Monday 1st July
After their first night in the hostel, the kids where really happy to start the program. In their first language course – after a small introduction of the programm and the teacher – the focus of the lessons was Hamburg. The kids learned about the most important sights in Hamburg and filled in a questionnaire to show what they have learned about the city. A small movie on Hamburg made them very curious to get to know Hamburg themselves! In the afternoon the group went to the Hafen-City in Hamburg to the sights around the Elbe. They were especially impressed by the architecture of the Elbphilharmonie. Still a little bit tired by the Jetlag the kids were really happy that they could make some parts of the sightseeing travelling on the ferry. Seagulls, salty winds and a great view on the river Elbe gave them a great impression what it means to be in an old hanseatic city (“Hansestadt”), which is famous for its worldwide trade relations.
Tuesday 2nd July
Being back from the sightseeing trip they got time in their language lessons to reflect on their impressions. With lots of creativity they created posters and showed each other what they liked most on the day before. The teacher was impressed by the creativity and imagination of the kids. In the second part of the language course, Bert Krause came into the course who would accompany the kids to a German school. He told them that they would meet some German students who would like to meet kids from Colombia although the summer holidays had already started. In the afternoon the group went to the school “Alter Teichweg” and the kids had the great opportunity to meet with students from Hamburg and talk about typical school days in Hamburg and Barranquilla. They noticed that many of the students in Hamburg have a migrant background which made the talks even more interesting and they were impressed by the focus of the school on sports, as the school is a so called “Elite school for sports”.
Wednesday 3rd July
Still very pleased by the opportunity to meet with the German students, the kids created a poster for the school in Hamburg to say “Thank you” for the very interesting meeting the day before. Afterwards the lessons got a thematical focus on nature, animals and plants, as in the afternoon a trip to the ecological center “Gut Karslhöhe” was planned. The group had extra fun when they learned the song “Das kleine Küken piept”, where they had to bark like a dog or meouw like a cat. In Gut Karlshöhe – a huge ecological training centre with a museum, woods, fields and animals – they did a rallye to learn about the woods and the specifications of different trees. In a small workshop they built a wooden souvenir which they will bring back home as a very nice present. They all had a great time!
Thursday 4th July
The focus on nature was still present in the language course to prepare the excursion into the woods and fields around bad Oldesloe, but first the song “Laurenzia” brought a lot of fun as it contains also parts to move. Since that day they want to perform the song every day.
During the trip through the meadows and woods of Bad Oldesloe in the afternoon the children did not only enjoy the beautiful nature. They were also very proud of their new ability to define trees by their characteristics.
Friday 5th July
In the German lessons on Friday the kids dealt with the topic „Cowboys and Indians“. The chieftain „Häuptling“, the peace pipe „Friedenspfeife“, the campfire „Lagerfeuer“, cowboy and squaw „Indianerfrau“ belong to the vocabulary. They made funny puzzles and learned about the famous German author Karl May. In the afternoon they headed to Bad Segeberg, which is famous for its outdoor Western theatre, with plays of the famous German author Karl May. The play was very impressive. Everybody felt really involved in the story, as if they would be part of a scenery in the American prairie. Some scenes of the play they played themselves afterwards.
Saturday 6th July
Some of the kids were quite happy that there was no German course in the classroom today – even though there was no option to be passive! Prepared by their language course the day before the group headed to Lübeck, a city with the status of UNESCO world heritage for its timbered and brick houses on the old town island. Most of the sights were discovered in groups on their own, with a city map and tasks to solve, and everyone did really great! Especially the Holsten gate- which was one of the first sights the kids saw – impressed them by its solidity and age. The wealth of the former leader or “mother” of the “Hanseatic League” had a “Wow-effect” when they reached the town hall. Its architecture is influenced by several epoques!
Sunday 7th July
On Sunday the group went to a theme park on strawberries “Karl’s Erdbeerhof” near Lübeck with lots of attractions for kids. They especially liked to slip down a slide on a potato sack. Some of the kid’s also went to the strawberry fields nearby and brought a harvest of several kilograms! The whole group was thankful as the strawberries were really delicious. Instead of going to the beach the whole afternoon – it was too cold – the plan was changed and the group headed to the nearby Timmendorfer Strand where there is a SeaLife Center. The students learned a lot about fishes and animals of the Baltic Sea but also saw some impressive sharks, huge crabs and other animals from the whole world.
