My First Two Days in Germany

Trip Start Jul 09, 2009
Trip End Dec 12, 2009

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Flag of Germany  , Saxony,
Monday, October 26, 2009

Hello from the land of beer and sausage! :)

And for those of you that are wondering, no I have not been partaking in Oktoberfest because apparently "Oktober"fest happens in September :( So I'm still a little bit confused on the name of the holiday. Anyway...

Yesterday (Sunday) was our host family day in Germany. After breakfast, my host family took Yume and I to the Vattanfall coal mines. I felt like I was staring out at the Grand Canyon of coal mines! The mines that we saw will provide enough energy to sustain Europe until 2050.

Unfortunately, that's approaching all too soon.

After visiting the coal mines, we traveled to Dresden, Germany. In 1871, a large military facility, Albertstadt, was built in Dresden during the time in which the German Empire was being formed. The 20,000 military personnel serving at the facility saw limited use during 1918 and 1934 but was then reactivated during WWII.

Unfortunately, its military were no match against the bombs that destroyed Dresden on April 17, 1945. The bombing, initiated by the Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Force, destroyed over 90% of inner Dresden.

One of the buildings we visited, a large church, was almost completely destroyed in the bombing. Organizations from all over the world began to raise money for the restoration of the church. The cross at the very top of the church was paid for by the pilots who dropped the bombs.

We spent all day in Dresden, taking in the sights, sounds and smells. What a beautiful city with amazing architecture. I doubt that my pictures do it justice.

After a great day in Dresden, we ate a typical German meal of baked potato and quark. Quark is a kind of gravy that one pours on the baked potato. It tastes similar to ranch dressing but is made from cheese.

Today (Monday) was our host family show and community impact day. I went to a day nursery with Emil (Sweden), Caroline (Sweden), Emilie (NE), and Cisa (Slovakia). We had a 15 minute bus ride to prepare for 6 hours of working with 6-10 year olds.

Being in Up With People helps us to think on our feet and use all available resources!

And we did it! 6 hours and countless activities later, we were finishing up fika (yes! they have fika here too!) and heading out the door!

Our family and friends went really well and my host family loved it! My host sister even took a video of me singing "With One Heart". I've already posted a link of the video on here before but this one is a better view. Enjoy!

Tomorrow is a Vattanfall show. And we are having a religion seminar. After my awesome religion classes at Concordia, it should be really fun and interesting to see what other groups can dig up. I hope I learn something new :)

Two more things you may enjoy:
An article on Selma Hayek... make sure to read the part entitled "If She Hadn't Been an Actress" :)
A story on Concordia's website about me!

Enjoy your week! I know I'm enjoying mine so far!

Love love love!


Slideshow Report as Spam


cleonard09 on

In Germany
Hi Megan, Your notes from all over are just great! When we traveled to Germany in 1999 we did not get down to Dresden, I wish we would have though. Our daughter, Karin, lived in tiny Falkenburg for 11 months, not far from Leipzig and Dresden. Her school superintendant was 5 yrs. old during the bombing of Dresden and he, his mother and two sisters were returning from Russia trying to find their father (who died in Russia, he was sent to the front lines because he resisted Hilter's command for him to be an army engineer). They came over the horizon to see Dresden burning, their home! He was marked for life with that view, amazing. Karin spent some time in Halle, will you go there? She joined an international choir that gathers each year under the direction of a Swedish director to practice and perform 'Handel's Messiah' at Easter. One on wintry night, they went out into the market square and encirlced the statue of Handel and sang the Halelujah chorus, she can still feel the goose bumps!
You are in one of the riches regions of the world for culture and acedemics (historically) soak it in!
Love the posts,
Pr. Charlie (from Blooming Prairie, MN)

saccithesnowman on

Hi Megan,

So exciting that you had a chance to see the restored Frauenkirche. Back when I saw it in 1998, it was a collection of tiny labeled pieces, all carefully stored on shelves near where the church had been. I'd never seen anything like it - such determination to rebuild something, to restore normalcy to a community and hold tight to tradition and history. I would love to see it completed.

Continue to have a wonderful trip!
Amanda Peterson

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