Sonntag, 20. Oktober 2019

On Monday the 14th of October, our day started very sadly because we had to say goodbye to our host families. As a farewell, the whole students of the Charles City High school stood up on the walls into the corridor and we went through the middle. That was pretty cute! Then we started our trip to Chicago with one stopover at the Mississippi River where the nature was such beautiful. After that we drove to the second stopover: Dubuque. There we ate lunch and some of us drove with the Fenelon Place Elevator where we had a great view above the city. And then we started the last two hours drive to Chicago where we ended up in the hotel.
On tuesday, october 15th, most of our group went to the Science and Industry museum, the other part of the group visited the Arts institute. After the stay in the museum we met in the Millenium Park, where also "The Bean" is located. Afterwards we went on a boat tour on the lake michigan and the Chicago river. from there we also saw the Navy pier, which we also visited afterwards. The last two hours were at our disposal, which many used as a chance to buy the last souvenirs for friends and family. In the evening we all went out for a last meal together and reviewed the last weeks. On Wednesday the 16th of October was our last day in America and thus the return of our journey. In the morning we went to "Willis Tower" which is the highest building in Chicago. We drove with an elevator to the top of the tower and had a fantastic view where we took a lot of pictures. After that we had to say goodbye to America because we drove to the Chicago O'Hair International Airport and took the flight to Amsterdam. From Amsterdam we flew back to Bremen where our families were already waiting for us. That was the end of our adventure.

Freitag, 18. Oktober 2019

Wednesday, 10/9/19: a beautiful and foggy day in South Dakota

My morning started at 8 am.
Everybody ate breakfast on their own, so we weren't able to talk to each other after a too short night.
When we started our trip we needed to change some of our plans because the weather wasn't on our site this day.
We visited the statue of crazy horse and its museum. Because of the foggy weather we just could look at it for a few minutes.

After that, we visited the Mount Rushmore. It was interesting to get to know the history of the four former presidents of the United States.

Then we rode by bas through a Wildpark where we saw a lot of donkeys, bisons and deer. It was cold and windy when we hopped out of the Bus to stroke and feed the donkeys but it was still an unique moment.

At 6 pm we were back at our beautiful lodge. Some girls cooked chicken with curry - that was delicious. Meanwhile the others packed their suitcases and cleanded everything up. So at 8 pm we all were ready to leave our house in beautiful South Dakota. 
Now we're sitting in the bus on our way to the next hotel. Our busdriver Joe organized a DVD for us. - now there are 19 happy students and two teachers in a quiet bus watching "dirty dancing" and then there's me. I'm writing the today's blog. 
          Thank you for an amazing day. :)

Dienstag, 15. Oktober 2019

Packing our stuff and saying Goodbye

It's Sunday, we all know that we'll already leave for Chicago tomorrow morning. It feels surreal, hadn't we just met our host families? Hadn't we just gotten used to the life here, the school,
hadn't we just met our new friends? Well, they're going to visit us too, we comforted ourselves. On this last day with them, we wanted to do something together, and spend as many happy
hours as possible with them before we had to pack our stuff for Chicago on finally get everything in our bus on Monday morning to leave for Chicago. It felt weird, the last time we left,
it was just for even less than a week and now it should be final. My Sunday morning began in the worst way possible, I overslept. So I texted my friends with whom I had planned to eat out breakfast.
Luckily, they hadn't gone for it yet. So they gave me a ride and we got breakfast pizza from Casey's. What's that you might ask yourself. Iowa is known for loving pizza from the gas station
"Casey's" and a speciality of this gas station is its renowned "breakfast pizza" topped with sauce, eggs, cheese and either bacon or sausages. It sounds strange, but actually tastes delicious.
So after tasting the typical Iowa cuisine, we tried to decide upon what to do, there was just a little problem. The car we wanted to use was broken. So we were more or less stuck at home.
We quickly changed plans and got to the conclusion that a relaxed Netflix day would be a perfect solution. At first it seemed like an impossible task to find a show everybody was willing
to watch. Mostly, because half of the audience was strongly convinced that horror movies would be a perfect fit, at last we settled on "Stranger Things".
Watching the show wasn't such an easy task though, because the house we were in was also inhabited by three very cute but also very active dogs, which couldn't resist jumping on us, running
around, trying to steal our snacks, trying to lick our faces or begging for attention. All in all, we spend a very relaxed but fun time. In the evening we went to the farewell potluck at
Charles City High School, where we got to meet the whole group: St. Ansgar and Charles City for the last time. Remarkable about the buffet was the wide sortiment of typical pumpkin pie on the dessert table.
At least 6 different families had brought some and we all tried it the classical way: with a lot of cream. After the dinner, we took group pictures and said farewell. In the evening we all went home and started packing our luggage, trying to find every last item that might be hidden in the room while thinking about the fun time we had here in our partner city.

