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November and December in Germany

January 2, 2010 - Tessa Makepeace
I have been able to see quite a few places in Germany in the past few months. On November 14th I took a train to my distant relatives in Vechta, a small town near Bremen, and spent the weekend there. Some of my fifth cousins live there along with other relatives. Two of my fifth cousins who are 16 and 18 stayed with us over the summer for a couple of weeks so I got to know them a little bit. It was good to see them again and to see their parents as well, who I saw once when I was nine when we visited them in Vechta. I barely remember it though so I’m glad I got to go there again. They showed me other small villages around the area and they also took me to a café type place that had been decorated specifically incredibly nicely for Christmas where we sat down and had hot chocolate. I also went out with my 18 year-old cousin both nights I was there and I got to meet some of her friends too. I got to know her a lot better and we had a lot of fun togetherJ

The weekend after that I visited my host sister where she studies in Guetersloh and we drove with her boyfriend to Dortmund to see the city and to see a soccer game. We got some pretty decent tickets to a soccer game that was Dortmund against Mainz. The atmosphere was pretty cool even though the game ended 0:0. Then we went to a Christmas market in Dortmund, which was my very first one ever in Germany. It had all sorts of stands where we could buy crepes, bratwurst, roasted almonds, scented candles, and a lot of other foods and small trinkets. Dortmund itself was not that gorgeous but the area where the Christmas market was, was decorated so nicely and there was a festive shopping street too. On that Sunday before I took the train home, we spontaneously decided to go to Detmold, where the statue of Hermann the German is that is a larger version of the statue we have in New Ulm. I had been there when I was nine and I barely remembered it but I was actually really excited to see it again. I went up to the top of the monument and took a lot of pictures looking down on Detmold. The only thing I remembered from my first trip was a specific display in certain log cabin-looking building that had information in it explaining about the monument and the smaller version in New Ulm.. I found the exact display that was virtually the only one that I had remembered from the last time I went there.

On Thursday November 26th I switched host families. I ate dinner at my new host family’s house with my first host family and my second host family. That day happened to be Thanksgiving so it fit perfectly, although I missed my family at home. The dinner was really nice and my new family is really nice too. They have three kids, two girls and a boy. The girls are thirteen and eleven and the boy is eight years old. The parents are both great too and they both speak really good English actually. Changing families was kind of stressful but I will get used to my new oneJ Plus I had to unpack my stuff on Thursday night and then pack something again for the weekend to bring to school on Friday. I took a train right after school to Wernigerode in the Harz Mountains to spend the weekend with all the other Rotary exchange students in my district. The weekend was another one planned by Rotary. We got to see the castle in Wernigerode and I even went to the very top of the highest tower. We also went to the Christmas market there, which was very cute. I was at the Christmas market on Friday, Saturday, and then again on Sunday when my host family picked me up there. They wanted to pick me up, although normally I would have just taken a train, because they wanted to go to the Christmas market with the kids.The Christmas market in Magdeburg is up too and it is open every day. I have already been there several times including today. I am completely in the mood for Christmas now that everything is being decorated, advent calenders are being opened, and the markets are going up. I love this time of year:) I went ice skating today too.


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