and I learned a lot. Yeah it took up some time but it was totally worth the effort!!!!! I now know that working hard really has its benefits.
In 18 days I will be on my way to Germany and I couldn't be more excited! It is crazy because I haven't even left yet and I have learned so much. I have already been in contact with some of the exchange students that are already there and it feels like we have known each other forever.

Last weekend I had a going away party with family and some Rotary adults (and Leo the inbound exchange student from Belgium). Above are pictures of me and my family (except my brother).
Thank you so much for your love and support!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Meet the families

Alright well I have shared a little bit about one of my families but I think I should show you the other one I know about too.

The Domhardts

The pictures below are of my first host family in Rotenburg. There is the house I live in and my host brother and sister. Mortiz is my 18 year old host brother that likes to study languages including Spanish and English. He went on exchange two years ago to Chile. I am told that he also likes sports. Lea is 15 and likes french and Spanish. Lea plays piano and dances. Right after i get there she is going on exchange to Argentina! Frank (my host father) "likes music very much, he has studied violin but also likes jazz and so on.He loves to work in his garden, sitting at the pond and watching what`s on."  He teaches music and biology My host mother Martina  teaches German and religion at the high school I will be going to. For more information on the school go to

The Holstens
The second host family I will be staying with is the Holstens. They have two sons, Jannis and Malte. Malte is 20 years old and Jannis is 16 years. Jannis is an exchange student in
Minnesota near St.Paul/Minneapolis since last August and will come home at the end of July. I have skyped whith Jannis a few times and I am already happy to know him. they live in Waffensen, a little village with 900 people, near Rotenburg. My host mother told me, "Waffensen is a beautiful place which won a price called "Unser Dorf hat Zukunft". That means "Our village is the future". In January 2011 we drove with over hundred people to Berlin (capital of Germany) receiving our price. Only 8 villages from Germany earned this honor."
It sounds like a really special place to me and I feel lucky to live there.

Above are some pictures of their family.

 Kirsten is my host mother and Andreas is my host father.

I can not wait to get there. Bis Später!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Awkward pause...

Whenever I hang out with anyone other that my immediate family, they usually only talk about my exchange. Don't get me wrong I love talking about it but I don't love talking about it when they really aren't interested.  I think that people think it is only polite to ask my about my exchange and I don't the edict it just seems thats all peole ask me about. I feel a disconnect from my friends and I'm sure they feel the same. It is weird knowing that you wont be going to school or seeing these people again for a year.
School has been ok. I like my German class I just have to get used to all the extra work in the summer. My english class is kind of sucking the life out of me and I almost wish i only took one class but i know it will be worth it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A little out of the ordinary

Right now most 16 year old in my town are either at the beach or hanging out with friends or many other fun things... I on the other hand am not. I am taking a break from doing homework :). Today was my first day at the JC and it really wasn't bad because I got out early. In the mornings I am taking German and in the afternoon I take English so that I can graduate on time. My English teacher scares me! She said it was going to be on of the hardest classes that we have taken at the JC especially because it is only a six week course. I am worried I wont have any time to work on my German and when I get there I wont know anything. Goodbye folks! Now I have to go read a bunch of stuff on writing and I'm going to love it because I know it will all be worth it in 57 days. By the way thank you so much to every ones support it is making my life way less stressful.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Why should you be 18 to leave home?

As you probably already know, being an exchange student takes a lot of time, effort, paper work, patience, and preparation for your year to come. Luckily, I don't have to deal with all the visa paperwork because of Germany's foreign policy towards America. I actually don't have to get a visa at all (as far as I'm aware). Right now I am calling this little break I have my second winter vacation, this is for several reasons. For one, because of the winter like weather, and two because it is only two weeks long. In one week I start school again at the Santa Rosa Junior College. I need to take extra classes to graduate high school on time with the rest of my friends. I have already completed an extra history class so this summer all I have to take is English and of course German. It should be interesting going to the JC during summer but I know that it will pay off in the end.
My feeling towards leaving are a little mixed because right now my family is building a new house in town that we plan on moving into right before I leave. That means that when I come back I will be going back into that new home.
The pictures below are pictures of one of either my second or third host family in Germany! I am very exited to meet them. After skyping with the youngest son Jannis for about an hour I felt so relieved and it began to feel real. He made me feel a lot more comfortable with the whole idea of leaving everything behind for a year.