Saturday, August 13, 2011

Last Week of Camp!

Guten Tag der Berlin!

         Hope all is well back home, this well be my last update from Germany! We both finished camp this week, Josh in Berlin and me in Lauenstein again, and we definitely were able to prove that whole “save the best for last” thing wrong.  We both had trying weeks that tested us.  I was by myself at a camp with 11 kids who were sent to English camp more so that their parents could have vacation than because they wanted to be there.  On top of that it rained every single day, so my arsenal of outdoor games for Summer camp was useless and I had to do everything indoors.  I also felt more like a doctor than a camp counselor seeing as I had one kid get sick in the middle of the night, my assistant sliced his foot open on glass and bled everywhere, and I had one kid get hit in the mouth with a billiards ball and have to go to the hospital.  Needless to say, I could use a little time to recoup.  Josh had a lot of young kids that didn’t speak English, which makes instruction extremely difficult.  But, as we always do, we made it through and we can both successfully say that we helped molded young German minds all summer!
    While we both found ourselves struggling every once in awhile, I think we have both learned a lot from this experience.  I personally have learned how to communicate better, how to manage stress, and that my mother is a saint for doing this for 16 years because I could barely do it for 6 weeks.  I had some great kids who I had a blast getting to know and I had some kids that I definitely will not miss, but each kid helped to make the weeks interesting. I’m so thankful for the opportunity because, even though it was a job, it offered me the chance to see Europe and I met so many great people in our time. 
    Germany has become a little home away from home for us on our adventure and there are things that I will miss about it.  I will miss the fact that even the crappy beer isn’t terrible.  I will miss getting a half liter travel beer for Euro for the train before going out or on a trip.  I will miss being able to get a bratwurst or currywurst almost anywhere, at any time of the day/night. I will miss how even if people don’t speak the same language as you they always find a way to help you out.  And, of course, I will miss all of the awesome people that we have met while we’ve been here.
    We have one more night with the team in Berlin and then it is off to Rome for four days where we will do our best to enjoy as much pizza, spaghetti, red wine, gelato, Roman history, and Italian men (well the men for me, and the women for Josh) as we can :)  Then, on Thursday, we’ll be homeward bound! It will be an extremely bittersweet ending to our long, adventurous summer but I can confidently say that we are both ready to get home to our families, friends, and our normal lives.
    Well I suppose that’s it for this time.  See you all sooooon!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Almost home!

Hallo Everyone!

I’m writing from Hannover this weekend! Josh and I were at an overnight camp in Lauenstein, a small town about 3 and a half hours outside of Berlin this week for a camp.  The camp site was amazing.  We both were jealous that we didn’t have places like that to go to when we were kids! There was a trampoline, two giant fields with soccer goals, a playground, ping-pong, billiards, a natural swimming pool and mini golf.  We had twenty six kids from Sunday night through Friday afternoon and we had such a good time with them! It’s interesting how much more you get to know and interact with the kids during an overnight camp as opposed to a day camp.  Our group of kids was really good and we were lucky that we didn’t have any issues with them besides them just doing normal kid things.  We were able to spend a lot of time getting to know each kid by talking to them about themselves, playing games with them, watching friendships develop, and watching them interact with each other.  The kids taught us a hide and seek game that they played for hours on end and we eventually played with them.  Watching them have fun just playing around and playing with them made me miss being a kid!

After we left camp last night we went to Hannover to stay for the weekend.  We both decided it was Beer-thirty and we set out to find a good place to sit down and have a good cold drink. We found an American Grille and had wings, chili cheese fries and beer from the tap. The best part about the whole thing was that when we went to the bathroom before leaving it said “restrooms” on the wall.  Now, to those of you reading this that probably doesn’t seem like anything to get too excited about, but for the past two months we have had to call the restroom the toilette because when we ask for the restroom we get looked at like we’re from another planet.  After the American restaurant we went to an Irish pub where the owner is from Ireland and speaks perfect English...needless to say, we’re missing hearing our native language.  Josh went back to Berlin today and I am in Hannover alone tonight and then start camp again on Sunday.  We have one more week of camps left and then it is off to Rome, where we will spend four days and then it is homeward bound!!

Even though we have been having the time of our lives it will definitely be nice to be in one place for longer than a week and be able to read the signs, speak the language, and be able to talk to strangers without first having to ask if they speak English.  12 days and counting until we sleep in our own beds and are able to see all of our family and friends!

Talk to you all sooooon!