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Sarah's Travel Blog

Welcome to my travel blog. Here is where I will be keeping a record of my travels for all of you to read. Please feel free to leave a comment for me. If I have time in between discovering new places and meeting new people I will reply to them!

Diary Entries

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Location: Germany

Monday July 6th was pretty uneventful. Birgit had to work in the morning and I finished reading the second Harry Potter in German and started the third. In conversation class we got our credit certificates. I got a low B, but it’s not bad considering how much I disliked the class. I read in the newspaper here that the crown of the Statue of Liberty is open for visitors again. The only other news about the US was that a 25 year old Californian guy broke the world record for hotdog eating by devouring 68 hotdogs in 10 minutes. I would be sick after 4.

Tuesday I had kind of a rough morning. I went to make my usual hot chocolate and when I poured in the milk it was chunky. Eeww. The milk isn’t supposed to be kept above 8 Celsius and it had been in the 20s the last few days. After that I put in a piece of bread to make toast, and when I went to eat it there was a mold spot in the middle. Not my morning. I basically read that morning and then I ended up making lunch as well. Chicken noodle soup. In business class we looked at our tests (I missed two, but there was a two point curve) and then our credit papers. She let us go after we filled out evaluations, but since I had another class afterwards I had to stay. I went outside and sat on the lawn for a bit. In writing we wrote and acrostic poem with the german word for writing class and that was how we formatted our evaluations. It was kind of hard… I watched Marley and Me in the evening for the second time and bawled just as much as the first.

Wednesday I started packing my second suitcase. I ended up sending a box with my sweaters and winter coat cause space was looking tight. In the intensive class we talked about writing resumes.

Thursday morning I finished up the lace project I was working on with Brigit. I also made the spaghetti for lunch and then headed off to class. We talked about Leipzig in the East Germany days. She even told us some pretty funny jokes. The second half of the class was a little field trip into the city center so she could show us some important places, but because I had Phonetics afterwards, I was planning on staying so I wouldn’t be late. I went down to wait for an hour and a half in front of my phonetics room, but the teacher was actually there, so she showed me my final and gave me my credit paper right then. On the way out of the building I bumped into the field trip people, so I ended up going along after all. I got to see the inside of the St. Nicholas church for the first time.

Friday morning Maria was supposed to come over for a brunch around 10. She showed up about a half hour late, but she explained to me that she had driving class beforehand and that it went really badly (the instructor was even getting frustrated with her). She said she had to go home and compose herself a little first. Aww… Anyway, she brought fresh rolls and lots of goodies and then we started watching a movie she brought. The English name is the Magical Legend of the Leprechauns and thankfully even though it was a German DVD it still had the original English soundtrack. It was kind of strange at first, but I started getting into it. It’s kind of like a Romeo and Juliet story between a leprechaun and a fairy. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see the end since I had a meeting to go to, but I’ll have to find it when I get home. I was sad to say goodbye to Maria. Hopefully she comes to Ohio sometime.

Today’s gone pretty well so far. I did a little cross stitch in the morning and then around 10 we went to Siglinda’s garden (please check out the new pics!). We helped pick sour cherries and I did a little weeding and then we had a quick lunch before heading back. She even gave me a few little gifts to take home. How sweet! Phillip is currently over, so I think we’ll be having a good dinner tonight.

I am so excited to be going home soon! I will try to update my blog shortly after I get home to let everyone know how I’m settling in. Hopefully you enjoyed hearing about my adventures and thanks for reading!


Sunday, 05 July 2009

Location: Germany

Saturday the 27th was pretty normal. I read a few chapters of the German translation of The Wizard of Oz. Thank goodness for the illustrations! After showering I started studying for my Business final. After that I helped Felix make lunch (Spinach and cheese lasagna), ate, and went over to Anita’s. She was home as she was feeling under the weather. I took her all the books that I didn’t have room to take home. I think she was excited to get something new. In the afternoon I watched a movie called New in Town. It was really cute; sort of like Fargo without all the murders and with tapioca pudding and scrapbooking. Felix was gone most of the day and we had more lasagna for dinner. I caught a little of the dubbed version of the new Stepford Wives so I watched that for a bit. I still think I like the old one better. Birgit gave me a copy of the summer devotional for the youth group. Apparently the district hands one out every year to bridge the time when the youth group doesn’t meet. I think I’ve been doing well considering. I still wish my German bible would have come in though.

