Leipzig and Berlin, Germany
The summer before my senior year, I traveled to Leipzig and Berlin, Germany. On this trip, I would be able to minister to people through music because I was traveling with the Texas Baptist All-State Band and Choir-but I would be with the band playing my French horn. I would be there for ten days. And to tell who our group was, we had ten different shirt colors to where every day. When we got there, I was on the “red bus” and I had the best tour guide ever! His name was, well I don’t remember his name because it was Italian, and I just remember every day he wanted us to say Guten Tag (Good morning!) Mike! (Mike was our bus driver who only spoke German).
Before we made it to our hotel, we stopped at a pit stop. They are different in Germany, it’s not like a gas station-it’s a buffet restaurant! This was my first meal and Germany and where I learned that when I ask for water, I need to ask-Ich Liche Wasser-No Gas. (I’d like water-no Gas). The reason why I say this is because their water is carbonated-gross! Before I got on the bus, my friend Kelli and I tried to get on these huge, fake, pink, cows-and we finally did and took pictures-it was fun trying to get on these fake cows. When we go to our hotel, I noticed that the beds were low to the ground. The next morning, my transporter for my plugs didn’t work and at the time, my hair was extremely short, so I wore pig tails with about fifty bobby pins in my hair trying to keep my hair up because I couldn’t straighten my hair.
The camera man felt bad, so he did not take any pictures of me that day. For the first four days, we were a part of a national Baptist camp called Dive Deeper. There, I made tons of friends from all over the world! Germany, Austria, Ethiopia, Singapore, Denmark, and North Carolina, just to name a few. It was neat to come together as Christians all over the world, worshiping God. Many countries there would be in trouble if they were known to have gone to this event because of the strict policies in their countries. One of the nights, the Texas Baptist All-State Band performed and it was so much fun! A Hungary band named Fire Bell performed before us-and they were cute! They were Hungarian!
They day we were leaving, my friend Janna and I said good-bye to us and asked how we said good-bye in America. Janna said a handshake so they gave her a handshake. I asked them how they said good-bye in Hungary. The said a kiss on both cheeks. I said, “I’ll take that!” So, yes, I have been kissed by a Hungarian-a cute one at that! During the four days, we went to Martin Luther’s church where the 95 Thesis were posted on the church wall-and I played right under where he stood in the church! In Leipzig is where I tried Schnitzels which is like an American hotdog-it was not my favorite. I loved their ice cream better than ours. Their ice cream is actually creamy, more sugary, and smoother.
After Dive Deeper in Leipzig, Germany, we traveled to Berlin, Germany. Once in Berlin, we traveled in a double Decker bus, and I rode on the top- a fun experience! There, we toured as well as performed in Bach’s church. As we were walking to the church, we came across Neuro-Nazis which are Nazi’s who basically worship Hitler. If you come across these people, you do not look at them because they will throw an object at you. Something I noticed is that the sewers were decorated-out of all things, the sewers. We then were able to take a tour of Berlin-the main city for World War Two.
We visited Check Point Charlie and I got to stand with my legs split where the Berlin Wall once stood. We then went to Berlin Gate and looked at the window where Hitler looked down upon the Nazis marching by. If you kept going past the Berlin wall about a mile, you will come upon crosses; this is dedicated for people who died trying to jump over the wall. If one tried to jump over the wall, they would get about three bullets to the head. One interesting thing that I learned was that on the east side of the Berlin Wall, Hitler made buildings taller so people could not see what was happening to the Jews and Hitler drew a map of the Wall where it would benefit him economically-it wasn’t just a straight line.
There was a building that had a cross on the top, and during a certain time of day, the sun would hit the building just right and form a cross in the clouds. Another thing that we passed, is where Hitler committed suicide, they made this place a memorial for the Jews that were killed because they knew that Neuro-Nazis would reform there. We also passed a holocaust museum as well as the main library where Hitler burned all of the books of the authors who were Jewish or American. About three nights before we were leaving, we played at IBC church-which stands for International Baptist Church in Berlin. Here is where many people who live in Berlin who speak English go to church because it is one of the few churches who have the English translated during the sermon.
On our last full day, we went shopping in Berlin-I went to Starbucks so I could say that I’ve been in Starbucks in Germany-but one thing we passed is called the Lipstick Building. It is called the Lipstick building because whenever the United States was bombing Germany, they bombed this building and at the top it looks like lipstick coming out of the bottle, so they kept the building. In the middle of one of the streets, was a huge piece of art that had to circles joined together to symbolize that people wanted to come back together as one and not be separated by a wall-it was started when the wall was built and finished when the wall was torn down. Germany was a wonderful experience for me, and I would defiantly go back just so all I could do is tour more and not be on a tight performance to perform.
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