Jul 142012
 

The preparations for the Mount Robson trip with my Adventure Tourism class began two weeks before the actual trip. There were lots of things to discuss. We went over bear safety, how to behave in a Provincial Park, the leave no trace policy, a list of all the things we are going to need and how to pack our three day backpacks. We even went to True Outdoors and watched a little presentation over hiking shoes, sleeping pads and bags and some backpacks.

As a group we had to organize who would bring tents, fuel, stoves and other things. After that was done I only had to pack the backpack. I liked that part even though it was stressful. I tried to treat it like a puzzle and at the end there was still lots of room in my backpack, even though it was quite heavy.

Before I hit the trail with you I show you some stats about Mount Robson Provincial Park. The park is with almost a hundred years British Columbia’s second oldest Provincial Park and is almost 225 000 hectares large. It is also designated as a part of the Canadian Rocky Mountains World Heritage Site and protects the headwaters of the Fraser River. Mount Robson is with 3954 meters the highest peak in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The huge mountain forces the clouds to move up and is responsible for the moist climate in the park. The forest is similar to a coastal rain forest.

The park is inhabited by a lot of different wildlife. One can travel through three different vegetation zones during a day hike. There are over 182 species of birds and all wild life indigenous in the Rocky Mountains like deer, moose, elks and black bears. There are also caribous, mountain goats and grizzly bears in higher elevations.

We left Kamloops at 7 o’clock on Monday morning and arrived around 12 at the park center. The first thing I thought when I saw Mount Robson was: „WHOA!“. It was really impressive just like all the other nature I got to see on the trail. I can’t really explain its beauty with words. So I just let you enjoy some pictures I took.

We spent about an hour at the center before we finally got on the trail, which went along the river and mostly through forest. The first day wasn’t really exhausting for me. I had no problem with my backpack and the trail was easy. After 11 km we reached our campground. Then we put up our tent and cooked dinner. For dinner I just boiled some water and added it to some dried food. There are quite a lot of brands and the pasta I had was even pretty good.

The next day we had our full day hike. We just carried light day packs, which made our life a lot easier. Only two kilometers after we left our campground we gained a lot of elevation. On our way up we passed the first big waterfall. We rested there for a while and took some pictures. The next stop was at Emperor Falls. Both waterfalls were really cool. Just like everything in Mount Robson Provincial they look so pure, natural, powerful and beautiful.

We also encountered snow on the trail. Our teacher said that it’s the most snow he has seen there with his school groups. After we were at the same elevation as the top of emperor falls however the trail was mostly flat. We hiked along the river for a bit and then walked through a valley with the north face of Mount Robson to our right. It took a while for us to finally get to Berg Lake. Two kilometers further we had our lunch break at the Berg Lake chalet.

Over an hour later we were on our way to Toboggan Falls. On the pictures you can see how the water cut through the rock and formed those carvings. The sight was just amazing. The only thing missing was seeing the north face of Mount Robson not hidden in clouds.

After spending half an hour at Toboggan Falls we started our way back. After that everything went by quickly. The way back didn’t seem so long as I feared it was. Next morning we headed back and after another five hour drive I was home again. The trip however was just indescribable. I really need to go back there one day.

After those three days the final days of school were knocking on the door. They really came earlier than I expected. I didn’t have any problems with my final exams in English and in Physics. Instead of an exam in Adventure Tourism and Drama we just had final projects. I actually could have gone to prom if I took English 12 instead of English 11. I didn’t do that though, because everything would have been just too much stress for only two evenings. My Grade 12 friends however had a great time.

When the last week of school came, I let all my friends sign my year book and some flags I brought. It was hard to admit that this was it; it still is. I had such a great year here in Kamloops. The last and final report I’m going to publish back in Germany. I still have three weeks of vacation here and I’m trying to use them. I also think that the first couple weeks back in Germany are still part of my experience.

Jun 262012
 

Here I am again! The last two months were so busy/awesome that I couldn’t really find time to write. So now I really have to catch up. It is actually tough to remember everything in a chronicle order and I try to involve only the major events. Nevertheless there is still so much to talk about that it’s better to make two parts.

Besides skiing and all the different activities we did in Adventure Tourism, I also had a great kayak experience. My Adventure Tourism teacher came up with it. There were some TRU students to be tested as kayak instructors and they needed some real students for that. Of course I volunteered. I wouldn’t let such a chance pass by. I didn’t even have to pay anything and got two full days of kayaking on the Adams River. Do you remember the Adams River? That’s where the Salmon Run takes place every year.

