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I was in Paris and making my way to Pairs with two other districts. There was lots to see there. We went to the Louvre, saw the outside of the Moulin Rouge, walked around a bunch, took a boat tour at night and of course saw the Eiffel Tour.
I met a lot more exchange students and got to see three guys that I had met at the orientation in Arkansas before I left.
I had school but I didn’t go because my host father said I was too tired to go to school. If I wanted to I could just stay home. Of course I never turn down an opportunity to not go to school (Who actually even likes school?). I stayed home and saw a bunch of tv in german.
He gave me a note to turn in the next day that said I had a headache. Coolest host dad ever.
Rotary weekend in Plauen
The name of the orientation weekend was “sell your nation” and that’s exactly what we did (well most everyone else except me). All the inbounds, (people currently on exchange) outbounds, (people going on exchange next year) rotexes, (people back from their exchange that are still organize and help exchange students) and a few rebounds (people that already came back from their exchange) were there. It was our job as inbounds to convince the outbounds to go to our countries. I attempted to help the US but well it was nearly impossible, I had no idea what was going on. So instead I helped the Mexicans and the Taiwanese.
Saturday we went geocaching and then we came back and had free time. One of the groups got lost and was out for more than five hours. I’m just glad that I wasn’t in that group. (So glad I didn’t have a repeat of what happened in the Czech Republic. That was my group that got lost and had to walk forever last time)
Saturday night they had a DJ come to the hostel we were staying in and everyone just danced and had a good time.
Sunday we ate breakfast, then went to a small town close by that was once divided by east and west. We learned how different the lives were of the germans that lived on the east. How many families couldn’t see each other just because of what side of the boundary they lived on.
After that we went back to the hostel to grab our things and we walked to the train station to come back home.
I had no classes because of the 11th grade study sessions and both Mason (Texas) and Vyctor (Brazil) normally don’t have classes on Wednesdays. We had made plans the day before to meet at around 14:00 and go shopping with Jessica (Mexico) Rebecca (Taiwan) and Xavier (Ecuador). Since Mason, Vyctor, and I really didn’t have anything better to do we decided to just hang around town together until it was time to meet the others. After we met with everyone we just went to a different mall and walked around and ate.
I went to Berlin with the church to see president Monson and had a great time. I met all of the missionaries who are all american and they invited me to come to FHE and Institute every week. I saw people that I had met in Texas but I was unable to go greet them because there were too many people at the conference.
I went to school and then after met up with Marie because she wanted to go to Institute with me. They gave her a French book of mormon. We had a short lesson and then afterwards we all ate together, talked, and played a few games. She enjoyed it a whole bunch and wants to go to church whenever I go.
I went to school and Jessica (Mexico) who lives in Bautzen went to all of my classes with me because she was going to stay at my house that night. After school we walked around Dresden a bit then went to my house. We got ready to go out with a bunch of other exchange students and a few German friends.
We met a few people in the Neustadt at around seven and just walked around. At around nine or ten we headed out to Industriegelände where the Diskothek we had planned to go to was located. We stayed there until three in the morning. Jessica and I arrived at my house at around four in the morning.
Jessica needed to go back to Bautzen so I took her to the train station. While at the train station I got a call from Rebecca (Taiwan) and she told me she was in Dresden too. I just got on the train with Rebecca and got off at the Dresden Hauptbahnhof where Rebecca had arrived. Elisa (Taiwan) was also with her. We spent the whole day together by the river just talking. We ate lunch and dinner together. It was over all a pretty good dat but I was really tired after friday night.
I stayed home and rested and packed for the fall trip to Italy with my host family.
I’ve been and am currently in Italy. We are sleeping in a city called Massarosa. It’s only 20 minutes away from Pisa. We’ve gone to Pisa and Florence and a few other cities. The weather has been great up until today when it got really cold. We return to Germany tomorrow.
I’ve gotten to the point where I’m sucking at updating this blog because I barley have time and I’m just getting lazy with it…
I’ll try a little harder to update and put more details but I’m not too sure it’ll actually happen.
It’s been quite a while since I last wrote and I don’t think I can write everything that has happened the last couple of weeks but I’ll do my best to write what I remember.
The internet at my house hasn’t been working for a while now so I am currently sitting in Starbucks as I write.
September 21-23 Inbound Orientation in Riesa
We all traveled by train to Riesa for orientation Friday afternoon. The whole weekend we had the Hostel to ourselves so we could be as loud as we wanted all night long. We only had maybe an hour or two of actual orientation and going over rules and the rest of the time we did a bunch of fun things.
