On Monday, Marianna and I hit the ground running with our first day at JFKS. I met my teacher and all my sixth grade students. I don't think the kids really knew what to think of me at first, but they are gradually warming up to me. What I was surprised about the most is that the students speak mostly in German to their peers unless they are addressing an English-speaking teacher. So, all of their group work and chatter throughout the day in entirely in German! I better get to work on my German, so I know if they are on task or not! ;) Thursday was a fun day, as my teacher and I got to take the kids out sledding in a nearby park as a reward for good behavior. I went down the hill twice--which earned me points for sure.
Marianna and I spent most of our afternoons after school exploring the area near our school. We have learned where to buy our groceries, how to get to the post office, and what times our bus comes at the different stops. It has been hard work learning the ropes of a Berliner, but I think we are doing pretty good all things considered.
This weekend we opted to stay in Berlin to do a little exploring. It's a huge city with so much to see. Friday night we did some shopping after school and then went to a local Italian restaurant. It was really cute and the chef-waiter was very nice. On Saturday, Irmgart took us around Mitte (the downtown area of Berlin). She showed us the big shopping areas for young people and pointed out where the museums where. We got to walk through the famous Brandenburg Gate and see all the embassies. It was so nice of her to take time out of her weekend to give us a tour. We enjoyed it! Marianna and I went to another international Baptist church yesterday with a teacher from our school. We also liked this church and seeing another part of town. Since we had MLK Day off today, Marianna's teacher Karla met up with us and showed us around her neighborhood. We saw a beautiful Jewish synagogue and a part of the former Berlin Wall that is still intact. Karla also took us to this cute cafe with mismatched furniture and eccentric decorations. We had cakes, tea, and coffee. She said that at night it is called the Wine Bar and patrons eat and drink as much as they like and then pay how much they think they ate/drank at the end of the evening. Interesting, huh? Marianna and I would like to go back and see what it's like.
There is a lot to see and do here in Berlin and we have barely scratched the surface!