Kajak

So I skipped school for two days and went to TRU at around 7 30 to get all my equipment ready. I was the youngest person there which didn’t really surprise me. There were actually more instructors than students but that made it even better. The first day was a bit rainy and we only did some basic stuff. We went over all the different techniques and in the end I was even pretty good in going straight forward.

Kajak

The second day was better. We went down the Adams River which was considered to have a difficulty of level two. It is just one level higher than a canal or a calm river but it was still quite challenging for me. I went through some rapids and it was just so much fun. I was very proud of myself that I managed the challenging parts without tipping over. I just tipped over at the very end and it was soooo cold but the two days were really worth it.

Kajak

The weekend after we went to a fundraiser dinner from the Rotary club. The theme of the evening was a murder mystery with real actors and clues which you could win from games like the wheel of luck. My table ended up winning which was a big surprise and we received lots of prices like wine, coupons and tickets for next year. It was just a great evening, but it made me sad that I won’t be there next year.

School wasn’t really exciting those days. Besides rock climbing and a couple other activities in Adventure Tourism there was nothing special. Drama is my favorite subject now. It is always a lot of fun even if I’m not that talented. I really like Physics as well and English is alright. We just finished Macbeth which is not really my favorite.

With the beginning of Spring the tennis season started. Of course I tried out for the school team and made it in pretty easily, since most guys aren’t really playing tennis. I also leveled up in my lessons and play now with some really good guys. Because of the teacher strike there aren’t many tennis teams. Our coach for example isn’t a teacher but a father of one of our players.

Tennisteam

That’s why we had only one game before the first important tournament the Okanagans. We easily won all our games and went straight to the final where we lost against OKM from Kelowna, which was okay because we were already qualified for Provincials at that point of time.

On May long weekend I went to a camp at Sorrento center which is located right at the Shuswap Lake. We did lots of fun stuff like campfires, singing, sports and other activities. There were lots of friends from the youthgroup I’m going to and also some other great people I met on another weekend I had in Penticton last fall.

The Tennis Provincials took place in Vancouver. Our team took the school bus down there together with another school from Kamloops. Everybody was really excited. We stayed in a decent Motel in Burnaby which is about 20 km away from the real downtown Vancouver. We went to the opening ceremonies and after that we had way too few sleep. The next day I played all four possible matches. Well the matches consist out of a single set which I really didn’t like.

There are eleven matches between the two opposite teams. There is a singles, an A-double and a B-double which are each playing against the two doubles of the other team. All those games are played boys against boys and girls against girls. The probably most important game is the mixed doubles for our team, because most of the time our guys won everything and our girls lost everything. Don’t get me wrong. Our girls fought and were pretty good considering that most of them started this year.

Our guys were all pretty good. We had four high performance players and two other pretty good guys and even the other two guys did really well. I myself played eight games as A-doubles and won seven of them. Ironically I played my best tennis when I lost that one game. I don’t really know why we lost in the end, because our opponents weren’t that good, but it didn’t really matter because we already lost 6 matches against their team.

In the end we became seventh which isn’t as good as we hoped but it was a decent result. I had some great moments playing with different partners and also got to watch some really good games. Two games were especially awesome. Our singles player Zach who is one of the best players in whole BC was involved in both.

The first game he was playing against another guy from Italy or so. It was a close match where I actually thought that Zach was dominating. I couldn’t really watch all of it because I had a game myself. Anyway Zach won in the tie break and the level of the whole game is extreme high. I would have won maybe five points against any of those two.

The second game was even more exciting. It was the last game we had and also a really important one. It was the final mixed doubles, because the score was five to five. Zach played pretty much alone against both players. Our girl left the court after doing her duty of returning or serving. The level was really high once again and at some points Zach just destroyed them. In the end it was still very close. Our team won with 8 to 6 in another tie break.

Tennisteam

Okay that was part number one. School just ended for me and it is hard to realize that I’m going to be back in Germany in only three weeks. It seems like yesterday that I left my family behind at the airport.

Apr 282012
 

So let me start right where I left of, on the way to Whistler. There was snow chaos on the Coquihalla Highway. The road we took was even north of it, but the road was surprisingly free from snow, so that we could drive safely for just about three and a half hours. Just before we entered the area around Whistler, the snow got more. Blair and me, we didn’t stay in a fancy hotel or anything. No, we stayed at a youth hostel, which was okay, because we weren’t there anyway except for sleeping. The youth hostel was also a good one, because it was built for the athletes from 2010. Well it’s all about the skiing, right?

