September 1st, 2017

It’s my last day today. NOOOOOOOO … I have feared this moment so much. I hate saying goodbyes, I hate thinking about doing this for the very last time, I hate knowing that it’ll never be the same again … This is just so upsetting and deeply heartbreaking. 😦 I’m sad.

Last time putting on my uniform … My last Mentor period with the most amazing Mentor teacher … My last time sitting in the library studying Korean … My last piano lessen, my last health period, my last time having hospitality … I think I have as many last times as I have had first times here. I’m just so full of grieve. Me and my friends originally planned on going to the park in the centre but the weather is absolutely terrible so being in an outdoor-playground is nothing fun. Fate, I guess. I arrived here with raging rain clouds and I’ll end my journey with one. I appreciate the full circle there. My friends however gifted me a small gift full of personal messages which I was truly touched by. I didn’t expect anything for my last day which made their gesture even more meaningful. Thank you! To everyone who I have come to know during my stay here. You have all changed my life!

I hugged them goodbye as I could do no more and took the bus home for the last time. No more sea, no more beach, no more hills for me.

My last dinner we spent at a fish & Chips restaurant serving the best fish & chips I have ever tasted and then I started packing my luggage at home. I hate it. I’m thankful and I know there’s no way for me to stay longer or wish for more than I was gifted so I’ll end it here. Short and sweet. I have so much more to say but I’m gonna leave that for my final post.

See you again

X

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August 31st, 2017

Hey, what’s up?

what a busy day … Today I have a three subjects for the last time. Ever. Among them was Maori in which the children of my teacher (who were with her because the heater in their school wasn’t working) taught me and the other students some clap rhythms. I still rememer the ones I used to do with German sayings and knowing some in Maori now too is just great! ^^ My little sister will be amazed 🙂

My last period of classics and chemistry just flew by and health was interrupted after 20min by a School assembly in the hall. The year 13 students were right at the back as the 800 pupils are ordered by grade. The teachers announced the current score of the house competition (which are represented by Emoticons btw which I think is so funny) and the people of the house in current first place went crazy! It was the first time seeing the house you belonged to matter. Then a speech from the principal followed and after the official ending during lunch break the school’s talent show was held which I decided to watch. A total of approximately 200 People stayed in the hall as well and I have never, ever seen such a supportive audience. Where we Germans would watch quietly and reserved, maybe even look bored the Kiwis absolutely LOST IT! Really, it was astonishing how passionate These people got at rather mediocre performances on stage. One group for example was supposed to sing over a well-known song (which I didn’t knw of course) but their microphones weren’t really working constantly switching on and off and almost everyone in the audience was loudly singing to the song to the point I couldn’t ecen hear the music itself. And this was the case for every performance: participating, screaming during breaks and louder when something was happening on stage, running over benches to get the sweets thrown into the crowd, using benches to create uproar, using flashlight of phones to get all emotional with waving them like candles … There were just 200 people but they sounded like a thousand and maybe the equivilent of a two thousander German audience. It was amazing to be part of it. Even the smallest acts got great responses. A conversation I overheard best represents what I am talking about: „Ok. Our next act … Give it up for Aaaaamyyyy!“ „YES, AMY, YEAH! WHOOOOOOOO AMY WHOOOOOOOO! A-MY! A-MY! A-MY! WHOOOOO … Who is Amy? I have no idea who she is. AMY WHOOOO“ Just like that.

After school I went to the supermarket, got a big trundler and filled it with a bunch of native New Zealand Sweets – I was planning on shipping a parcel but that’s way too expensive and I had made a promise to myself that my friends back in Germany NEED to try all these weird snacks so I was looking forward to this shopping tour since my arrival. Yes, I’m all abou the food 🙂 I purchased a sushi matt, too so that I can try making sushi at home for myself for I am obsessed with it. Hopefully I’ll be successful …

Because I didn’t think I’ll have enough time I initially didn’t plan on going to the theatre performance tonight but because Amanda kindly had already prepared dinner I got back to school at 6pm just in time. The play was based on one of Shakespear’s works (Orphelia or something?) and I was quiet confused by the story line, I understand English quite well but theatre language still puts me off. Two hours later I then returned home and immediatly went into bed as I was so tired.