The second week Monday 8th of July – Sunday 14th of July
Monday 8th July
To start the German lessons of the second week, the children first dealt with their experiences in Lübeck at the weekend and reported about them in German to their classmates. Then the group started to learn the German prepositions and started to create a route description in German with their new knowledge. This is certainly not easy, but the children were highly motivated and enjoy learning the language very much. In the afternoon the group went to the “Miniaturwunderland” in Hamburg. The children were enthusiastic about the model building worlds and spent a long time in the rooms of the museum. They found it particularly fascinating to see Hamburg on a small scale and to dream of a winter wonderland in front of the snow-covered Alps. The children were also able to change a lot with buttons and levers on interactive models and thus playfully discov-ered Germany.
Tuesday 9th July
On Tuesday, the children finished writing their route descriptions and learned which means of transportation can be found in the city. They learned useful words like „Zug“ (train), „U-Bahn“ (subway), Bus/bus and „Haltestelle“ (stop). How well the children already speak German in the meantime was shown in short texts that they had written about their experiences in Lübeck or the Karls Erlebnisdorf and presented to the others.
On Tuesday afternoon the children visited a bat cave in Bad Segeberg. There they participated in an exciting and child-friendly tour through the cave. One small shortcoming was that there are wild bats only in winter, but this was totally compensated by three extra-sweet eagle owl babies who immediately captured the hearts of the children. At other stations there were also tropical bats to see and much to learn about the flora and fauna in caves. The children were thrilled!
Wednesday 10th July
Wednesday was dedicated to the visit of the musical Mary Poppins in Hamburg. In the morning the kids read the story of Mary Poppins in German. The children had a lot of fun playing the story to each other and learning the morals from the story. Additionally, the group went to a market in Bad Oldesloe. Arrived there, the children split up into groups and went shopping alone at the market and got to know fruits like the „Himbeere“ (raspberry) and the „Stachelbeere“ (gooseberry).
In the evening the whole group went to the musical – and was very impressed! The singers and actors provided the best entertainment and everyone had much fun.
Thursday 11th July
On Thursday the group had planned to visit the stadium of traditional Hamburg football club FC St. Pauli. Therefore, the group prepared for the trip in the morning and got into a real football mood! First the children learned the most important terms in football like „Tor“ (goal), „Freistoß“ (free kick), „Ecke“ (corner) and „Schiedsrichter“ (referee). Afterwards they played football on the sports field. This was combined with the repetition of the German prepositions with questions like „shoot OVER the goal“, „lie ON the grass“ and „who is IN the corner“ in German. In the afternoon the time had come: The children drove to the Millerntor Stadium of FC St. Pauli and were shown the stadium exclusively by a guided tour. There was even the possibility to enter the players‘ booths and to enter the VIP area.
There one or the other started to dream about a long and glorious footballing career…
Friday 12th July
On Friday the children have prepared themselves for the trip to Bremen at the weekend in the German course. With a film, pictures and a text in German to retell, the children got to know the funny story about the Bremen Town Musicians. In addition to this story, sights such as the Bremer Roland and the town hall were also the theme of the German lesson. In the afternoon, the children visited Hamburg’s old Elbtunnel, which connects the port of Hamburg and the landing stages under the river. From the other side you could take very nice pictures with a panoramic view. After this walk the children had some free time and used it to take a break in the Hard Rock Cafe Hamburg. After the break they walked through the Portuguese Quarter to the big church, the Hamburger Michel. To have a look at the breathtaking view on the church tower, all of them climbed the 452 steps to the top. For this great view it was definitely worth it. In the evening, a barbecue was held back in Bad Oldesloe, where the group prepared Arepas for their German supervisors. Veeeery tasty we must say!
Saturday 13th July
Since there are no German courses at the weekend, the group had time to visit the city of Bremen. With its beautiful old town, an impressive town hall and the cathedral, the city offers many places to explore. The children explored this with a funny city rally. For lunch there was a typical German streetfood, the Döner Kebab. After all, tourists who did not get this taste experience can’t say that they visited Germany!
Freshly strengthened the kids went to the Schnoorviertel in the afternoon. The quarter is one of the oldest in Bremen and due to its small houses and narrow alleys another must see when visiting Bremen. The children had a lot of fun exploring the winding streets.
