Friday, May 25, 2012

Tuesday 22.05

I met Sabrina back at library at 12 today to keep her company while she was scanning more books. I attempted to do some homework while she scanned away. Then I had class from 2-4 and 4-6. Instead of our normal class from 2-4 we watched a lady give a presentation. She is one of a few candidates trying to get a position at the PH. Our professor wanted our opinion on her and how her English was and etc. in the end we didn't really like her too much, the German students more than us. Then we had our Berlin class with Anderson from 4-6. After that we had a cooking night where we learned to make käsespäztle. who was in charge of the whole thing? Sabrina :) so I got to spend the evening with her. Well sorta. We were in groups of 3 or 4. Becky and I were together along with a student who is going to GV in the fall! It was fun and we learned how to make one of our favorite meals! Reunion dinners are going to be awesome!
After dinner most of the group went to a party in the student dorms. Becky, nick, Sabrina and I went to marktplatz and had ice cream. We had fun just being silly and talking to each other.
On the way home nick, Sabrina and I belted out defying gravity from wicked. Singing in the car together is becoming our thing :)

Happy: singing in the car with Sabrina and Nick :)
Crappy: the presentation given was somewhat over our heads...

Lots of love from Germany!!

Katy Jo

Monday 21.05

We didn't have class today and there was nothing planned. Sabrina invited me to keep her company at the library while she scanned some books for her big paper. The night before we talked about the long weekend we have after the week I am in Berlin but she wasn't sure what was on her calendar. So she brought hers and I brought mine. I sat there with colored pens and coordinated our schedules. I wrote down when we had class and when I had free days and etc.
Then we had another heart to heart and learned more about each other.
Soon enough it was time for her to go to class and work on a project and I headed home to do more homework. Everyone else was already in town and had already had a few drinks so I opted out of that one.

Happy: starting to plan out the rest of my time here and spending time with Sabrina :)
Crappy: doing homework all night...

Lots of love from Germany!

Katy Jo

Sunday 20.05

Today was a lazy day for me. I did some homework. Slept in. Cleaned my room. Did some laundry. And then Sabrina came over. We had a heart to heart. Made some chocolate chip muffins and watched despicable me, which is now our movie :) the muffins took wayyyyyy longer than we expected. Like 10 extra minutes. Thankfully we had our movie to keep us distracted from our rumbling tummies. We ate our muffins finished our movie and had another heart to heart. We talked about the possibility of me going home with her over Our next long weekend. She said she would take me to Neuschwanstein.  She also said she would take me to this big amusement park!
Sabrina staid way longer than she should have because she had to drive back to her parents house that night, which is a half hour away.
Goodness gracious I love that girl. She just makes me smile. I'm so blessed to have found her.

Happy: Getting to know Sabrina better
Crappy: our muffins took soooo stinking longggggg

Lots of love from Germay!

Katy Jo :)

Saturday 19.05

Today there was an option of going to Heidelberg. The main thing I wanted to do was see the castle. The train ride was about an hour and a half to two hours. Not bad. Gotta love how accessible everything is from Germany.
There were 8 of us on this day trip along with the Stablers. Elle was super excited to see me. As we were switching trains she asked "mom can I sit next to my babysitter this time?" Thomas and I kept her giggling the whole way there. The walk to the castle was... Rough to say the least. To get to castle from the train station we had to take a bus. Jam packed does not even begin to describe it. We were packed in there tighter than a can of sardines. We were all falling into each other and ended up touching each other and such. It was semi awkward but at the same time, we are like a family already so it's kinda ok. Then once we were at the castle we had like a 10 minute hike up a huuuuuuge hill. I get that the hill is like a line of defense but seriously. If I was about to charge that castle I would get less than halfway up and just turn back around.
We were lucky and had Evan with us today so we had our own personal tour guide. He explained areas and functions of things.



