Monday, March 28, 2011

Lovely Life


I’m now living with my 3rd host family. How has time gone by this fast? How can I already be at my last host family? How is already the end of MARCH??
I'm pretty sure I don't have a single free day for the next few months. I've got so many things that I want to still, so luckily I still have 3 VERY LONG months ahead of me (yes, 3 months is a long time. I won't let you tell me otherwise). But let's get back on track.. I'm moved in with my third host family! I have once again been very lucky and landed with an amazing family. I have a 19 year old sister, Louise, who was in Brazil last year as an exchange student, a 16 year old brother Jannik, and an 11 year old sister Line, plus mother Susanne and father Flemming. We live out in the country in a small town called Rolfsted. I no longer live a 2 minute walk away from the school.. Instead, I get to take a 25 minute bus ride to school every morning. There is only 2 buses from Rolfsted to Ringe in the morning, and only 2 buses from Ringe to Rolfsted after school. There is no train in this town, and buses do not run in the evening, nor on weekends. My traveling is a bit limited now, but Susanne and Flemming are used to driving their kids around, and tehy have been very kind about helping me figure out how to get places. I also still have two lovely host families in Ringe that are always welcoming me to come over if I have to stay in town before my guitar lessons or volleyball, or if I just feel like coming over for some tea :) My new little sister, Line, is also taking guitar lessons at the moment, and we're learning a lot of the same songs, so it's fun to play a bit and practice with her. Louise goes to a different gymnasium than I do, so I don't ever see her at school or in Ringe, and Jannik just got a moped, so we don't see too much of him anymore...
But from moving to this family, I have realized how much stuff I have acquired. I came with two suitcases and a cary-on, and now

So somehow I'm going to have to find a way to get rid of a lot of this. Maybe a big yard sale? I'm not quite sure where all of this stuff came from, but there is no way I can fit it in my 2 suitcases. But I have plenty of time to figure that out!
Completely switching the topic, the weather has been gorgeous outside!! We've had weather in the 50s for the past few weeks, and plenty of sunshine! I'm hoping it will stay like this from now on because sun just puts everyone in a good mood :) Also, my first host family now has little lambs running around their farm, and they might possibly be the cutest things I've ever seen. So it really feels like spring right now!
This weekend we have our last Rotary Get Together before Euro Tour, and then the next weekend I leave for Rome with my class! I'm extremely excited for this "field trip" with my class. Not only because it's Rome, but more so because I absolutely love my class. It's hard for me to even put into words how amazing my class is, and I am so thankful that I get to spend every day (Monday-Friday) with them. They are all just so much fun to be around and they're creative, and talented, and funny, and I love them all! Even if I didn't have to go to school each day, I would go just to be with them. That's how amazing they are. They make me actually want to go to school. So basically, our class trip to Rome will be epic, and I promise to spend an entire blog telling you about it once we get back.
But at the moment, we have a break from class and the sun is shining, so I'm going outside to enjoy my time with my classmates!







All for now,
Heidi

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Berlin!


Berlin was amazing. What a beautiful city with oh-so-much history! We arrived there Friday night after driving for 6 hours. After drinking tea and having a little cake, we set up our beds and slept. The next day we got up a bit earlier than my liking for a vacation, but we had things to do, places to see, and may pictures to take! We started our day by waiting about an hour in line to get into the Pergamon Museum. This museum is actually a combination of three separate museums: the Collection of Classical Antiquities, the Museum of the Ancient Near East and the Museum of Islamic Art. This is the most visited museum in all of Germany and it also has some of the oldest reconstructed monumental buildings in the world! We spent a good bit of time here, then walked through some small shops on the street, and just took in the aroma of gorgeous Berlin. On Sunday, we went to the Berlin Cathedral. Like most of the churches we went to, this one was bombed in WWII and severely damaged, but rebuilt.
I had taken about 50 pictures of the cathedral from the outside the day before, so it was really neat to actually go in and get the full tour. We were joined by Anette’s brother, Carsten, and his 8 year old daughter Beatriz. We walked all the way to the top of the dome and then we were able to walk around the outside of it where we could see out over all of Berlin. It was gorgeous! From here, we took the metro and met up with Carsten’s 15 year old daughter Anne, and then we all made our way to the Berlin Wall! Basically just a cement wall with inspirational paintings, but it was one my favorite places we went. It’s weird to be walking along the wall where so much history took place.

The next day we went to Checkpoint Charlie, the most-known crossing point from East to West Berlin. In the museum we read stories about all of the creative and crazy ways people used to cross over the wall. Everything from underground tunnels, to hot air balloons were used. Then we went to Alexanderplatz, which is basically like a big town square, and we shopped around in the big mall there (still nothing compared to Mall of America).
Our last full day in Germany, we went to the West side of Berlin, which was much more modernized. We went to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, which was partially destroyed in WWII,and the newer additions of it which are nicknamed the “lipstick and powder box” because of their shapes. The “powder” building was my favorite. Both of the newer additions were made of concrete with 21,292 stained glass windows covering the entire outsides. It was so pretty inside! Then we walked to the Nike outlet store, and then over to the Ka De We (Kaufhaus des Westens) mall. They had an entire floor level with just edible goods; a chocolate section, a cheese sections, a pasta section, and even a small American food section :) If the Jif peanut butter there didn’t cost 14 Euros, I would have bought it all. We didn’t spend too much time here, though, because it was all department stores and things were very expensive..


That night we went to a Mexican restaurant for dinner (delicious) and the next day we packed up and drove home.
We weren’t home long, though, before we took the train over to KĂžbenhavn for the rest of winter break! There we celebrated Anette’s birthday, went to a parliament meeting at the Christiansborg Palace, and I FINALLY got to see the Little Mermaid! (She was on a vacation in China..)

So there ya go! That was wonderful winter break with the family!
I’ll try to get a few more updates in here soon!
-Heidi