Wednesday, January 21, 2009

over the rhine river and through the woods...

... to Germany we go! Our last stop on my traveling seminar :).

Our first German morning was spent in Bonn, Germany.
Where we visited the Deutsche-Well building, the headquarters of, "Germany's international broadcaster: online, on-screen and over the air. It provides a European to audiences around the world and promotes intercultural dialogue."As a journalism student interested in working on a global scale, this place was definitely right up my alley. We got a full introduction of who the company is and what they are in addition to a full tour of the facilities. This is behind the scenes at a Swahili radio special.
And this is in the main control room. They really are a great company and I'd love to take a class there and/or intern as my tour guide suggested. Problem is that I don't know a word of German :/. We'll see, I suppose, either way I need to get started on my search for this upcoming summer. The pressure's on!

We then "moved in" to our hotel in Cologne, Germany. This city is home to the oldest cathedral in Germany and the birthplace of cologne.
It also boasts a diverse population so when my friends said they were craving "Mexican" off to a Mexican restaurant we went! It was not at all like real Mexican food but it was very good. I got a Grilled Vegetable Burrito. It came with a generous number of sides, and other than the rice, I basically finished everything :).
One of my friends got the Curry Chicken Salad. Curry is a Mexican spice? Really?! Ha, see what I mean? It was delicious though and looked pretty so I figured I'd share with you, lol.
The next day we actually drove back to Bonn, Germany to visit a recently built mosque. The Muslim population is quickly increasing in many Western European countries so there's a lot of changes going on as far as communities go.
Our professor and the Iman explained the integration struggles and progress that this minority population has had and made. Then we got a quick overview of the Muslim faith and were invited downstairs to the community room for some traditional Turkish food!
To start we had a Spicy Lentil Soup. So good, I had 3 bowls!
I was pretty satisfied from all the soup that I only took a little bit from the main dishes besides the generous helping of salad. I also had a bite of the dessert, a shredded wheat square with a honey and coconut topping. It was too sweet for me and I forgot to take a picture but many of my friends enjoyed it very very much :).
By the time we got back everyone was nice and full from lunch and ready to work off some of that sweet treat. My friends and I did some damage shopping near our hotel. There were so many cute boutiques with great deals, and some workers in the stores even had their adorable pets with them!
That night, our last night of the traveling seminar, we had a group dinner to celebrate. We went to a very authentic German restaurant with unlimited beer 0:). I got the vegetarian version of the meal which is only missing the chicken breast. The cheesy spinach, tomato sauce, and potatoes were great on their own though.

Next up was dessert and wow, was it amazing, an Apple Streudel sprinkled with powdered sugar and sitting in a vanilla cream base with two yummy little blueberries.
I really loved the German food experience.
Feeling nostalgic I made sure to take a picture with some of my closest new girl friends + an old one, Genevieve, who was with me in Chile. We're all living in Strasbourg but scattered across the city and with different class and internship schedules I won't be able to see everyone as often as I'd like. The entire traveling seminar was unforgettable. Besides the fun I had I also learned a lot about European politics and immigration policies and it opened up my eyes to the similar integration problems that all multiracial nations and new immigrants face. I am optimistic though that the many international relations and policy studies students will be able to make the changes and progress that will lead to a more united European Union and world.
Wow, I did it, tomorrow marks a new beginning :) where I can begin to regularly blog on my new life in Strasbourg, France and the fantastic food I've been eating. Yay! Until then I hope everyone has a very Happy Humpday and night and new stuff will probably be here by the time you awake to a lovely Thursday post. Chau chau!

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