»Die Zeit rennt davon // Time is running out...

Hallöchen! 💋

That's definitely not the first time, I am apologising for not giving you updates regularly. However,  recent and former exchange students, everybody can tell what it is like to spend the last remaining weeks in your host country. You try to schedule as many things and get togethers with friends and family as possible. Time is running out, and especially when you are kept busy, it's even more complicated to find a quite minute for writing on a new blogspot. But here I am, about to sum up what kept me from telling about my most recent experiences which just so now started to be the ones of my last full month I have left in my favourite State- Texas! 🇺🇸

• Area Track Meet in Dallas, 04/28 - 04/30/2016 •

For three day in the end of April, Muenster's Track Team was heading down to the Jessie Owen's Stadium in Dallas. This year I successfully competed in the Junior Varsity what unfortunately does not enable me to advance to any further competition than the District Track Meet. But this in more detail later. For what I am more than thankful is having given the possibility to go along with the students who advanced to the Area Track Meet. We left on Thursday Night (04/28) and stayed in a Holiday Inn Hotel nearby the Stadium for the next two following two days.


After we ate breakfast in the hotel, we would be heading out to the stadium early in the morning.  The weather could have been better, but that's not a reason for us to get distracted. At our camp, which was basically a tent with laid out mattresses we mostly spend our time throughout the day.We bridged our times with fun games like spoons or Bias as well as by watching our athletes competing at Area! 


For Lunch and Dinner we would go out to eat, so did we go to Texas Roadhouse on our very last day. That was my first time having a real Texas Steak at a restaurant in the USA. But I truly believe, we should to have a word about the size of this 6-oz steak again. I always assumed, everything is bigger in Texas, what might seem controversial to you if you have a look at this little piece of meat. 😛👇🏽


Although it's been a while, I want to take this moment to congrats our State Bound for advancing to a next level, and of course everybody for successfully competing in the Track Meeting. Y'all did a great job and I am more than positive you will a bright future of following years full of success and good experiences. 😌 Keep it up! 💪🏼

• Texas Motor Speedway, 05/14/2016 •

It's been on my "to-Do List" probably since the beginning of the year. Nicole and her family are very big into racing and her dad actually builds his own cars which is then races with in competitions all over the State of Texas. 


Dirt Racing, that's what it is actually called! On may 13-14 the Texas World Dirt Track Championships returned to the Texas Motor Speedway, which is not too far from the Dallas/ Fort Worth Area. So this Saturday night I spent a little differently, with watching ASCS Sprint Cars, Limited Modified and Factory Stock Cars. 


I love to make some new experiences and especially to learn about something I probably wouldn't  personally deal with in my everyday life because of varying interests. But this was definitely worth to see! 


The evening was highlighted by three championship races, including a 30-lap Factory Stock Championship followed by a 40-lab Limited Modified Championship and another 40-lab ASCS Sprint Car Championship which we didn't quite watch till the end. It was loud, my face was covered with a little dust and I was freezing at 11:30 pm wrapping myself in a warm blanket, but it surely was entertaining! 
• School's Banquet, 05/17/2016 •

Before I will come to the main content of this part, I would like to introduce to another fun activity conducted in American High School. Right before the school year approaches it's end, every High student is ought to take a survey about the student's. From a wide range to pick, you assign a boy and a girl each to all the given categories. For what you vote you can see on the picture below. 


I would have never even taken it in consideration to receive enough votes to make it in one of these categories. That I eventually became the friendliest girl of our entire campus makes me feel very honoured! The other day the Yearbook Team took our pictures which will be displayed in the Yearbook. To unfortunate, our book won't be available before the beginning of next school's year, what means that I will have to have some more patience to finally be able to share my American school experience in pictures! 

However, the last month of school there was another election taking place, belonging to the contest known as "Who's Who?" as well. Every year, teachers would selected 3-4 students in all the subjects taught at Muenster ISD. If you were nominated, you possibly had a chance to eventually receive an award in honour of your achievements at the School's Banquet. 


I was a nominee for Family Consumer Science, this includes the Home Economics Classes like Child Development, Fashion, Nutrition etc. and Government/Economics. The evening of May, 17th teachers, students and family were getting together to celebrate this years School's Banquet. First of all, we were served dinner by one of our local restaurants in town. 


