I had a really exciting January, because the start in the second half of my year was a bit like a new start for me.

At the Beginning of January, I went to McQueen Lake with the International students. At and around the lake we could do a few different kinds of winter sport. I played ice hockey the whole time, but without skates which was a bit awkward. We could also do snowshoeing or cross country skiing. Now that I think about it, I should have tried the last two as well, but the winter will last a bit longer so that I can still try these out.

The last week of semester one went quickly. All students had most of their exams either on Monday or Tuesday. The rest of the week we had off, if we didn’t have to write an exam or catch up in a certain subject. That gave me the chance to go skiing on Thursday. The ski day was very good, because there was new snow and it wasn’t busy at any time of the day.

Anyway, I just had to write a final exam in Physics 11. In PE and ESL you can’t really have an exam and I was lucky that I didn’t have to write the math exam. Everybody who had over 92 percent didn’t have to write it and I was one of the few students who made it over the mark. I did very well in the Physics exam. I got close to a hundred percent and because my teacher scaled it, it counted like a hundred. I’m not sure about my final marks in percent, but I know that I have an A in every subject. We haven’t got our report cards yet, because there is a teacher strike.

The end of the first semester meant also that I would move to my new host family and not just that I get new subjects. My new host parents, Blaire and Suzette, are a few years younger than my real parents. They have two younger girls, Anna (8) and Caitlin (5). I met them once two or three weeks before I moved. The first contact went pretty well. The girls were a bit shy, but I liked them all at once.

I packed all my stuff on the thirty first, which took probably twice as much space as the 23 kg bag I was allowed to take to Canada.

After school Blair picked me up. It all went pretty quick. Just like that the second part of my year started. It wasn’t really a long good bye with my old host family, because we were certain that we meet again, before I totally leave.

In the second semester I have acting, which is really fun. Our teacher is very good and always knows how to make the lesson enjoyable and funny. I also have English 11 in which we are doing similar things to the normal German lessons in Germany. Well, I don’t really like to analyze poems, but it is still good for my English, because I learn lots of vocabulary,

A course which will be probably never offered in Germany is Adventure Tourism. It is mainly about various outdoor activities for which Canada is world famous. I’m going to do canoeing, kayaking, river rafting, rock climbing, cross-country skiing and backpacking. For our final trip we are going to Mt. Robson, the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies. I’m already looking forward to that great experience. Right now we are doing a lot about avalanche safety. We also watched the movie “the fine line”. It is really well made and won an award at the powder awards in 2009. My teacher also suggested us to watch “All I can”. It was funny that I just watched that movie with my host dad just the night before, because my father recommended it. I think it is such a good movie. You all should definitely check it out. At least watch the teaser trailer on YouTube.

I just had one problem in school and that was French 11. It was really way too easy for me. I felt like back in Grade 8 in Germany. The main problem is that I could not change to French 12, because that course is just offered in semester one I took Physics 12 instead, because it doesn’t make any sense to learn everything I already know again. I really like Physics and the teacher is awesome. I really don’t want to be a whole year behind in French, when I come back. That’s why I will study some French with a Swiss exchange student and on my own, so that it won’t be such a big issue next August.

Last Friday I finally went to my first ice hockey game. Always, when I had wanted to go to a game, I did something else and said to myself, that I’m staying here for a year and that I’ll have lots of opportunities. It’s a shame that I lived in Canada for five months without going to a hockey game, but I didn’t know what I was missing. Our local hockey team the Blazers played against the Rockets from Kelowna. The Blazers are actually “just” a junior team, but they are definitely professional. This season they are first in the WHL (Western Hockey League).

I really enjoyed watching the game, because it was really fast and a goal could occur any second. In the first period the Rockets played amazingly well. They lead soon with two to nothing and after the first goal of the Blazers they scored two other goals ending the first period with four to one. I already thought that I bring bad luck, but in the second period the Blazers fought back. They started into the third period being behind still with two goals, but now the Blazers dominated the game and could equalize the score before the final whistle.

In the additional period before the penalty shoot out the game got even more exciting, because there were just four players allowed on each side. The momentum increased a bit more for the Blazers, but there were good chances on both sides. The blazers scored the “golden goal” just 27 seconds before the end. Once the puck went in, everybody in the arena jumped up and I felt a bit like in a soccer stadium though the arena was big enough for just 6.000 people and it wasn’t really crowded. I’m definitely going again, although my host dad said that that was one of the best games he has seen there and that it’s not always so close and exciting.

The other two days of the weekend I went skiing. At the first day I skied with the international students again. 12 new exchange students came to Kamloops for the second semester. Most of them have never seen snow. The second day I went with Blair and some of his friends. My skiing really improved, since I came here. I already have 19 days of skiing and Sun Peaks is really a great resort to improve. I got better in everything I already was decent in, when I came here and also learned how to ski well in powder, bumps and through the trees. A good motto out of “All I can” is: “Ski good or eat wood.” At this point I would like to share a couple skiing videos with you, but it just didn’t work to upload the videos.

As you can see things changed a bit for me. It is almost sad that it is already half time for my exchange year. It went by pretty quickly, but I had definitely lots of experiences I will always remember. I also look forward to the experiences which are still coming. I had a great time in the second part of my exchange so far. I feel very welcome in my new host family. I was integrated very well and I already feel home.

Categories: Niklas