We went to a museum, went on boats and had a race, and played around the hostel. This weekend was a ton of fun as you would expect when 33 exchange students, 7 rotex, and our inbound coordinator meet for a weekend.
September 24-28 Czech Republic
The morning after I returned from Riesa I had to wake up a bit earlier than I would normally for school to arrive at my school for my class trip to the Czech Republic. When we first arrived we went to a glass factory where everyone that works there has to consume 7 liters of low alcohol beer a day to be able to stand the heat.
Tuesday we hiked for a total of eight hours in the very steep woods. All I remember thinking is how I hated it and I didn’t even know if we were lost or not because I barley speak German and all the signs were in Czech. It turned out that our group did get lost and we hiked for 4 km more than we were supposed to.
Wednesday we went to Theresienstadt, a former Jewish Ghetto where we went into a few museums and were able to see how many people lived during the holocaust.
Thursday we had a free day and we all traveled to Prague and really all I did was walk around the city and take pictures that day.
Friday we were just around the hostel and we returned home.
September 29-30 Bavaria (Bamburg and around)
I was awoken early Saturday by my host mom and she told me that Marie (France) and her host family wanted to take me to Bamburg (in Bavaria the state to the south of Saxony) for the weekend. Although I was really tired I decided I should go. Bamburg is a very small town with a University and there is almost nothing to do there but take pictures so that is exactly what we did. We also spent almost the whole day looking for wifi and when we returned to the apartment where we were staying for the night we found out that there was internet there. On Sunday on our way back to Dresden we stoped in several towns and saw many different catholic churches.
October 1st Rotary meeting
I had a very long day at school not much sleep for quite a while because of all of my traveling and then I found out that I had a Rotary meeting to attend this evening.
For the meeting we met at this special school at around six and toured it, they had a discussion and then there was food after. The three of us exchange students were happy when we finally got to eat because as you are probably aware we can barely understand anything that goes on in the meetings. We were finally able to leave at 10:30. If I would have had to take the tram back home I wouldn’t have been home until almost midnight, but luckily one of the rotarians lives close to me and was able to take me home.
October 3rd German day of Unity
We had no school this day because it is a national holiday here in Germany. It is the day east and west Germany were reunited. So this day I met a few exchange students that don’t live in Dresden at the train station and I showed them around the city. We walked along the river and then we went to a turkish place to eat where we all had dönner.
Basically we just spent the whole day together and watched a ton of Germans get wasted. It was actually a lot of fun.
October 7th Church/Party
This past Sunday I decided I wanted to go to church so I found out where it was and showed up. I had completely forgotten about General Conference and when I arrived it was time for the Priesthood session. For those of you that don’t know the priesthood session is typically only for men so I was almost basically the only girl there. I spoke with the missionaries when I got there and they told me the times that the other sessions were. They weren’t until later and I had told my host family that I would be back by four so I just attended the priesthood session and left. Right after the session I spoke with the bishop and I asked him what time the normal meeting times were for next week. It was then that I found out that President Monson would be in Berlin next week and there would be no church. They invited me to go so next Sunday I have the wonderful opportunity of going with a family that’s a member of the church to Berlin.
When I arrived at my host family’s home I got ready so that I could go to Frau Pinkard’s (The woman that takes care of the children and helps around the house when my host parents are working) birthday party. When I arrived I met her family and right away her grandchildren took me to their rooms to play with them. I actually learned quite a bit of German with them.
October 8th Julian’s 10th birthday
It was my host brother’s birthday and we started celebrating the day at breakfast. We all sang to him at breakfast and he opened a few gifts. I was a bit late to school because we all stayed at the table later than usual. My host mother takes everyone to school when it’s someone’s birthday but she didn’t take me because My school is on the other side of town. I really didn’t mind it’s not like I really do much in school anyways.
After school I arrived and we ate a late lunch. About an hour later a few of the family’s close friends came over and we sang more and ate lots of cake. Afterwards we went outside and roasted marshmallows and played traditional german games for birthdays.
October 9th Today
Today I went to school only for the German course. I have a sports class but the teacher didn’t go today and when teachers don’t go here we just don’t have class. Tomorrow I normally only have a Calculus class after the German course but I don’t have any because the 11th grade has tests and study sessions so I have another free day. This post wasn’t as detailed as previous posts and was quite long. I hope that the wifi at my house will be fixed soon so that I can post more often.