Most inhabitants of Whistler are probably millionaires. You can hardly find a house which doesn’t look really expensive. This got kind of a stereotype for Whistler: expensive and always full of tourists. Surprisingly Whistler wasn’t full at all. It wasn’t expensive either. I could rent skis for two days for only 90 bucks and the lift ticket was even cheaper than in Sun peaks. I rented some powder skies from Rossignol for the first day. I never tried such fat skies before and I heard that they make a big difference in powder. I was excited to try them out, because Whistler just got lots of new snow.

Whistler

The first morning of skiing was so unbelievable. I thought I was in heaven. The sun was shinning, the powder was knee deep and thanks to the skies I got the powder technique at once. With my own skies I never really got it, but with those “fatties” it just becomes natural. They really make you float and the skiing is just so different from what I had in Europe. It was a whole new experience. I think my Vocabulary isn’t good enough to describe the skiing, but I certainly didn’t want it to end. I have even seen some guys shooting a ski movie. I skied as much and as hard as possible until we had lunch. Just after this morning I was already exhausted, but also really happy.

Whistler

The food was really good, too. You could get different kinds of food from all over the world and the restaurants are actually beside the run which I was missing in North American ski resorts so far. After lunch it got cloudy and windy. The skiing was still amazing but it got a bit nasty. At the end of the day we took the Peak to Peak gondola. That was an amazing experience. It is the highest and longest free span gondola in the world. It only has two huge towers and the free span is over three kilometers long. At one point you’re hanging 436 meters over ground, only hold by a few cables which prevent you from falling to death. Absolutely magnificent! The ride just took about eleven minutes. after I got to try some of the runs at Whistler Mountain.

Peak 2 Peak

Whistler is also called “Disneyland for Skiers” and it’s true. We were just at Blackcomb for the first day and that was already awesome, but there are two mountains in Whistler, Blackcomb and Whistler Mountain. Each one is probably as big as Sun peaks. Another good thing about Whistler is the lift system. It is the largest in North America and has mostly high speed lifts. While you’re at some points almost freezing to death in Sun Peaks, it seems like you can ski all day long in Whistler. Every time I had a nice conversation with Blair about skiing, we already had to ski on which is really not a bad thing. I am a bit tired of writing about it, because it makes me want to go back again which I certainly will one day.

Although the weather wasn’t good the second day, we still enjoyed it a lot. This time I rented some all mountain skies from Voelkl. They worked really well in every condition and it was fun to change between all the different kinds and techniques of skiing. The first half of the morning we skied at Blackcomb, before we went over to Whistler Mountain for the rest of the day. It was unfortunately too windy for the Peak to Peak Gondola and most of the alpine lifts were closed as well. We had to ski all the way down to the Village and take another Gondola up. It would have taken us about 25 less minutes, if we had been able to take the Peak to Peak.

Because we couldn’t go up to the top, we stayed lower and tried to find the Olympic runs. I was able to ski both, the women and men race course. Both are really challenging. I couldn’t really race though because of some bumpy parts and tourists, but my legs still felt sore at the end. The men race course really became one of my favorite runs, just like Whistler became on of my favorite resorts.

Two days are really not enough to experience the whole facility of Whistler. You can hardly ski it all in a single week, but the two days were still one the highlights in my exchange year. It was hard to enjoy Sun Peaks again, because it was so much better in Whistler. I just had one other day of skiing, before the season ended. The main reasons were that it was already spring and that the shuttle bus didn’t run anymore. At the end I had 26 ski days in total. I wanted to ski more, but it is still a good number, because I just skied whole days and with almost no breaks. It was still about four times more than usual for me, so what do I want more?

When I came back from my short holiday in Whistler, I still had 5 days of holiday left. It appears to me like everybody in Canada has a cabin somewhere. So does my host family. Two days after Whistler we went to their cabin at the Shuswap Lake to stay over night. The Shuswap Lake is one of the largest in the Kamloops area. In summer it is always really busy, because the weather is probably the nicest in BC. I truly look forward to the warmer weekends. Since my host family has a fast boat, I’m probably going to water ski for the whole time. It’s too bad that I have to leave just after it gets really nice. There is less than two and half months left for me and the thought of leaving so soon makes me sad. One week of holidays is almost immediately over, but I still had an exhausting weekend in front of me.

I played in the first tennis tournament of the season. It went really well for me, although there is still room for improvement. I easily won the first match and then faced the number one of the tournament the next morning. I lost the first set 6 to 0. I know that’s a bad result, but every single game went over deuce and I had lots of game points, but simply didn’t use them. In the second set however I got into my rhythm and won the set with 6 to 4. It was a really exhausting match and after ninety minutes we started the final set. I don’t know why, but I completely choked and it all was over really quickly. I lost 6 to 0 and was so disappointed, because I really had a chance to win.

