Even Short Stays Create Sad Goodbyes

Posted on January 18th, 2015 by

Leaving our Mark in Großefehn

Normally, you would not expect for a weeklong stay at a stranger’s house to cause a group of 19-22 year olds grief and pains of sadness upon departure. However, this was the case for us 16 Gustavus students who left Großefehn, Ostfriesland, Germany this morning at 10:45am. Before hopping on the bus to head towards Berlin, we gathered at the Strieks House to say our last goodbyes. Gathered in the large dining room, Lisa Büss, our lovely and marvelous tour guide of Ostfriesland, bide us farewell, and thanked the host families for being wonderful, flexible and hospitable to our group. We then presented our host parents with flowers and hugs. This part was filled with tears and sighs of disbelief that our time had already come to an end. Nonetheless we could not stall our bus trip any longer and so we climbed aboard. With faces pressed up against the windows, cameras snapping pictures of the waving parents and tears of sadness rolling down cheeks we pulled away from the house.

Families Waving Goodbye

As we left Großefehn the impact of our homestay finally hit me. I could not believe how close I had gotten with my  host parents Muske and Eddy. They had been so kind to open up their house for two strangers and they cared for us just like their own. I learned so much from our late night talks and our early breakfasts about Northern German culture, specifically Ostfriesland, and the differences/similarities of American and German socieity. It was a very interesting experience that I would do all over in a heart beat.

My Host Parents: Muske and Eddy

As our day continued on we spent 6 hours on the road passing old historic East German security watch towers and lots of trees. When we arrived in Berlin it was a total landscape shock.  The large buildings and three lanes filled with cars seemed like a completely different world. Tomorrow will be our first day of major culture shock, but also a day full of exciting new places and experience to be had.

“Toto, we are not in Großefehn anymore!” 

Saying Goodbye to Lisa

JUST A QUICK SHOUT OUT TO LISA BÜSS FOR BEING ONE OF THE MOST AMAZING PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD AND FOR CARING SO MUCH ABOUT OSTFRIESLAND AND ITS INCREDIBLY UNIQUE CULTURE. 

 

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