In all honesty I wasn't really impressed. I don't know why I feel so let down by the castle. Yes it was pretty there. But it wasn't the princess kind of castle I've been waiting to see.
When we had decided had seen all we wanted to see of the castle we headed to marktplatz (in Heidelberg) sight the 50 euros anderson gave us. Courtney, Vanessa and I bought lunch for the group from a grocery store. We got bread from the backers next door. Two nice sized loaves of bread cost under 3 euros! It was awesome.
We all sat at the fountain and ate lunch. We had a crazy range if conversation as usual. Never a dull moment with our group. Hahaha
All through marktplatz were souvenir stands set up. So we of course had to look around! I think almost everyone bought at least one thing. Then we got eis with the extra money from lunch. From there we decided that we were ready to head back home. Once we were home we headed to marktplatz and sat at m7. Becky, Vanessa and Courtney went to Vanessa's house for a while leaving me with Jason, Evan and nick. We once again had some interesting conversations that I will not repeat. More of the group met us there and they went out to a bar. I decided that was my cue to leave.

Happy: our crazyyyyyy conversations :)
Crappy: Kinda disappointed with the castle, but I know I'll see one eventually!

Lots of love from Germany!

Katy Jo

Friday 18.05

ZOO! Hooray!
Today was my long awaited trip to the zoo! It ended up just being Jason, Katy See, and myself. Sabrina was supposed to come but she was suffering from the plague and doing her best not to keel over and die just sick with the flu. Anja drove us because she was going home anyway so she saved us time and money! Wonderful!
The zoo was gorgeous. I know I know I know. I say that allllllll the time. But this area, the country, everything is just gorgeous! The zoo has great landscaping and is on a big hill so you get a nice workout while walking around! ;) The major downfall was they didn't have any dolphins, whales, dolphins, sea otters, or dolphins. They were really lacking in the marine mammal area. I just wanted to see a dolphin... But they did have seals!

As we were walking into the zoo the first animals we noticed were some flamingos and a beautiful peacock who was a little too shy to show us his feathers long enough for a picture!
One of the best parts of the zoo were the monkeys! They had a lot of different kinds of monkeys. There were some whose every thought and action was narrated by the lovely Jason. Katy and I were crying we were laughing so hard, but it could have also been the stench making our eyes water... Another kind of monkey were these tiny little guys. They were so energetic and rambunctious! Then there were these monkeys who seemed like they could have just jumped out of their enclosure and attacked us! We thought they were going to at one point! They all of a sudden all sat up straight and screeched! It happened two more times before a zoo keeper appeared with a bucket full of apples for them! It was so funny once we got over how terrifying the whole event was.

In the aquarium, where there was a serious lack of marine mammals, I did end up finding Dory, Marlin and Nemo! That made me pretty happy.

Crazy cool looking fish

We saw tons of animals like tigers and cheetahs and elephants and bears and kangaroos and a ton more.

Just for you Emily Dean :)
Llamas for Ilana
 They also had polar bears and penguins. They ever so slightly but not really made up for not having dolphins. All the polar bears did was pace back and forth but they were cute. The penguins were so noisy it was cute! I took a nice long video and lots of pictures because they are Sabrina's favorite animal but she couldn't come to see them.

From the zoo we found a place to eat lunch. I think it was called Cafe im Marktplatz but I'm not sure. Jason and I each got a beer. They came in the cool pottery cups. Katy got a coke bigger than her face.

Our food was sooooo good. Worth every penny. We couldn't even finish it all! Anja met us there and then showed us around a little bit. Jason ended up stopping in H&M and as his shopping buddy I stopped in there too. He ended up buying a sweet pair of sunglasses that fold up! They are awesome!
From there Anja showed us Stuttgart's little piece of the beach. It's called the sky beach. It is on the top of a building downtown. They have chairs and beds  all around. You can get a few drinks too. If it had been a nice warm sunny day, I never would have left. It was hard to leave regardless.
Anja brought us home and Jason came back to the apartment with me because we were planning on going bowling with our hosts. Christina and Anja had already planned it all out. Danielle and Krzysztof ended up coming with us too along with Christina's friend Ina. We played two games. I won both (and got like 4 strikes or something just for Sabrina, only because she asked). Even after Danielle and I had split two pitchers of beer :) Our high fives sucked, until we watched each others elbows. It's a great trick, especially when you are tipsy... At the bowling alley they were playing some great tunes too! It made it all the more fun.

After bowling we went to a bar for one more drink, I had apple juice and then headed home. I was pretty much asleep before I even made it to my bed. I was exhausted. It was a looooooong day but a fun day!