Sunday 14th July
On Sunday the group drove to the Hamburg Zoo „Hagenbecks Tierpark“. After the group was initially sceptical – since the children obviously know zoos from Colombia – the children were quickly amazed at the size of the enclosures and the many different animals they had not seen before. Especially interesting were the polar bear and the huge walrus „Odin“. Those who preferred to deal with smaller animals also got their money’s worth! In the petting zoo the children could stroke animals like goats, rabbits and guinea pigs and experience them up close. In the evening the children had a lot of fun with a round of black light mini golf. In mysteriously bright black light colours with spectacular light and sound effects, they moved playfully on an 18½-hole miniature golf course through imaginative worlds. The parkour offered everyone a specially developed game architecture that can be explored by seeing, hearing, touching, walking and marvelling. Everybody experienced even crazier effects and even more fun when looking through the special 3D glasses! As in last weeks’ adventures, everybody had really a lot fun and is excited to see what happens next week.
The third week Monday 15th of July – Sunday 21st of July
Monday 15th July
The week started with the children telling each other about the different animals they had seen in the zoo last weekend. It was also a good time to practice the noises animals make: „Wie macht die Kuh? Sie muht. „Wie macht der Hund? Er bellt.“ Afterwards the children sang the popular German song „So ein schöner Tag“ together. In this song you can find many adjectives and put them into the three forms! Tricky.
In the afternoon we went on a trip to the museum. The “Museum for work” inspired the children very much. Here you can not only learn a lot about the history of work, but you also get the chance to actively experience it. The children were especially happy about the possibility to create their own printing sets at an old printing station and to create a poster with the names of the whole group on it. Like this, an afternoon in the museum is guaranteed not to be boring! Everyone was very happy about the poster.
Tuesday 16th July
On Tuesday the German lessons were again about animals in the zoo. The class also played an animal domino. There was a picture which had to be paired with the German name of the animal. This was a lot of fun for everyone and brought variety into the language lessons as well. On Tuesday afternoon we went out into the nature: On the river Trave the children could let off steam on a canoe trip and experienced for the first time how it feels to paddle down a river in a canoe with four people. On the river everyone enjoyed nature and saw many things from a completely new perspective. The children got really excited!
Wednesday 17th July
On Wednesday, the children were occupied with regional studies and learned a lot about Germany. For example, they learned about the different federal states in Germany and the neighbouring states. Based on the cardinal points (West, North, East, South) the children were able to identify the countries very well. In addition, there was a quiz of representatives in which the children had to assign individual famous places or personalities to individual cities or regions in Germany. All in all, it was a very instructive day! In the afternoon the group visited the city centre of Hamburg. In this big city you can experience a lot. First the group visited the impressive city hall and could even visit it from the inside. Everyone liked the magnificent baroque building very much. It has more rooms than the Buckingham Palace! Afterwards there were some churches and the central shopping street „Mönckebergstraße“ to visit. To everyone’s delight, there was even some free time for the children afterwards. So the children could also explore the city centre on their own.
Thursday 18th July
On Thursday the group prepared for the excursion to the emigration museum. They heard the story of an emigrant and learned that an emigrant does not necessarily have to be a refugee. The second part of the German lesson also dealt with the flora and fauna of the Wadden Sea. The children learned terms like „Ebbe” (ebb tide), „Flut“ (flood), „Krabbe“ (crab) or “Wattwurm“(wadden worm). During the afternoon the group went to the part of Hamburg called “Ballinstadt”, which had been built in the 19th century to house all the people which emigrated to the Americas throughout the 19th and 20th century. The museum was very modern and informative, which made the afternoon fly by. The children liked best the possibility to accompany the journey of an emigrant with an interactive game and to influence it with their own decisions.
Friday 19th July
On Friday the time had come to say goodbye to Bad Oldesloe. Already in the morning we went to the new accommodation in Husum at the North Sea coast. The proximity to the sea and the new interesting surroundings made the old accommodation quickly forgotten! To get directly to the sea the group drove to the seal station Friedrichskoog. There the children could see seals and grey seals up close. Everyone was fascinated by these beautiful animals! In the station there was also a guided tour and the possibility to be present at the feeding. The children learned a lot about the animals in the North Sea, environmental protection and could also see some cute young seals. At the end of this wonderful day there was pizza before everyone went to bed happy and exhausted.
Saturday 20th July
On Saturday the children got to know the famous Wadden Sea in the North Sea. In the Husum quarter Simonsberg there was the possibility to hike through the Wadden Sea and to get a guide to explain the flora and fauna. Some were surprised about the tides and the connection to the moon. As the tour led directly through the Wadden Sea it was an experience for all senses. In the afternoon the group went into the city centre of Husum and got a guided tour from Bella. As a reward for all the walking there was ice cream for everyone. All in all, the group walked 15 km on this day. Everyone took part very well!