We have the autumn holidays coming up soon and I will go to Berlin and Italy with my host family for two weeks. After that I will go to Paris with rotary.
That’s really all I have for now. I’ll try to post again soon!
I’ve been living in Germany for three weeks and a day now.
My german is slowly coming along.
These are a few things I did besides the normal going to school everyday.
Monday: 10 September
I went to school like normal, then came home and got ready for the Rotary welcome party for all the exchange students in Dresden. My host family was unable to go so I had to figure out how to get there on my own. I actually managed to get there without getting lost. There was tons of food there but by the time I was going to eat it was time to go.. so since it takes me about an hour to get home andI didn’t think I would make it without eating I went to McDonalds and bought a kids meal. I ate it and then left McDonalds and didn’t realize they forgot to give me my toy (which would have been a childrens book) until I got on the tram. I was actually quite disappointed because I wanted to see if I would be able to read it right away.
Friday: 14 September
I went and turned in all of my forms for the trip to the Czech Republic we’re taking next week. After school I finally made my own official schedule (That I already want to go get changed)
Saturday: 15 September
My host family was invited to this party that was held at this huge house! There were tons of people there. The hostess is hosting two exchange students that I had met before. One from Texas (that I had met way before we even went to Germany at orientation camp in Arkansas) and one from Venezuela (He’s a Ruiz too!). There were two other exchange students I had met before. One Brazil and one from Australia.
There was tons of food at this party and every thirty minutes the table was restocked with more food and it was always different. When the other exchange students and I finally noticed this we would go and check the table every time it was restocked to see if there was anything we wanted to try.
Later in the evening we all went outside to a table full of Germans. At one point we started seeing what languages everyone could speak and we just all started speaking them. I thought it was the coolest thing ever that We had people speaking Italian and someone else would reply in Portuguese or Spanish. Even though I don’t really know much Italian and Portuguese I’m able to understand it completely. Vyctor and Rafael (the exchange students from Brazil and Venezuela) thought it was the greatest thing ever. We really had a great time. For the other two exchange students and all the other Germans that don’t know any of these languages it wasn’t as exciting for them. I think they got a bit frustrated with all of us but it was their friends that started it all.
Sunday: 16 September
I walked around the house and outside. Later on I met Marie (from France) and her host sister (who will be my next host sister in January) at a skate park in Dresden. It was a very nice day and we just sat outside, watched the people around us, and talked. As the day went on Marie and I went downtown to Alt Markt (where the huge shopping malls are) only to find out that everything is closed on Sundays. So we went to the ATM and I was happy to find out that that bank doesn’t charge you for using their ATM! After we went to Starbucks and just sat there to use their wifi.
Monday: 17 September
I only went to my first two periods (“Intensive” german) and to the exchange student meeting third period we have every monday. My school has tons of partner schools around the world. For the next three weeks we have five students and a teacher from a partner school in India with us. After I met them and third period was over Marie and I left the school to go to our Rotary meeting we needed to attend.
We actually left the school an hour and a half earlier than we were supposed to but we really didn’t want to be in school so we walked around the city until we need to be at the meeting.
The Rotary lunch meetings are held in a very nice, very big hotel. Before the meeting started we (Marie, Vyctor, and I) met with our YEO to turn in our forms and emergency fund. The meeting finally started and the three of us were asked to present ourselves in German. After everything was said everyone was able to eat. After we finished eating two rebounds and Pedro who has been here since January from Argentina gave their presentations.
When everything was done Marie, Pedro, and I all walked around the mall for a few hours.
I’ve been here in Radebeul for about two weeks. I’m slowly getting better at the language. This past week I started school and that was something. I was informed that I have lots of events coming up for Rotary and I’m going to the Czech Republic with my grade (11th) at the end of the month for a week. Overall it’s been a pretty good week. Here’s what I remember doing this week. I’ll try to update a little more often so I don’t end up making lists like this again.
Went to a horse show in Moritzburg where there were horses doing different types of events. It was pretty boring for the most part except for the horses playing soccer and the guys running onto and off the horses really fast.
We went around to see different places in Moritzburg and I took a ton of pictures.
I started school at 9:15 with a class meeting. (I didn’t know what was going on the whole time) After I had a thirty minute break and then 30 minutes of music.
After school at 12:30 we had an exchange student meeting with all of the students that attend the school. We just talk about our day and ask questions. We’re going to meet every Monday for the rest of the year.