June 28th I did not go to church. Thomas was away at a kids’ camp, and Birgit warned me the fill in guy was kind of old school and his sermons were hard for her to understand. I figured it was better if I stayed home. I studied, read, did a little cross stitch, and watched Meet Joe Black again. I went over to Anita’s again, and she was still feeling sick, but much better than the day before. She was sleeping when I left. Felix didn’t get up till like 3 in the afternoon. He must have been out late the night before.

Monday the 29th I finished reading the Wizard of Oz and started reading the first Harry Potter book. It always helps to be familiar with the story first. Felix and I made pizza for lunch. My conversation class was torture as usual. When I came back Birgit was finally home. We ate more pizza for dinner and Konrad came home shortly after from France. Birgit mentioned Maria had called me and left a message asking me to call back. I called her up and she reminded me she had invited me to her Birthday Party and asked me why wasn’t there. I thought she said July 29th, not June (the words are really close in German). Anyway, Birgit drove me over to her Grandparent’s garden (sort of like Siglinda’s setup) where the party was being held. The party was mostly for her family and boyfriend. She was having a party later for her friends, but I will be gone already. Her actual birthday was that day though, so it was nice. I brought her some Harry and David’s chocolate and some Smucker’s Jam. It was a really good time. I got to meet her dad for the first time. Basti was kind enough to drive me home, so I got to ride in his Trabant. It was soooo teeny! But very cute.

Tuesday morning I studied a little more and Anita came over around 9. We made an apple pie and I gave her some measuring cups and spoons along with the recipe so she can make it too. We also gave her the quilt and she was so excited about it! She said it was going right home on her couch. I also got a box from home. It had cards for Konrad and Felix and a movie (Gran Torino) and camo soap. Awesome! We had roulade and the usual potato dumplings and red cabbage for lunch. After that I went to school for my final. I think I did well enough, but not exceptionally well. We’ll see next week. Birgit and I watched Gran Torino in the evening. It was very predictable, but good.

Wednesday was pretty uneventful. I basically studied all day. I wanted to take a walk, but it was super hot (like upper 80s) and I figured it was better to stay in. Birgit started me on another lace project in the morning, but I wasn’t in a patient mood, so it wasn’t going well. I made the spaghetti for lunch and I finished reading the first Harry Potter in the afternoon.

Thursday went well. I mostly studied again in the morning and read a bit. We had “Milk Rice” for lunch and then headed over to Siglinda’s. It was extremely hot again (summer’s here) and we picked cherries. I also picked some black currants. As soon as we were done a huge thunderstorm came and it was absolutely pouring. I was glad the little house was there. We went in and had cake and tea. Around 4 we had to leave so I could get to my final on time. I think the Phonetics one went really well. I finished super early and she smiled after my reading, so I think that’s a good sign. I know it’s better than at the beginning anyway. Birgit and I split the left over potato dumplings and pasta for dinner. Charlotte came over and brought her dog Betty, a Maltese. I’m not fond of yip-yip dogs, but it was nice to have some kind of dog around.

Friday morning we switched my lace project back to the German round pillow. I like it much better than the flat one since you hold the bobbins instead of laying them on the pillow. It’s a lot faster and I think it’s tighter and looks nicer too. I was still getting frustrated because we had to knot on more thread and the knots weren’t holding. Birgit uses this weird slip knot thing. Give me a good old square knot any day. It doesn’t look quite so nice, but it holds 10 times better. I worked for about an hour and then read for a bit. We had fish sticks and potatoes for lunch.

I had to go to my intensive class for the first time in like a week and a half. The heat wave is still on, so instead of meeting in the 3rd floor in our usual room we went down to the basement. It was much better there. We did a little grammar and talked about the stylistic differences between personal and business letters and heard a bit of an audio book from a Russian immigrant who learned German well enough to be able to write. He talked about his struggles with learning German and also how hard it is to raise bilingual children. It was really funny! He has a bit of an accent, but all the Germans love that and it’s not that hard to understand.

Yesterday I did basically nothing. Seriously. I went to Anita’s to call home, read, did cross stitch, and played solitaire.

