*This was written yesterday afternoon. We have since successfully arrived at Mona’s and are happily settled in :)*
As I write this, I am sitting on a train traveling through Germany with two of my best friends on our way to see my sister. Could life be any better? Though leaving St. Wendel and the friends I made there was certainly bittersweet, I am filled with enthusiasm for the weeks ahead.
My last few days in St. Wendel were just as great as the rest — filled with good friends, good food, and great memories. As has become the usual, here’s a quick summary.
- Last full day of school! Gymnasium Wendelinum was fantastic — I felt welcome in classes and maybe even learned a few things (Education during summer? What is this madness?).
- Took a nap to recharge before an exciting evening.
- Farewell potluck at the school! Got to try some delicious German food and hang out with our awesome GAPP group one last time.
- FOOTBALL PUBLIC VIEWING! Germany vs. France. My heart was torn. (spoiler alert: France won)
- A very, very tired morning at school, which led to me taking the bus home at 12:23.
- Slept for three hours :) If nothing else, I have learned that Germany has very comfortable beds.
- Packing, packing, packing.
- Went to the supermarket with my host mom and Samuel to get dinner for…
- Class campout! Grade 11’s end-of-year party was so much fun and the perfect last hurrah with my dear Americans who were flying out the next morning.
- Spent the night at Laurine and Natalie’s house (Samuel spent the night at the campout).
- A rough start to the day. My extreme exhaustion, caused by two very late nights in a row, led to a highly unstable Margaret in the morning. The plan had been to bike to a nearby lake, but one look at me and my host family knew that I needed to sleep. They’re the best.
- Three hours of deep, blissful sleep…
- Trip to Globus, the most insane megastore I’ve ever been to, with my host mom and Samuel to buy a birthday present for his friend. I was far too amused by the German food :)
- After Samuel left for his friend’s birthday party, my host family and I went out to a wonderful dinner for my last night in St. Wendel.
- Ate ice cream and cake on our deck on a beautiful German summer evening.
- Said goodbye to my AMAZING host mom who, unfortunately, had to be at work early this morning.
Today, after a glorious night’s sleep, I had a leisurely morning which included my final St. Wendel breakfast under the golden sunshine as church bells tolled and birds chirped. It was simply amazing. We then headed to the train station to meet Natalie, Leah, and their host families. Goodbyes were said before we three American teenagers climbed aboard the train and set off on our adventure! Since then, we have successfully changed trains in Mainz, met a lovely women who noticed the AFS tag on my suitcase (her daughter was an AFSer and she was as well!), got help from her in finding our seats, and settled in for the hour and a half ride. In the car, light German chatter fills the air alongside the sound of soda bottles opening and treat wrappers ripping. No proper German would ever travel without refreshments.
Looking back on my time in St. Wendel, I feel a strange mixture of emotions. While I definitely enjoyed my experience, I do feel that I could have done more…except I was tired the entire time. I know, I know, I’ve said it a million times, but it’s astounding how much fatigue influenced my ability to make the most of my experience. There were many afternoons where I could have gone for a walk or made plans, but I just couldn’t muster the motivation. Though I’ll always have that regret, I’m happy with all I was able to do and endlessly grateful to my host family and all of the other Germans who went out of their way to make my time special. St Wendel is a wonderful town with lovely people and will always hold a special place in my heart. I hope to return someday — minus the severe exhaustion ;)
And now, part 2 of the adventure begins! The next four days will be spent in Stuttgart with Mona and her family, Natalie, and Leah. After hosting Mona for a year in the US, I can’t wait to see her life in Germany! My parents are meeting us Wednesday night and then the five of us, Natalie, Leah, my parents, and I, will take the train to Munich where we’ll say goodbye to Leah and head off on our European tour. Well, sort of. We’re going to Salzburg, Austria, and Italy. I hope to do updates every other, or every third day, but we’ll see how it goes. I know my posts have been a bit sparse as of late, but I’m hoping to change that going forward. If not for your sake, then for mine. Writing this blog is the best way to preserve my memories and capture moments — I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I do creating it. There’s lots more to come!
Until next time, tschüss!