I can hardly believe how fast the time is flying by!
In Germany, we have a Holiday next week and there is no school Monday to Tuesday, so I have a half week... and then two weeks from now it is Autumn break and we are off for two weeks! I am starting to realize that I only have roughly three weeks left in the classroom!! I have really been getting to know the students and the routine and after a few weeks I am feeling a lot more confident and comfortable in the classroom. Alex and I have had the pleasure of being able to teach a few lessons, since I am an elementary specialization, it was hard for me at first to find my place in the grade 6-12 classes. However, I have worked through my nerves and it has proven to be amazing! I am starting to thoroughly enjoy being in a classroom with the older students. It is much easier to relate, have conversations and explain connections between their schooling and the world around them. And not to mention, much easier to speak to them because they actually know a bit of English...
I have been continuing to work on my German, although I still cannot speak much, I am starting to understand a lot more. For example, when my family speak German, I am able to pick up on what they are saying now. I answered my cousin who asked his girlfriend a question in German, I hardly even realized I had answered a question I shouldn't have even understood. We had a good laugh and this was when I realized I am actually learning more than I think. I am also starting to pick up on what students are saying about me in German, mostly they tell each other that they can speak German because I don't understand... today a couple of students noticed I chuckled a bit when they said this (in German) and got wide eyed looks on their faces, they realized I understood. This is both good and bad, it is good because now they might think twice before talking about me in German hahaha, but it is bad because now they think I understand everything and they try to speak to me in just German.
I am starting to miss some of my regular food from home... I have been craving sushi for about a week now, and although they have sushi here, everything I have found is pre-made and extremely expensive! I don't want to cave for bad sushi! I also really, really, really, REALLY want some franks hot sauce!! I LITERALLY put that on everything... I almost got to the point where I asked for my Fiance to bring my a bottle in his suitcase when he came to visit. Super markets are small here, and each time I go I become more aware of the fact that it is because they have way less garbage available! Which is good, but so hard when you are craving chips and salsa or something. I thought talking about missing these foods would make me feel better, but now I am just hungry and my cravings are worse... I'm starting to realize I talk a lot about food in my blog posts... Beyond this, I luckily have not been too home sick! However I am desperately missing cuddles with my dog still and cannot wait to get home and spend a day on the couch with her!
The past few weeks I have been spreading my wings and exploring small towns around Hamburg! Luckily this past weekend we had some great weather, perfect for exploring so I went to Lubeck, home of marzipan! I got every flavor of marzipan they sold as I was totally unaware of how many flavors there are and felt that I needed to try them all! MMMM.. I also went to Hohn, where some of my family lives, and they took me out to, Rensburg, Friedrichstadt (a cute little town with Holland style buildings) and Sankt Peter-Ording, where we stopped by the North Sea! And finally Karlynn and I took the train to Luneburg to explore some old architect and relax in the salt-water hot springs. Again it is absolutely amazing to me to see how each town and city is completely unique from the last. Each beautiful and exciting in its own way. I cannot wait to see what the last half of this experience holds!
Dip in the North Sea Rainbow of Marzipan! (don't be too jealous friends) My Cousins and Fiance :)
One of the best parts of living in Hamburg is reconnecting with my family! I have an Aunt and Uncle and two cousins who have lived in Germany my whole life. They have been very close with my family since I was very young. Sadly after my Omi passed away we lost contact for a while and it was harder for both families to travel... now I am able to reconnect with family that is able to teach me things about my Omi that I never knew and share special memories with me. It is really special to me. My cousins are just a few years older than me, and we become great friends over the past few years. This is the third year I have seen them in person but we connected on Facebook about 5 years ago. It is great to talk to this side of my family, get to know them and spend time with them in person rather than just online! This experience is beyond special to me for so many reasons but most importantly for bringing me closer to my family!
Lubeck Luneburg Friedrichstadt
I am really looking forward to my last few weeks and hope to teach some more lessons, continue to learn new skills in the classroom and add to my understanding of German! This experience has been incredible so far and I will never forget the memories I have made thus far and continue to make.
Thanks for reading friends! Until next time...