See you tomorrow

X

August 30th, 2017

Hi there,

Eri was taking the bus with me today in the morning because she hasn’t started her classes yet and wanted to get into the city. We had a nice chat and I think she’s happy that she actually understands me. It’s harder to understand native Speakers especially with such characteristic accents such as the Scottish or the New Zealand one.

In chemistry our teacher was talking about how beautiful the German language is in ways of creating new words (she refered to an incidents a few years ago where a collegue of hers was working in a German bureau and paper used to fall from the ceiling so he wanted to print a warning sign and was looking for a German word. He then was advised to take a German word for stones falling from above and simply replace it with paper. My teacher didn’t remember the original word though). It reminded me that it isn’t all that bad to speak German and that it isn’t always received as aggressive sounding and harsh.

In my last hospitality lesson where I cook Makhayla and I created ‚Vanilla Coconut Balls of Bliss‘ which were really tasty. But after trying sweet things from each Group I felt so sick ^^ Never again! (Probably will, though 😉 ) One of the groups did something with cocoa and it looked fantastic. Everyone who tried was encouraging us to taste them as well … Afterwards I understood why. The group had used WAY too much cocoa so the balls were just incredible bitter and sticky and just … Horrible XD The teacher tried it too and I’ll never forget her expression!

In classics the student teacher was in charge again and we drew stick figure cartoons to visualize the intrigue of Philotas. I couldn’t stop giggling whilst drawing – why are they so funny to me? ^^

After school I bought some souvenirs in the post office and then went onto Iona’s speech performance in school. She was participating in a competition including the remaining top three students of year 3-8 and everyone was giving a speech on a self-chosen subject. The students had written the texts of about 3 min all by themselves and they are impressive! The wording and structure were so advanced and it was amazing to see how good 8 to 12-year-olds are at giving speeches. Their topics were quite interesting too, e.g. Why dogs are better than cats (whoo controversial), better use pencils instead of pens (I totally bought it), humour makes us human, pollution or why everyone should be bold (again, I totally bought it).

Lastly, we were finally tryin out TimTams as straws. I have tried them before as I mentioned but never in ‚the right way‘ by biting the tip and the bottom and sticking it into a hot drink to suck the liquid right through it. It makes These tasty biscuits even more so delicious ^^ We then had a nice conversation about really everything, just the three of us: Amanda, Eri and me. Who was I sitting there with a 48-year-old and a 24-year-old wondering about life. It’s so weird and a bit frightening to think about what all must have happened so that we would end up sitting together at one table. The slightest different decision and we never would have met …

I’m gonna end it here, good bye 🙂

 

August 29th, 2017

Hi there,

The Maori lessons were the ones I was looking forward to since last week. Today my teacher planned on buying all of us some food I hadn’t tried. And so she did. We were sitting together as five around the table enjoying fish and chips, me trying my first hash brown (smell like chips, taste like the salty Kartoffelpuffer-Version) and the best way to eat chips. Their way changed my life, honestly ^^ You have a buttered (untoasted) toast and put Chips, that you dip in mayonnaise and ketchup before, in one by one and then roll it up. Chips had never tasted that good, trust me! As pudding (=dessert) we had Whittaker chocolate that is native to New Zealand and some weird pineapple chocolate gooey thing that I didn’t like. What a meal ^^ I should pack them a package full of German Sweets and send it as soon as I get back.

After school I practiced piano and quickly ate dinner at home as we’ll be attending a dance performance at Ewan’s School. It was sooo good. It included modern dance, ballet, tap dance and hip hop. All from students and the music was incredible and the hip hop dancers absolutely killed it. They were my personal favourite. I wish I could have recorded some Performances but it wasn’t allowed. There was one boy by the way among maybe 30 girls and he was really amazing at dancing. Eri, too, liked hip hop best but all students were outstanding. I wish I’d know how to Dance – seeing such talent is always inspiring. 🙂

Bye X

August 28th, 2017

My last week of school has officially begun and it’s making me nervous. It doesn’t feel like I’ll be leaving this place any time soon so I’m emotionally not aware that I’ll experience this all for the last time. Ever. But now is not the right time to struggle.

