Mid-Year in Bonn (kind of)

Well, it has been awhile since I have updated my blog (I promise I will update you guys with what has happened in between language camp and mid-year, it has been an interesting journey).

Mid-year was nice.

It was a good time to see everyone again and how much growth (physically and mentally) everyone has developed.

On Thursday, I woke up to one hundred messages from other CBYX students about their journey to the mid-year location. Some were lucky and made it without any disruptions, others cursed the Deutsche Bahn for not allowing their trip to be smooth.

I personally, started my trip around 13:40 at the station and went on my first train at 14:08. Then, I was alone for the first hour and arrived in Mainz for another train switch. At this train, I had plans to meet up with Sophia, a CBYXer who lives near me. Then, halfway through the train ride, we found out that another CBYXer, Nick, was on the same train and in the same section as us when Sophia had to use the restroom. Then we united and chattered away throughout the two-hour train ride.

As we were departing the train for our next train, we met up with another CBYXer, Zac, at the door unexpectedly. And when we finally exited the train, screams were heard as we saw a few other CBYXers. We had a brief reunion with hugs and screams.

It was time to embark on our final train to Ahreweiler and then we put up with another group of CBYX students surprisingly as well, along with two Experiment staff members.

Our walk was approximately 17 minutes to the youth hostel and we were greeted by CBYX students that had arrived earlier. At the Experiment desk, we were asked to choose our rooms and write our names on letters for sugar cubes.

At night we had Plenum in German and played a game to get reacquainted with each other. Then we had dinner and set off to our rooms.

The next morning, we ate breakfast in the morning, had plenum and small groups with our original groups at language camp and we named our group OG KG (Original Small Group). Then we had plenum again and after we went to Bonn, which was about a 30-minute train ride. We were split into groups of five for tickets. The train ride was quite interesting. My group was met with a group of middle school students (8th graders) that asked my friend Noah to read and help with their English workbook, they were mocking us but we all had a good laugh. We had a small conversation with the group of students and as I shared my orange Tic-Tacs with my friends, a kid said that he was hungry, I offered some to him and he accepted. And finally, we said our farewells.

Bonn was great. We arrived around 14:30 and stopped at the museum of history. When we all first arrived at Bonn, it was a little confusing because we were separated for a short period of time and we had no clue (besides the teamers) of what was happening. We then went onto a subway and made our way up into the museum with escalators. Our coats and bags were collected into a room. We were given two hours to browse and inspect the detailed artifacts and historic events of WWII.

Then, around 17:00, we met up at one place and everyone was gathered there. After we were released, my group ran to find a subway to the Bonn HBF and we ran to our destination of Mexican food, Sausalitos. Sadly, they did not allow us to eat there anymore because they were transforming into a bar in 30 minutes. So we went and found another Mexican restaurant. Ten minutes after arriving, a large group of CBYX students entered and were seated in front of us, it was a great coincidence. My group ordered mainly tacos and I got the BBQ Chicken Taco (it was my first experience with tacos). We had a great time and as we left, we saw the group of teamers also eating at the same restaurant!

We decided to split our group briefly for A. Candy and B. Clothes and I went with the first group. We made plans to go to both Lindt and Haribo and I was so excited for Haribo. We first went to Lindt as it was closer and then we made our trek across the street to Haribo. Sadly, we were late by three minutes.

On our journey to find our remaining group members, we went to H&M and Zara, where they said they would be and failed. We checked Zara twice and the salespeople were probably like what are these kids doing. Then we saw a Karneval parade practice and it was exciting.

We made plans to go to McDonalds for ice cream and McFlurries and then we set off to the HBF.

It was Jasmine’s birthday the next day, so Kris made a nice little gathering for her in their room. It was so sweet and mostly everyone was there to celebrate at 0:00.

The next day was routine, filled with plenum, small group chats, and food. We also went to Ahrweiler for an hour or so and I got waffles and a hot chocolate. At night, we were given a task to made a skit with American cultural differences from German. And it was a night filled with a lot of laughs.

Sunday was a little sad. I packed up my backpack quickly. We had breakfast and cleaned our rooms. I remember that my friends and I made plans to meet up at 12:45 as we had the same train. And as two other CBYXers were saying their goodbyes the earliest. I checked the phone and it was 12:40 and had a little freakout. I quickly went and got my things and set off to say my goodbyes.

The trek to the Ahrweiler station for one final time was memorable. We all were in this small group filled with students from different states in the U.S. with different interests and some similar, brought together by CBYX. It was unplanned that we met with two teamers at the station and after checking our tickets, we found out that seven of us were on the same train for two hours. I originally would have gotten off at Mainz but decided to stay on the train for thirty more minutes to go with Michelle at Mannheim and extend my trip by two hours (as I had a Maxx Ticket). We were the first ones off the train from the group and decided to wave bye to the rest as the train left. As we arrived at the station, we bought McDonalds (second time buying McDonalds in Germany ever) and shared a chicken nuggets meal as we only had thirty minutes. Michelle and I just talked a lot about random things, such as our languages (Chinese and Vietnamese) as we never really got to talk to each other.

Then, I arrived at my home station around 17:00 and set off to home to sleep, as I was exhausted.

It was a good weekend.

Nini

P.S. I will add pictures later and follow me on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/ninidvo/ (as I update a little more often on there)