Posted by Zoe Lit on Jun 15, 2020
Hi all,
Hope you are well. I heard New Zealand is corona free! Lucky you. Germany is a lot better now with under 10,000 cases. Despite new cases we have been on the decline which is amazing news. Things are slowly starting to return to normal!
My monthly report for this month is a mix of quarantine and life starting again. I’m so grateful that things are coming back to normal and that my new host family is so welcoming and amazing. This would not have been possible without the Rotary and my clubs Saalburg-Taunus and Pakuranga.

I had my last few weeks in my first host family. We had more barbecues and tried to do more before I left.  Shops were opening more and we were allowed to go shopping now (of course with a mask and disinfection). So because it was my last weekend with them they took me shopping, to a place called the “Deutsches eck” and treadboating. It was a really nice way to spend my last weekend with them. 

It was really sad to say goodbye to my first family after all they have done for me. But I was really excited to meet my new family and experience new things. They came to pick me up because their dog Luki is scared of people especially men and tall people as he was an adopted dog. They wanted Luki to get used to me and so they brought him along in the car ride. He is so cute and he reminds me of my close friend’s dog. When I had to say goodbye to my first host family, I got teary because Jana (the youngest daughter) was starting to cry. Ever since I’ve moved, Jana video called once which was really cute. I prepared a gift for my host family before I left. I gave them a card I made and a photo of the whole family. Before I left they also gave me something which was really funny. Ever since I came I discovered rot weisse which is ketchup and mayo together in one tube. I normally have to mix the two myself but ever since I discovered it I’ve basically lived off it. Because I love it so much, they gave me a tube when I left.

My new family lives in the town of my school which is also the same town as where Luis lives. It’s such a coincidence that the daughter is called Emily and that she wants to go to Taiwan for her exchange although now it is uncertain if she will still go with the covid-19. This family speaks more English so I usually switch between English and German. Or I reply in German when they switch to English. I think I’ll get really good at switching between English and German which is good because then I get a taste of what it is like to be a translator which is a potential career I’m considering. 
My 2nd host family lives in an apartment by a forest on a really big hill. It is really pretty and on the balcony you can see the whole field and the forest. I’ve been on several walks and runs with the dog Luki, and usually with Emily the daughter or the father, Heiner. 

My new host family encourages me to hang out with friends despite corona. Whether it be local or Rotary friends. Just as long as I am careful by wearing a mask when needed and washing or disinfecting my hands. Which is really nice because I’ve been hanging out with Luis more because he’s going to leave soon as he is a summer inbound. This family is actually originally from Hamburg which is a city in the North of Germany. But because of my hostdads job they came down to Frankfurt. In the summer holidays we are going to go up to Hamburg and after the holidays my host mom will stay there because she found a better job offer in Hamburg. 

I’ve tried this new dip/ spread/ cream cheese thing which is so good. One is made from figs and the other is mango chili. It’s actually from a Turkish stand in the market in my old town which is so strange that I never discovered it while I was living in the town. 

School also restarted and because I’m in year 11, I have school 3 times a week. School now is harder. Usually from 12:20 to 5 pm without a break is a lot of German to process in a day. But I mean I do understand a lot more now apart from the terminology in certain classes. We also only have the subjects that are needed. So German, English, Math and for me Art because I chose English and Art as my “harder subjects.” We have to stay 2 meters apart when we are in school. Which is strange because before we were always hugging each other when we greeted each other. Now it’s a bit more awkward in that sense. When we sit down in class all the tables are separated or there are only limited chairs in the classroom. When we enter school we have to wear our masks and we are only allowed to take them off when we sit down at our tables. Even when we enter school there is a teacher standing by the door with a bottle of disinfection spray.

Football also started again which was so great because it meant things are slowly starting to come back to normal. Obviously we aren’t allowed to play games so when we train we aren’t allowed to do drills that make us come in contact with each other. So training is long passes and running in groups with distance. In that sense training is very strange because I don’t think I’ve had to be so conscious about coming in contact with other people. Before we enter we have to disinfect our hands and if the ball touches our hands we have to run to the other end of the field and disinfect the ball and our hands. But at least these drills have given me the time to talk and mix with the girls who play football with me. I also learnt one or two of the girls went on an exchange to America. I’ve learnt to multitask by running and talking in German to the girls. My German is improving day by day but I feel it is not where I want it to be. Although I can speak and understand a lot more I feel as though it still isn’t natural. I feel like I have a stutter because sometimes the words don’t come out fast enough or I stop midway because I can’t finish the sentence.  It does feel good though, now that I can somewhat converse with other people. 
My new host family goes to the gym and so they enrolled me with them too. It was my first time ever in my life in a gym. My first time trying out the machines they have at the gym. It was so nice to try something different. There are also different classes which I can sign up for which I’m really looking forward to because my host dad goes to some of the classes on the weekend. I really would like to go with him and experience something new while learning more about my host dad. 

On the 31st of May we are going to visit Jaqueline’s (my host mom) mother. She lives close to the border of France and is Austrian. So it will be a challenge for me indeed to try and understand the different dialects of German. Because the summer holidays are coming up and Denmark opened up its borders to Germany and some other countries my host family found a holiday home to rent on an island in Denmark. I’m so excited and I can’t wait for the summer holidays to come.