The Seniors who are soon going off to college, received their scholarships for which they have worked so hard. To come back to the "Who's Who?" Contest, I am pleased to be able to say I received an award for special achievements in Government and Economics. People were laughing about how hilarious this actually is, an foreign student beating who makes over everybody else in AMERICAN politics haha 😄 But I am so proud of Karli who made it for the FCS class her Senior year! 

Throughout the school year, every six weeks you are sent a paper of your average score in every of your subjects. The administration keeps track of your scores and this way they can select the students who are eligible to receive "A or AB Honour Roll". You can perceive it as an honour for those who are overall the students with marvellous accomplishments in their grade. With not too much of an effort but apparently good enough, I achieved the "AB Honour Roll" about which I am so so happy and surprised at once. This year I definitely haven't had to work as hard for school as I usually do, but still was able to keep up my scores and personal goals!! 

 

Furthermore teachers and coaches hold speeches about this year involving sports season and special events. In dedication to the Seniors who they have seen grown up from Junior High up to their last year of High School, one or another got pretty emotional. It was not only them realising all good is slowly coming to an end, I also recognised this might be one of my last big school events I can be apart of. When Coach Binder (my Track coach) started talking about how proud I have made all of them this season, by always crossing this finish line with all possible effort, I couldn't any other than tearing up a little bit. But hey, we have to stay serious, I mean you are on the stage not wanting to ruin your makeup?! Just kidding! 😝 On the other hand, it makes me feel so good to know I will leave this place with special and nice memories to remember on in the future. 

 

Overall it was an awesome evening. I try to tell myself every now and then, it's not about how much time you have left, it's about how much value you put on these last days, and what you make out of it. So everybody, enjoy every single moment that is given to you during your exchange, no matter if you are just randomly sitting in school waiting to be out, or having the best day of your life, appreciate it all because unfortunately all good has to come to an end at some point... 😶

 

• Field Trip 05/18/2016 •

As one or another might remember is my host mom teaching FCS at Muenster ISD. Every year, she takes her Seniors on their last field trip by the end of the school year. Traditionally they would go to the Swedish Furniture House, IKEA to maybe pull in some inspirations for future home dorms in college. 🌸

Even though I am recently not a Senior, I had the pleasure of joining them on their way down to Frisco. It was funny to see an IKEA in the USA, because if I compare it to the one I am used going to in Berlin, I barely could tell you any differences. You would start in the hallway, taking the escalator up to the beautiful arranged bedrooms. 🛌 I guess they have a structure to make it easier to construct, build and decorate the store. And of course, as you approach the exit you can't resist on stopping by the snack station to get a hotdog. That always has been a ritual of our IKEA trips. 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦

 

But as we were heading to the Frisco Mall next, we decided to rather save up for later because who would choose a lousy Hotdog 🌭 over eating Lunch at an amazing place like the Cheesecake Factory?! ✨ I finally could check off another bucket on my list that Katie and I had been planning on for a long time! And here we go, finally together at the Cheesecake Factory. ✅ I didn't expect it to be such a fancy restaurant and the atmosphere was marvellous! 


My Banana Cheesecake that I bought for on the go, was almost as much as I paid for my entire lunch. 😝 But no regrets for that should indicate how could of a cheesecake you can get there! A place where I definitely have to stop by the next time I am visiting the USA. 😎🇺🇸

And that's for the first part of fun times I had have experienced during my last full month of my exchange year in the United States! Let me know, if y'all enjoyed it, even though it's just been in written form and pictures. 😊 Bye Bye, love y'all! ♕

- Lea ❥

»Germanfest 🇩🇪🇺🇸


And herewith I welcome you to another blogspot in April 2016! The past weekend, Muenster/TX celebrated their annual »Germanfest«. Since 41 years Muenster holds this festival which is pretty much well known around the area, what makes people from all over the place to come and visit! 

With the beginning of the week, you already recognised the town getting ready for this fest of three days. People arranged several rides as well as tents and the volunteer organization "Keep Muenster Beautiful" picked up trash laying around town helping to make it to an even more convenient place. 

By Thursday the set up was practically done, and first visitors could enjoy the preview festival on Thursday evening. I didn't attend the Carnival Night but I have heard parents usually take their kids that day because is less crowded and that way rather can spend the following day in the main part of the festival where competitions, concerts, and other fun activities are going on! 


