Thoughts and Things

Week three of our stay here in Horb is over, which means that we are halfway done with our Preparatory Language Program. Our time here is flying by, and many of us have been discussing how sad we are going to be when we have to leave our families and our homes that we have established here. I have certainly developed a lot of love for my little village called Ahldorf, and it will always hold a special place in my heart.

Living with a host family has also really eased the transition. While I get used to life in Germany, it is extremely relaxing and reassuring for me to have someone there to ask about my day, joke and laugh with me, and especially provide hot, delicious meals. I got extremely lucky with my host family, and I feel right at home here. Moving back to Tübingen will certainly be bittersweet, and I am doing my best to cherish the remaining time I have here.

Last week, we also said goodbye to the fortysomething Brazilian students who were studying here with us for the past three weeks. The send-off party that was held at the school was wonderful, and we all laughed and sang together one last time. I think it was a bit of a reality check for us Californians, because we have been experiencing so many beginnings, and now we can see that we will experience endings as well, and some are coming sooner than we realized. We also now have friends in lots of different countries and continents, from South America to Africa to Russia, and I am definitely beginning to become much more curious about what life is like in the rest of the world. It is amazing how we all come from different parts of the world with different customs and traditions, and yet we are still so very similar.

Homesickness and depression has also begun to creep in for some of us. As we settle into a daily routine, we might have more time to think about how things are back home and how much we miss our friends, family, or lifestyles. Everyone has different ways of dealing with it, and I like to think that we’re all getting stronger in preparation for the year to come. It will be long and difficult, but we are so lucky to be in this position of change and possibility. It’s hard to sum up the emotions and outlooks that have come up in discussion between myself and others, but I’m happy to say that everyone is staying mostly positive.

Okay, on to my recap. The week, for me, was spent mostly studying, and I am quite relieved to be past the midterm. After the test on Friday, all of the Herman-Hesse-Kolleg students gathered in the main room and sent off the Brazilians. There were songs and skits and really good food, and we had a good time. Afterwards, we blew off some steam by drinking under the bridge that crosses the Neckar in Horb, which was an interesting afternoon. I caught my usual bus home at 16:18, and later that evening, the Ahldorfers got together for a potluck.

For this week’s Ahldorf shenanigans, we invited our host parents over to dinner, and ate in our shared backyard. The weather was perfect, as was the food: Yesenia and Savannah, my next door neighbors, cooked up some chicken and fajitas, which were amazing, and Jackie and Kaslin’s family provided some tasty salads. Preston brought a tasty dessert with vanilla pudding and raspberries. Eating familiar food was awesome, and it was super fun to share some delicious favorites with our families. We stayed up quite late, the kids sitting in the grass while the parents talked, and we soaked up some quality family time. None of us have had a “playdate” with kids and adults like that in a very long time, so it was an amazing evening.

Until next time, thanks for reading! Tschüss!

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