Sonntag, 13. Oktober 2019

Our last Saturday in the US

After many great days in the US, the last two days left with our host family had arrived.
Since we didn’t plan any actions with the GAPP group everybody did something different with their host, enjoying the little time that is left.
The day started with four of us Germans, and our teacher Mr. Bleischwitz waking up way to early for a Saturday to do something really exiting: The local radio station wanted an interview with the Germans to talk about Germany, our school and the GAPP program. So from 8.00 am to 8.50 am we answered questions. We were all very nervous, but the interviewer made us feel as comfertable as possible.
After the nearly one hour long interview and a lot of laughing about our faults we did when answering questions, we went back to our hostfamilys.
I went shopping with my two hosts Emily and Lily. We went to a Mall one hour away from Charles City, but even the drive there was really funny. We sang with the radio and made silly jokes until we finally arrived.
We scoured all the shops, and I can promise you there is a lot of funny and silly stuff in the US.
And, of course, at some point we ended up in the bookshop Barnes and Noble, since both, Emily and I love buying and reading books. And let me tell you, two people very fond of reading, are fun in theorie, but resultet in way more books than we probably needed.
With two heavy bags full of books we went on buying even more.

So this was my last Saturday here in the US together with my hostfamily. I had a lot of fun here and I wish I could stay a little longer, but I can promise that the stress of our arrival was worth it.


Samstag, 12. Oktober 2019

Tuesday, october 8th 2019
After our long bus trip yesterday, we woke up in a Motel in Wall, South dakota. After getting ready we went downstairs for breakfast. At 11 am we left the Motel and drove to badlands nationalpark . It took absolut 10 Minutes to get there. While there we stopped at many observatory platforms to enjoy the incredible view. ( while there we also took the following picture ).We drove and walked through the badlands for about 2 hours.
After that we headed to our lodge in the blackhill Nationalpark along the was we stopped in Rapid City at Walmart to buy some food for the next there days.
From there we drove 45 mins to get to our lodge. After arriving in our beautiful lodge in the Woods we unpacked our stuff and begann cooking pasta for supper. It was really fun. Since the day was so busy and exhausting most of us went to bed early.

Freitag, 11. Oktober 2019

Thursday, 10.10.2019

The day started with a surprise: we woke up and when we looked through the window everything was covered with snow.

We were able to eat the typical american breakfast in our hotel until 9:30. After this, at 10 o’clock, our bus left towards Sioux Falls, the biggest city of South Dakota. After 4 and a half hours journey and a short stop at a gift shop we finally arrived in our destination: The Empire Mall in Sioux Falls.
There we had free time for about 2 hours to go shopping and to eat something. 

We met in front of the Mall to drive to our hotel, where we discussed what we are going to do next. 

Some of us went to the cinema and watched “Joker“, others stayed in the hotel and just rested or went swimming in the hotel pool.

Everybody stayed awake until 12am because Lina had birthday, we sang “Happy Birthday“ and some had little gifts for her.

All in all, it was a very relaxed day and something different than the days before. 

5. Oktober 2019, CC

Our day began with a typical breakfast: cornflakes and a cup orange juice. We ate at approximately 10 am and then we drove to a collage football game in Ames. The Iowa State University (ISU) played against TCU. It was a very interesting game with smart gameplays. The ISU won 49 to 24 against TCU.
After the game we visited the older sitster from my host, who studies in Ames. We had lunch in a traditional American resturant with the howl family. Later she showed us the Iowa State University which is quite huge and very old. You can get over 100 different educations.
Back in Charles City we met some Americans friends and hang out. We had nice conversations and played some basketball. Finally at 12 pm we went to bead.
All in all it was a exciting and interesting day with unique experience.

