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Skiing in Austria!

February 21, 2010 - Tessa Makepeace
I am back from skiing in Saalbach-Hinterglemm in Austria! I was there for about a week with a lot of the eleventh grade, most of the ninth grade and about seven teachers. It was very cool just to be in the Alps and to go skiing every day. The bus ride to get there took 10 to 12 hours each way. The weather was mostly nice while there and on top of the mountain it wasn’t even cold because we had been skiing the entire time. We stayed in a Jugendherberge and took up practically the entire place with our school group. Most of the days went like this: wake up, eat breakfast, hit the slopes with our teacher in our skill groups until lunch, eat lunch, ski in small groups with friends, go back to the house, relax, eat dinner and then do some type of planned evening program. I actually had class while we were there, or Unterricht, with the other kids at my same skiing skill level.

On the first day, the students who had never skied before went right to the beginner’s hill and everyone else went down the mountain three times and the teachers sorted us into groups. Our teacher was actually a sport professor so he really knew what he was talking about. Every morning we met up and learned specific ski techniques as well as just practiced in general for the test on Friday. Yeah, there was actually a test at the end! It wasn’t that bad though. We just had to go down the hill pizza-style going around cones, then with both skis together, sticking the pole in the snow while turning and lastly, there was a short speed course with small trophies for the fastest people. The reason we had class and were graded throughout the week is that those few days replace a half-year of gym class and count towards the grades at the end of the four years of Gymnasium. At night in the house, we mostly hung out. Some nights we played ping pong and relaxed and one night we went sledding, which was a lot of funJ It was nice to be back in Germany though but overall it was a really great trip.

This week we have break too and mostly I have been hanging out with friends and my host family. I stayed overnight at friends’ houses on Monday and Wednesday. On Tuesday, I went to Braunschweig with my host family to visit my host mom’s mom. We had coffee together (a very common thing in the afternoon in Germany), saw the movie Friendship (for me again but it was still really good) and went out to eat. A group of exchange students from AFS happened to sit down next to us at the restaurant and I talked to them. I heard them speaking German but I recognized that they had accents and then I figured they were exchange students. Fun coincidenceJ Today I am leaving for Hamburg to stay there for a few days with my family in a hotel to visit some family friends and to see the city.


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