Monthly Archives: February 2012

Trip to Austria!!

This morning began like every other (minus the whole waking up in the SWISS ALPS thing); however, the day certainly turned out to be nothing like I expected. 

I now have the privilege of adding another European country to the list of places I have been totaling three in only a few short days!  The international students (of which I am one) took a short trip to nearby Feldkirch, Austria where we were greeted with cobblestone streets and a town square straight out of a middle ages movie set!

Before I get too much into things, I must first inform you of the morning’s events of course!  Early on we were addressed by two members of the office of foreign affairs who informed us of an array of facts and figures about the Liechtenstein people and culture. 

Did you know nearly 36,000 people inhabit the country and approximately 34,000 are employed within the country?  Whoa whoa before you start thinking about child labor or something, the reason for the very close numbers is the cross border commuters of course!  Nearly 17,000 people each morning cross into Liechtenstein from Austria, Switzerland, or Germany!

Hofkellerei vineyard on the way to downtown Vaduz

Or how about that Liechtenstein has only 8 diplomatic representations elsewhere, and 24 total diplomatic employees(including 12 here in Vaduz)?  One of the most interesting facts was regarding the branding of the country itself.  Jennifer brought up the country’s branding efforts that she had read about in a brochure, and asked why the country decided it was so important to brand itself.  What was interesting is that the citizens are actually rather unhappy with the current branding (which consists of a purple border and the country’s name on all documents), because purple is nowhere to be found in the nation’s crest or flag!  In order to solve this problem an international contest was held for new submissions of the country’s brand, a committee is in the process of selected the five finalists, and a popular vote will be held on the issue in the upcoming year.  Talk about diplomatic!!

Following the presentation we received a guided tour of the Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein National Museum

Landsmuseum, or the Liechtenstein National Museum.  Again, many interesting facts were discussed oh and most importantly they gave us chocolate.  Again trying to fatten us up!!

From the museum we had just a short walk to the bus stop and the real adventure began!  A short (maybe 20 minute) bus ride led us straight to Feldkirch, Austria.  The history and other facts of the town I am not sure of (yet), but… I can tell you it was BEAUTIFUL!  The town was centered around a lovely downtown square complete with a number of bistros/restaurants AND an outdoor flower market! How much more European can you get?  The attached pictures will probably give you a much better idea of the city than I could possibly explain in words so feel free to form your own beautiful image of the town.

En route to Feldkirch!

While Feldkirch certainly had its medieval charm, it also was very modern complete with an H & M in the middle of the square and a giant supermarket, Spar, where the afternoon’s activities took place.  After lunch we dispersed to explore the city, and more importantly to gather the materials necessary for the international dinner to be held on Thursday night. 

Each student is encouraged to supply a traditional dish from their home country so the grocery store was of course a must; however, such an easy task is NOT so

First approaching Feldkirch

easy when everything is in German!  Some of us (like myself) were fortunate to have some German-speaking people accompanying us which made the trip a whole lot easier, but for the most part it was fend for yourself! 

I had decided to make shrimp kabobs for my dish; however, upon finding no fresh shrimp I quickly adapted my plan to steak kabobs and was a happy camper!  This trip to the store was MUCH easier than the first; however, it was definitely not without its confusion.  Apparently cheddar cheese is not very common in Austria, graham cracker pie crusts are unheard of, milk is ridiculously hard to decide which to buy, and barbecue grill tongs are difficult to find as well!

Feldkirch square

I somehow managed to navigate the minefields of cultural confusion, checked out, and began yet another feat.  A lovely school volunteer (originally from Chicago), Kay, had driven her car, but now the task to pack 30 international student’s heavy groceries into ONE car inconspicuously (so as not to be stopped by customs) was upon my hands.  It was definitely not easy, but between four of us we somehow managed, and even made it through the Austrian-Liechtenstein border with only a simple nod and a wave!

For those of you who don’t know there are rather strict tax laws about

Feldkirch-the perfect combination of modern and medieval.

transporting goods from Austria to Liechtenstein.  Each person is only allowed a certain amount of alcohol, meat, vegetables, butter, cheese, etc. so while we were legally under the limit to have been stopped and had everything calculated for the four of us would have been a nightmare!