After school I went to go eat with Marie (exchange student from France) and Miriam (she’s here for 3 months because of her mother’s work and she’s from Spain.) We ate at this place that only serves meals with chicken. (I feel I didn’t word that right after trying to change it up for five minutes) Miriam and I speak a little french, spanish, and she knows a little English. Marie knows french and a little English. So when we couldn’t really communicate in one language we would keep switching until we could understand each other. It was actually quite a lot of fun. After we walked around the shopping center and bought a few things.
When I got home I finally met my host sister Elisa (she was on a trip with one of her friends for two weeks and just returned) I helped her with dinner.
School normally starts at 7:45 so I left my house an hour before (It takes me forever to get to my school by tram)
When I finally arrived I wasn’t told that I need to copy Charlotte’s schedule so I had no idea to which classes I was supposed to go. I went and asked in the office but they had no idea where she would be and couldn’t look up her schedule. I tried to find her but I had no luck. So at around 8:30 I just walked out of the school and walked all over Dresden. This was the one morning I had decided to take my camera out of my backpack before I had left for school. That was certainly a mistake. When I finally went home I took a short nap and then soon after I had to get my picture taken for my school ID and public transportation ID.
Our “intensive” german classes finally began. They aren’t all that intense… at least not yet. There are other Rotary exchange students that are in Dresden but attend different schools. They attend the same German course that is held at the school I attend. Everyone seems pretty cool. There’s actually someone from Outbound Orientation camp in my city! It was quite a surprise since I still had no information on where I would be going when I went to camp. After class was over I was able to find Charlotte. That is when we have our breakfast break. The rest of the day I went to a bunch of classes where I understood generally what they were talking about but not enough until I got to my English class. Needless to say that was my favorite class.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
These few days were pretty much uneventful. I don’t really remember doing anything but hanging around the house and just talking or watching tv (obviously in German)
I have now been in Germany for four days. It’s really quite an amazing country. The flight wasn’t very long. It was actually quite short compared to the other times I have traveled to Europe. I was greeted at the airport by my host father, my youth exchange officer, and an inbound from Australia who is also in Dresden with me. I have gotten to see parts of the town and it is so beautiful. It can be a bit frustrating at times because I do not know the whole language yet, but soon enough I will be able to understand everything.
Tomorrow I will go to my school for an exchange student introduction. I’ll get to meet other Rotary exchange students and students from other programs. I cannot wait to get to go into Dresden.
(Source: gabypanchoineurope)♥ 2 Notes / Thu Aug 30th, 2012 ≡ reblog
This past weekend we had our last meeting together as outbounds. WE had a little party type thing at a Rotarians house and we all just sat together, talked together, and ate together. We each had a short interview where they asked us what we were scared of and just asking us questions about being prepared and how prepared we were. We received all of our graded homework we had to turn in last month, our pins, and our international student identification cards. We were also supposed to receive our business cards but those weren’t printed yet so they gave us a little time to send in a new picture! I’m sure glad they did that, I wasn’t too fond of the picture they had and neither were the other outbounds. My YEO had my guarantee form for about a month now but didn’t rush it to me since I don’t need a visa so I finally physically got it this weekend!
Only 41 more days until Germany!
(Source: gabypanchoineurope)♥ / Mon Jul 16th, 2012 ≡ reblog
I found out I’ll be staying in Dresden, Germany and my flight departs from Houston on Aug 26th at 6:25pm. I after a few plane changes I arrive at the Dresden airport on August 27th at 2:15
My first host family lives in a suburb of Dresden called Radebuel. There are four children, three boys and a girl. The oldest boy who is 17 will be on exchange in India while I’m there so I’ll never really get to meet him, but my host sister is 19 so close to my age! So I’m pretty excited for that. They have two dogs, two cats, a horse, and four rabbits! I love animals this is fantastic!
I will be attending St. Benno Gymnasium Dresden. It’s a private catholic high school. I’m a little nervous about that only because German schools are already hard as it is, so the fact that it is both private and catholic just mean that it’s even harder, but it is an amazing school. It is about 30 minutes away by tram from my first host family.
I meet another girl who is from France and we will both attend the same school and we’re both hosted by the same club and everything. That makes me a little more relieved.
I should be starting to post videos on my youtube channel soon about my exchange here
I leave for Dresden in 54 more days.
(Source: gabypanchoineurope)♥ 5 Notes / Tue Jul 3rd, 2012 ≡ reblog
I’ve been meaning to post this for a while but I was away on a family trip in Mexico.
