I woke up early to meet Mr. Tilson and the Stadhagen gang at the bahnhof. When I got there Isaac was already waiting and Abigail arrived shortly after. Tilson thought it would be funny to send us on our way to the glise and trick the last two students into thinking they were the only ones that made it in time. As we were leaving, Zach caught up to us but he didn´t check in with Tilson before that. We thought we had the upper hand on Tilson and tried to hide Zach so Tilson would really think we had to leave someone behind. But, of course, Tilson saw through our plan and already knew Zach had made it to the train. The train ride was like any other and we made it to Stadhagen without any problems. When we arrived we walked to the town´s market center and got some food. On our way, Tilson pointed out some trip stones on the ground. I thought these were really interesting. They are small stepping stones in the sidewalk in front of a house where someone was taken from or fled from during WWII. It said the names of the people and where they went. It was odd looking at the old houses they were in front of and thinking how much buildings in Germany have seen. Back in the market center, the principal of the school we were visiting greeted us. He told us we had time to walk around so we did just that. We visited a chocolate store and a lego store. While we were in the chocolate shop we heard some people walk by say, „Kill yourself,“ and we knew- Americans. So naturally, we followed them. We went into the store they went into and awkwardly introduced ourselves as Americans as well. In the lego store we saw the other half of the group of Americans. Also, I found a stuffed cockateil. It was definetaly a highlight although I did not buy it. Later we walked to the school alongside more American students. It turned out that they were a part of a language exchange at the same school we were visiting. They were from Colorado and their school had an FRC team too! Tilson called their principal and talked ERST Initiative with him. The school was colorful and bright. We sat and talked to the other American students for a bit before we went into a big band concert the school was hosting. Big bands from the other schools in the area came here to preform and they sounded fantastic. After the preformance we went to give a presentation to the students and teacher about FIRST. We prepared a presentation on the train expecting to speak with eighth or ninth graders. When we found out we were speaking to younger children who didn´t speak much English yet we decided to take a more impromptu aproach. It went okay for what it was. I think their teacher got a lot of good information about moving forward with their Lego League team and eventually an FTC team. After that we went to meet our hosts for the night. The girl I stayed with was Laura. She was short like me. Also she was super hyper. She still had classes so I went home with Abigail´s host for an hour before Laura picked me up again. We went back to her house and talked for a short bit and then went back out to go bowling with the rest of the gang. Americans beat the Germans! We went to Subway and then back to Laura´s house to shower and sleep. I´m alergic to cats and I got to sleep on a couch full of cat hair. I didn´t wake up with hives though so it could have been worse.
Morale as high as I went to school knowing hat I was going to be participating in a mock oscar run with the troops.(Copenhagen, jack) after I got to school I just chilled and waited to the other got here and then we went to the mock oscars. The teacher drove us there and it started shortly after we got there. I gave a introduction speech for the class and the day went on after a couple of hours it ended and the troops and I needed some nourishment. So we rallied and stormed the church( which also happen to be a good restaurant) we ate are fill then we walked back to school where the others were camped. Sadly we arrived late and all but a few broke camp for the day, and after meeting the remainers we went are separate was back home and that was the day.
Morale was both high and low. The day was good Felix, Copenhagen, Paul, and I went to school a bit late cus of the gathering the night before. School was good although we had some trouble find music, but it all ended well we went and got lunch at the cafeteria. The day after that was pretty uneventful because I went home and just crashed.
Day five was a monday, but school was out due to a holiday. Specifically it was because it was “something with church” according to Franzi. Further research says that it was because of Pentecost. That morning we went to the St. Johannes church and were able to climb the tower. It was really tall, and University students used to live in it rent free, which is pretty neat. The down fall to living in the tower is all the steps you have to climb up to get to living quarters. After the tour of the church tower, some of the kids involved in the exchange walked around the city and got ice cream. Eventually, everyone parted way to reunite later in the evening at Jesper & Jack’s house for a BBQ. It was a lot of fun. Several people played vikings chess, played poker, and generally just hung out for several hours. We finally made it home around midnight, and promptly went back to sleep.
Even though it was a tuesday, we still didn’t have to go to school because they were still on break because of Pentecost. This day was fairly uneventful as we just hung out around the house. Everyone was in and out all day, so it was good to spend time with the entire family at one point of another.
We had to return to school. We did not appreciate having to get earlier. At all. Despite the early time, the day was actually pretty good. We went to an english class- the same one that would later go to Hamburg with us. The english teacher was super nice, and lined us (Liam, Steven, Jack, Kellen, and I) up in the front of the classroom and we tossed a ball back and forth around the room, asking and answering questions as an english exercise. It was pretty entertaining, as some of the questions got really interesting. We then followed that same teacher to her other 11th grade class. That class started with a video about another class trip to Italy, but eventually turned into an exercise similar to the one in the previous class.
