Why follow me?

For any of you who just stumbled on my blog my name is Austin Beckett and I am a Rotary Youth Exchange student from Elkhart, Indiana to Berlin, Germany for 1 year. If you are interested in anything, or have questions about anything, feel free to send me an email! austingermanexchange@gmail.com Thanks for reading and enjoy :)!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

So True!

.-How are you gonna know what a dream is...if you've never completed one.
.-How are you gonna know what an adventure is...if you never undertook one.
... .-How are you gonna know what anguish is...if you never told your family and friends "see you soon" with your eyes full of tears.
.-How are you gonna know what desperation is...if you never arrived in a place, alone, withou...t understanding anything the others were saying
.-How are you gonna know what it means to miss someone...if you've never been away from home
.-How are you gonna know what diversity is...if you've never shared under the same roof with people from all over the world
.-How are you gonna know what tolerance is...if you've never had to get used to something different, even if you don't like it.
.-How are you gonna know what independence is...if you've never had to make decisions for yourself.
.-How are you gonna know what it means to grow...if you never quit being a child to start in a new direction.
.-How are you gonna know what disability is...if you've never had to urge to hug someone, but the computer screen got in your way
.-How are you gonna know what distance is...if you've never looked at a map and said "Wow, I'm far"
.-How are you gonna know what a language is...if youve never had to learn one to make friends
.-How are you gonna know what patriotism is...if you've never shouted "I love my country" holding a flag in the hand.
.-How are you gonna know what a party is...if you've never traveled hours to go to one
.-How are you gonna know what true reality is...if you've never had the opportunity to see many different ones so you can create your own.
.-How are you gonna know what an opportunity is...if you've never taken advantage of one
.-How are you gonna know what pride is...if you never felt it for yourself when you realize what you've accomplished.
.-How are you gonna know what it means to seize the moment...if you've never seen how time passed through your hands with great strides
.-How are you gonna know what a friend is...if the circumstances never taught you which ones are real
.-How are you gonna know what a family is...if you've never had one that supported you unconditionally
.-How are you gonna know what your boundaries are...if you've never passed them to see what lies beyond.
.-How are you gonna know what money is...if you never had to manage it to get along.
.-How are you gonna know what imagination is...if you've never thought about the moment you get back home
.-How are you gonna know what the world is...if you never were an EXCHANGE STUDENT
And lastly, (from the group "You Know You Are A Rotary Youth Exchange Student When...) "You know that being an exchange student is taking years off of your life, but you're living more in one year than many live in ten."
 If this was to be anymore true I think it would hurt. Everything that is said is so true! When I read the part of when you say, "I'll see you soon." to your friends and family it almost brought tears to my eyes because it is so true. During my last day in America as I said goodbye to my mother with the tears in her eyes I looked back and said, "I'll see you soon. Love you mom!" To imagine the pain this must be is hard. I mean, I know what it is like from my stand point, but for a mother to have to let her son go for a year? I think that would be the hardest. But my mom is a fighter and she is kicking butt at this year thing! I love her and I will see her soon. Just like I promised! And I refuse to break that promise! It will be soon! :) 
And for all of you who don't know what it is like and you are reading this (I would first like to thank you for reading this, but...) you don't even know. It is almost impossible to even try to imagine. Honestly I wouldn't even try. To try to imagine life for an exchange student is trying to predict when the world will end, it is nearly impossible if not impossible. It takes a certain breed of people to become an exchange student. It takes an even better breed to stay the whole year and have a successful exchange! :) I love it here and mom, I WILL see you soon :)!

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, October 16, 2011

So much news!!

