It is now time for the second instalment in my series of weekly updates.
At school on Monday the 17th February, I completed my first English exam. It comprised of three separate writing tasks on the topic of immigrants and ethnic-minority groups. The test was easy, but not so easy that it was boring. The calibre of English which my classmates are able to speak, read and write is excellent, especially when compared with my German.
At lunchtime, I attended my second Rotary meeting in the Borgerforeningen, this time along with the other exchange students who are also hosted by my Rotary Club. We sat at a table together while eating a delicious chicken schnitzel and communicated in German. In the evening, I was present at Deutschkurs. This week is the final week of our current course, and next week in our new course we will begin a new course book.
On Tuesday I followed my normal school day routine, but enjoyed two free periods, as our philosophy teacher was away. In Germany there are no relief or substitute teachers, instead students are allowed a free period. In my free time, I ate lunch in the city together with my classmates. In the evening, I baked Anzac biscuits for an upcoming Deutschkurs party.
At school on Wednesday, I went shoe shopping with two friends from my class. They were looking for shoes to wear to the AbiBall held at the end of the school year.
The Deutschkurs party was a success. We each brought food to share, some originating from our own countries. My Anzac biscuits were a hit, although the Vegemite on bread rolls received more of a mixed reaction. My teacher had already visited Australia and had tried the spread before, so he was immediately repulsed and clearly disliked the taste. My fellow classmates were more curious, while having never tried it before. I did warn them it wasn’t sweet! Upon tasting, the exchange students: Mae, Eduardo and Arturo didn’t dislike the taste, but I’m not sure they loved it either. One student from Turkey really enjoyed it and said it was very tasty. He even began to eat it without butter!
Music class is held on Thursday, and we are making our own music videos together in groups. We have been given a piece of music and must create a short a short film to accompany it. My group began filming at an abandoned railway track which used to run through the centre of the city. Now it is shrouded in a grove of trees and when the sun is shining, it is a very beautiful location. One day I plan to take a series of photos there, but unfortunately in this instance I didn’t have my camera with me.
School finished early on Friday as Spanish class was cancelled. I ate lunch with my friend, Warwara and we even stumbled across our school English teacher. In the afternoon I met with two British students from Carlisle, UK. The Goethe Schule has a reciprocal exchange program with Carlisle which involves groups of German and British students spending a week in either country respectively, to gain work experience and practice their language.
I was excited as a package was waiting for me on Saturday. I travelled to the Bahnhof where the main post office is located and received a package from my outbound Rotary Counsellor in Australia. Thank you for the wonderful gifts Christine! I will be sure to pass them on. The rest of Saturday afternoon was spent completing small tasks and crossing them off my to do list.
On Sunday morning I attended a church service with Jens at the St Nikolai Kirche. It is the largest church in Flensburg and is located in Südermarkt, in the heart of the city. The church has a long and rich history, building of the church commenced in 1332 and was completed in 1480. In 1485 a town fire caused damage to the building and it underwent reconstruction. Once again I have found myself in buildings older than Australia. A grand organ plays in the background and produces a beautiful sound which resonates around the whole building.
After the service, Jens and I walked through the quiet city centre in which nothing was open apart from the odd bakery. I snapped some photos of the city while there were very few people about. We walked home via the Flensburg Campus which is the university situated here. I thoroughly enjoyed my short walking tour with Jens, particularly as the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day.
I have begun my first sewing project since arriving in Germany, with my new machine kindly lent to me by my Rotary Club. I am sewing a long sleeved dress to wear in early spring which will be knee length. I have chosen a burgundy polka dotted material which I packed with me from Australia. So far I’ve only cut out the pattern and inserted darts into the front and back bodice pieces.
It has been yet another busy week in my life in Germany, and has been packed full of learning, new experiences and new friends.