School, especially chemistry, was quite fun today – we formed molecules with a building kit and then ate caraway (Kümmel, which is apparently not a commonly used spice and rather unknown) to compare it to the taste of peppermint. Sure. Nothing weird about that ^^

The principal approached me today and told me he’ll be visiting me in my last period – should I be scared? I don’t know what to expect and I’d rather leave quite and unnoticed because I hate saying goodbyes. Especially if I know that there’s absolutely no chance in seeing most of these people ever again. Hate it.

At home we awaited the new home stay student from Japan. Her name is Eri and she’ll be a student at university, so a little bit older than me. She was so nice, wvery friendly and open and I love her Accent, I think she understands me best because my host family does have quite difficult accents (yes, plural as they all have different ones ^^). The gifts she brought with her are soooo cool. I Need to go to Japan, really. She was getting a bit more comfortable over time (just like me, I guess) and I was happy to be contributing to not making things awkward, I know how she must feel. In the evening we Iona, Eri and I played card games – one that Iona had introduced to me a few weeks earlier and then Mau Mau. I never thought about it but Mau Mau is not an internationally known game, How would it? I was puzzled for a Moment before explaining the rules – it’s THE one game EVERY child knows how to play. In Germany.

I’m excited for the days to come – bye bye 🙂

August 27th, 2017

I decided to go into the city today to visit the Canterbury Museum. But first I had to find it all by myself. With a map. No Navigation. No Siri to assist because I don’t have internet without wifi. What a journey 😉 I managed to get there without getting lost – I actually developed a sense for orientation, a miracle, honestly. I even stopped by at park-like site along a small river to read and enjoy the city’s atmosphere. Christchurch can be so beautiful although the centre is still partly under constrzuction after the earthquake.

Anyways, the Museum had several exhibitiins which I liked – amon them New Zealand’s foundation (arrival & settlement of Maori people), antarctic exploration, women in Maori culture, Egyptian mumy and an Asian exhibition. It’s such a huge complex, I spent maybe 2 and a half hours in there ^^. Therefore I didn’t have enough time to go into the Botanic garden right next to it 😦 I bought Bibimbap in a nearby Korean Restaurant (also thanks to my newly discovered orientation skills) and walked home instead of taking the bus because we had such nice weather. I feel like I got a really good insight in what this city is like over the weeks and I’m confident in knwing places to go and see and kind of call this a home. I wish I could show my family and my friends around here some time in the future 🙂

I hope you had a good day, too

Bye X

August 26th, 2017

Today, my last full Saturday and therefore the official start of my last seven days (omg I’m getting anxious again) I joined the football team of my host sister into playing mini golf. We had a quick lunch and then started with a Zombie trail in the dark which was quite fun and then a second trail outside. At the beginning I wasn’t all too bad (even achieving a hole-in-one) but I quickly declined. It was my first time playing mini golf (or any kind of golf) and needless to say I lost. Against 10-year-olds.

But it was really fun. I definitely want to do it again someday 🙂

We also drove around town for a while (to do some shopping for the family) and during my lunch I had a lovely conversation with a friend of Amanda‘ s – here mother immigrated from the Netherlands and she herself had visited Germany once when the wall between East and West Germany was still up. Such a long time ago ^^

It is now 4 o’clock when I am writing this and I’m so tired again. I slept so long and been only awake for a few hours but I could already go to sleep. I guess my body tries to catch up with all the time I lost having an existential crisis. Seriously, I’m giving myself a hard time right now. On one hand I’m ready to go home and see my family again and my friends who I miss so much, return to my old life and tell everyone that will listen about my adventures and on the other hand I absolutely deteste the idea of going back. I have my little something here which, if I had the chance to work on, would be wonderful new life. I just know that when I return it will never be the same. I have always felt this urge to travel and see the world outside of my homecountry (Fernweh) but now that I obtained a bigger bite I want the whole cake. I know that I won’t be happy to be so limited again when I got a glimpse of flying on my own.

Ah, I’ll have to sort it out for myself. Hope you’re having a great day.

Bye X

August 25th, 2017

Whoop whoop. Finally normal classes again! 🙂

Not that it would really matter on a Friday – I only have two periods scheduled so it was similar to my days off anyways. I was pretty bad in my piano lesson today … Probably because I only practiced once and you don’t achieve much progress like that.