      So, I am so sorry that I haven't posted lately, BUT I have some good news :).... I love it here! It is amazing, my host family? Great! So, let's start from the beginning shall we?
       I got to Tegel airport and found 4 people standing waiting for me I knew who 3 of them were, I later came to know the fourth as my YEO, Herr Buchheim. After recieving a lovely sunflower from my host mom Bettina, I talked to my YEO for about 3 or 4 minutes, in German, he said my German was good..... I WAS SO JET-LAGGED!!! So, I was a bit afraid to talk in any language. What was my mind wanting? SLEEP! I knew I couldn't and I was told that multiple times too. So after driving home with Bettina, Terry, and Ben we had my first German breakfast. It was lovely! I had a Brötchen, (for the English speakers it is a bread roll, very delicious if I must say) with Nutella. That was the first time I had ever had Nutella. I love it! Then up the stairs come Anton. Finally I met him haha. He sat down and joined us for breakfast. About 2 or 3 hours after breakfast, Ben and I went on a bike ride... I then learned that it is pretty hard to ride a bike when you are tired and jet lagged, oh well. But we went on a ride and he showed me the "Mitte von Kleinmachnow" (Middle/inner part of Kleinmachnow). We were headed in search of Eis (Ice Cream). After seeing some of Kleinmachnow we found out that the Ice cream stand he wanted to take me to was closed... Sad. Then we decided to go to Zehlendorf mitte. There we found an ice cream stand within 2 minutes. And that was the first Euro I ever spent.
    After all that traveling we went back home.... Had it really been that long?? It was almost time for dinner! I don't remember what we had but I remember it being SO much better than the airplane food I had had in my system for the past day. After dinner, which was on the upstairs terrace, I went to bed. It was 8pm local time and my host parents were very impressed that I made it that long. That was a compliment. I got up and put my dishes in the dishwasher and walked my zombie feeling self downstairs to my new bed (for 4 months). I only remember laying down. I fell right to sleep.
     What was I doing up?! What time was it?? 4 AM?!?!?! I decided to go back to bed of course. Then I woke up at 8 am and decided to wake up. So I went up stairs and helped Bettina with getting the table set for Breakfast (Frühstück). Then we decided to have a cup of coffee and wait for everyone else to wake up. That day after breakfast Anton told me that he had plans for us to meet up with one of his friends who was also and exchange student that was hosting someone (in Germany if you go out for an exchange you have to host). So we did and that is when I had my first Döner... If you have never had a Döner you are missing out on one of the most amazing foods I have EVER had... Just google it. It may look weird in some pictures but it is the most amazing thing ever! I had my first Döner with Anton, his friend, and Adris (from Mexico). Then we went home and had dinner. Then after dinner Anton and I went to meet up with another one of his friends, Maxi. He is really awesome! I like him a lot. He is cool, we actually were together today.
   Whatever, on my fourth day Bettina, Ben, and I went into Berlin and went sight seeing... It turned out that I would be doing almost the exact same thing every day until school started. Oh well it was amazing! I met so many other exchange students that way. Berlin Hauptbahnhof. If that has no meaning to you, you are not an exchange student in Berlin... For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, Berlin Hauptbahnhof is the biggest train station in Berlin, that's the reason it is called hauptbahnhof, to break it down, Haupt-Center/capital... Bahn-Train... Hof-station. Us exchangers in Berlin are ALWAYS THERE!!!!! ALWAYS! And, to make it even more universal we meet at McDonalds......
         What else is new.... I went to Oktoberfest in München (Munich), and for any Rotarian, I didn't drink...... Then we went to the Englischer Garten, BEAUTIFUL!!! When I say we I mean Philipp Bayer and I. For those of you who don't know, Philipp is pretty much my brother from a different country. He did an exchange in Elkhart my 10th grade year. He however is not in my district here in Germany. He lives in Bremerhäven.... ANYWAYS! That was fun.... Hmmm, what else...I went to Saxon (Saxony), more specifically, the Sächsische Schweiz, translate that to English it is the Saxon Switzerland.... by the way this was in Germany. The reason it has Switzerland in the name is because of how in the Romatic period Switzerland was supposed to be really beautiful so there are cities in Europe with Switzerland in their name.... Oh well. I was there mountain climbing with the host family and we went to a fort named Festung Königstein. Beautiful, a place to seriously look up. It is built ontop of a rock... Seriously!
      Sorry I went so long without a post but I am going to work on putting a little post up every other day... Here is some of the pictures I have taken while being here or while on my way here.