Happy: bowling and seeing all the silly monkeys!
Crappy: Sabrina being sick and not being able to join in on the fun!

Lots of love from Germany!

Katy Jo

Thursday 17.05

Hiking hiking hiking.
Today there was an option of going hiking. The whole week I had been telling Anderson that I would go if Molly and Scott (the american professor and his wife) didn't need me to babysit their daughter Elle. And that is exactly what I did.
But of course it couldn't go smoothly. No. That would just be toooooooooo easy!
First I wasn't exactly sure where the stop was. I just knew the word Hirsch was part of the name of the stop. The bus I was on must have been the single bus without a way of knowing what stop was next. I really should have done more research but with it being a holiday I had to make sure I got on the right bus and everything.
Well moral of the story is I got off at the wrong stop. Like 5 stops too early. Maybe more. Really not good. Plus it was a holiday so the buses only ran every hour! UGH! I called Scott and he told me to follow a bike path. So with those directions and the signs pointing me towards Bargau, I did eventually make it exactly where I needed to be. I was really proud of myself for finding it. And it was a really gorgeous day, in a gorgeous area and it felt great!
I got to the Stabler house safe and sound. Elle and I were goofing around before her parents left and she fell bumping her nose kind of hard on the floor. That on top of the fact that she didn't know me all too well didn't make Elle too excited for her parents to leave. I had a secret weapon with me though, the movie Enchanted! We rolled the blinds down and turned the lights off, turning the living room into a movie theater. It worked like a charm! She was fine afterwards. We took some pictures with my computer.

Then we played some games that help her learn german and had dinner. After that we played with her Barbies.
I met Molly and Scott at the bus stop around 7 and headed home! It was nice to spend some time with a kid and the bonus was I made some money!

Happy: spending some time being a kid with a kid :)
Crappy: getting off at the wrong bus stop, I just felt really bad for getting it wrong even though it was me that had to walk 2km.

Lots of love from Germany!

Katy Jo

Wednesday 16.05

Class and a movie. Sounds like a good day right? Well it was!
We had our Berlin class from 12-2 and then a presentation about the german education system until 3. To be honest, the more time I spend here with all these lovely mostly girls people who want to be teachers, the more I realize how much I want to be a teacher. And after being here for another week, I am really thinking I might switch majors.
After the presentation about the education system,which I found interesting and others found extremely pointless and boring I headed home to get ready to go to the movies with Sabrina.
I met her and Nick and we drove downtown with Nick a cell phone. We walked all around Marktplatz trying to find the best deal available. He did, in the end, find a phone, for a good price and we could get it activated right then and there!
From there Sabrina and I went to our movie, 21 Jump Street. First we had to find the stinking theater. Not the easiest task in the world. And of course it is bright and sunny out yet raining. What the heck? I couldn't even find a rainbow! Eventually Sabrina's amazing directional skills led us to the theater.
The movie was hi-lar-i-ous! Even with it being in german I understood a decent portion of the jokes, not to mention Sabrina constantly pushing the popcorn in my face trying to convince me to eat more. Don't worry Mom and Dad, Sabrina will make sure I'm eating enough ;)
We really had a great time and planned on going to the zoo together on Friday! Super exciting. I made sure to throw away the extra popcorn when I got home because Sabrina was sick. I didn't need her germs incubating on the popcorn and having me ingest those nasty germs and getting  deathly ill the flu.
I'm so lame, not having any pictures. But that is what happens when you are crazy busy and also a student and not just a tourist.

Happy: super funny and fun movie with Sabrina, plus the infection festering popcorn being shoved in my face more that 387842439 times.
Crappy: I guess either the normal "class was boring", or that I need to start attempting to plan my life out... again...