Today we went to church in the morning. The sermon was given by a Theology student and I understood him really well. We had roulade and red cabbage and potato dumplings for lunch. I went to Anita’s afterwards to call home. Her company wasn’t there yet. After I was done they were all there and she invited me to have ice cream with them (walnut, yum!). Since she’s leaving Tuesday this is the last time I will see her, so we took a picture together. I am really going to miss her. She gave me two of her very valuable English dessert spoons, so I’ll always have something to remember her by. How sweet! I hope she calls a lot and comes to visit me some day.

In the afternoon I went on a bike ride with Birgit and Thomas. I used Birgit’s old bike since the bike lock for mine is so rusted I couldn’t get it open. DW-40 anyone? It was really long and hot, but the short bit through the forest was nice. It was shady and smelled like wild garlic. I will miss that. The beach was super crowded, so I’m glad I didn’t want to swim. Thomas actually wanted to bike around the lake (he’s nuts) but I was completely spent, so thank goodness Birgit didn’t want to go either. We sat at a table and waited for Thomas to come back. I am soooo sore. I hope I don’t have to bike again before I leave. Is it possible to get “saddle sores” from a bike? Anyway, that’s about it so far. I think I’ll just chill around the house for the rest of the evening.

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Recent Messages

From Lori & larry
Hey Sarah,
I finally had a moment to catch up on your events and school. Plus I see your hair has gotten longer! We went on our trip to Hawaii for our anniv in May and it was awesome. We've been busy with vbs, mission trip, praise team, etc. Your quilt project was great looking, is it done? Before you know you and Ross will be back in the USA. We will all be anxious to see you both.
From Jeanne
Hi Sarah!

I saw Lizzy the other night at church for the missions trip and asked about you. I have been a bit busy, so I logged on today to check up on you! Your adventures are certainly ones that you will never forget! Sounds like the experience has been wonderful, but it will be great to see you again! When you get home and get settled, let me know. I would love to hear about some of your adventures in person!