Day 8 marked the beginning of our trip to Hamburg. It was an interesting trip as Steven and I were the only Americans. A lot of the students weren’t too interested in befriending us, but they had no problems with coming to us to settle arguements on english pronunciations. The train ride to Hamburg was pretty smooth, and I was able to read for most of it. When we got there we went straight to our hostel, which was conveniently located right next to the train station. Unfortunately our rooms weren’t ready yet, so we piled our bags in a locked room, and were allotted sometime to wander the city. We formed a small group with Oskar and Franzi and some of their friends, and followed them around. They started off blindly leading us into the unknown, and we ended up in an “interesting” part of town. Leo eventually declared he was hungry, so Oskar found where the mall was, and we proceeded to walk through Hamburg’s shopping district to get to the mall’s food court. We spent the rest of our free time there, and after an hour had to head back to the hostel. Then, as an entire class, we headed to Miniatur Wunderland, which was very cool. The amount of detail in the dioramas is insane. The airport even had the Millenium Falcon! It was probably my favorite place we went to in Hamburg, and I could’ve very easily spent more than two hours in it. After Miniatur Wunderland, the group went to a burger place. It was only fitting we got hamburgers in Hamburg. The burger I got was a lot better than the one I had last year when I participated in the exchange, so I was extremely happy. We stayed there for a while, and then headed back, and went to bed fairly quickly.
Today we got up a little later than usual, but still kinda early. After we ate breakfast we biked over to the train station, and met up with the group. The train ride was a few hours from Gottingen to Wolfsburg. The first thing we did at the VW plant was take a tour of the factory floor itself, where we saw a lot of the robots that make the cars. Next we went to a cafe and ate lunch, then went to the Autostadt, where we had a lot of fun and saw the new technologies they want to add to cars. Third, we went to the Phaeno, which was like a science museum, where you could touch a play with anything there. When it closed, we all went to the train station and headed back home. After Felix and I ate supper, we went to the park to have one last party, which was really fun.
This morning I woke up, ate a quick breakfast, and then headed to school. During the first class, we worked with a different group of 8th graders, then we went to a class of 6th graders that we had seen a couple weeks ago. Liam, Jack, and I could not find the 11th grade class we were going to because they moved rooms, so we waited for our exchange partner’s class to end. I met up with Felix at the cafeteria and ate some lunch. We biked home and later went into town to shop. I bought several souvenirs for my family, and then we met up with Marleen and ate some cake at a cafe. We went back home for supper, where I met Felix’s cousin Lucy. A little bit after supper Felix and I watched the movie “Johnny English”, which was pretty funny.
Disclaimer: It has been four days since I last wrote one of these. The days are kind of blending together now, and most non-major details have been forgotten. I guess this is what I get for procrastinating these. I now get to settle in for a night of trying to recall which things happened on what days and not proofreading anything I write.
I don’t remember when I got up, but you don’t really care about that anyways so we’re moving on.
We went kayaking. We got some kayaks, strapped them to the top of the van, and set off. When we arrived at the river, we unloaded the kayaks, and David’s dad drove downstream to where we would get out. While he was doing that, David began adjusting the kayak for me. He ended up having to set it to its largest size. Even so, it was still a very tight fit. Also, this seems as good a time as any to say this; David and his Dad kept calling the kayaks ‘Bootchen’, which, to my knowledge, literally translates to ‘baby boats.’ I think this important information, and it needs to be spread. A bit later, David’s dad biked back upstream, and we got into the water. It was warmer than I expected, and it was quite calm most of the way through. About halfway through, I asked how far we had left to go. They told me and asked if I was getting too tired or something. I said no and told them it was just because the kayak was uncomfortable, which was, in fact, the real reason. However, I don’t think they believed me. The rest of the experience went swimmingly, in that I never actually had to swim.
When we got home, I was very tired. I went to sleep at somewhere around 6 and woke up at 11. I was hungry, but I was also too lazy to do anything about that so I just went to sleep again.
Friday was another school day and back to business as usual. the Stadthagen group all had the same classes. We helped some 9th graders with presentations in English and talked with some 7th graders about the books they were reading. We left school and all met up later at the park and some of the other Americans in trips showed up and had a fun night.
On Thursday, we left Stadthagen and went to Hannover for several hours. There, we followed Mr. Tilson around the city, then he bought us ice cream. This ice cream was super fancy and it tasted so good. After our ice cream, we wandered around the downstairs of the train station, and regrouped with Mr. Tilson to board the train to come back to Göttingen.
Wednesday was the day a group of Americans left to go give a robotics presentation in Stadthagen. We left Göttingen around 8am and while on the train, worked on finalizing the powerpoint. We arrived in Stadthagen and walked from the station to the market square. There we ate lunch and met one of the teachers from the school. We had some free time before we needed to be at the school so we walked around and went into various shops and into the museum. During our time walking around, we met another group of Americans from Colorado. Funny enough, their school has an FRC team, The High Fives, who were in the Hopper division at world’s this past year in Houston. We walked with them back to the school and watched a concert of different bands. After, we went to give our presentation. We thought we were presenting about FTC and to an older group but turns out it was an FLL team and had younger kids in it. The powerpoint wasn’t much use at that point so we ended up showing various game reveals, watching high scoring matches, and discussing how to better their team. It was a fun experience. After we went to meet our host families. I stayed with a kid named Robert. Him and his family were all very nice and it was a fun night and I enjoyed staying with them. Before we went to their home, Isaac and I walked into the square to find some food. We ended up getting Döner. This was a first time eating döner for me. It was so good and I can not wait to have it again.