I am writing this post from the bus on the way to the month-long language camp in Würzburg. All 50 of us have just touched down in Frankfurt and immediately headed to our next destination. The camp will be held in a hostel (which was a repurposed women's prison, so I'm obviously imagining a very warm and welcoming place). We are sleeping 8 people to a room with language classes morning to night: news in German, cafeteria menus in German, and we are expected to speak in German in casual conversation. It all feels unreal and overwhelming.
Luckily, I've found a really good group of friends that stick together and help each other out when we feel like it's all too much. I know I will be needing all the support I can get, so I am eternally grateful for them. It's surprising to me how strong these bonds have become in little over 72 hours. Friendship is a beautiful thing.
We spent the last two days in Washington D. C. for our departure orientation and meetings with our state representatives. Overall, it was a good experience: there was a lot of walking and trying desperately to remember everyone's names and failing miserably. The four Idaho girls and I got to actually meet Senator Risch which was an interesting and eye-opening experience. I might not have agreed with everything he said, but it is more difficult to villainize a man sitting right in front of you.
There's definitely some things here in Germany that are different than the Pacific Northwest. First of all, the trees are new! There's no evergreens as far as I can see out of this bus. Second, there were several "smoking lounges" in the Frankfurt airport and I have never seen that in America (For my suddenly worried family members reading this: don't worry. I am not going to come home a smoker). Lastly, no one uses turn signals. I can just imagine my little brother, who just completed drivers ed, absolutely losing his mind.
I will make updates as time goes on, and who knows: maybe some German will infiltrate my "blog vocabulary"!