My health teacher was absent and another student teacher came in. She’s from Norway which proves again and again that you meet people from all over the world in New Zealand. I am really going to miss that. Where I live there’s seriously no diversity. None. Zero. All German, all boring ^^ Kidding. It’s simply a rarity to meet people from outside of Germany in my area, sadly.

In hospitality I have to admit that I was totally dozing off today – I’ve been really anxious in the last 40 hours or so about leaving in a week. I’m just not ready yet to leave my life I have just build up for myself again. I’m emotional and sad and desperate these days to stay here and forget home and start all over in Christchurch. I never expected that I would come that close to knowing how my life in a different country would be like. I’m feeling more and more like a kiwi, just another immigrant like thousands before me. But I’m not. I’m not really an immigrant, I won’t stay here. I may even never return. And this is what is making me really scared and anxious. Even if I return (and I intend to do so) … I won’t continue my life I have just created for myself here unlike my life in Germany. Yeah, life over there did go on without me but after my return I’ll have my Family back, my home, my room, my friends and my schedule. When I return to Christchurch … I can’t go back to what I have now. I won’t have anything back although on working hard to have a kind of ‚New Zealand version‘ of myself. Does that make sense?

Apart from my existential crisis at the moment my host mother told me that we’ll be welcoming a new Student on Monday. I’m so excited!!! She’s from Japan and we don’t know anything about her. Quoting Amand: ‚We don’t know her name, we don’t know what she is like, we don’t even know if she’ll be able to speak English.‘ So Monday will be a super exciting day ^^. But I have to downplay my excitement a little bit and take into consideration that she most probably won’t be interested in me at all. I guess, I’ll just have to wait and see.

Have a good day 🙂

X

August 24th, 2017

Hi there,

so … I have some advise for you today: Don’t run down hills. Ever. It’s been the second time that I hurt my foot just because I was running down this one hill again. In the first week (do you remember) I hurt my left ankle – now it’s my right one. You have no idea how annoyed I am!

Anyways, Thursday marks the last day of exams for the senior students but I was in school for my Maori periods. This time we discussed their meeting ceremony (between two parties), about the talking/ singing/ performing that is happening if you come to visit a Maori village and the gifts you bring. It is so fascinating to learn about the traditions and the backstories – I’m so glad I chose this subject.

Afterwards I finished writing the last few postcards in the library, studied some Korean and then walked around Ferrymead. I would have gone to the beach and walked the few kilometers home if I hadn’t hurt my ankle. It’s really so upsetting! Well, I purchased a ‚Cookie Time‘ biscuit today which apparently is native to New Zealand. To be honest, I expected it to taste better than it actually did but I had to try them. So another tick on my ‚things to do and try‘-list. I am also currently in the process of planning a sweets package I want to send home for my return filled with stuff I only found here and so far it looks like I need a huge-ass box. There’s just so much I want my friends to try … I hope I’ll actually get to do it.

That’s it for today. Bye bye 🙂

August 23rd, 2017

Hi there,

today I didn’t go to school at all. I know, shocking but as I don’t take the exams and Maori is tomorrow there was absolutely no reason for me to go. I met with some friends (Eden, Cole and Makhayla) to eat some pies. Some savory ones, not our typical German sweet pies. Honestly, I got a butter chicken one and they are all so tasty. I need, I desperately NEED to learn how to make them myself. I was missing out on so much all these years, I have to bring taste enlightenment to all my poor and lost German friends ^^ No, they are really good. Anyone should try. And butter chicken as one might expect is not chicken covered in butter but a red somewhat spicy flavoured sauce (?) originally from India but it was ensured to me that it’s the most New Zealandic dish you can have. Besides hash browns maybe which I still haven’t tried yet. Ah, so much great food here 🙂

We payed a short visit to a pet shop after buying ice cream shakes to pet some cute dogs and then relaxed for a while at the bus station. It’s so warm today, I didn’t need a jacket and when we were sitting in the sun for maybe 10min I would have needed sun scream due to the burning sun rays here. Weather – really different. How is this winter? I want that to be our German winter too, pretty much an elongated spring.

I finished off the day with looking into the newly opened library (Saturday was the opening but I only got to listen to the speeches and nothing more) and borrowing some books. I’m very happy, it was an AMAZING day! 🙂

See you soon

X