Just an hour later I had my next game in the Consultation round. The first set almost took an hour, but finally I won with 7 to 5 in the tie break. In the second set I was a break behind, but got it back, when my opponent was serving for the set at 5 to 4. We went to another tie break and I was lucky to win with 7 to 4. I don’t think that I would have won the third set, because I was soooo tired.

I played against a really good opponent in the half final next morning. My legs were sore, but I played the best tennis of the tournament. Nevertheless I lost the first set in the tie break, but I managed to win the second with 6 to 4. Because it was just the consultation round we played a champions tie break instead of a final set. I didn’t mind it, because I had the momentum on my side. I won 10 to 6 and could play in the “small” final which I lost 6 4, 1 6 and 10 7 in the champions tie break. I played well in the first, but played horrible in the second set. At the end I was just too tired. All in all it was an awesome tournament.

Not much has happened lately at school until I had my first day hike with my Adventure tourism class. We took the whole day off and hiked for about 5,5 hours. We chose to hike up Mount Mara which is just outside of Kamloops. The mountain is about 1000 meters tall, but some parts were still quite challenging. We wanted to go up the steep side and descent the easy side, but a large train blocked our way. We waited about 20 minutes until we decided to take the reverse route. It was an awesome day even though it rained the day before and the path got a bit soft. Once we got higher we even had to go through some snow. Nevertheless we had fun and the view on top was amazing. You almost had a 360 degree view of the area. You could see the whole area around Kamloops, the two local ski hills Harper and Sun Peaks, Kamloops Lake and the mountain behind it.

Hoodoo

The descent was really challenging. The path was soft and very steep. You had to be really careful not to slip away which some of us did. Once the path got easier, most of us just ran down. After 95 percent of the hike was done we still had lots of time left. Our teacher showed us the Hoodoos. Those are bizarre rock formations. Because everything is mainly sandstone in that area, it was easy for erosion to carve those stones. We climbed in the Hoodoos and enjoined the view for about 40 minutes before we started our way home. It was funny that our group got split up by another train. I was in the group who made it over the rail way before the train came by. It took a while for the train to pass, because the average train in Canada is about two kilometers long. It’s also going way slower than normal trains, because of the huge amount of power necessary to accelerate those monsters.

For Easter I got two days off, so that I had another small holiday. On Saturday I had a tiny bicycle tour with Blair and Anna. After that we went swimming. All together it was a nice family day. I also showed Blair the Hoodoos on Sunday. Although we got lost and climbed half way up the mountain we finally found them and had a really good workout.

Hoodoo

In the Evening I had a huge family dinner with my host family’s family. Actually it was just about half the family I think, but it was still several times the size of my family. I already knew most of them, but I also saw some new faces. The food was really good again and I also noticed one thing. It appears to me as every big dinner like Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving is a turkey dinner. Not that I have anything against it, but it lacks a bit of variety in my opinion.

On Monday I had another Easter dinner but this time with my old host family at some friends of them. It was really good to see them again. We had lots of things to talked about. I found out that Bob won the “Slush Cup” at Sun Peaks. The Slush Cup is a competition at Sun Peaks which first started five years ago. The goal is to jump off a ramp over a „pool“ of water. Getting over the water is almost impossible since the distance to gain speed is too small. There are some various competitions but the main thing for is longest distance and Bob won in that category. In total he was second though, because his costume wasn’t the best. There were some really awesome costumes. The pictures are on the Sun Peaks website.

BYE…Niklas

Mrz 222012
 

The second month with my new host family passed away and during that time I really got an “extra” part of their family. I get along with them really well and it is fun to live with them.

I also like my new courses in school. In Physics we were repeating and advancing some of the Grade 11 stuff and in English we finished poems and started reading Macbeth. First I didn’t think that Drama is something for me, but now it is one of my favorite courses. School is still school, but with Adventure Tourism it gets more like an adventure holiday. Although it is not as good as a real holiday, I get to try some nice activities.

We went cross country skiing one more time. I still like the downhill version much more, but it is a good workout. I would go cross-country skiing rather than running in the winter. The only disadvantage is that you have to have some skis and boots. And I recommend getting some good skis. I just had the old school skis to use and I got a bit frustrated while skiing downhill. I actually had to push to keep going! Unfortunately I couldn’t try skate skiing, which I’m a bit familiar with from downhill skiing. The skis I had were simply not made for this technique.

A couple other activities, which we just started, are rock climbing and kayaking. Rock climbing wasn’t the first time for me. I went to the local climbing gym a couple times before. So it wasn’t really something new for me. We just went over some safety instructions and climbed a bit. We will start with the technical stuff pretty soon though.

