Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Today marks the forty day countdown before my program ends here in Darmstadt, Germany. It had been 268 days spent in Europe. (My short visit in the Philippines including travel time was already deducted).
Vierzehn in German
Quaranta in Italian
Apatnapu in Filipino
Recently, i had been packing my things - vacuum-packing my thick and bulky winter clothes and shoes, checking accumulated papers/notes and hopefully scanning them. Not just because I had to leave soon but because I will have a new friend coming to accompany me all throughout the month of June. It was a bit sentimental cleaning and gathering my stuffs - which should I throw away, which I want to keep. Old train tickets, tourists maps, receipts, information flyers from museums, pine cones, gathered dried leaves, weird seed in the forest and many more. How can i keep all these things? Is it really possible not to lose any part of my European journey? *Sigh*

Mein Zimmer (My room). Well-prepared room welcomed me at 3:00 am, 1 September 2011, Germany time.
How sweet is it that my roommate Linda had prepared this welcome cut-outs for me? Herzlich Willkommen which means a hearty welcome in Deutsch.
It had been a long and enjoying time spent in Germany and well, Europe shall I say. And I have to admit I have not been diligent in sharing all my escapades, my thoughts and reflections in my course and experiences, and even weird and wonderful people, places and things!

There are a lot to tell, I wonder how and when shall I start. So i share random thoughts that I hope to even blog about.

  • my first continent crossing/ long-trip and the beautiful view of the desert, the sea, of changing time zones
  • how wonderful my roommate Linda is, her family in Herzberg am Harz, and her friends
  • my challenging German lessons in September and March (internal bleeding). and how i survived going to German church!
  • first Europe trip in October (Darmstadt-Cologne-Aachen, Germany to Maastricht, Netherlands) which I was a bit nervous because of the train transfers and language barrier. Thea was just laughing at me when we met.
  • Mundus Urbano experiences, reflections in the Philippine context and perspectives in urban development, transportation in the Philippines, culture and a lot more. how shall I describe our programs' participants composition?
  • first snow experience in Bonn, Germany where Simi and Holger accommodated me. bike around Bonn and the German Historical Museum. drinking Kölsch - a typical Cologne beer
  • Paris trip with Jigay, Juliet and Baba :) awestruck! i still cannot imagine I had been in Paris!!!
  • my struggle to finish a half-meter bratwurst (sausage) in Göttingen Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas bazaar/ night market)

How can't I track all these sights I had been to?
  • my visit to the Schramms in Herzberg am Harz, and the second, and the third one. my experience of a German Medieval hilly town's celebration
  • playing with cute and cuddly kids - Janne, Leni, Caleb, Felix
  • our Germany excursion in February (Leipzig, Berlin, Hamburg, Dortmund and Ruhr Region)! Walking outside along the remaining Berlin Mauer (Wall) at -18 to -20°C! the frozen Alster lake in Hamburg! thrilling experience
  • study mode and partaking to the World Bank's intensive E-Learning course on Safe and Resilient Cities
  • running in Darmstadt? and biking, and walking? it is just so safe here!!!
  • my Karlshof International group, our songs and prayers in more than three languages and the international worship service in Darmstadtium. taste of heaven!

Wonderful people! How shall I start talking about who?

  • Darmstadt and its historical places, gardens and neighborhoods
  • Mein Fahrrad and my helmet and their owners and how wonderful to see the sun again and shed off heavy layers! :)

From typically German, European to Filipino! :)

  • all the food that I had cooked and tried :) waah endless pictures and yummyness. Can you imagine I had tupig here in March? the great Filipino (usually Filipinas) community and our celebrations and parties with all the foods I miss way back home
  • the vineyard hike and understanding John 15 deeper. solo trips and adventures where my bike, my feet and my semesterticket will bring me for FREE
  • how i celebrated my first birthday outside the Philippines and how amazing it was!

What had happened when!!! 
Waah! I cannot go on, my mind is totally exploding trying to think about ALL that had been. And my heart just become so thankful and overwhelmed!

Honest confession, even I had spent more than nine months already in this place, there are still a lot of times that I just stop, think and ask... Am I really in Germany? Is this really happening? Or am I just dreaming? Leaving my heart thankful again as always.

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