As the week approached closer to Friday, the weather thankfully switched it's mind and we had sunshine and warm temperatures again. It worked out perfectly for the upcoming three-days festival! 

• DA1 ⭐︎ FRIDAY, APRIL 23RD ⭐︎

My host dad owns Muenster Auto Parts in town and since approximately 30 years he uses his property to provide parking lots of incoming visitors. Although it's the forty-first Germanfest, it's still as popular as the previous years wherefore it's always a pleasure for my host dad you have someone to help him. As the fest ground were just across the highway, we were able to to listen to the live music played on the stage. We were sitting around on the back of his truck or in foldout chairs what kinda evoke a feeling of camping. On Friday it hasn't been that busy yet, but people would still come in till late in the evening. 


Throughout the entire weekend we were having three different cookouts, starting with Hot Dogs on Friday. I have never really been big into hot dogs, but when my host dad cooks them, I will even eat two! 🌭 After some of us ate, Kenzie and I were driving around the mule delivering the food to the rest of our crew. 😜

 

DAY 2 ⭐︎ SATURDAY, APRIL 23RD ⭐︎

 My morning started earlier, when Mike and I were driving to town around 8 am. First of all, we, of course had to get some quick breakfast from Sonic to start our day right. 😄 His sister Barbara and her husband Lary also had been already awake and together we set everything up for the next day! Right around 11 am it started to get really busy what probably was due to the "36th Annual Metric Century Bicycle Rally". People were given the choice of three different routes (100 km; 68 km or 35 km) to pedale through the beautiful and scenic North Texas Area.

You felt it was the last full weekend in April and Germanfest was going on! Even down Main Street several booths were sitting out people were strolling around the shops. Muenster FCCLA was selling it's famous Monster cookies. The the sun was already bouncing on my head ☀️ when Karli and I were working together at the booth in front of Girlfriend's. I truly believe the slogan I came up with "It's love at first bite" describes the taste of these delicious cookies the best. This goes to my friends and family from Germany, it's not too much longer anymore until I can finally bake some for y'all!


As soon as my shift was over, I was back to work again haha. 😃 Getting tired of it or feeling bored was absolutely ineligible. I don't know how we got to this, but I think it was Mike who came up with this idea. He asked me if I could translate the directions we give visitors into German. I immediately said: "Of course, I can do this!". Oh well, that's not entirely true.. it took me literally about five minutes to figure out how to best word two sentences in German. I practiced a few times to make sure I know what I am saying. It's unbelievable what a year can make of a difference. It's so hard for me to speak proper German when I am actually thinking in English. I am pretty sure that's also a reason why my English couldn't be that good right from the beginning. 😉

But to come back to my main part... People were pulling in the drive way, I went up there to receive the required parking fee from them. They were either confused, speechless or totally amused when I started giving them directions in German. I assume, some of them didn't acknowledged me or they were too confused to answer, but didn't I gave you particular directions where to park at? 😃 Mostly one of our crew members stood behind me and explain this whole confusing act. "She is our German exchange student and we are trying to make it a little more authentic" And of course after that we gave them the  correct directions again, but this time in English. 😉 


It was probably the best kind of entertainment how most of them reacted. Their chin just went down and you could see how overwhelmed they had been in their faces. It happened twice that I didn't know what to answer either when the one guy answered me in Rumanian and the other one started talking in Swahili very fast. I guess I have never laughed so hard. 😂


One of our incoming visitors thought it was so cool that I am from Germany, that he all the sudden started talking in German to me. While I was still answering in English, he talked without almost any American accent about his trips to Germany and that his mother was born there.  To me he actually sounded pretty much like someone from Bavarian with the Southern dialect. 

Mike and I took him on the mule down to the entrance where he got in for free. Everybody wearing complete ethnic German attire (zu Deutsch: Tracht) receives free admittance for the entire day! Later when I went to the fest, I actually saw a lot of women wearing »Dirndl« and the men in »Lederhosen«. 

I was going to the fest later in the afternoon and as I perceived it, it is more comparable to a smaller form of a fair (zu Deutsch: Volksfest) Till that moment I just met people who were going down there and I had been working at the parking lot, but I never knew what actually all was going being offered there. 

There was constantly live music being played by a diversity of different bands and artists. Of course a fair always consist of a bunch of food places. Sauerkraut, all kinds of Sausage, Funnel Cake (❗️Caution here: deep fried 😜❗️), Pretzel made it even harder to find a final decision on what to get. 

