I'm still so excited! The weekend was just amazing!! I couldn't stop smiling all the way home (4 hours!) and the old lady sitting next to me on the train asked me why I was smiling all the time.
Ok, on to the start. I took the train to Hannover at 1.50 pm on Friday. I arrived there late (~30 minutes) because of some complications somewhere between Mannheim and Frankfurt (our train didn't have any problems but there was one on the rail somewhere). And I didn't reach Janina and her parents (that's where I was supposed to stay that night) but her father was waiting for me at the station so we got to thier house soon enough. That evening was pretty fun because Janina and her family are just great and we got along pretty well.
The next day Janina's father drove us to the Youth hostel where the workshop took place this weekend. We climbed up the stairs to the meeting room where Nici, Hella and the Retournees welcomed us. But there were some Americans as well! Sherry, Jackie, Zuzi, Brenda and Tamie. They were GLI representatives, the organisation that's going to advise me in the US.
They talked to all of us and when it was my turn to talk to Tamie she became very excited and she said:
"Oh my God! You look like Laura, the student I had at my home last year! You could be her sister! Brenda, come over here! Look, doesn't she look like Laura?"
Brenda: "Yes, she does! But Laura had dreadlocks!"
Since then they called me Laura whenever they saw me. It was fun. They were so sweet and cute and I just wanted to take them home. But sadly I couldn't. So I talked to them a lot.
Most of the time we had a lot to do. First, Nici talked to us about Taste itself and about the exchange. What we can do and what we can not do in the USA. There were a lot of funny stories and we were laughing most of the time.
They also told us about the Americain mentality. They are more friendly and they always smile. Most of the Germans just want to get through their day without much talking or any stress. I was surprised when I entered the Youth hostel and saw some people (obviously Taste students) and they looked like I had just slapped them right across their faces when I said "Hi!!".
I just wanted to be friendly and I was in a good mood! I also didn't like the situation when Janina and I walked into the meeting room (I was in my Taste sweatshirt wich my parents already got me on their workshop last Wednesday) and one girl whispered to her friend: "Oh my God, look at this sweatshirt! How embarrassing!" By the end of the workshop all sweatshirts were sold out! So everyone bought one of these! But I don't care. I like the sweatshirt, it's sooo comfy!!
After the introduction we were divided into little groups of about 15 people, one Retournee (Jojo) and a Taste member (Tommy). They gave us lots of information and it was also a lot of fun because they were great and I was never even close to being bored!
Then there were the "GLI girls" that wanted to talk to us. They explained their work and we had time to ask a lot of questions and of course - to talk to them!! (As you can see, I just loved these guys!!) Then they did some shooting (2 litte films of each student) for the host families. They complimented me on my English!!!
But other then learning more about our exchange I mad lots of just amazing people! Almost everyone of them was so nice (there were some people I just didn't have anything in common with. But that happens). I stayed in a room with three other girls and they were so nice. There were people from all over the country! It was just amazing!
The next morning we had to take the SLEP test. When we heard about it for the first time, we thought "Slap test?? What does that mean?? How many times can we slap her across the face until she cries?" But it was only an English test for our future highschools. I think I did ok but because of the open windows I got hay fever half through it. I wasn't that bad becaue I have hay fever only slightly (I sneeze three or four times and I have to blow my nose but that's it).
We stayed in our little groups for the rest of the day and soon enough it was time to go. But I didn't want to! It was just so great that I didn't want to go and I even had to leave early to get my train and I forgot to say Bye to Brenda
I hope she isn't mad because I liked her a lot.
But I did say Goodbye to Sherry and she told me that "her girls like me a lot". When I walked out of the room I met Tamie and Jackie so I had time to say Goodbye to them as well. Tamie told me: "I hope we gonna see you in Oklahoma!" ('cause this is where she, Brenda and Zuzi are from) and Jackie said: "No, Kansas!!" ('cause that's where she's from). It was so funny!
We had to hurry to get to the main station and I arrived only 3 minutes before my train had to leave. There I met 2 other "Tasties" I didn't talk to all weekend. They were also so nice (one actually thought that I was an Retournee ) and we had a great time together although the train was packed. I was so glad I got some reservations so I didn't have to sit on the floor.
I got home around 11pm and I was just tired but I still couldn't sleep until 12pm because I was so excited.
Many people said that now they are pretty doubtful about their AYP but I'm not. I'm more confident then ever! I'm just glad to be a "Tastie" and also an GLI student because these two are the best organisations ever and I just can't wait to get over there.
USA, here we come!!!