Dienstag, 8. Oktober 2019

Monday 10/08/2019

Today my day started way earlier than usually. I had to get up at 6:30 am because one hour later the bus picked us up in St Ansgar for our ride to South Dakota. Then we drove to Charles City where the other german students already waited for us. Our long journey began. After some hours of driving and a little break inbetween we had time to eat something. Some of us went to McDonalds and the others to Pizza Ranch where they had the opportunity to eat something from a buffet.

Later we continued our trip. On our way we stopped at a scenic view point. We had a great overview over the Missouri River and took some pictures of us and a big statue of an indigenous woman.
Afterwards we had to drive another two hours and then we finally arrived in Wall where we had time to visit the shops until 10 pm.

Sunday 10/06/2019
Today I woke up at 8 am.
I had to hurry because we wanted to leave at 9 am. After a quick shower and a little snack we started our way to Des Moines. The drive to Des Moines took us three hours. My host sister slept through the whole drive so I talked a lot with my host mother. After we arrived in Des Moines we went to the Iowa State Capitol. It was not opened so we walked around the Capitol and other memorials. As we had enough of sightseeing we visited a botanical garden. Compared to the outside it was really warm inside. My host mother tried to teach me a bit of a few plants. Because we were hungry we were looking for food in a mall. We could not decide what we wanted to eat so we took pizza as usual. ­čśä I had a pizza with green olives and ham and it was really good but to be honest my favorite pizza is still the one from “Godfathers Pizza” which we had at the second or third day in Iowa. After lunch was eaten we went to the living history farm where we were able to see how the people lived in their houses 200 years ago. It was really interesting but I can not imagine to live like them without flowing water and without electricity. 
On the farms were horses, cats, pigs, chickens and little cows we could pet. Since the farms was closed at 4 pm we could not really see many houses but what we have seen was really worth it.
My host sister really wanted to have ice cream for a nice end of the trip, so we went to another mall and got rolled ice cream which was really good. This ice cream is self made and we were able to follow the whole procedure. Then after a three hours drive and two movies later we finally arrived at home. I had to pack my suitcase for the trip to South Dakota tomorrow. As I was ready I went to bed at 11 pm.
~ Erja

Samstag, 5. Oktober 2019

Friday, October 4th

Today was donut Friday at our school in St.Ansgar. So we ate one of the best donuts I’ve ever had for breakfast. After that we had the opportunity to print some key chains with an 3D printer in our chemistry class. We decided to make the outline of Iowa.

 The next class was cooking. Our assignment was to bake some pretzels with cinnamon und frosting, which is a typical kind of pretzel in America. For the last class of today we went to the middle school to share our presentation about Germany with the middle school students. 

It is a tradition in St.Ansgar for the football team to eat a meal together before the game. Everybody who helps the football team is part of it (cheerleaders, camera girl, managers...). 

The football game typically starts at 7 o‘clock. Before the game, the national anthem is always played by the school band. Our team dominated the other team and won by 50 points. Another tradition in St.Ansgar is that the kids hang out at the parking line after the game.


Friday 27th of September (in St Ansgar)

My school day started as always at 7 am. After breakfast we left the house at 7.50 am. The way to school takes more or less 15 minutes, because I live in a small village called Grafton close to St. Ansgar
The first class starts at 8.15 am, I went with my Host sister Emma to Spanish class.
The second class of the day was History. In this class the teacher wanted me to play a game.
It was me against the Americans. The first one to name 5 famous people from the other student’s country would be the winner.
I would say we ended up in a tie.

After history all of the Germans met and waited excitedly for our first school bus ride.
We had a really nice bus driver, so we asked her to take a photo of all of us in front of the bus as a reminder.
We drove about 5 minutes to the Grainmillers factory on the outskirts of St. Ansgar.
When we arrived, we were welcomed by one of the employees. First of all she gave us brief introduction about the factory.

