In the middle of an AFS student’s exchange period, they would have a weekend away to catch up and see how things are going with everyone. Some may call it an AFS weekend, but we in Germany call it camp. And it was that time for me, where I have reached the middle of my exchange period, so I had to attend a Halbzeit Camp. Time has gone by too fast.
I was feeling a bit nervous going to camp. Because I’ve changed to a host family that is in a completely different region, the people that I’ll be having a camp with are going to be a completely different group of students. But I still tried my best to stay positive and hope for the best.
I set out to Hamburg, where the campsite was, in the afternoon. I had mixed feelings going into this camp. Excited, because it was a completely new set of people, new friends, a whole new environment and all. But I was also nervous for that same reason. But all that nervousness was gone once I set foot into that building, as one of the students greeted me with a big grin and a friendly vibe. He was Andrija, and I also found out that he was my roommate. He was really nice and brought me around for a little while.
As the volunteers gathered all the students, I noticed that it was mainly made up of Spanish speakers, which was kind of expected, so I was a bit discouraged as I had a difficult time making friends with Spanish speakers in the past. But there was also a group of Japanese students there, and so I decided that I would stick with them throughout the whole camp.
The day went on with introductions, some ice breakers, but nothing really interesting. But I made a promise with myself the next day, which was to mix around and to try my best to make as many friends as possible. It was a pretty difficult task as the thought of failing lingered in my head. But finally an opportunity arose, we had free time and the guys wanted to play Basketball. I played Basketball pretty often back in Malaysia so I guess that it was a good opportunity to be able to make friends with those that were playing.
We played, but I did quite badly as I haven’t played Basketball for a few months already. But all was not lost as conversations were made as we were playing. Everything pretty much went uphill after that point in time, as the thought of initiating conversation didn’t seem so scary anymore. I talked with the guys over meals and we were joking and talking about our experiences here in Germany. Well sure, they would occasionally switch back to Spanish when they were talking with their friends, but they would also purposely try to talk in German or English when us Asians, which couldn’t understand a single word of Spanish, were with them.
Usually, the last night of the camp would be spent hangout out with all the campers. But I spent the last night at camp talking with my roommate, Andrija and my Japanese friend Shean. The Latinos were in the main room dancing and listening to music but that wasn’t our kind of thing. So we just chilled in the room and made conversation. Honestly, that was one of the best moments I’ve had in camp, just being able to hear out different opinions from people of different backgrounds is just so interesting.
All in all, it was a pretty amazing camp. I made so many new friends and I would love to see all of them more often. And I really hope that I will be able to. And one thing I’ve learnt from all of this is that a small courageous step can go a long way.
went to Halbzeit camp, went out of my comfort zone and it was an amazing camp! Met new friends, learnt some Spanish and I had an amazing time.
Thank you all for reading this post. If you find it interesting, be sure to check out the rest of my posts! Hope you all have a great week ahead, God bless.