where I go, who I meet, and what I think in Europe

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Education, Botanical Garden, Castle, and Green Beer...all on 5 hours of sleep

An update of the past few days. I am still trying to get over jet lag believe it not. Usually around 2 pm Germany time (8 am America time), I feel absolutely exhausted. I struggle to stay awake on car rides, and I yawn a lot. Last night (Monday night), I only got 2.5 hours of sleep. I planned to go to bed around 10:30 pm because I had to be up at 6 am. I called my mom on Skype in order to say hello but she wasn't done with work and asked me to call later. I decided the best option would be to sleep and set an alarm to wake up at midnight and call again. I did just that, but unfortnately after our talk, I was unable to sleep. I tried reading, laying in the dark, checking my email, but nothing seemed to work. I decided if I was up I might as well call more friends and say "hello." No one answered except for my Dad and Tom. Thanks you two! So tonight I plan to sleep heavily and possibly catch up. I have a very busy week ahead with lots of plans.

So I spent two days visiting schools in Krefeld. The first consisted of older grades and the other was an elementary school. I sat in on a 7th grade English class. The students were great and the teach had me read a passage so the students could hear the difference between and American accent and an "English" accent. They were very amused especially by how I say the A vowel. At the elementary school I watched a math class in german and a 1st grade English class. After all this I was done with schools for the day, so I took a walk until Birgit was finished teaching.
I took a visit to a Botanical Garden near the school. It was really beautiful. You can see some pictures I posted. After being around so many people it was nice to have a moment alone and collect my thoughts. The rest of the day was pretty lazy. I read on a couch and talked with Birgit. We also unsuccessfully looked for a European cell phone for me.

After hardly any sleep, I went back to school today. I went with the younger school to their Sports Festival. We walked about a mile with the students, I escorted 4th grade, to a track field. During the walk I spoke to some very eager 4th graders. I was absolutely amazed by how much English they could speak. Communicating was definately a challenge, but we did a fairly good job. A young girl Laura was definately a fan of me and English, very sweet. At the field, they kids went around and did sport stations. I helped with the long jumb. Other sports included soccer and sprinting. At 10:15am Alexander picked me up at the field.

Alexander, his friend Jonas, and I went to get breakfast. We ate so much and still had lots left over. Again, look at the picture...it is of our left overs! Then we went to their friend's Christina's house. We watched some television and had some great laughs. We took a stroll and bought some ice cream.

Then Alexander and I went to visit the Burg Linn Castle in Krefeld. It was great to see such old architecture. The castle's construction because during the 12th century but went through many stages of development.

Finally, the day's main events ended with a trip to the park with Christina, Alexander, and Jonas. They treated me to pretzles and a Beliner Kindl beer flavored with Waldmeister. The beer is green and has a sweet flavor. We aren't sure was Waldmeister is, but it is some type of fruit. So the day leaves me here. I am very exhausted, very full, and very wishful that I could speak a little more German than I do which is basically none.

I miss you all and I will write again soon.
love, me

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