So I'm sorry I haven't updated this blog the last few days...It's been a crazy (almost) week.
We arrived in Washington DC on Thursday around 4 PM and I said goodbye to my family. I then went to the lobby to hang out with and meet other CIEEers in my group. A little while later the Germans arrived from the airport. This was the first time the CIEE and Experiment groups had been together at the Washington orientation, ever. We all had German roommates - mine was the sweetest girl named Claudia. Our rooming arrangement worked out well and by the end of the trip everyone was friends with each other. Sorry, I kind of skipped over the Washington part there: we visited the Dept. of State and listened to speakers, visited the Holocaust museum and Pentagon City (a mall), and did group activities.
On Saturday we said goodbye to the Germans and they headed off, and then later we left for the airport. Everything went well and we had a long wait (2.5 hours) before boarding the plane. Katy was able to switch seats so she could sit next to me - we were in the very back of the airplane, which I was fine with because I could lean my chair back pretty far. I watched Moulin Rouge, Romeo + Juliet, and part of The Hobbit. I only slept for about 30 minutes during Moulin Rouge, but the music eventually woke me back up. At 7 AM German time we finally landed, got on the bus and headed to Bad Laasphe on another 2 hour-long ride. I took a bunch of pictures from all of our traveling and will be posting them both on Facebook and here tomorrow. On the bus ride I took a 30 minute nap.
We got to the castle, Schloss Wittgenstein, and went to eat lunch. The food they had? MAULTASCHEN, my favorite food EVER!!!!!! I was so excited to hear that. We did a bunch of activities, including finding our way around Bad Laasphe. I also took pictures of the town. I found my favorite Engelblau Eis, which they don't have in the USA!!
On Monday we took a placement exam of 80 questions to figure out what level of German class we would be put into. We also had a short interview to assess our speaking. While we were waiting for everyone to do the interview, we played a bunch of games like German Taboo and Obstsalat. Then a few of us went on a Spaziergang, or walk, on one of the paths through the forest. I talked to one of the teamers most of the way and found out a little more about university in Germany and also a few other things. It was cool. Later on we found out our placements - I was put into the highest level, not to my surprise. I've found it's a lot easier to speak German here than in the USA because I'm almost completely surrounded by it, except with the other CIEEers who don't know German very well.
I really like it here. We're in the mountains, so the view is absolutely gorgeous, and we're surrounded by trees and nature and all that good stuff. The weather is actually pretty cold, with highs in the mid-60s. It has rained a lot the past few days, but I don't mind since it isn't humid at all here.
My roommate, Morgan, is really chill. She likes yoga and working out, like me, and is a really go-with-the-flow kind of person. There's no bad vibes between us, it's all just calm and chill. We get along really well and got 3rd place in the room-sign contest, behind a pop-out word sign and a German pin sign, so that was really cool for us! I've also been helping her with her German.
I also like the other CIEEers - they're all pretty cool to hang out with. I'm trying to get to know everyone.
The teachers and teamers are also really nice. I really like talking to them and being around them.
Yesterday, several peoples' things were stolen, so everyone was in a panic. We searched everywhere but found nothing, so the police were involved. They questioned the "victims" and they believe that it was probably an outsider, based on the times when things were stolen and all. There is still an investigation going on. The teamers got big boxes for us to put all of our valuables in, so they could keep them locked in their office until we got keys. Today we were finally given keys for our doors. This has never happened in all 30 years of CBYX/PPP, so everyone was just astonished that something like that would actually happen. So now we have keys and everything can be kept safe! I just hope they find the thief and the items that were stolen.
So that's pretty much it for the last few days. I'm going to get ready for bed now, because it is about 12:45 AM in Germany.
Good night, and I'll write more as the adventure continues!
Photos will be up tomorrow!