Keeping you in prayer,
From Mom
In the picture of you and Birgit in Berlin, you look hauntingly like my mother. I never realized how much you look like her.
The quilt top looks awesome. Post a picture!
From Mom
Aren't you glad I don't like brussel sprouts either? They taste like I imagine licking a dirty ashtray would taste...cigarette butts all the way. YUCK!
Response: Um, it sort of tasted like a grosser version of broccoli
From Mom
Uncle John and Aunt Karen had an au pair named Olrika, too. I remembered her name because it reminded me of my Eureka Vacuum cleaner. Olrika was really nice, but she broke everything she touched; even the shower head! It was an expensive year for Uncle John.
Response: Hahaha
From Dr Heaphy
Fascinating to read and see your photos. Sounds like all is going well and you are learning lots.
Dr h
From Everett Klein
Looks like your having a great time. How much longer will you be over there? I passed the information about your trip to Aunt Ardelle. Seems that both Andrea and Allison are living in the Chicago area. Andrea is going to school there and is working on a masters in counciling. We are in Albuquerque at present attending the last day of a convention/reunion. Hope the rest of your stay is really great.
Response: I will be here until August.
From Mom
You are welcome to learn violin. It is sitting waiting for someone to play it.
Response: Yay! It was so beautiful!
From L&L
Hey Sarah,
wow sounds like your days are packed, your Easter sounded good and your trip looked like fun esp with baby bunnies involved! I thought of you recently when in my devotion book it mentions Leipzig, what are the chances of that! stay well we all think of you a lot. Lori
From Dan (ya me!!)
Hey sarah dont forget the cheese! anyway i got to read a lil of your blog but it sounds like your SUPER crazy...well not you but your schedule, BUT you are still maybe a lil crazy! haha anyway i hope that you are ahvign a blast. Lizzy gave me this livk so i am saying "hey" to ya :) no i havent gotten married, or had kids, and ..well not yet but i havent died either haha. anyway like i said i hope your havign a amazing time over there!! ...and though i dont master mind in cartoons..we should make one...or a movie! Lizzy, Jason, you and me!!! so ya anyway gonna go!! Take care Sarah (aka) 'Martha'
Response: I'm super crazy? If you say so! I still don't think I can ship the cheese, but I'll see if I can find cheese crackers or something. I'm glad Lizzie gave you the link and you're not dead (yet). A cartoon or movie sounds prettz cool. Martha? I don't get it...
From Larry & Lori
hey, Sarah,
sounds like things are going well for you. I e-mailed the scripture cake recipe to you so I hope you got it. Your pics are great brings back memories of our trip to Austria & Germany. I remember how we thought their buildings and churches were amazing. Lots of fountains too. Our trip included 2 meals a day a big breakfast and dinner so lunch was on our own and we often checked out the bakery! We were at a concert at Westbrook park and were happy to see Grandma and Chris! A lot of us who are following you are hoping to see pics of your German Family. Keeping you in our prayers. L & L
Response: I got the cake recipe and will try to get a pic of them. It's rare when everyone is in the same place at the same time :)
From Jeanne
I thought I was busy. Wow!
I enjoy all of your stories, but the toilet one really made me laugh! Never had to pay to use one, and never heard of a rotating seat with a cleaning arm. Funny!
Miss you! Keeping you in my prayers.
From Mom
The Hygene Museum sounds kind of cool, actually and the sweet roll sounds amazing. Tell Aunt Sue that we know it is all about the experience; I just could never figure out why she wen to France when she took Spanish in school. :)
Keep writing about your adventures. Meanwhile your peanutbutter is on its way.
From Lizzy
Wow, it sounds like you're busier than a bee! It's fun to follow along and see what it's like living somewhere different. I was wondering... is there a German version of Apples to Apples? ;)
Still miss you!
Response: I have no idea, but if there is, I want to find it! It would do wonders for my vocabulary.
From Aunt Sue
Hi Sweetie -- I'm enjoying the travelogue. It reminds me a lot of my semester in Paris in 1979. Don't tell your Mom, but I actually failed the entire semester abroad (it was very poorly run!) but I had a blast. Your life is now a 24-hour learning experience... so don't sweat too much over the grading system.
From Mom
Your ducks miss you too. They've been to the feeder a few times. I need to get some cracked corn for them.
From Chris
Sounds like things have been a bit crazy over there. I don't think it matters where you are, crazyness has a way of following you! =) And I love the pictures! It's so pretty there! And it is funny how they think American cuisine is exciting and new. I can't wait to read more about your adventure! Miss ya! =)
Response: Yes, I am a crazy magnet, aren't I? That explains a lot...., lol, jk. I miss you guys a lot too.
From Jeanne
Hi Sarah!

I found your blog and am glad to see that all seems to be going well and you are finding your way around! I have enjoyed reading about your adventures, and think your pictures are sweet. I'll probably never make it to Germany, so I will see it through your eyes. I'll continue to keep you in my prayers -- especially praying that you will be able to get your class situation taken care of.
Miss you and our Saturday time together!
From Debbie - JayBee
Sarah, Your father shared your blog with me, it sounds like a wonderful experience you will be having. Thank you for letting me join you in your trip and will keep checking with you. Be safe and God be with you always.
From eileen & linda
hi sarah. I don't know how to say happy st patricks day in german, hope you had a nice st pats day . good luck in school we are thinking about you. miss you a bunch.
From Aunt Susan
Uncle Rick and I agreed that the pasta with ketchup on top didn't sound appealing. You were very brave to try it. The Klobe potato-thing sounded much tastier!
From Dennie
Sarah O`harah! (i couldn`t resist) Thanks for sharing your trip through this blog. You`ve saved me several thousand dollars in travel expenses.....
Response: hahaha! I'm glad you're enjoying it.
From Jeanne Cramer
(From your mom's work assistant) Your mom shared your blog with me...such a beautiful place is Leipzig. ( I sound like Yoda!) I envy you this experience. By the way...I haven't had time to install the jazz button on the boss' computer. Your mom got her hair cut into a bob and she looks terrif'! Enjoy reading about your experiences.
Response: Thanks for keeping me updated on my mom. I'm glad you like the blog.
From lori & larry
hey sarah-we have enjoyed reading about your adventure and loved the pics. Last night at youth we had the kids make scripture cake. You have a recipe of scriptures with amounts and from the sciptures you find out the ingredients. It made a yummy spice bread. Good luck with school. You'll do great.
Response: That sounds awesome! Do you think you could send me the recipe?