Sunday, July 11, 2010

Last Entry

I'm home. Though at this point it feels quiet weird to call anywhere home. The goodbyes with the host family were as sad and teary as expected. Afterwards, it simply left me feeling emotionless, not knowing what to think and being drained of all thoughts. The flight was painful, 9 hours in the middle of the day. Of course, I was the one whose TV was broken. Great. But I slept, and read, and listened to my Ipod, and at one point switched with my friend Jess to watch Ratitouille for an hour or so.

Coming home was unreal. My room smelt the same as I remembered. My books and pictures from before were still on my wall. Other than the new me, not much had changed. But I was glad to see my parents and sleep in my bed. I got an email from my host Mother telling me she misses her third daugter and that reading my letter that I left for them left her in tears and that shes already bought my host sister a suitcase to come visit me this Spring. She said its amazing that in 8 months I became a real part of the family. It was sad and nice to sleep after reading that email. But I called them today and it felt a lot better.

So now I'm left in a very very VERY stressful stage. A lot of things had been left behind this year. Leaving me with a driver liscence to acquire, summer school to complete, searching for colleges, and giving birth to the 17 pound German Food baby I made this year.

Thank you all for reading my blog, I hope it met standards. I encourage everyone reading to host an exchange student =D or to become an AFS volunteer. If anyone has any questions, I'd be glad to answer any at

Peace bitches!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

First Goodbyes

Today was my last day in Berlin. My family threw a goodbye party, inviting family, neighbors, and friends to wish me goodbye and reminisce on the year. Gifts were given and speeches were made, but I didn't have to say goodbye to them today, that comes tomorrow.

But today was my last day with my friends. It was also the Germany vs. Spain game. At the same time, Germany's time in the World Cup ended and so did my time in Germany. My friends and I walked through the dark city to the train station, where they waited for my train with me. As my train was announced over the loudspeaker, my heart stopped.

Indeed, a year had passed. And as much as you want to deny it, this is goodbye. For a long time. We cried, and I don't think I've ever felt such real-loving hugs as I felt tonight. Hard hugs that try to stop time, but fail, and yet hold on longer. They continually pressed the button to open the train door, so that we could hold a few seconds longer of a tear filled look goodbye and last second kisses on the cheek.

I found surprising refuge in a group of soccer fans going home. College kids who saw me crying and made me laugh and walked me home, even through my deep sadness. They all hugged me goodbye (something that after 5 minutes of knowing someone doesn't usually occur in Germany), but I know they knew thats what I needed. And still need.

Tomorrow I say goodbye to my host family. Something I don't even want to imagine right now.

Even though they won't read this, I'd sincerely like to thank those people here that took me under their wing such as Pitty, Herr Schuttler, Frau Doktor Schussel, and Steffi. I'd like to thank my Grandparents for giving out their love to a complete stranger as if I was their own grandchild, and...and a million others. I thank you all. And though I never thought it would happen, I've fallen in love for this country and this life.

I don't know how to be a good writer when I'm upset. Or have a nice ending. Instead I'll leave off saying the thought of sleeping right now is hard. I don't want to loose even one of those last moments.

Monday, July 5, 2010

I tiptoe towards the end

Leaving. Something that at times during this exchange you dream about, and others you slap yourself in the face for even pondering. Its a hard concept. You had a family here for a year, a community, a home, a room, a school, and all of this-good and bad- for a year was yours. And though I left as quickly as possible from Pennsylvania looking for any adventure available (as my Stepmom rightly phrased it-into a black hole), I've unconsciously become attached to all this. From little things like my German style bedroom windows and sharing our one bathroom with the whole family, to big things like how the main train station looks at night and being able to stay out until all hours.

I think what I'll miss most is the freedom. The trust, that once 16, your instantly handed in this society. Your never told "your too young" or made to feel inferior because of your age. Parents don't wait up for you or ask you a million questions over how your getting home. Instead, they trust you to take care of it yourself, that your smart enough to get home. And it makes you step up to the plate at a very young age. Or so I think.

I'm currently under the dilema of packing. I didn't realize the sheer load of crap that I've built up here. A lot has had to be thrown away (thereby I have no jeans to wear) and a lot is staying here. Still, I've had to send two packages home. The limit for my suitcase is 20 k. I will thoroughly enjoy lifting this on and off trains to get to Frankfurt, where I'll be flying out from. I'll be bringing back things that hold a lot of memories here. A carton of hand painted eggs I made at Easter with my host sister. Train tickets from all over the country. Entrance cards to the Black Eyed Peas concert and a Queen tribute at the planetarium. I'd rather bring those back than clothes.

Tomorrows my last day of school, and then Wednesday is my goodbye party with family and friends (and also the Germany vs. Spain game). It's ganna be a tough transition, but I suppose at least I know that beforehand. Summer school, getting a drivers licence, a job, and volunteering all await my return. I said towards the end that I wouldn't get sad and instead enjoy every moment. But at the very very end, its becoming harder and harder not to ignore the clock.