Today was the fateful day. Jule and I stayed up all night last night and I packed the rest of my bags and then had to weigh them since I didn’t want them to be overweight and I have already shipped a box home. I am going to miss this place so much. It’s like a second home to me, the Bauer’s feel like my family. I have friends at school. But this morning
I got on the train to Frankfurt with Connor the other exchange student that was living in my town with all of our suitcases and headed to Frankfurt to meet up with the other Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Scholars so we can all fly back to DC together tomorrow. I am excited to see everyone but I am just so sad to leave everyone. I know I was only here for a year but I built a life here, I have friends and more importantly I have a family here, leaving is going to be one of the hardest things I am ever going to have to do. The memories from this year I will always hold close to my heart and Germany will never be far.”
Journal Entry Friday July 11th, 2008. Waren, Müritz
Leaving that day was and still is one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do. All the girls skipped class that morning to see me off at the train station. I guess one of the hardest things to grasp or to realize about that situation was sure I would and did go back to visit senior year of high school and I would eventually go back to study abroad but my friend group kind of drifted and everyone more or less went their own way. It would just never be the same we kept in touch which is awesome but I would never live at Dorfstr. 22a and attend high school there again. You grow up, get responsibilities and have to change but the only thing you can do I guess is whole on to the memories you have and hope that in the future there are more memories to come, to be made with the same wonderful people you already have some great memories with.
I went up to visit the Bauer’s (my host family) the third week of July before I left to come home to have one more weekend to spend with them. The weather was wonderful and we were able to do cookouts with Oma and Opa (grandma and grandpa) from both sides of the family. I got to go swimming in the Muritz that’s the lake that I lived on and most of all I got to see my family one last time. I made it up to see them about 5 times this semester and so when I got a train headed back to Leipzig I was excited to be going back I had some paperwork to attend to but all my finals were done and then I had to start packing so I could head home the following Monday. It wasn’t until I said goodbye to the family found a seat on the train that it all started to hit me. I don’t know when I will be comeing back to this country, my post grad plans are taken me to the other side of the world (New Zealand) and my host family is busy and although we keep in touch it may be another 4 or 5 years until I do see them again. So as the train pulled away I had a flashback to July 2008 and all the feelings that I had that day, I didn’t know when im going to make it back and I always feel like I’m leaving a little bit of myself behind. Sometimes I just don’t want to face the music that I’m growing up and at this time next year after graduation ill like actually have to be an adult.
I flew home Tuesday July 31st Berlin-London-Chicago-Syracuse. Well first of all I was the idiot to book my return flight home out of London the second day of the summer Olympics but luckily there were no problems. Danielle, Ricky and I drove to Berlin from Leipzig and stopped in Wittenberg where Martin Luther composed his theses and then in Potsdam on the way. And it was as we were driving through all the small towns in between and on the radio came the famous song mostly known for being in Toy Story “you’ve got a friend in me” that made me smile to myself. We were the last of the international students to leave and after saying our goodbyes and knowing that it would be awhile until I saw some of these people that song kind of reminded me of the quote about friends and stars. About how you may not always see them but you know they are always there. This was an amazing semester I had a great time and made some wonderful friends. Germany will always and still does have a special place in my heart. HWS and the Blocker Fellowship were amazing throughout this whole experience and I know without them this would not be possible.
Auf Wiedersehen Deutschland und Bis Bald.