Hallo meine Lieblings,
It’s now been almost a week that I’ve been here in Deutschland, but so much has happened that I wanted to write a new post, and I’ve also forgotten how to speak English because I keep wanting to add random german words as write… #yearabroadproblems.
As you’ll know if you read my previous blog post, I flew to Köln, early on Monday morning, ready for a short training course before starting my placement. Nerves were high both the night before and during my journey to the airport, but once arriving in Köln and meeting a couple others doing the training course I realised I didn’t really need to worry.
After buying a BahnCard25 and my train ticket down to Weingarten for Thursday, which took ages, we met up with the huge group of language assistants and got onto various coaches to Maria in der Aue. The next few days were pretty intense with seminars from 9am-9pm each day, but really interesting too. A couple of highlights were hanging out in the evenings drinking beer in the bar, and the lowlight? 11 of us getting stuck in a lift made for 8.
On Thursday I headed down to Weingarten with my massive suitcase in tow. Getting on and off trains was a bit of a stress, but thankfully I had my roomie from the course on the same trains too so we could help each other out. Arriving in Weingarten, I was picked up by the teacher from the school, Herr Schlecht. He was really friendly and instantly made me feel at ease, even if he was speaking German really fast to me! After driving to my new home and on the way being told about different things including a massive Basilica, he left me with my new housemate.
My housemate René is really nice and friendly, and together with his friend Aisha, he welcomed me in and helped me settle in. Our first proper conversation was a bit of a fail though, as all German flew from my head and I couldn’t remember how to say anything! Later on we all went into the town centre together and went to Kaufland to buy food to cook for dinner. After cooking together, we watched Lord of the Rings, which was an experience since schmiegel’s voice sounded totally different in German!
On Friday, I got up early to go into the school for a meeting with my mentor tutor. René and Aisha were so lovely and woke up at the same unearthly hour in the morning to eat breakfast with me and drive me to the school. The school seems so far to be a really great place, the teachers were so friendly and Steffi my mentor made me feel welcomed really quickly. The pupils are aged between 10 and 18, so there’s a real mix, but the most striking thing was how casually people dressed. I was worried that my outfit wasn’t smart enough, but actually jeans and trainers seems to be totally acceptable. Might have to tone down the posh southerner in heeled boots look a bit! After trying, and failing, to both anmelden (register with the town, it’s a german thing…) and open a girokonto (bank account) at the sparkers bank, I headed back home. Seemed kind of typical that the only time I’ve ever needed to go to sparkasse bank, all of the computers in branches across Germany would break down. That afternoon, René, Aisha and I went into the nearby town of Ravensburg, which was beautiful, and then that evening we went out to Alibi, the local student bar, for a drink which was just a really nice time getting to know the two of them better. I can’t thank them enough for being so friendly and welcoming to me!
Saturday was quite quiet and I didn’t really do much except go to Kaufland to shop again. German supermarkets are so confusing, no baskets, and there’s so much choice of meat that I haven’t even braved the meat counters yet. I did by knoppers (chocolate wafer biscuits) and Green tea with lemon (after spending a good 10 minutes searching for something to vaguely resemble PG tips!) One thing I’m realising is how much I need some kind of project or something to fill my time with. I only work 12hours a week, so I need to find something really interesting to do to stop the Netflix binges! Ideas? And in the same vein, any book recommendations? Especially christian ones? Let me know down below please!
And now we come to today, Sunday. So far all I’ve done is go to the local Evangelisches Gemeinsamkirche (church). It seemed like a welcoming, happy church and I made friends with a girl there, but it was extremely traditional. I can’t decide whether to just continue to go there, or if I should try some others in the next town along!
So, prayer points in case you are so inclined? First of all, that I would have wisdom in the church situation. And secondly, that my first proper week of work would go well, especially with regards to building relationships with the teachers I’ll be working with and getting to know the kids.
Bis nächstes mal!