Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My First Blog

I've been telling some of you who may be reading this that I was going to start a blog once I got internet set up in my room. I've since given up on that hope (perhaps because by the nature of universe, I might get internet shortly after I start this blog). Regardless, I'll utilize the internet in the library to bring you my long awaited blog :)

I decided to start a blog so that family and friends can keep up with my adventures while I study abroad in Landau, Germany. That being said, I'll tell you a little bit about the title. "Es geht um die Wurst" literally translates to "It goes around the sausage" or "The sausage is at stake." However, it connotes something similar to our common English phrases, "It's the moment of truth," "It's now or never," or "It's do or die." I found it humorously appropriate for several reasons:

1. Germany is well known for its love of sausage (not just a stereotype as you can see from its inclusion in not only this but also other common sayings).

2. It's now or never that I start this blog...

3. It's the moment of truth for me as a student learning German (how well I will be able to function at a German University and in everyday life).

4. It's do or die in learning to be more independent, living on my own, experiencing life abroad, and being adventurous.

Obviously you weren't scared off by the title because you've read at least this far. My blog will be written in English for the most part with a few German words and phrases thrown in for your general knowledge and entertainment.

I also wanted to include in my first blog a short "how and why" I am currently sitting in a corner of the library at the University of Koblenz-Landau. I don't necessarily believe in fate, but it never ceases to amaze me how numerous actions and events can drastically alter our future and even our children's future. Take for example my decision to learn German. There are few opportunities for a child growing up in New Mexico to study German, so I didn't just happen upon it. It started long before I was born. Sometime in the 1970s my maternal grandparents joined an adult exchange program called Friendship Force. This program is an excellent opportunity to travel to various countries and get to know not only the land and the food, but also--perhaps most importantly--the people. Members choose a place to travel where a sister Friendship Force will be able to host them. They then spend a week or two living with Force members in their homes. It was through this program that my grandparents hosted a man from Berlin, named Eddy. In fact, it was on this trip to Minnesota that Eddy met his wife, Ingrid. In subsequent years my grandparents and mom have visited and hosted Eddy, Ingrid, and Ingrid's parents on several occasions. When I was 8 years old, I made my first trip to Germany with my mom and sister (also Denmark, where my mom's exchange-sister from high school lives). In the fall of 2003, Alwin and Elisabeth (Ingrid's parents) visited our home in Shiprock and invited my to come stay with them in the summer. We took them up on their offer and I spent four weeks in Hamburg and two weeks in Berlin in June and July of 2004. It was here that I first began learning German.

I love telling this story because it illustrates the great bond that can arise between people of different nationalities, just by hosting them in your own home. I now consider Alwin and Elisabeth, who do not have grandchildren of their own, to be my adopted grandparents. If my own grandparents hadn't been interested in traveling and getting to know new people, I might never have begun studying German or be studying abroad at a German university this instant!

This will have to suffice for a brief introduction. More to come on my experiences learning German and my trip to Prague, Berlin, Hamburg, and of course my life in Landau!
                                                         Near Museum Island in Berlin

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