None of us have ever been to a factory like this, so it was quite interesting for all.
Later they showed us how they produce their products and explained to us how the machinery works.
As a departing gift, they gave us oldmeal, which they produce at this factory.
Then we drove back to school and had our last classes together with our hosts.

In conclusion you could say, it was a really productive day, and everyone learned something new.

Freitag, 4. Oktober 2019

Thursday the third of october

About this day is nothing really special to say, cause it was normal like every day, except that we went bowling. 
Thursday started normal, so I got up at seven and arrived at 7:50 school. We were all day with our hosts except for their practice and bowling. After school about at 4:45 the teachers and students drove us to the ‚comet bowl‘ and most of us stayed there till seven. 

It was all in all a normal day but also a day of fun, except for that one time when the comets team showed up for practice and did one strike after another.

Donnerstag, 3. Oktober 2019

Trip to the Iowa State Capitol

Today my host family took us on a trip to the capitol of Iowa "Des Moines". We started at about 9:15am at St.Ansgar High School. Our trip took us about two hours but I must admit it felt way longer than that. When we arrived in Des Moines our first stop was at "Zombie Burger" a burger restaurant downtown that has a variation of weird burgers. You can get yourself a burger with a maccaroni and cheese patty instead of bread- weird, I know?! After our lunch we headed to a store called "The greatest store in the universe/RAYGUN" it's a shop where you can buy different souvenirs that are related to Iowa and Des Moins, you can also get funny meme stickers. By 1:00pm we headed to the Iowa State Capitol where we were met by our tour guide. He showed us around for the next two hours and told us interesting facts about the architecture of the State Capitol. The most interesting parts of our tour with him probably were the "whispering gallery" in the dome of the capitol and the old library. After the tour we had some time to explore on our own before we met with a friend of my host family that works at the Iowa State Capitol. She gave us access to the very top of the State Capitol where we had an amazing view of Des Moins. The way up was really exhausting because of the heat and the hundreds of stairs but the view was worth it!
Then we had the luck to meet the Lieutenant Govenor of Iowa Adam Gregg! He was really welcoming and friendly, he told us how his interest in politics started and we got to ask him questions. In the end we took a group picture with him.
By the time we were done at the capitol it was time for us to head home. On the way back we stopped at a restaurant called "Hickory Park" where we had ice cream. It really was an amazing day!

Mittwoch, 2. Oktober 2019

Tuesday October 1st

Today's day was very different to the other days. Instead of sitting in class for the first four periods we went on a trip to the so called 'Mennonites' a community that has a very different lifestyle compared to us.

After the long ride through the pouring rain we arrived at a small house which was the school-house.
Inside there were children from 1st to 8th grade sitting at their tables in one big room with a board and three teachers.
We sat in the back, watched their math class and listened to their songs.
Then we sang 'In der Weihnachtsb├Ąckerei' to them and showed them how to play 'Ente, Ente, Gans'.
After a lot of fun and laughter we had to say goodbye to the children and went to a house nearby where the bishop of the community told us about the community and answered our questions.
We learned that the Mennonites renounce many things such as electronic devices,  alcohol or vehicles with tires and live under the rules of the church.
In the end we got to try homemade cookies and 'Traubensaft' which were very tasty.

Back at the school we ate our packed lunch and went to class with our hosts for 6th and 7th period and after that we answered questions in the german class.

All in all the day was really interesting and informative even though the weather wasn't playing along with our plans at all.


Dienstag, 1. Oktober 2019

Monday the last day of September

Today is Monday and  me and my Hostfamily's Day didn't start well because we overslept, so we woke up 20 minutes before class started.

The school day was pretty normal except the right period in wich we went to the elementary school,where we taught the Kids some German words.

After school we all drove to the planned Lasertag wich ended up in Bow&Arrow-tag, Cartdriving and miniature golf. It was really fun because I personally never drove a cart before.

After this some of us went to grab some food at a restaurant. We had to wait really long and when the food finally came,the waitress suddenly dropped some of our food so some of us had to wait even longer.

After all this the day turned out pretty funny and exhausting because it was a really hot  day.