A bit more exciting was kayaking. Unfortunately we just went to the pool. I would love to do kayaking on one of those beautiful lakes in my area. Well, I guess it is still to cold. I have some experience with kayaking as well, but I learned lots of new stuff during our first lesson. It is still hard to keep going straight. I can just go straight for five meters or so and then I turn a bit too much and have to adjust. The techniques I learned are how to make a full turn, how to move efficiently forward and backwards and how to get out of the boat after I fall over. The last one is really simple, but still harder than you might think. You have to stay calm and hold on to your “holy crap strap”. That is how my instructor called it, but I won’t get into it right now.

The rest of my all day life is great, too. I’m especially enjoying the sports. I am playing the best tennis of my life and two weeks ago I went to Abbotsford for our first handball game of the year. Again the level of playing is anything but not high in BC, but it was still a real match. We played against Vancouver and Abbotsford, which are the only teams in BC among us. Our girls teamed up with a couple girls from Vancouver to play against the female high school team of Abbotsford. They won their game with 22 to 4.

Our A-Team played against Vancouver and the B-Team played against Abbotsford. I played in both games. The game against Vancouver was first on the schedule. I was surprised that Vancouver was really good. They had three amazing players, who scored goals however they wanted. We also didn’t play well enough to compete with them and lost 18 to 10. I lead the B-Team against Abbotsford. Most of my teammates were really inexperienced and shot often too early without having a good opportunity. However we were better in my opinion.

At halftime we lead with 10 to 6 and I scored lots of goals from my center back position. The goalkeeper wasn’t really good and I just jumped over the block of the smaller Canadians scoring most of my tries. In the second half however Abbotsford came back. We got a bit too tired, because everybody had to play all the way through while Abbotsford had 5 substitutions. We also lost the ball too easily in offense, mostly because of shooting too early. Our goalie wasn’t good in the second half as well and these are the reasons why we just achieved a 14 to 14 tie at the end. A local newspaper reported about our weekend in Abbotsford. It was funny to see that the scores and the names got all a bit mixed up.

I already told you that the teachers refused to make report cards and some other things they usually do. Well, last week they went on strike. They are really disappointed with the BC government. There are lots of things about to change and the teachers just don’t want to follow. The strike lasted for three days, so that I had a five day weekend. I don’t think that it really made a difference, because the government wanted the teachers to go on strike to save more than 30 million dollars and it seems that the government isn’t listening at all. Another bad thing is that there are probably no sports in spring. That means no tennis for me. I will still have practice from my school, because our coach is not a teacher, but we won’t compete in any tournaments.

I rally got a hockey fan since my first game. I went another three times to a Blazers game and watched some other games on TV. The Blazers did really well, if you ignore the 3 to 6 loss against (find out) The last time I got a place in a lodge. It was higher than the usual places for better view, but since the stadium is small you could see everything really well. That game was really exciting. The blazers didn’t play badly, but simply didn’t score in the first two periods. The opposite Team from Portland (USA) scored early in the first period and had a couple good chances, too. The fans were a bit disappointed from the bad performance, but then in the third period the Blazers began to play really good. They scored four goals and another one as the other team took the goalie out to have an extra field player. The result was a bit too high in my opinion, but who cares. A win is a win and a high is even better. After the game I went to A&W with my host dad. There are free burgers for everyone with a ticket when the Blazers won with a 3 goal difference.

Last weekend it was the first time I ever shot a real gun. Blair and me, we actually wanted to go skiing, but we forgot to change the clocks and got up too late. Instead we went shooting with one of Blair’s buddies. The shooting range is just outside of town. I got to try out different kinds of guns and I shot with a rifle, a pistol and a shot gun. The shot gun is just good to blow things up. If you hit something with that it won’t survive. The recoil of that thing is also really strong. I liked the rifle the most which was on a table, because you hardly missed any target. It is much harder to hit your target if you stand with the gun.

I just talked to my family yesterday on Skype and I have to say, that my German is really bad for a German. I really have to think about what I’m saying, but my writing and understanding is still fine. I’m doing really everything in English for now about three months and gets more natural to me every day I am here.

My next holidays, also called “Springbreak”, just started. It is just a week, but I will probably experience one of the highlights of my exchange year. I’m going to ski in Whistler. Isn’t that awesome? Unfortunately I will ski for only one or two days. I’m still really looking forward to it. Ok that’s it from Canada again. I will write about my adventures in the best ski resort of North America in my next report.

Feb 152012
 

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.