In the period from 3rd to10th September 2016 there was a second part of the Polish-German school exchange. On these days 13 boys and girls from the III class of the high school under the leadership of Ms. Adamek and Ms. Mojsak had the occasion to visit a beautiful town of Wetter and Cologne.
Here’s a report day after day from Wetter / Germany 2016.
The exchange begins! At 3:30 at night, in our houses the alarm clock rings. It’s time to wake up. We finish packing our suitcases and leave our homes. At about 5 o’clock we meet at the airport. All slightly sleepy, not really knowing what was going on, but happy. At 6 o’clock we get on the plane and then we finally take off. After about 1,5 hour flight a long-awaited moment comes – the first meeting with German families. In a few minutes we’re going with them to their homes. After the arrival we eat breakfast, get to know our hosts a little bit closer and then go out for the first meeting in larger groups together with our German colleagues. We ride on roller skates along the lake Kemnader. Because of the heat on our way we stop at the cafe. On our way back we go on a boat where we take off our shoes. Later some of us go shopping to a shopping centre and some of us simply rest. On that day we go to bed very early. It’s not surprising as we all started at 3 am …
The second day of our trip we spent with our exchange partners. Unfortunately, the weather was rainy. I have seen a gallery of photos placed in an old gasometer. Apart from the incredible photos of nature you could find there a huge ball as well. That was a globe, where they displayed an image of the Earth so it seemed even more impressive. At the top of the gasometer there was a view point, but it was closed because of the storm.
In the afternoon along with other friends we went for supper. Once we met each other we started talking of what exactly we had seen today. Someone told about his trip to the adventure park “Phantasialand”. Someone else told about his visit to the BVB stadium.
And this was the way we spent the second day of our wonderful trip to Germany.
We got up early in the morning and ate breakfast with our host families. Then we went to school. We had a meeting with the school headmaster, Ms. Zimmer and were invited for refreshments to the school canteen. Then we met all the participants of the Polish-German group, that is 13 students from Poland and 13 from Germany- they were all girls. At the meeting we tried to teach our hosts some Polish words and we had some fun because of that. Later we went on a sightseeing tour in Wetter. In the end, we and our German colleagues got a free time and we enjoyed it.
Tuesday, at least for me, was a very interesting day. At 7:50, when the German students begin their lessons, we all met in front of the school. Tired, because no one likes to get up early in the morning. The first lesson was Biology. The teacher didn’t really pay attention to students behaviour in the classroom so it was very loud. During the second lesson we went outside, because we wanted to relax in the playground. In the meantime, we were informed that at school in Wetter there was a fire alarm. After the lessons we all went bowling to Hagen. Most of us had a good time. After that we went back home. This day was organised perfectly.
On Wednesday I woke up very early because I didn’t want to be late for school. But today wasn’t a normal day, today it was my birthday. I was 15, finally. When I went downstairs for breakfast, I saw colourful inscription. It was “Happy Birthday” in German. After the meal, I went to change my clothes. When we were ready, we went to school. My first two lessons were History with Ania, Rafał, Michał, Pola and of course their exchange partners. Unfortunately, the classroom was too small, so we had to spend time in a corridor. After this lesson, I with my friends from Poland wanted to play MiniGolf, but there were some problems and we couldn’t go. Our teachers took us to the centre of Wetter. We went to the shopping centre where we saw old castle ruins. In the shopping centre there weren’t too many shops, but it didn’t matter because I spent amazing time with my friends. Later I had to choose between two options: football pitch or swimming pool. This time I chose swimming pool. The highlight of this place were trampolines. You could choose 1m, 3m and 5m level of trampolines. The best jumps were from the highest. After a few hours in water we came back home. Later was the next birthday surprise. Everybody went to Leyla. They were waiting for me. When I came, the party started. Cathleen’s father is a photographer, so at the beginning he made a group session. Later everyone could take as many pictures as they wanted. For most of the time, we were playing “never had I ever”. That was Wednesday, the day of my birthday.
On Thursday, the sixth day of the exchange, we went to Cologne. The weather was good, the sun was shining. We got on the train and started our journey to Cologne. Immediately after arrival we noticed the third largest church in the world – Cathedral of St. Peter and the Virgin Mary. The majestic building made a big impression on all of us. We went inside. The tour guide told us about the gothic buildings, stained glass windows and sculptures of saints. We learned, among other things, that in the cathedral there were relics of the three kings from the New Testament . These relics made this church and the city the famous and important centre for pilgrimages.
After sightseeing a part of the group decided to climb up one of the towers. The way was long and winding, but the views of the entire city was well worth the effort. In our free time we managed to go through the streets of Cologne and see beautiful old architecture. Some bought cologne which is a typical souvenir from this city.
We all had a good time, although it could be a little bit longer. We found out that Cologne is a lovely, well taken care of town with an interesting history and monuments.
On Friday we went to school for 2 lessons. After 10am we met in school Mensa at the final round-up of the project. We talked about prejudices and stereotypes related to our countries and played a linguistic game. Back then, we were able to sense incoming separation. After all that, we went home. Everyone was having fun with their mates. Playing games, talking, going out etc. Around 3 pm we went to the rope park with everyone. We also had a campfire in our plans, so everyone attended it. At about 7 pm we went up the hill and we spent time there till 10:30 pm We decided to take a stroll at around 7 pm. We were out for like 3 hours, so everyone came back home pretty late.
And so it came, the most or the least dreaded day of the exchange, the day of the departure. Some of us awaited it with excitement and some wished it would never come. Exactly at 10 am the alarm clock rang and five minutes later a person I’d call a stranger just a week ago and now a good friend, came into my room and announced that the breakfast is ready. With nostalgia I realised it was the last day of my stay in this charming little town called Wetter. But you can’t live the past, instead you have to enjoy the present and the last moments spent with these people. When I got to the table the whole family was already waiting for me. Involuntarily I started smiling, it’s surprising how I got attached to them and felt as if I knew them for way longer than a few days. The last breakfast with them was spent on pleasant conversations and laughter. After the meal came the time to pack all the things . After that me and my friend sat in her room and talked about the best moments from the last week. But instead of getting sad and melancholic we started thinking what it will be like when they come to Poland. But that moment didn’t last too long because exactly at 12 pm came the transport to take us to the airport. Then came the farewell with the parents and we were on our way. Those 30 minutes passed so quickly I haven’t even noticed when we arrived at our destination. Almost everyone was already there. Of course we couldn’t do without the photos accompanied by the sounds of a piano played by our talented friends. And there came the time for goodbyes. No one wanted to leave, after those few days we grew close to each other. After long minutes of hugging our teachers finally managed to pull us apart. Everyone threw last longing looks towards our friends and we all set off to check in. After that came security control. Most of us got through it without any problems but not everyone was so lucky. Some had to take the drug test. Security swabs your hands with a paper and puts it in a special machine. Luckily the ones that had it taken didn’t have any problems. We had some time before the flight so everyone did what they wanted to, some bought food and some just sat in the departures lounge. At one point we heard an announcement that it’s time to board the plane. We weren’t enthusiastic about it because no one wanted to go back to the boring reality. The flight went by relatively quickly, same with getting our luggage. When everyone was ready we went to the arrivals hall where there had been waiting some of our parents. Then everyone separated and went their own way. We were quite sad that this part of our adventure was finished but we knew that soon we’ll see our friends which this time are going to be our guests.