Ryan Butzloff 
2012-13 Outbound to Germany
Hometown: St. Augustine, FL
School: Pedro Menendez High School
Sponsor: District 6970, FL
Host: District 1940, Germany
The Rotary Club of Horizonte-rostockå

November 2012

I have been in Germany for almost three months now and I am already learning so much. I arrived in Germany on July twenty-seventh (a Friday). It was around 1:00 pm when my host family picked me up in Hamburg. I was tired and hungry and a bit jet-lagged. We walked to the car (a really nice Audi) and they drove me to Rostock with the roof down.

When we were in Rostock I received my first German meal it was schnitzel with pommes. Which is breaded pork with french-fries. It was really good. After that, I put my things in my room and went back downstairs. Something that I should explain is my host family owns a hotel and restaurant the flat/apartment being on top of the restaurant. When I went downstairs I was immediately put to work; I had to help with grill with my host father. I was grilling nachensteaks and bratwursts and I was grilling fish and Rind (beef). I was doing this while my host father was taking the orders of the guests and serving them their meals.

After the BBQ we stopped working and I got to go upstairs and relaxed, well, not exactly I stayed up talking with my host family and until midnight until I finally went to bed. Luckily I was able to sleep in and relax in the morning. The rest of Saturday we went to the city Warnemunde, this is the bigger part of Rostock. We went to the beach and relaxed then went and ate.

On Sunday we ventured into the city center by bike to go to the museum of Rostock, it is a very small museum but non-the-less full of information in a language that I couldn't read. My host family did the best they could to translate the information, but something's I didn't understand. Since it was Sunday all the small shops and stores were closed. In fact almost every shop/store in Germany is closed according to the German law. The week that followed was fun because I did not have school and I was able to meet another exchange student from Australia that has been in Germany for seven months. 

When school started to be honest I wasn't nervous until I walked into my class. Everyone kind of just looked at me and went on with what they were doing. Some people did come up to me and ask me questions in German, they saw the look of my face when they asked me and then tried to communicate with me in English. When class started the teacher was asking me questions in German and of course I did not understand but he persisted into a yell until one of my soon to be friends tells him that I do not speak any German what so ever so he stopped talking to me and moved on into the lesson. 

School now is great I have many friends and I am even friends with the teacher that shouted at me the first couple days of school. My friends are helpful with me learning German and they are also very patent which is a big difference in the US where people might not be as patient with you. 

All in all I am having a great time and it has been really fun so far. My host family is great and the food is DELICIOUS. I love German food. My host family has taken me to many places, like, the biggest zoo in northern Germany 2 really big aquariums/museums and the have taken me to see two soccer matches, a hockey game and a handball game. I real big difference between the sports in the US and the sports in Europe is the fan base. The fans in Europe sing loudly (non-stop) and are fully dressed with merchandise from team. While in US the fans are loud but they don't sing a lot. It was a really cool experience going to see these games. As well fans bring instruments and they get together and do songs for the team.