Montag, 30. September 2019

My first Sunday in America 

Today I woke up at about 6am. Because in Germany it's about 12pm and I wanted to call my family. After talking to much on the phone I didn't even get to take a shower before me and my host family went to a Lutheran church at 8am.
Even though the American church has a lot in common with the German church there are still many differences. Time flew by as we sat and laughed with the pastor and it was time to go home. Since Saturday was a pretty exhausting day we were all tired and went straight to bed.
Eventually I got up and lunch was already on the table, some warm and delicious tomato soup and cheese sandwiches.
I was very excited I get to visit the animal shelter since I love cats. After a long time cuddling with the cats I got to play ball with the dogs and pet them. What amazed me was that they all were barking while they were in the cages but once they got out and played with us they were the cutest and softest dogs I ever met. 

We went home again and after doing my homework from my school in Germany it was time to visit everyone in St. Ansgar. Everyone brought some self made American food and itf was delicious!
I hope I didn't gain too much weight.

Hope you are having a nice day


My first Sunday in America 

Sonntag, 29. September 2019

Saturday 28th Saturday

My day started "dancing" at the After party of the Homecoming game,which is the main event of the Homecoming week,which is a tradition in American Highschools to celebrate the first American Football game of the year, honor
Ex-Highschool students and much more.
The dance ended ad 12:20 AM, but we (Henri, Cael (my host), his girlfriend and I) went to McDonald's to chill and had a midnight snack. Joris and his host were also there, his hoost is elected Homecoming King,which is a title simply won by popularity, but celebrated by the whole school in a big celebration.
At 1:30 AM we drove home,which is a farm 11 miles from Charles city.

I woke up at 8 AM, because I wanted to watch german soccer, who started at 8:30 our time.
At 11 AM we(Henri, Joris, Cael, the mum of cael, Henry(the brother of Cael) and I) drove to Minneapolis to visit the Mall of America, which is the biggest Mall in America.
We arrived at 2 PM and until 8 PM it felt like we visited 20 stores, who all sold the same clothings.
In between that we ate at a typical American restaurant, slowly I can't eat Burgers and Pizza any longer, I don't know how the Americans are doing that.
Now we are on the way back from the Mall.


Donnerstag, 26. September 2019

24th September

 The second day of our adventure started quite unspectacular.
It was 1:30 PM and we all went to bed in a hotel in Minneapolis after a 24h travel trip. After some hours of sleep we all finally woke up rather tired and went downstairs to get typical American breakfast.
After a round of waffles, pancakes, cornflakes and oatmeal we brought our luggage to the bus and headed for the Mall of America. Arriving there we were stunned. On the inside there was an unbelievably huge shopping centre which even included a whole amusement park! So we all took our briefcases and enjoyed the 2.5 hours we had left until we needed to leave for Charles City and St. Ansgar.
So at 12:30AM we left the mall, packed with shopping bags full of clothes and souvenirs and started our 2.5h drive to Charles City.
At 3PM we finally arrived at Charles City High School where 13 of us took out there luggage and stayed. The rest of the group left for St. Ansgar.
In Charles City we we’re welcomed by the principal and advised to wait for our students who still had class. We were so excited to finally meet the person with whom we would spend the next couple of weeks and couldn’t await the ringing of the bell.
At 3:30PM the classes finally ended and we all got to go home with our host students. Then we got to met our host family for the first time, we got to explore the house, our rooms, maybe also parts of the City. In the evening some of us then went to a volleyball match of Charles City high school and cheered for “our” team. Apparently the cheering helped, Charles City won against Crestwood 3-0.


