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Journal 1

September 4 , 2006

Today's theme:  ADVENTURE.

We spent the morning in German class and after lunch we were sent on our way, down the "hill" to Liestal to catch a bus to the Roman ruins.  Upon returning we trudged up the mountain via Frenkendorf and admired the spectacular views and bell-clad livestock.

This evening was when things became quite interesting.  After dinner we headed to Basel to spend the evening finishing an assignment and planned to meet up with the rest of the group afterward to see what night-time plans were.  Melissa, Lauren, Marsha and I boarded the #8 Tram to Marktplatz so that Lauren and I could observe the Rathaus.  When the tram stopped, Lauren managed to make it off the car, but two somewhat rude men wouldn't allow the rest of us to get off. So...Lauren was left stranded in Marktplatz. 

We quickly got off at the next stop and proceeded to attempt to walk back to where she was.  We took a wrong turn and ended up in an unfamiliar part of town.  At a bus stop we found a guy who was listening to music.  I tapped him on the shoulder and said (in German) "Excuse me, where is Marktplatz?"  The man opened his eyes wide and said "Oh!  It's..." and pointed in the opposite direction.  I asked if the bus was going to Marktplatz and he said yes.  We found Lauren about 10 minutes later.

I was extremely proud of myself in this situation.  I stayed calm, approached a stranger and asked for help in a language that is not my own.  I am certainly not fluent, but it felt so good to put my year of German to work.  I accomplished a personal goal of mine which was to have a successful conversation with a native-German-speaking stranger.  WOOHOO!

Switzerland is beautiful and has beautiful people.  I may not entirely understand their social interactions or their language, but I'm definately falling in love with the complete and utter differences; even if they challenge me physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually.

- Kelly Cullers