Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Hey guys!  Sorry it's been awhile since I last posted, but I've been eagerly waiting to receive my host family and town that I will be living in next year.  Now I still haven't gotten my permanent host family, but there's been progress!  I'll start from the beginning which was about month ago.

About a month ago I went on a final vacation with my family which was beautiful to say the least.  We spent 2 weeks traveling up the West Coast by rental car.  I flew into Las Vegas one day after my parents because I wanted to spend my last weekend at Nelsons Ledges for a festival with Jacqueline for our final weekend together :(  I arrived in Las Vegas (this being my 3rd time visiting without being 21..) so I've officially decided that I am not laying eyes upon that city again until my 21st birthday when I can enjoy the city in all of its splendors ;)  Anyways, after we visited our family friends in Palm Springs and drove up to Newport Beach where we enjoyed the warm California sun and the Pacific Ocean which was pretty chilly but nonetheless amazing!  After we headed up Route 1 which was literally on the edge of a cliff spanning 150 miles and overseeing the Pacific Ocean the entire drive.  At the end of that drive we arrived at our destination..San Fransisco.  Visiting this city must have been my favorite part of the entire trip.  We had hotel right in downtown a couple blocks away from both Japantown and Chinatown.  If any of you ever decide to take trip up there I would highly recommend signing up for the Big Bus Tour.  It's a big double-decker bus that takes you on a 2-hour tour of the entire city, the Golden Gate and it's lesser known, but just as grand counterpart, the San Fransisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.  The best part is you can't take the tour as many times as you like, so me and my family having nothing else to do, took the tour 3 times... at least now if my college major doesn't work out I can always become a San Fran tour guide!  That night we took a little trip into China town, had a very yummy meal at a dumpling kiosk on the side of the street and ventured throughout a sea of little antique and souvenir shops.  The following day we were on the move again this time on our way down to Sequoia National Forest.  We spent a whole day in the Sequoia forest traversing over 50 miles of winding cliffside roads and narrow passages in-between gargantuan Sequoia tree's.  There we saw the General Sherman tree.  The biggest overall tree in the world!  It was over 100ft in diameter and stood at a height of 275ft! Unfortunately, words and pictures do not do it justice, although I hope this picture with a group of people in the bottom right helps put it into perspective a bit.  With that came the end of our vacation and it was back to Brunswick, OH to begin my preparations for Germany!

 With new beginnings come the dreaded sad goodbyes as well.  This month has been chalk full of saying farewell to friends that I've grown immensely close to these past 10 years of living in Brunswick.  As sad as it is saying goodbye to old friends, it's an exciting time in all of our lives as we begin to grow more independent and experience all that this world has to offer.  I can't wait to see where everyones life path takes them and hope to one day meet up in the future.  As most of you that have been reading this blog know Jacqueline and I have taken on the scary, exciting and self-cultivating journey of a long-distance relationship.  The day before I left we exchanged little going away presents.  She made me an amazing scrapbook spanning our whole relationship in pictures (boy am I thankful that she was obsessed with pictures) and I bought her a promise ring with our names engraved and a stack full of Open When.. cards.  Before leaving I couldn't imagine going even a week without seeing her, it seemed almost impossible but before we both knew it its already been a month since we've last seen each other and hopefully time will continue to be on our side.  Now this journey hasn't come without it's ups and downs, sleepless nights and gloomy days; in the end however, it is well worth it in exchange for a lifetime full of happiness.  With change comes growth and after this year I know we will form a bond that will bring us closer than ever before.  5 more weeks and we'll finally be able to see each other again in Germany!! Words cannot describe the excitement I feel just thinking about that moment.  Whoever said that absence makes the heart grow fonder was absolutely right!

So apparently CBYX likes to play this game where they see how long they can hold out on telling people who their host family is until the week before they leave.. just kidding!  Seriously though I have spent the whole month of August eagerly awaiting the email containing the information of about my host family and city i'd be living in.  Jacqueline has also been waiting in order to choose a workaway that would be closest to my town, but to no avail.  The weeks went by and I actually began to worry.  Had none of the families liked me?  Was it my face? Will I even get to go to Germany next year?  Should I be prepared to live on the streets?  Well my homeless nightmares were quickly settled when I received an email this week telling me that I will be attending a language camp with a few of my AFS peers in the beautiful and historic city of Celle!  There I will be placed with a temporary host family for the first 4 weeks of the program after which I will be transferred to my permanent host family and town.  I am ecstatic to be lucky enough to see another city in Germany as well as having the opportunity to meet another, hopefully amazing, host family!  This upcoming weekend I leave for Washington D.C where I will meet with my state representative and take part in a 3 day orientation with all of the other AFS students before we head off to Deutschland!  By the time you next hear from me I will be writing from my host family's home in Celle, Germany!!

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