First day

Finally, the day of our departure arrived, and after a long Sunday of packing our stuff, while trying to somehow be under the luggage weight limit of 23 kilos , which sounds like it would be a lot to be able bring, but the weight of my, we met up at 7:30am at the airport in Bremen.
After saying goodbye to whoever had brought us to the airport, we went to give up the suitcases and to look for our gate. Since we still had some time left, we took some photos and went shopping a little. There was only two stores, so it wasn`t that extravagant.
Five Minutes before we had to board the plane, we suddenly heard an announcement that everyone had to leave and go down again because of a security problem. We all went back to the entrances and waited for a long time before we finally were allowed to go back to gate.
 Then comes the first problem: since we had to leave the area of the plane, we had to go through security again. This made everything take longer, because there was yet another line to go through. Since At this point we where tired of standing in lines, so everybody sat down on the ground, which was fine, because it wasn´t moving anyway. This caused us to get a few strange looks, but we were too tired to mind too much.
To add insult to injury, when we finally got back to our gate and into our plane, the pilot told us that we have to wait an hour more because of some organisation problem in Amsterdam (our first stop). So here comes the second problem: We didn’t fly from Bremen to Minneapolis in just one flight. We had to get a second flight in Amsterdam, which, of course was already long gone once we finally arrived in Amsterdam. Because there wasn’t a second flight to Minneapolis, we had to fly to Atlanta and from Atlanta, finally to Minneapolis. Calling this a long detour would be a understatment. We had to wait for the next flight for some hours, but eventualy we got to bord the plane for America.
The plane was pretty cool since every seat had his own little TV. This lead to half of the group sleeping the whole time and the other half watching every single movie they laid their eyes on.
After nine hours binge watching movies, being not able to sit anymore and sleeping, we arrived in Atlanta and switched to our flight to Minneapolis.
In Minneapolis we drove to our hotel and literally fell into our beds. So this was our first day, and the start of the second day. They kind of blended together, in a mess of travel, and time changes. Though we were all really exhausted I think that is was worth the stress to come to America.

 Have a nice day

Mittwoch, 25. September 2019

First day of school

First day of school
 Today was my first day of school in St.Ansgar. It started fairly early for me because my exchange student, Tianna, had a practice for the school's dance team "Haloz". This started at 6:30am I had to get up at 5:30am so that we could leave at 6:10am. My host family lives pretty far away from the school so it took us 20 minutes to get to St.Ansgar. After dance practice Tianna and I went to her locker to leave our bags there because you aren't allowed to take them to class with you. Then I went to Mrs.Larsons room because all the german students met up there. Mrs.Larson then showed us around the high-,middle- and primary-school. She also explained to us how the school works for example, the schedules or lunch. Next week we can also chose which subjects we want to take. After first period I had art with Mr. Nielson. In the beginning we watched CNN 10 and afterwards we did the pledge of allegiance. When art finished we had lunch. We didn't eat the school lunch because we brought food from home. I am pretty happy about that because school lunch didn´t look very appetizing. Next period we had "Seminar". In "Seminar" you can basically do whatever you want; homework, draw, finish projects, or listen to music so everything is very chill. In general the lessons here in America are way more relaxed then the ones in Germany and the teacher-student relationships here is more personal and friendlier. After "Seminar" I went to band practice with Tianna because she plays the trumpet in the schools marching band. It was really interesting to see the practice because we don't have anything like that in Germany. That's pretty much everything that happened on my first day of school. There are quite some differences compared to german schools for example, everybody writes on their mac books, nobody writes on paper anymore and sports play a very big part in the every day school life. Right now we're about to eat an early dinner because we'll go to an open air concert this evening.

Montag, 24. Juni 2019

Die Vorbereitungen laufen

Hey guys,

this is the blog for our exchange to the United States, where we are going to spend four weeks in different cities, for example Minneapolis and Chicago. Our host-families live in two different towns, Charles City and St. Ansgar. Seven of us are going to St. Ansgar and the other eleven are going to stay in Charles City.

Unser Austausch nach Iowa beginnt schon in wenigen Monaten. Mittlerweile haben wir schon Kontakt zu unseren Host-Families aufgenommen, mit denen wir uns sehr gut verstehen.
In der Zwischenzeit verkaufen wir schon flei├čig Kuchen, Waffeln & Co., um m├Âglichst viel dort erleben zu k├Ânnen.

We are looking forward and we are excited to collect a lot of new experiences, to explore new places and to get to know the american way of life.

See you soon, 
Erja and Malina

Bildergebnis f├╝r amerika

On Monday the 14th of October, our day started very sadly because we had to say goodbye to our host families. As a farewell, the whole stu...