the last days are here. Last week we tried to jam in as much as we could. Our students insisted on living in denial about the impending departure - they could not come to terms with leaving friends and new family behind. Together, we powered through a busy week, lots of practice for our final recital, finalizing our courses, and as a finale one last, wonderful trip to Cologne.
This trip was marked by our students' independence. They were so at ease with themselves, each other and their language skills. I think, they've all required German sarcasm (believe, it does exist). It was wonderful to watch them.
While in Cologne, we enjoyed a cathedral and city tour. After a short break and snack, we climbed the Cologne Cathedral....500 something steps, you'll have to ask the students, they counted each step. Exhausted and over-heated, we finally made our way back on the ground, where the students did like the natives and jumped into the great fountain behind the cathedral. This was one of our random and unplanned adventures, which turned out to be a total hit.
As a group, we then walked the Roman ruins - an old street, a mosaic, and some city walls. Our students then decided between visiting two museums, The Roman-Germanic Museum and KOLUMBA, the museum of the Cologne Diocese. After a sufficient amount of intellectual stimulation, our students had some free time to explore the city for themselves and do their last minute shopping for souvenirs and gifts for home. Don't be surprised, if your gifts are all from Cologne, ha!
Usually our students enjoy the weekends away from school and teachers, but on Saturday, the host families organised and sponsored a Beach Volley Ball tournament for the kids and their host siblings. The students also made plans with each other and their families, every moment was booked up.
By the time we reached Monday, our students attitude had changed. They now seem prepared for their departure and are looking forward to their return home and seeing their loved ones. They feel secure that their relationships and friendships in Germany will last and that they will visit Germany again.
Tonight it is already time for our Farewell Party at Castle Linn. Our students have rehearsed for many hours to present the host families with a wonderful programm, which they planned themselves as a sincere thank-you. The students also planned an after-party at one of the host parents' house and a pajama sleep-over party for the girls.
The countdown goes,
you missed them. We will miss them.
Until soon, home, in good ole Indiana.
The Krefeld Team