Thursday, June 30, 2011
Livin' with these little monkeys...
we are already approaching our Fourth of July festivities and our much anticipated three-day field trip to Germany's capital BERLIN. The students are very excited, but as teachers we cherish the fact that the students cannot begin to conceive what is in store for them. We have lovingly planned this trip for them specifically, so that we can attempt to show them a substantial part of the city. Unfortunately, like so many beautiful cities, such as New York City, London, or Paris, it is impossible to see everything. On Monday we will host a potluck supper for our families in honor of Independence Day (America has history, too, after all :) ) and in the wee hours of the following morning, we will herd the students into the ICE (Inter City Express) high speed train directly to Potsdam (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potsdam) , in close vicinity to Berlin City. We will be staying in a youth hostel close to the palace Sanssouci (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanssouci) of the Prussian King Friedrich the Great (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_the_Great) and appropriately we'll explore the area. These are just some of the plans that are in store for the students - the full report will be included in next week's post.
Let's take a look at the events of last week. On Friday we offered an optional excursion to the Krefeld Zoo. It is a modest but very fine zoo and we had a wonderful time watching, interacting and petting some of the animals. Sometimes it seemed that the animals were returning their curious stares to the students - one must wonder who was really watching whom? Some of the highlights included some content and well-fed seals, a young rhino with some spiffy soccer skills, tropical butterflies, and, finally, the Ape House.
After the weekend we resumed our sport activities in the city park. All were involved in an exciting scrimage game of soccer (Oh, and we hope that you are aware that the World Cup in Women's Soccer has just begun and is being hosted in Germany this year. One of our students has already had the fortune of attending one of these games), but since it was such sweltering heat, we soon concluded the match and cooled off and rehydrated in the park's Biertgarten. No worries, the students all opted for a much healthier alternative, Apfelschorle, a refreshing combination of apple juice and sparkling mineral water. Once we were sufficiently cooled off, we all boarded paddle and row boats and cruised on the lake and creeks.
Tuesday was an unconventional day. Instead of our usual schedule, the students joined their host siblings in a German school. Yet due to the unusually hot weather, most of them were dismissed by noon - there are no air conditioning units, after all. While the students were out of our keep, we met with the hostparents in a comfortable setting at the city hall, over coffee and a delicious cake. One of our student's host parents are real, traditional bakers in a bakery! We very much enjoyed the feedback of the parents. They had wonderful things to say of the students and focused on exchanging ideas for excursions and family acitivites. We had a wonderful time musing over the students' humble beginnings in their attempts to adjust to the family and German food.
Today, after our regular scheduled activities, we offered another optional trip. Because of popular demand, we once again went swimming. We had a large time swimming in the outdoor pool with the three slides. At one point it began to storm but we kept swimming. It was a wonderful and strange experience.
Well, that is it for now, it s after midnight and there is still more work to do in anticipation of our trip!
Best Greetings from Germany,
Your Krefeld Team.