One Great Summer

By
As I boarded the plane headed for Frankfurt, I quickly glanced at the people around me. A sea of blue shirts met my eyes, along with familiar faces. I forgot that I was part of the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp International Choir, but then quickly remembered when I looked down to see the blue sweater tied around my waist which was part of the camp uniform. I shuffled my feet through the security checkpoint and caught up with some members of my group. I knew they were as excited as I was to go to Europe to sing for three weeks. This was going to be the best trip ever.


We reached Frankfurt late in the day. Like a huge blue amoeba, our choir wove through the hundreds of people casually strolling by shops or looking for their gate number. We finally reached our destination, which was waiting outside the crowded airport. It was a bright red double-decker tour bus. As I climbed aboard, I surveyed the inside of the bus. It was small on the first level, with only 20 seats and a small walkway. There were some tables and a refrigerator that lined one side of the bus. I spotted where I wanted to sit, and I threw my backpack filled with maps and books, into a chair next to the window. After I sat down, I gazed absent-mindedly out the window of the bus. I found it hard to believe that I was actually in Europe, since I've been begging my parents to take me there since I was ten. The hustle and bustle of the airport parking lot could have rivaled any large city in the U.S; the family taking their kids on another vacation, the honeymooners heading to some tropical paradise, a businessman on his way to an important meeting, all passed before my eager and curious eyes.


The bus started up with a loud roar and we were off to Magdeburg. I read about that city in one of my travel books, which I brought along as a bit of "light" reading. The Magdeburg Dom was the main attraction of this Northern German metropolis. It's stunning gothic architecture and imposing facade made it the ultimate tourist spot. I was very excited to see my very first European city, with all the sidewalk cafes and beautiful promenades. As the bus swurved right and left on the small German street, I all of a sudden became nervous. I thought about what the choir director told us before leaving the U.S.," Now when we reach Magdeburg, your host families are going to be waiting for you, and they are going to be very excited to have you in their home, so smile and be polite." I failed to remember until now that I was going to stay in a host family while in Magdeburg. I was going to be separated from the rest of the choir for the majority of my stay here. Fear struck my heart as I let this sink in. I had never stayed over a strangers house in my life, and now I have to stay at one's for 3 days.


When the bus arrived, a whole throng of people came rushing up, holding signs welcoming the Americans. We got off the bus and stood in a disfigured circle as our names were called out to be paired with host families. I was called not long after the reader began to shout out each name, and I looked around to see the first glimpse of my new family for the next three days. Then, like in a movie, the crowd parted, and I saw my host family standing there, with big smiles on their faces. I walked up to them and greeted them with the best German I could muster. " Guten Tag" I said, becoming a little self-conscious at my pronunciation in front of native speakers. They smiled and aknowledged my efforts to communicate in their language. I was led to their minvan which was parked next to the church where our first choir performance was to be, the Magdeburg Dom. As I stared up into the sky, trying to comprehend the vastness of the outside of the massive church, I realized that this trip was going to be a life changing experience, and that I was going to come home with more than a few new tunes I learned in choir; I was going to come home with amazing memories and even more amazing new friends.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Naomiwymer said...
Jul. 28, 2009 at 2:40 am
Hey did you go the same year I went by chance? with me and carly and ellen and Eric and everyone?
 
clyn12 said...
Feb. 3, 2009 at 9:52 pm
Lucky you! I hope BL INternational was amazing; I may go summer of 2010. Blue Lake rocks!!!
 
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