Today I had the privilege of giving the second week of Parlamentarisches Patenschafts Program Stipendiaten (Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Scholars) a tour of Hamburg. After leaving school a bit early, I headed into town to meet up with everyone.
I showed them lots of interesting sights from the Chilehaus to the Alte Elbtunnel. This involved lots of walking of course, but we also got to take a ferry for part of it, and an old fashioned lift going in and out of the Old Elbe Tunnel. I was just doing it because I liked showing them around my city, and seeing my friends again, but the students and the liaisons got together and made me a photo and gave me a box of chocolate as a thank you. This reminded me that often even small acts of kindness can be really appreciated. Finally, we went back and watched Monsieur Claude und seine Töchter. It was an especially funny movie and showed cultural differences through marriages.
I know my Halftime Camp was a special time in my exchange year. To be completely honest, I was not especially looking forward to packing all of my things only to travel less than an hour away for a week, but it ended up being well worth it. I think what makes this experience so unique is that halfway through our exchange, we have been here long enough that for most of us, it really is starting to or already feels like home. On the other side, it still feels like we have some time left. I know it sounds a bit cliche, but I really can not believe how fast the time has gone. Although it will be interesting to see the Bundestag in Berlin, I think the End of Stay Camp will possibly have a bit of a sad note while we will all, at that time, be going back to the USA soon, just as we are really starting to have almost everything back to "normal" in our life.
I know I had an amazing week at my camp and I hope all of the other exchange students in the second week had a blast as well!
Photo is of the canal between the Alster (A small lake in the city center) and the Rathaus (Town Hall).