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Sunday, September 13, 2009

GERMANY - Post #4

GERMANY - Day Three...oh yeah, there is still much more to come!

We kicked off Wednesday with a Media Blitz at the Erfurt Fire Station. We sat in a room with a few reporters as they asked questions about the sister city exchange and what we hoped for our visit. Within 24 hours we were all featured in three Erfurt Newspapers!

Following the Media Blitz, the guys stuck around the Fire Station for some additional welcomes and trainings, and us ladies headed off to the city of Gotha (pronounced GOAT-A) to visit an English class of the 11 year old son of Erfurt Firefighter Schaefer.

During our visit we were asked questions about things in America, what was our favorite music, favorite thing we had seen thus far in Germany, did we know and watch the Simpson's and Family was pretty interesting! Part of the standard curriculum in Germany for students is to learn the English language as their second language. For obvious reasons, East Germans who grew up during the GDR were forced to learn Russian, but when the wall came down and the Western influence moved across Germany, the curriculum began to change too.

Silke & Andreas Schaefer with son Tom

After visiting Tom's school we walked down into the city of Gotha for lunch and a little sight-seeing. This is a view of Gotha from the top of the hill. The large Red Building in the center is their current City Hall.

Luthern Church in Gotha.

Friedenstein Palace - This palace was built for Duke Ernst I in 1643 and took 13 years to finish.

After my visit to Gotha I came home and made Jello with Tim and he kicked my butt at Mario Cart on the Wii. I am however the Bowling and Baseball Champion of the Kazek household!

That evening we were given a guided tour of the Petersberg Fortress that sits within Erfurt.

We were given torches and led into the caverns below the fortress.

After our tour ended we were treated to a wonderful dinner in what was the former bakery of the fortress. It is now used for catered events and is quite impressive!

Sporting our new ERFURT/SHAWNEE Friendship T-Shirts. We can't speak enough about the hospitality that we received on this trip. Our host families and other acquaintances made us feel right at home.


Melissa said...

So cool that you were able to do this!