Saturday I was able to sleep in a little because of jet lag. We left the house around 11:30 for Essen, which was about an hour drive on the autobahn. We drove almost 175 kilometers per hour (that is about 115 miles per hour). We first went to the mall in Essen and there were many stores there that are in American (Polo, H&M, Espirt and many more). The mall had three floors, it was huge! We also ate lunch at the mall and I had my first German hotdog. It was more like a footlong sausage. It was so big! I also got french fries. I wasn't able to eat everything but I didn't realize how big the hotdog would be so Karla helped me finish it. We then left the mall and traveled to Zollverein, a coal mine industrial museum. We took a tour of the coal factory and I learned many new things about coal mining. It was very interesting and my family was able to find a tour that was in English. I was able to compare it to the coal mining that is done in Kentucky and talk to Monika about Josh's family, who also work in the mines.
That night we ate turkey that had been roasted in sauce and breadcrumbs for dinner. It was my favorite meal so far. After dinner, I went with Karla to Dona's house, her best friend. Her other best friend also came, Manuel. We went to the store, bought some snacks and watched a movie. We also talked a lot about the differences in America and Germany, and different stereotypes people have about Americans and Germans.
On Sunday I was also able to sleep in again! Around noon my host brother took me to Mary's house; she is another WKU student. We went to a flea market near her house and her oldest sister came with us. She was our translator :) We bought a few presents for our families and a coke slushy. When the venders found out we were Americans, they lowered the prices and haggled with us. After the flea market, Mary and I took a walk around Lünen, her town. Then we went back to her house and her host dad's parents where there for a visit. They spoke very little English but we managed. We played UNO, but it was in German. Mary and I learned four new words, green, blue, yellow and red: grün, blau, gelb and rot. Later, we all got ice cream which was delicious. Then Mary, her host sister and I walked through Lünen to the restaurant. We met the rest of her family there. Mary and I both ordered Germany's version of hamburgers. They were also very good! We also got french fries.
Monday was a long, busy and stressful day. I only had one class that afternoon. I came to school anyways because Peter, my host dad, could only bring me on his way to work. He dropped me off around 7:45. Heike realized I didn't have anything to do, so Emily and I co-taught a lesson to her 6th grade class. We read a short story to them and then broke them up into two groups. The groups had to come up with who, what, where, when, why and how questions to ask each other. Then they had to write their own short story and share. Afterwards, Andrea, Emilee and I were going to go into town for lunch. We left school around noon. We first went to a pizza place that we heard was good. When we got there it was closed. A friend had told us about a chicken place nearby. So we decided to just go there. It was not nearby and when we got there it was also closed. So we started back tracking. We then knew of a bakery close, so we went there. They were also closed until 3pm. We just decided to go back to school and talk to Heike. After an hour of walking we finally got back to school at 1:10. Heike didn't get out of class until 1:15. This gave us five minutes to figure out what we were going to tell her because we didn't want her to be mad. She came into the teacher's lounge, saw us and got worried because we were suppose to be "in town". We told her what happened and that we didn't have a lunch. She told us that we could go to a different pizza place nearby but she would drive. Thank goodness we drove because my legs and feet hurt! The pizza was amazing! We left and came back to school for our last lesson, but we were late.....
After school on Monday, I went with Karla to the vet. Their dog has a stomach virus. For dinner we had pancakes with meat. These pancakes aren't normal pancakes you would think of. They were thin, soft taco shells. The meat was cooked with tomato sauce and there was corn, peppers and peas. You also ate it went sour cream. This reminded me of a taco. But none the less, it was very good. After dinner we had a bike lesson. I haven't rode a bike in almost 10 years. In Germany, everyone knows how to ride a bike and it is a normal mod of transportation that is used daily. I first tried riding the bike and I fell off; Karla and Monkia caught me. Once I was able to get on the bike, I rode up and down the street. I couldn't stop though. The bike would stop but I kept moving. I'm sure all the cars driving by we're laughing at me. Once I am on the bike, I am fine but i just have a problem starting and stopping. They were great teachers. Karla said her mom should open a bike school haha.
Tuesday was much better. I was able to sleep in until 8:45. Karla was able to borrow her grandma's car and take me to school. I did not have a lesson until 3rd period. During the first lesson (class) the students brought in a rough draft of their stories they had been working on. Mrs. Kolberg and I revised them. I really enjoyed this because I was able to work with the students one on one and read their stories. All of their stories were very different and interesting. During the second lesson I observed. The students reviewed for their test on Wednesday. We then played the game have you....Tuesday afternoon I rode the bus home with Emily. It was my first bus experience in Germany. I thankfully survived with the help of her host sister, who wrote a note to the bus driver. The note of course was in German. Emily and I just hung out at her house and worked on school work. Her mom made a delicious dinner and we had smiley face fries!
On Wednesday I taught my first full lesson by myself. I review present perfect with the students and the lesson was 90 minutes long. That is so much longer than any lesson I have ever taught in America. We first read a story, the students then made questions that were related to the story, and then they asked their classmates their questions. We then talked about the story and I checked for comprehension. Then after the story, we played a game. We played Have you.... Four students must go outside the room, while their classmates change four things in the room. The students can then come in and they must ask, have you..... and the class must reply with , Yes, we have ..... OR No, we haven't..... They really enjoyed this game. Tonight I am going to attempt to wash clothes and start getting things together for our Berlin trip this weekend. Tomorrow we are all going out to dinner with the English Department in Lunen.
Hope you all are having a good Wednesday!
P.S. I wanted to apologize for any typos or spelling because the keyboard and the iPad don't cooperate all the time.