Dustin, outbound to Germany

Deutschland kann ich hier länger bleiben? Ich habe viel Spaß hier in Deutschland und ich weiß, ich weiß nicht mehr verlassen möchte. Aber Worte können alle meine Erfahrungen und Emotionen nicht erklären. Wenn Sie nicht ein paar Dinge zu verstehen, denken wir alle schwierig, aber nach Verständnis, denken wir, ist alles einfach.

I already feel as if I am starting to assimilate into this country that I’ve called home for three months already! I’ve already noticed things about me that have changed. The way I walk, talk, and cope. I have even experienced embarrassing English mistakes. I have seen so much and witnessed so many wonderful things, I even had a dream in German. A week ago I received an email from Mr. Murray and that was a reality shocker. It made me realize my exchange is already one-third of the way finished! It made me realize how short a year really is. I have always told people, “Oh I have seven or eight more months, I have time.” In all reality that isn’t so much time and I really don’t like that.

The month of September I lived in a suitcase. I was gone on trips from the 8-12, and from the 16-26 of September. From the 8-12 of September I was on an English class trip to Munich and Salzburg Austria. From that trip I fell in love with Bavaria. My school puts on Class trips every year for the students and the twelfth grade class happened to go to Bavaria and Austria. I was so thankful that my school allowed me to attend the trip.

While I was on my trip we attended a salt mine. This wasn't any normal salt mine, it was more of an amusement park. Right from the beginning you sat on a train that was more of a roller coaster and instead of stairs. This mine had slides and ferries over lakes. That was one of the most fun and interesting places I have been too. In Munich we went to a beer museum and walked around the city. I found in Munich people surf on rivers. In the middle of Europe you can still find surfing, be it on rivers or in sewers.

Three days after my class trip I left for my Deutschlandtour from the 16-26. My Deutschlandtour was 10 days on a bus with 50 other inbounds. Since that Deutschlandtour I can say all of the other inbounds and I are one large, melting pot we call a family. I can also say I gained the best walking legs out of all Florida outbounds yet. On average we walked 5-10 miles a day.! I can with absolute pride say I have seen almost every part of Germany.

Our tour began in Dortmund and then moved to Hamburg. We stayed 2 days in Hamburg. From Hamburg we went on to Berlin but made a stop over in Potsdam to see a magnificent palace. We stayed 3 days in Berlin. We walked all over that city and saw so much I can't even remember. In Berlin I signed the Berlin Wall and one of my friends who went 3 weeks after found it. I thought that was really cool.

Leaving Berlin we spent the night in Dresden. Dresden is one of my favorite cities in Germany. It is not so big but also not too small. It has such a large cultural and artistic side to it. After Dresden we went to Munich. In Munich we got to see what the city was like during Oktoberfest. During this time Munich is so alive and amazing. I cannot understand half of what they are saying when they speak because of the accent but I love it anyways. After Munich we stayed out last night in Nuremberg. Nuremberg was an amazing city as well.
The month of September has been the busiest time of my live. I lived in a suitcase for three weeks yet they were the best moments of my life. Not to many people can say they have toured Germany with other exchange students by bus.

The month of October was amazing as well. When I returned from my Deutschlandtour I immediately had a two-week vacation. I also started to notice my German comprehension and speaking to improve phenomenally. The second half of October Break was spent as a vacation to the Bordensee. In the Bordensee I visited Austria and Switzerland. The Bordensee is a beautiful, large lake in the middle of three countries. I would have liked to swim in the Bordensee but the water temperature was 5 degrees and the air temperature was about 20 degrees. That wasn't warm enough for me.

We visited a museum there and it stated that people had lived there for 5000 years continuously. Most of the houses standing there are from the year 1200-1300. That is crazy to think of because in the USA we find a house built in the 1700s to be insanely old. It was cool to walk through such old houses. This area is living history.
I am so grateful to my parents, Rotary, and my host parents for allowing me to experience such amazing things already! I'm excited for what's going to come later on in my exchange if this is just my first three months.