Finally back in Germany! I arrived four days ago and am currently staying in Hoehr-Grenzhausen, the town where I did my exchange five years ago. I stayed in touch with some of the participants here over the years and am staying with a friend from the program. Hoehr-Grenzhausen is right outside of Koblenz, or about 45 minutes northwest of Frankfurt. The town is relatively small, albeit quaint, with a population of 12,000.
Despite my lingering jet-lag, my days have been quite eventful. I visited with my German friends, went to a couple of pubs, saw the world's tallest cold water geyser, enjoyed traditional German food like spaetzle, watched Christof's band play, and spent a day in Koeln (Cologne). Now I am relaxing in the green house attached to Christof's house.
I am excited to be back here and practice my German. Somehow I managed to switch into
German right away, perhaps because I was so eager to speak it again. But my interest in
communicating in a foreign language has waned over the last few days, and I find myself slipping more and more into English. Speaking and comprehending a foreign language all the time is very exhausting, and sometimes I just need an English moment. Because I know that in around two weeks, there will be no one to communicate with me in English. Hopefully once my jet-lag passes, I will have more energy to continue speaking German all the time.
I decided to take this "volunteer" position in Braunau, which begins in two weeks. I will be teaching a specific English course to students 17-19 years old, who are learning certain words
and phrases specific to their intended career. The boarding school, where I will be assisting with this course, has offered to let me stay until I leave for my Fulbright orientation seminar at the end of the month. I am excited, because I now have much more support when I first move to the city with finding my way, understanding
how to use the bus system, etc. However, I am a bit nervous to teach an entire class by myself alone, since I have little prior experience. I will be prepared with materials and methods/theory, and I don't foresee it being too difficult. The first day is: "introduce yourself". I think I can handle that as a native English speaker. And the group will be very small- only eight students. (picture here is of Christof's band "Hangover")
In the meantime, I will enjoy my vacation and relax before I begin my new exciting job as a teaching assistant. Bis dann!