Sunday 21st July
On Sunday morning we started our journey to the next stop on our trip through Germany. To none other than the capital Berlin! On the way there the group stopped at the Dino-Park. The children were very impressed by the life-size dinosaurs that could be admired there. There was a lot to learn about the dinosaurs and their world. But the park also offered many possibilities to play and let off steam. So the children could discover the world of the dinosaurs playfully. This is a lot of fun for everyone! In the evening the group arrived in the capital city Berlin and strengthened themselves with a portion of French fries after the long journey. Now everyone can hardly wait to explore Berlin!
The fourth week: Monday 22nd of July – Friday 26th of July
Monday 22nd July
The main theme of the German lessons today were on German history. The students learned a lot about the time when there were two “Germanies”, West Germany and East Germany. They learned about life and culture in both German parts, especially in the divided city of Berlin. They also learned about important sights of Berlin’s history like the Berlin Wall, the Brandenburg Gate or the Alexanderplatz. Furthermore they talked about modern sights of Berlin like the Potsdamer Platz, the Humboldt Forum, the government district and more. After the lessons they were picked up by aubiko tour guide Margit. They went to famous the Alexanderplatz and went to the top of the TV-Tower platform. From up there they had a marvellous overview of Berlin and could spot most of the sights, they learned about in their lessons. Afterwards they visited the “world time clock”, probably the most famous place in Berlin to meet up. And of course they checked, if the stated time of Columbian cities were correct (of course they were). Afterwards the students got a bit time off. The area around Alexanderplatz is famous for its shopping facilities. Some of them used their time for shopping, others for listening to some street artists. The students left with a very positive impression of Berlin at the main place of former East Berlin.
Tuesday 23td July
Since the students got an overview on most Berlin sights yesterday they had no lessons today and could fully enjoy the most famous sights of Berlin. Including insights of the political centre of Germany because Berlin is the capital of Germany. They visited the Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charly. In the German Reichstag building they participated in a guided tour. They got plenty of information on history and politics of the Bundestag from the audio guide, which was quiet comfortable, as they could listen to the Spanish version. The best part was the view down into the plenary hall from the dome of the Reichstag building.
Wednesday 24th July
In today’s German lessons the students had the opportunity to reflect on their stay in Germany so far. They recalled their visit of the North Sea, recapped the vocabulary and prepared for their final test on Friday. In the afternoon they visited the “Naturkundemuseum” (natural history museum). Strolling along the corridors with their biological exhibition pieces from different time’s eras was exciting and interesting. Most notably was an enourmous skeleton of a Giraffatitan – a huge dinosaur. It even provided as an especially funny motif for photographs. Afterwards they went to the East Side Gallery were they found modern art drawn on parts of the former Berlin Wall. Tired by the long walks but thrilled by all the impressions the students had dinner and went early to bed.
Thursday 25th July
On Thursday the students had no German lessons aswell, since they went to Potsdam for an excursion to visit the famous castle of “Sanssouci”, one of the most beautiful castles in Germany. They visited the New Palais, were they learned about the history of the castle from an audio guide. The students were impressed by the detailed architecture and paintings of the buildings. After all this impressions and information they needed to rest for a bit. And there are not many better places to rest than the beautiful gardens and parks of Sanssouci. A delicious picknick right there was the highlight of the trip. Then they headed back to Berlin and used the time to prepare for tomorrow’s final test.
Friday 16th July
To brighten the mood of the group two students performed a Rap song at the very beginning of the German course. Afterwards they had their final test. But nobody was afraid to fail, as everybody was very committed during the lessons. After the test, the students recapped their vocabulary again. And of course they sang their favourite song “Laurenzia”. Soon after the students completed their diaries. After lunch the head of aubiko Friederike Krause, who came directly from Hamburg, proudly handed out the test results and the participation certificate to all students of the group. Together they went for their last German ice cream during the trip, which hopefully, will not be their last one. To celebrate the last evening, the group went to a bowling club, where they had lots of fun. Accompanied by modern disco music the students could not only show their bowling, but also their dancing skills. The players with the best bowling skills – or maybe the most luck – got lemonade for free for every “strike” they have thrown, a very enjoyable prize on this hot day. Then the group went back to the hotel to pack the luggage. After dinner, all students went early to bed, as they should wake up very early to fly home to Columbia.
We hope, that all students come back safely to Barranquilla. We would be very happy to soon see you again in Germany!