SPIG 2017 is easily the coolest thing that I will have done in my time at Calvin. The program lasted only six weeks but we. did. so. much. So many new experiences and memories made, and yet, much of what was foreign and strange to us at the beginning of the trip is now so dear and familiar that part of me feels as if I am leaving behind a kind of “home away from home” at St. Michael’s Heim and TU Berlin. Continue reading “Vielen Dank! Tschüss!”
In the streets of Germany you will find currywurst with fries and doner kebaps (the best street food to grace this place called earth). In the larger cities, you will find street performers and artists of all sorts. Coming across a talented performer/group on the streets is always a lot of fun. Narrow cobblestone alleys are quickly filled by our large crew.
It’s no wonder to me that there are warnings to watch out for pickpockets at the Köln train station. Because the very moment you walk out of the station, the beautifully monstrous cathedral is there staring you down. I lost just about all sense of self and situational awareness upon seeing the cathedral because it was simply that stunning. Not only did we see this amazing stunning structure, but we also attended high mass there that Sunday. Continue reading “Reflections on Köln”
“Arbeit Macht Frei.” Those are the words that the prisoners saw upon entering the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. That is,“Work makes you free” (translated roughly) was the lie that welcomed those that came to Sachsenhausen at the ever dreaded Tower A.
Berlin is a lot more laid-back, a lot more “chill” than what I would have thought. I had anticipated the city to be quite busy and I expected a sort of “chaos” to crowd over one like myself from a small town in Michigan. However, contrary to my expectation, the city as a whole seems to have a certain “chill order” to it which has made it a lot easier/more comfortable to adjust. I did not expect that I would be able to get by so easily with such little ability to speak German. Nor did I expect to see so much greenery in the city. I also expected more interaction with German people, but so far most of our interaction has been with Calvin students/profs… Also, I feel like everywhere I go, many people look at our group (or small groups) traveling together and think to themselves “ugh, stupid Americans…” Continue reading “Initial Thoughts…”