Turkey was one of the coolest and strangest experiences I have had by far! As three broke college kids we wonder around going from tourist attraction to tourist attraction and of course we stuck out like sore thumbs. We were great targets and were constantly getting ripped off and finding ourselves losing money left and right from over paying. We were also constantly approached and asked over and over again daily if we would like to eat at their restaurants, or shop in their shops, or take a bus/boat tours but it started to become a joke with many shop owners because we passed by every day. We however did find ourselves saying “No” more than any other word in Turkey, but this was an experience none of us would have traded for the typical spring break trips everyone else took.
Here in Wittenberg, just three weeks ago, we had a host family week, which proved to be difficult but very rewarding. Each of us was placed into a different house of a local family where we became part of the family for seven whole days! It doesn’t seem like a lot but it was a long time out of our comfort zones alone. In my family, I had a mom and dad and a seven year old sister. My dad was the only one who spoke English which was great but he wasn’t always around so I was speaking a lot of German! However this experienced improve my German language skills tremendously and also helped me have the feeling of a home and family while I was an ocean away. Lastly, having a little sister was wonderful and the language barrier never really seemed to get in the way when we played and talked. We were just being kids.
Germany has taught me a lot so far and is still teaching me more and more each day. With the final month of my trip approaching I am preparing to enter a German elementary school where I will be working with a class of first graders and I can’t wait!!! Teaching is one of my biggest passions, aside from swimming of course, and I can’t wait to help teach my first grade class English. This experience is one I will never take back and has provided me with many amazing opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise received.
Oh yeah! Here in Germany I also got to visit with and see Jessica Koncazk, a former swimming, for the weekend when she was passing through! The networks we make always seem to surprise me and never seem to disappear.
However, even with all the awesomeness Germany has to offer and has given me. I am excited to get back and see everyone again and to get back into the pool next season with my Tiger Family!!
Allie Fisher (class of 2015)