Funnel Cake 😋
You're talking about "Knacker?" 🤔 😂

There was also plenty of possibilities to buy some nice souvenirs. People were selling Bierkrüge, Trachten, Souvenirs, decoration and all kind of hilarious things like shirts, with funny prints, hats, jewellery that mostly dealt with the German culture in some way.

 

It's been so crowded and there were so many people from other cities, towns or even states, that I hardly saw anybody from Muenster. But there were some of the boutiques from Muenster having a booth and so did our Cheerleaders in the food tent. 🎉

video

Germnafest is basically a place with entertaining for the whole family, including mimes, magicians, clowns, storytellers, a rock-climbing wall, bounce houses or the Carnival and Kinder Theatre for the children, while parents and other adults delight in dancing, music, arts and craft and two stages with non-stop entertainment. In addition people could join or watch the »Sausage and Rib cook-Off« at the Heritage Park, one of the two contests that were offered throughout the weekend. In another contest people were competing in »Nägel Schlagen«. For these who do not know about this activity originated from Germany: A spike is hammered into a tree trunk by the contestants each taking turns to see who can hammer the spike into the trunk with the least amount of hits. 

 
Tanzhalle
Petting Zoo 🐷🐰🐴

While I was strolling around I already had been seeing quite a few people walking around wearing this shirt which says: "Texas grown - German roots". When I finally came across the booth from Posh, a boutique form Muenster, I couldn't resist on buying it. But I was probably the only one who could claim this expression as true. 😅


As the evening fell, it was time to listen to some good music from Parker McCollum. I have never heard about him before but for teenagers he apparently is a pretty big musician! All my friends from High School were so excited about him, especially when they got a picture. Oh well, I even though I was in my working clothes, I had to eventually take a picture with him. Alaina told me I should tell him, I from Germany and as I started talking, still with a little bit of German accent, he called me adorable. 🙂

 

Bands and musicians had not been the solely ones performing on stage. During this years' Germanfest some guy proposed to his girlfriend and she said: "YES!". I unfortunately didn't get to see it, but Taylor got a video of it. Watch here! 💍👀

 

I was so happy when Alaina and Jocelyn finally came over. We had so much fun dancing to Parker's good music at the stage.💃🏽🎶 And now in the evening you would see a bunch of more people from Muenster, so did I meet my art teacher or acquaintances. 😊 Because you meet someone at almost every turn you take, it took me a while until we made it to the »Kettle Korn« booth. This popcorn better last for at least the last couple of weeks till I have to leave Texas. 😜


And then I was hanging out with Megan and Rylee, later we also met Erin and took her around. It's been so much fun, I love when everybody is getting together and you are spending some good time together. 🎉


left to right: Megan, Erin, MarLynn, Hunter
  

Originally I didn't plan on going on any rides, because I was too lazy to get some tickets. The Americans got me like... 🤔 just kidding!! 😅 But the »Fearest Wheel« actually look kind of fun, so did Megan and I got in line. 

 

You won't believe how energetic I had been right before we got on it, I kept saying: "I am so pumped for that." 😛 But oh well, that didn't last long. At the beginning it was funny but when I stopped singing and laughing, you know something is wrong with me haha. 🙃 First I lost my hat, which I eventually got back, but this ride had been so long and all it did was spinning overhead, so we became dizzy and my knees were getting weak. After we got out, it actually hadn't been too bad, at least did we survive. 😎

 
video 

Having a nice get together with the family by the end of the day brought it to a very nice end. 😊 I was visiting with one of my host mom's other sister, Renee who came all the way from California with her daughter Megan. We had a fun time and it was good to see everybody! 

 

• DA3 ⭐︎ SUNDAY, APRIL 24RD ⭐︎

On Sunday morning, I realised I haven't been home much this weekend! This night I stayed at her Jan, my host mom's other sister. Around 9 am I helped out selling Monster Cookies again and I was surprised that costumers already would show up this early in the morning. 😁


After that I went home, had a quick breakfast and then it was almost time for the annual »Fun Run«. At noon people were still signing up when we had been already waiting on the run to start. The choice between a 5K and 15K was given to each of the participants and time was measured automatically. By signing up for the run, everybody received a package which included a band who would wear on your shoe laces. Because so many people are running, it would be unfair if people were getting timed as soon as the gun shoots. This band will take your personal time as you cross the start and eventually the finish line. 

