Hola. It is Saturday, and I have no classes until next Tuesday. Glorious. My voice is AWAL right now due to a cold, so typing is appropriate. Thursday I also had no classes because it was a national holiday in Germany to celebrate Christ’s ascension into heaven. I went with the Christian group on a hiking trip. It was very nice. The whole fellowship, kids to older people, went on the hiking trip. My throat was sore already and I felt tired before we left, but I think talking all day and hiking is what made me lose my voice. Monday is the excursion to Vienna with the engineering people, so I hope I will be better by then. Today I feel very drained. I finished my online Supply Chain Management class at the first part of May, so it is good to be done with that. Now I am trying to register for an online Bio class, but of course Southern isn’t offering one. I have checked with Pitt, I know dare I say it, but their online sections are both full. I found one from a Dallas community college, but the registrations process is rather involved. blah. This afternoon Pilu, Attila, Stephen, and I went to Real. I bought some Ricola cough drops. When I asked the worker where the drops were my voice sounded so bad I think he was thinking, “Yeah, you had better find those things and fast!!” After Real we all went to Attila’s and he made Polascenka (Hungarian pancakes, similar to crepes). The past week has been focused on finding/applying for jobs in the US and preparing my resume to apply for some internships at Bosch here in Ansbach. Today is my graduation at MSSU. Luckily they are streaming it live, so I can watch everyone graduate and hear the great words of wisdom bound to be imparted by the venerable guest speakers. Nahja. Oh wait, now they are giving out diplomas and are walking. I know these people.
I have been remiss about writing my blog. I did attempt a couple times in the past week, but the pictures took so long to upload that I gave up. Pictures of not, this time I am posting dag-nabit.
I think this will go in reverse chronological order because I cannot remember far enough back to know what has happened since my last post.
Yesterday I went to the Bible study as usual. But it was anything but usual last night! It was “creative night” and we made cake balls! There was an abnormal lack of people last night, which at first was sad, but then fantastic cause it meant more cake balls for the ones who came. That sounds rather greedy I suppose. None the less, I made 12 cake balls! One is like a snowman with a face. The rest are normal. My magnum opus was a lemon cake ball covered in white chocolate and then coconut! Maaah. Sehr gut. It was really fun, and actually I am sorry the others weren’t there to enjoy it. I gave Pilu two this morning and she thought they were rather delicious, so it must be true.
This past weekend Pilu and I went with Ludwig, a german EUT student, to his home close to the border with the Czech Republic. His family has a Baurnhof (farm) and they sell Organic Milk, honey, potatoes, and other things. The most amazing part is they are basically self sustaining. So they eat their own pig ( I can’t remember the English word for Schweinfleisch), milk, bread, veggies, honey…and other things. Pretty neat. Also they don’t have a fridge. They have a cellar where they store things like milk and meat. It was a good experience and his family was very hospitable. Also I took on the german name of “Bettina” while I was there. I did this so his family, especially grandparents, woul dbe able to pronunce my name more easily. the “th” in Beth is difficult for people who don’t have English as their native language. could help but lauch every time I said my name was Bettina because Pilu and Ludwig knew it wasn’t, and of course I knew it wasn’t. But His Grandma commented on how nice it was that my name was like a German name… Success.
Last Thursday was a party hosted by the Hochschule in the Bibliothek (Library). It was a Vegas theme, so you could roll a dai, and if you got a six you had free entrance. Yes, you guessed it. I got a six. Baam! So yeah, four euros I can now spend on peach juice! yum
Also before the party Attila and I went to Obi Tobi’s as usual for the Swing dance lessons. It was fun, but this time there were not enough girls. I think pigs were flying somewhere in the skype, because I have never been to a dance class/lesson where there was an excess of males…whaaaat!
On the way home though, we were on our bikes and we saw a police car driving towards us. This would normally be fine since I am not a criminal last time I checked, but the front light on my bike is out, which is an get you fined with 20 euros in Germany. Yeah, so we were almost to the Hochschule so I flew through the gate and managed to break the back light as well! Ha oh the irony. Any way, Daniela, the wife part of the couple who leads the Bible study, knew I was needing to replace my light, so she brought me an advertisement from a store that has a front and back light for only six euros on sale today. So I am headed there now. Later tonight I will watch some soccer with Pilu and Stephen and whoever else comes to the TV room.
Ah. Important note. I made a bracelet while on the train ride to Ludwig’s! Pilu taught me how to make an Indian pattern bracelet out of embroidery threads! It took some practice, but Pilu is a very good and patient teacher. So now I have a lovely bracelet and am going to make more. Warning: female friends/sisters of mine, you may be receiving one of these when I return home.
Ok. End of story.
So I have some time before I go to the Tuesday night Bible study so I thought I’d give a quick update.
1: I survived my first assignment, which was a presentation over the newspapers I was supposed to read this past week. Really my classmate, Ron, presented basically the whole thing, but I have to count even the little things.
2: I went to the store called Praktiker, it is like Lowes, and I took a bunch of paint samples and made a flower on my wall- Kostenlos.
3: I bought 12 Oysters today and some pretty sweet pens!
4: I applied for the trip to Frankfurt.
5: I went to a Volkfest Saturday and went Salsa dancing in Nuernberg, more about that later.
And that was an update. Now I go forth upon the land…
This past weekend we had Wednesday through Tuesday off from class. When we went to the young people’s Bible study last week, they invited Attila and me to come with them to an Easter seminar. It was in Putschendorf, a small village about 45 minutes from Ansbach.
