I don't really know when my last post was, but in a way I don't want to check. I will just write an update about what sticks out the most in my minds eye from the last while.
Last Sunday was amazing! I went with my host parents, two of my host siblings, some of their friends and my host parents company to a public soccer viewing. Lately there has been a soccer competition happening, called Euro 2016. Truth be told, I am not a big soccer fan, but this was a lot of fun. In fact, I am fairly certain that last Sunday was my first soccer game that I have seen? Anyways, it was a great big fest. Once you were in (you had to have tickets) you could eat and drink as much as you wanted, for free. There were crepes, there was popcorn, there was Currywurst, fries, and so much more. The festival was set up with a central plaza of sorts, with a humongous billboard style television at the front of the plaza, and small round tables strewn around the edges that people could stand at with their friends, food and drinks. Early in the afternoon, there was loud music playing there, and lots of people mingling. I am in no way a good dancer, but I have come to really enjoy dancing in crowds. I had hoped that the music would still be playing in the evening, so that everyone would start dancing, but the soccer game was playing on the big screen, so there wasn't music. Branching off of the plaza was a side street of sorts, on which was plenty of food vendor places (all free of cost), and also another building in which you could watch the game while sitting down. At the end of this street was an area with trampolines that you had to wear a harness attached to elastic ropes of sorts. These ropes were attached to a machine of sorts, and the machine would adjust the tension on the ropes in correlation with your weight, so that you could jump to the highest height possible. That was super fun, as we were also allowed to do flips and twists and turns. I spent most of the afternoon with my host sister, Lisa, and two of her friends, and that was a lot of fun. As we entered the public viewing, we were given a lot of soccer paraphernalia. Since the two games lined up for that day were Northern Ireland vs Poland, and Germany vs the Ukraine, there was a lot of German fan items, like a marker that you could use to draw the German flag onto your face. I asked Lisa if she could put some onto my cheeks, and let's just say she went a bit overboard with it. We were all laughing, because it looked a bit ridiculous, but it was pretty fun. Also, my host family is Polish, and we live in Germany, so it was really cool to have such a direct connection to both of the games that were playing that day - and both Germany, and Poland won the games that they were playing that evening, which was yet another plus. The day before, my host parents and two of their friends had taught me how to say a Polish soccer chant - which means "Poland, red and white", and we all did end up singing it a few times at the festival.
And because Poland and Germany both won their games, they were competing against each other on Thursday evening. My host mom made so much food in celebration of the game. Frikadellen, which are somewhat like hamburgers, but honestly so much better, and oven baked potato wedges were at the top of the list of food she had prepared. Two of my host parents friends came over, as well as my second oldest host brother and his girlfriend (both of whom have told me that they read this blog - so, hello to you two, if you're reading!). It was an awesome evening, cheering the game on, singing "Poland, red and white" on occasion, and just hanging out with my host family and some host family friends.
On a slightly different note, but being the other thing that sticks out in my minds eye from the last little bit: I went to a street festival a few weeks ago! A street festival is basically where a neighborhood decides to throw a festival, to just celebrate. There are usually live bands or music, and the street is filled with booths, either advertising things, selling food or drinks or fair like things (shirts, dolls or so on), or different games to play. And the streets are filled with people, everyone in a good mood, there to see other people in a good mood, or to have a good time with family/friends, or to enjoy the music - or a combination of the three. I had heard about the street festival a week or so before it actually happened. It was going to be a weekend long event, and I had initially forgotten about it, and went on the second evening to see the music and tell if I wanted to come back for a longer period of time, Sunday afternoon. And wow, it was a blast! Since coming to Germany, I have come to love being in packed crowds, especially when it is this kind of a thing. There was great music playing, and everyone was so friendly, with a great big smile on their face. I wasn't able to stay long, because it was already getting late, but I made sure to come again the next day. There was so much good music, and good food - I enjoyed myself so much, that I am already trying to see if I can find any more street festivals before I return to Canada.
I guess I will wind this post up for now. This last week of school was fairly uneventful. I spent it for the most part in my German learning class, helping one of my classmates there study for an important language assessment exam - so it was a really fun week. It is always a good time in German Learning Class. After this coming Tuesday, we can't get anymore grades in our classes at school, which means that a lot of the pressure has been taken off of classes, and we are (from what I have heard) probably going to have a light time for the next month of school, which is nice.
I've been taking lots of photos lately, but I usually forget to take photos of the things that I end up talking about on here.
I hope all is well with you guys, and I will try and talk to you all again soon,