Wow, I have been in Germany for 6 days now! It already feels like forever. Getting used to a new culture has been quite the adventure, and sometimes just a little bit overwhelming. From the moment that we got off the plane, and I couldn’t understand much that people were saying, I knew this would be an interesting trip. Occasionally you meet a person that speaks some English, but most of the time that is not the case. It was really helpful taking a German class last spring, because I am able to say basic phrases that get my point across. Of course if I don’t know what to say, I can always just switch to hand motions.
The visit to Sachsenhausen concentration camp was a humbling, and informative experience. Continue reading “Reflections on Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp”
The first week in Berlin, Germany, flew by for me. Berlin did not feel like culture shock; however, I learned that it is exhausting to have the native language not be my native language. Speaking in German is difficult, but the German class we are taking helps remind me of the German I learned second semester, which I had forgotten. Continue reading “First Week in Berlin”
It’s hard to believe that we’ve been in Berlin for one week already. I’m getting used to the public transportation system, the miles of walking each day, and the rhythm of classes during the week. Yet there are still some things I haven’t fully adjusted to yet. Continue reading “First Impressions of Berlin”
It seems like such a long time since we arrived at Tegel Airport last Saturday. Our days have been packed full of activities while exploring the city, and then retiring at St. Michaels Heim to do homework at night. Continue reading “One-Sixth Completed”
Whew. Over the past 24 hours, I’ve spent 8 of them doing homework. Even though I should’ve expected this much work for a four credit hour class, I guess it didn’t occur me that we’d ACTUALLY be doing much besides being in a classroom for a couple of hours a day. I’ve been informed that the first week is more homework heavy than the rest, so that we’ll have more time to explore the sights and sounds of Deutschland. Continue reading “In the Beginning”
If I were to be honest with you, I’m on this program this summer because my internship applications fell through, but I still wanted to make this summer memorable. I’m hoping that this principle extends to others in the group as well: you don’t get to travel to Europe very day, so my wish is that this is one of those times that everyone will look back on as a good life experience some day.
As for what I can contribute to the group, hopefully the skills I’ve practiced tutoring during the year can help others with homework during the trip. My prayer is that everyone takes away something positive from the trip in some shape or form.
A few days ago, we went to the Holocaust Museum in Berlin. It was extremely tragic to hear all the stories of those who were taken to concentration camps. One room was dark in the museum. The only light in the room were lighted floor panels. On the panels were stories that were tragic. Some were stories of families broken up. Some were final goodbyes. Some stories were completely oblivious to the pain that would inevitably enter their life. These stories were not shocking, but just deeply saddening. The thing that hit me harder were the numbers on the walls. Each listed an approximate number of deaths from each country killed in concentration camps. The number of people who lost their lives over almost nothing is terrible. We must take this history and learn from it. That is the point of history. Next stop Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. Continue reading “The Evils of War”
Based on my first week here in Berlin, I would say that I very much enjoy it here. The city consists of laid-back spots to relax while also having fast-paced, dependable transportation. Continue reading “First Impressions of Berlin”
Although everyone who looks back on the events of the Holocaust would describe them as an unparalleled evil, I am guessing many are similar to me in that the sheer numbers of those exterminated by the Nazi powers seems hard to grasp. The Holocaust seems to be a distant atrocity crusaded by a few men with unspeakable darkness in their hearts. That is exactly why the preservation and displaying of these acts are so important. Continue reading “Solemn Remembrance”