Outbound orientation camp was a ton of fun. I met lots of people from tons of different states that are all going to be exchange students in August. We learned tons of things about culture shock, visas, insurance, budgeting, and pretty much anything we need to know about our exchange. We went through some challenges and we played lots of games and stuff. It got intense at times but I had lots of fun. I met lots of new people that I know I’ll keep in contact with forever.
(Source: gabypanchoineurope)♥ 1 Notes / Mon Jun 25th, 2012 ≡ reblog
I leave for Arkansas for outbound orientation camp Wednesday and I’m still no where near done with my homework :/
I’d better get on that tomorrow.
This morning I finally got a little more information.
I got my welcome letter from Germany and that gave me some information so I could log in and update my own information. Although it wasn’t much I feel better about this sin ce I haven’t heard anything in so long!
On another note we’ve started to receive our homework assignments for outbound camp in two weeks and it’s a ton of work! I need to get on that and stop procrastinating.
(Source: gabypanchoineurope)♥ 4 Notes / Wed May 23rd, 2012 ≡ reblog
It’s been over a week now but…
DISTRICT CONFERENCE WAS AMAZING!
Friday the 27th of April two of us that are sponsored by my club arrived a little late but just in time to change and go to the rotary parties where they had tons of food! It was so good. That night we each were home hosted and were split up into different homes according to country assignments. I stayed with the inbound from Germany, the inbound to Belgium, and the two outbounds to Belgium. That night really wasn’t all too much fun…
But we get to Saturday and that’s where all the fun is!
We woke up early that morning and got ready to go back to the convention center. We arrived in our blazers because that morning we had our flag ceremonies and speeches in front of many of the rotarians. After we finished with that we had the rotarian luncheon where each inbound and outbound had to sit at a table full of rotarians. It was actually better than I thought it would be. I talked lots with the rotarians and we had a gust speaker. Teddy Roosevelt himself came and auctioned off a teddy bear for $1000 for polio plus!
When the lunch was finally over everyone was able to go into moody gardens and go to all the attractions or go swimming.
I went with the inbounds from Thailand and Brazil, and the outbounds to Japan, France, Brazil, and Thailand. This group of girls was amazing and I really got so close to them.
We went to the body museum (it’s as creepy as it sounds) We saw a short 4D movie, we went to the aquarium, and we then went swimming after!
After swimming for a while we just walked around the hotel and we played and talked in the room that where we all kept our stuff.
At around nine that night all 21 inbounds and outbounds were transported to a high school nearby and we had our lockin. Too many things happened there but all I can say it was tons of fun! We stayed up all night playing games and just talking. It was great.
Sunday after we slept for maybe an hour we got up and ate breakfast and then we were transported back to the hotel. It was time for us to go back home :(
That weekend was so much fun and I’m sad I won’t get to see the inbounds again before they all go back home.
I’m so grateful for this amazing opportunity that Rotary has given me and it’s only the beginning.
(Source: gabypanchoineurope)♥ 1 Notes / Wed May 9th, 2012 ≡ reblog
I really want to make a separate link page on my exchange blog with everyone that is going to be an outbound for 2012-2013 so that we can all see our progress and how we are all doing on our exchanges. Send me a message with your EXCHANGE blog and where you’re from and where you’ll be going.
Reblog to get the word out!
(Source: gabypanchoineurope)♥ 9 Notes / Fri Apr 27th, 2012 ≡ reblog
It’s been a while, but we got our blazers at our second orientation meeting a couple of days ago! We went over a few more basic exchange things as a district and we talked about the district conference we’ll be going to this weekend. The 13 outbounds and 8/9 inbounds will be there. One of the inbounds won’t be able to make it because he’s won some type of award in his school and they’re going to be going to Louisiana. I cannot wait for this conference. I’ll have plenty of pictures and stuff to post! :)
(Source: gabypanchoineurope)♥ 2 Notes / Thu Apr 26th, 2012 ≡ reblog
This past Sunday we had our very first orientation meeting. We didn’t do much, we just went over somethings that we’re going to learn at our week long summer orientation and the documents we needed to have ready. The most exciting part of the whole meeting was finally finding out our districts! There are two others in my sponsor district that are going to Germany this coming August. They’ll be in 1940 and 1850. My host district will be district 1880! I’m glad to finally know more about where I’ll be. I should be finding out about my first family and which city either in April or in May. I can’t wait!
(Source: gabypanchoineurope)♥ 5 Notes / Wed Mar 28th, 2012 ≡ reblog