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.