Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dear People of the Blog,

Because I haven't updated my blog you might be thinking I'm actually on a secret spy mission or so. Well, I'm actually on an exchange program. Boring, right? WRONG!
I've been having a wonderful time, but part of having a wonderful time means I don't have much free time. That's why my blog has been bland for the last month.
It's true that I was in Language Camp for the first month; however, I am not going to write about that (yet).

Saturday the 11th of September in the year 2010, about 2:30 in the afternoon. Robert Rusco had trimmed his beard to the bear minimum three days prior in the thought that he would be better received by his host family. He proceeded to get off the train very awkwardly with his two rather large suitcases, full backpack, and mandolin. Within seconds he spotted his some new family. He uttered a rather American sounding German greeting, and officially met Christof, Anja, and Mereike. On the car ride to his new house, Robert had to control his excitement. Although he felt like laughing, he wasn't able to since his brain was being over loaded with German. Once arriving to the house, he moved his luggage up the rather modern staircase in the rather old barn house . Abandoning his belongings in his new room, Robert was escorted around the house. The rest of the day consisted of eating muffins, making pizza, trying to solve some stupid puzzle, unpacking, meeting his host brother, eating pizza, and trying to understand and speak/stutter German. Robert was finally with his new family, and it was spectacular.

I'll stop writing in the third person.
On Sunday, I got up and ate some wonderful, freshly baked brรถtchen. (look here) They are so good, but unfortunately I don't think they are in America. Later that day, my host brother, Michael or Michi, gave me a tour of Wettringen and the surrounding area. Not nearly the size of Tulsa, but I was expecting that. There are about 8,000 people, and it's near bigger cities. I like it.
Monday was my first day of school. It was incredible to be in school, but everyone wanted to test out their English with me. Since everyone in my class has had English in school for the past 6 years of so, they actually CAN communicate in more that one language. As much as I didn't want to, I had to ask them to please speak in German. I got my schedule the next day and since then I've been a student in Germany. Here is a picture of what my school week looks like: ...different than American high school. I'm in the 12th grade except for in English. I've got the same class as my host brother in the 13th grade.
Outside of school:
I visited the school's Big Band with my host brother. I might play the piano with them for a few songs. We'll see. I also went to the school's choir. They were singing a 15th century English piece and I got to help them understand the old language, but I don't think I'll join the choir. Even though most everyone in the upper grades of school can speak and understand English, they still have German accents, and it's more apparent when they sing. I found it amusing. This past Monday, I went to soccer practice with two of my host brother's friends. It was very fun. I think they were surprised that an American could play soccer. The team practices every Monday and Wednesday at 7. I'm definitely going to joining, but I have to attend a few more practices before I can play in a game.
On my very first day with my host family, I learned how to play Doppel Kopf (Double Head). It's a popular German card game for all the kids my age. It's like Hearts, only more complicated and in German. Fortunately, I picked it up fairly quickly. I'm still not good though.
I understand more and more every day, but I still have some ways to go. I know enough to keep a simple conversation going. There are those moments when whoever I'm talking with might think I'm a total idiot, but that will change. Michael has a program called Phase6 that I've been using to learn vocabulary. I try to spend time reviewing my notes from Language Camp. It keeps me up on my grammar. I also read my German-English dictionary. Either I'm a nerd or I'm trying to survive. Reading my German Bible (Thank you, Ort Family!) is another way I am trying to learn. I currently have to read it with my ESV and dictionary at hand. In a few weeks time, this language problem should be smaller.

I love hearing that people back home are praying for me. It's an incredible encouragement!
In the future, I'll write specific posts about my spiritual life, my host family, transportation, school, house, food, etc. If you have suggestions about what I should write about, make a comment below.

Till next post...