Tuesday 15.05

Today was a normal kind of day.
My body has decided that sleeping in is not necessary. I am waking up on my own before 7 am. We will see how long it lasts and if I can bring this new habit through customs with me or not!
Tuesday we had class from 8:30-12, 2-4, and 4-6. To say we were busy is an understatement. We were tired too. The early class is our german language course. The second is called "Let's get together and talk!" It is a class where English is normally spoken. It has international students and german students, now us too! The last class was the Berlin course Anderson is teaching to us.
During the two hour break between classes, I met Sabrina for lunch. I had to catch her up on the crazy happenings of the weekend even though I had been texting her the whole time... I'm pretty sure she thinks our group is crazy, but we honestly are crazy. It makes it all the more fun.
After class I needed to go to city center to put more minutes on my phone. A couple of the guys (Jason, Krzysztof, Kyle and Dustin) joined me. They ended up buying beer because here that is legal along with drinking it in the streets! To them this is amusing so I just went along with it.
We all went home way earlier than we thought. There was nothing open and not much to do. While waiting for the bus I saw Anderson and Thomas.
Not too exciting but that's okay. I still had a good time :)

I really feel like doing happy crappy every day at the end of the post. Just a heads up. That's what is happening

Happy: Had a great lunch Sabrina (she even paid for me!) and got to catch up with her :)
Crappy: Having such a long day of classes!

Lots of love from Germany!

Katy Jo

Monday 14.05

Today was our second day in München. The main event of the day was going to the Dachau concentration camp. I was a little worried about today, how I would react to everything I saw. After everything I have learned in all my years of history classes, I knew it wouldn't be pretty.
We all got up, had breakfast at the hostel, packed up our stuff and headed to Dachau. When we got there I chose to have an audio tour in English. I really wanted to get everything out of my experience.
The first thing you see as you walk into the camp is the gate that reads "Arbeit macht frei" meaning "work makes you free". Then there was the building that had been converted into the museum, the bunker, the barracks, and the large memorial and sculptures. Behind where the barracks once stood are the religious memorials and the crematorium.
Where all the barracks once stood
Christian memorial

Inside Christian memorial

Jewish memorial

inside jewish memorial

Inside the chapel

Inside the chapel

I honestly cannot put everything I saw and felt into words, that is beyond my mental capacity. Realizing that I was walking on the same ground that so many others had, so many who had been tortured, deprived, starved and eventually killed. I had chills running up and down my spine the whole time.
The large memorial in the front of the camp was one of the first places I visited. The whole thing was lined with wreaths in remembrance of those who were once held in Dachau. Then there is a large black sculpture. Looking up at it, seeing the image, it makes you stop breathing, stop everything you are doing. The dis-formed bodies created the appearance of barbed wire. It is amazing, astonishing and disgusting all at the same time. At the end of the memorial is a large plaque that reads "Never again" and a large container holding the ashes of an unknown person. The ashes were found still in the crematorium when the camp was surrendered and taken over by the Allies.

In the barracks, you get a sense of how life was for those living there. The buildings were built to hold around 200 people but held about 2000. That is just mind-blowing. The strict rules they had to abide by were horrendous. The Nazi's seemed to be looking for a reason to punish those in the concentration camp.

The crematorium made me feel sick to my stomach and want to cry all at the same time. That was where it hit me the hardest that people died there. In that exact room. In the exact spot I was standing in. Those rooms were once used for mass murder. It is something you never understand until you are standing there. All the pictures in the world could not give someone the same feeling in those rooms.
The trench and barbed wire that kept everyone in

The first crematorium. It was soon too small.
Disinfection chamber
The door leading to the "showers"
The "showers" gas chamber

The room all the bodies were held in

Only half the room

The hooks on the beam were used for hangings

Behind the crematorium was a trail that had burial places plus a few other places.

Pistol range for execution

By the time I got to the museum I had had almost all I could take. Plus the museum seemed to only be reiterating what I had seen and learned already.
When I finished in the museum and double checked I had seen everything, we had another picnic lunch in a field across the street from the camp. From there Anderson sent us our separate ways so that we could do what we wanted/needed to. Becky and I wanted to get some souvenirs and remembered seeing a whole bunch of shops by the Hofbrauhaus the night before. We felt like champions after finding our way there all by ourselves. While at the shops I contemplated a few different items for people but could not justify spending the money on it.

Finally we headed back to the train station where we ran into a handful of the guys from the group.
Jason looking super attractive eating yet another döner
We took the train home together and I went to bed. Long day. Long weekend.

Best part of the day: finding our way through Munich!
Worst part: standing on the same ground so many died on

Hoping to continue catching up!!!

Lots of love from Germany!

Katy Jo