Despite the Hochschule not having classes, we had German class on Thursday night, so we couldn’t go to the seminar with everyone on that evening. Instead we got up early Friday morning and took the train to Siegelsdorf where Stefan, he and his wife lead the young people’s group, picked us up at the train station.
We stayed until Sunday afternoon. I think there were roughly 100 young people there from Bavaria. The topic was the authority of the Bible, who wrote it, and also some topics like how to talk with people from other religions. It was all in German, so that was great. Both nights we played around the world ping pong. This is with multiple players where each has a paddle, hits the ball once and then runs to the next side. It was really fun, but the floor was slippery Rutschgefahr (Caution Slipping danger)!!! The first time I played I totally wiped out when I was running around the corner. No broken bones. On the other hand, if I had broken a bone, I could have made use of the expensive healthcare I have to pay for while I am here. Na ja, water under the bridge.
Also there was a very good ice cream parlor close to where the conference was. Attila and I went there the first day. When we order and talked a little with the man, he asked us if we were from Germany. When he found we were from Hungary and the USA he was stumped as to why we chose to come to tiny Putschendorf. We joked that where else in Germany is there to go? You can’t go to Germany and not see Putschendorf. ha I liked this ice cream man. We went back the next two days and said Hi to him, and of course had ice cream.
So yes, also Friday when we went to Putshcendorf Mamun left for his new city he is moving to. He works for Adidas and is done with his masters, so he moved to the city with their HQ. He left me his couch. So once again my foreign assets are increasing. I joke that I am going to start a psychiatrist practice now that I have a couch for people to lay on and tell me their problems. I’ll charge 2 euros an hour and then when it is testing time I’ll increase my price 10x…or something. I’ll figure that part out when I write my business plan.
Yesterday evening Vroni, Attila, Stephen, and I went to Obi Tobi’s and learned West coast swing from one of his roommates.There were around 5-10 other people there to learn and then other random people running around Tobi’s apartment as usual. It was very fun. He is going to do this every Thursday evening, so woohoo for next week. He also taught us the Charleston, but this one I need to practice fo sho. It is faster than west coast swing. After this we went to Kammerspiele and dance German style. It was fun, but I have to confess I am not a fan of the German music they play. It is rather difficult to dance to, but we managed.
Today Ani Kani comes to help me register for my tests. Also there are still loose ends with the Auslandamt and the health insurance I need to tie up. Fridays I have no class, so I have been doing errands, replying to emails, planning to study, and will probably watch a German movie tonight. Tomorrow we might be going in Nuernberg to a Volkfest! Ah! I want to dance polka with a german man in Lederhosen!
Ah! I found the post I thought had been deleted. It was in my drafts. Who would have guessed that right?
As promised, I made pancakes on Saturday for Pilu, Vicent, San Ae, and Attila. I made two batches. The first I let the batter sit for about 15 minutes, and they were very flat but tasted good. The second ones were pretty peachy. I was proud. They were thick and seemly fluffy.Everyone ate and liked them, which made me happy.I forgot to take pictures.I am going to invite Kani and ObiTobi over next week, and we will have another mentor appreciation night but this time with pancakes instead of potato soup. After the pancakes we went to the fresh market they have ever Saturday in the downtown area. Attila I bought a rosemary plant for seasoning, and her name is Rose. So now I have half a bike and half a rosemary plant. I am increasing my foreign assets for sure.On Sunday night, Mamun organized a sin-a-long.Paul, from Tanzania, played the guitar and a group of about 10 of us sang along to random songs. Paul is very talented and can play pretty much anything he has heard once.My neighbor was there, her name is Vroni. She can sing really well, especially Disney songs. This week I went to class only from Monday to Wednesday because we have Easter break from Wednesday until next Wednesday. I tried to go in to a new class which was about the economy during a depression, but once again no one was there. This is getting old. But I did discover why no one was at my class last Friday. It doesn’t start until April 7 or some day like that. One mystery solved. For my European integration class I have to read the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung which is a very well-known German newspaper. It is extremely dense and difficult to understand. In addition I must read another newspaper of choice everyday. Then each week I and another student will give a summary of what articles relevant to Europe as a whole. I read the paper for about 1.5 hours this morning before class, and I actually felt nauseated. The bad part is I don’t even know what I really read.I will meet with my classmate next Wednesday and we will prepare the presentation. This is going to be lovely. Today in Unternehmensfuerung made our groups and received our big assignment. We have to make a business plan for a company which makes an App for the iphone. Thomas is in my group which is great and the two other people I met today. I have concerns for my ability to do well in my classes, but if I fail, I fail-how profound. The topics we talk about are not new to me, and would not be that difficult in English, but in German it is so difficult to know exactly what is going on. It will get better though.
Sunday I went to a small home church I had seen previously when walking. It was exactly what I was looking for. It is in German, but they read the Bible, it is very personal, they have a group prayer time, and everyone there was very nice and glad I came. Also Tuesday night Attila and I went to a young people’s Bible study. It was the same type of atmosphere. We played a card game and it was very fun. I can’t remember the name, but I had never played it before. Also they invited us to come to their Easter seminar which is this weekend in a town about 25 miles away. We cannot go on Thursday night ( this is when it starts) but have decided to come Friday morning and stay for the weekend. The topic is about the authority of the Bible, its relevance, and where it comes from. I find this topic extremely pertinent and, despite my adversity to conferences, am excited to hear this all in German! I am very thankful to God for answering my prayers to find Christian fellowship. So for now the dorm is empty for the most part, and I am about to take dinner: lentils, salad, and a hamburger. I will try to take pictures this weekend at the Easter Seminar.
I wrote a long post, tried to preview it, and it disappeared. Smerrrrr!