 

My host mom and I were both running the 5K and we met Megan and her sister Melody who also took this route. We were all starting together but later one everybody set their own past, I mean it was still a competition. 😉 


Running in the afternoon heat can wear you out pretty much, but thankfully halfway we had been handing out water. I felt so much better when the water just rinsed down my leg. 💦

 

I remember my dad running a marathon one year, when I was still very little. My mom, brother and I were standing besides the road cheering for him. And so did the people in Muenster do. I saw Coach Carney screaming "Good Job, you got it girl!!" or Taylor and Bailey shouting my name as I came closer to the finish line. People can be so motivational and even though I was so hot, I still could smile - only because of them! 🙃

Just Do It! ✔️


After 22:42 min I finished my 5 kilometre race and even though I didn't attain my personal goal of at most 20 minutes, I am absolutely satisfied. Now it was time for a snack or even a shower before the awards would be announced. On WeTimeRaces results could been accessed later. Rylee told me I was the fourth women finishing, and the first one in my age group. But to make it more of a surprise I was being patient and waited till 2:30 when everybody gathered together for the award ceremony... 😏

  
 

And, indeed I medaled! 🏅 I got placed first in my age group ranging from 14-19 years old in which I competed against 31 other women. 


5th place under all the participating females and overall I got 33rd place. I don't now what anybody to think I am bragging, but somebody might have interest in the results. 😊 And to ensure I am not making anything up, here I have the proof: 

 

In my sign up sheets I claimed I was from Muenster, what right now represents the truth, but when I went up there to receive my reward I told them I am from Germany. They were making fun assuming I travelled all the way down here to run the race, even after I explained I am an exchange student temporarily living in Texas. 😄

video
 

Yesterday Mike was making Pork Chops, and today we had Pork Sausage for Lunch. It literally is like camping, but so delicious though! 😋 After that I met with some friends and we were enjoying the last day of Germanfest. 😇 It hasn't been that crowded, what I personally really liked. I met so many new and nice people. I am not lying when I say that almost every single one of them asked me if there is anything like this in Germany.😅 Trying to summarise it, I said: "Yes there is, the main event is the annual Octoberfest in Munich/Bavaria, but in smaller towns people also like to celebrated a »Dorffest«." Germanfest is a nice place to get together with the whole family and attracts lot of people from all over the place, a great way to get to know somebody new. I love how people are so into the German culture, dress up and make so much effort on cooking all that good German food. 😉 (The real German version is still better though) 😛 But don't worry the Americna culture is maintained, you still can get deep fried Oreos or brownies as well as burgers and fires. But that's it what makes it so diverse and something for everybody! I definitely would love to come and visit again. It's been more than a pleasure. 🤗

 

The tents were almost about to be closed, when Mike and his crew were given us the rest of their tickets. We just got $39 what we all spent within that last hour. "Na, das lassen wir uns doch nicht entgehen." You can tell in this picture how excited I had been, let's go!


First thing we did was getting some sodas and after that we both rode together on a camel. You can see in the video when Rylee hit the tree with her knee, what the woman apparently didn't intend to, but it must have hurt pretty bad. Thankfully she was ok and not bleeding. 😳 

video
 

These boys were so adorable willing to take some pictures of us while we were riding the camel, that I just had to get them something in reward. Because it's complicated to share ice cream, I asked f they would like some Funnel Cake. They said "Thank YOU!" more than one time what more than made my day, I just kept on smiling. 😍


And Rylee got her popcorn now, I guess this day just counties to get better and better! But unfortunately the feast was coming to an end at that point... 😕 "Aber alle schönen Dinge nehmen auch mal ein Ende." - leider. 


But we don't have time for spreading sadness, I would love to show you some picture of this weekend. I hope you like 'em. 😇 

 
 

And that's it from me! If you would like to give me a feedback or you have specific questions, you are  more than welcomed to leave a comment behind. Germanfest is a great experience for everybody, and even German exchange students will have a blast. If you are given the possibility to come and visit because you may live around that area, don't miss out on that awesome chance! If I wouldn't be at school around this time next year, I would absolutely come and visit again. Keep your heads up and see y'all soon! 😎

- Lea ❥