Fortunately the crisis was avoided and we returned safe and sound to the dormitory with all of the groceries in tow!  Again who knew grocery shopping would be so complicated?!  The trip to Feldkirch was followed by fellowship, a walk around the city at nightfall, and much-needed rest and relaxation. The first of many adventures to the beautiful country of Austria and certainly one for the story books!

Interesting facts I have recently learned:

1.  Young people get REALLY excited when you attempt to speak German. (even if it is only a single phrase that you know)

2.  Liechtensteiners have skate parks as well, and the attire of skaters is apparently universal!

Outdoor flower market in Feldkirch square.

3.  Fresh shrimp is something to never be taken for granted.

4.  The country of Liechtenstein does not have an army, and hasn’t had one since it was under Germanic rule.

5.  Igel is the German word for hedgehog, and erdberre is strawberry.

The successful results of 20 international students!

Advertisements
Video

Goebel goes Global: Entry #2

Hello! My name is Jennifer and I’m a junior at Millsaps College. Stevie has mentioned me throughout her blog entries, and I have the honor of contributing to the tales of our trip in Liechtenstein through a video blog.

Adventures of a scavenger hunt!

I apologize that this is yet again a day behind, but hopefully I will have caught up by today. Oh…and since you all are approximately 7 hours behind, I guess I am pretty much caught up!  And since my camers is temporarily experiencing technical difficulties I have no pictures for you today, but hopefully that will be fixed shortly.

Anyhow..today (Tuesday) began the fun activities of the Introduction Week programming.  While the past few days have definitely been exciting yesterday was full of IT information, paperwork, tours, etc so starting off this morning with a city scavenger hunt certainly got our blood pumping!

Now I’m not sure how many of you readers have worked in a cross cultural team on a scavenger hunt (I’m going to go out on a limb and say none), but I can assure you it is no easy task!  Although the others in my group spoke English extremely well the difficulty in reading maps, understanding directions, deciding a plan of action, etc are rather difficult when you are a group composed of an American, a German, and a Mexican!  Despite all of our differences I must tell you that our team did in fact finish second AND we had a heck of a good time!

The hunt included tasks like register as a resident at the Town Hall, ask a total stranger a multitude of questions, find the cheapest and most expensive chocolate and buy the cheapest, visit the Kuntsmuseum, and more.  While we set off with no clue where to start and a rather confusing map my group (Group 7) had a secret weapon….the German.

The gentleman from Mexico and myself with graced with a German-speaking team member that could easily ask all of our questions, ask for directions, and read all of the signs!!! MONEY!  Plus she is the sweetest girl possible so we were even more lucky!

After we ran around the city for nearly 3 hours (only getting lost once on our way to find the library) we had completed all of our answers and off we went for the final destination- our dormitory.  Once we reached the dormitory our buddies had provided us with chips, a local cake, and refreshments. They are always feeding us here! It’s like they are trying to fatten us up so they can make us climb more mountains or something.

Following the scavenger hunt we received a rather interesting presentation from a local fire lieutenant from the Vaduz Fire Brigade, an entirely volunteer force, that covers the entire city and more. We received a quick tour of the safety zones in the dorm as well as a brief tour of the fire truck, which was very different from ours in America!

After the fun morning activities the real challenge began…our first German lesson.  Jennifer and I were both placed in the beginners class which actually turned out to be more fun than challenging.  It was like we were in kindergarten all over again!  We cut and pasted different words and pictures, we filled out worksheets from an animated beginner’s textbook, and the teacher even brought us Swiss chocolate for our break!! Again trying to fatten us up!  But seriously…whatever he gave us was like Kit Kats on steroids.

The first day of German certainly was not easy, but knowing that within a few short weeks we will be able to more adequately get around the grocery store is all the motivation that we needed!  The lessons were followed by dinner and another night of camaraderie and games in the dormitory, which deserves a blog to itself!  Try imagining students from over five different countries playing games from each of their cultures and explaining it to the others and complicate that by about 1000, add in some bouts of laughter, and you might picture about half of what our nights are like!

As every other day, I again have picked up some very useful tidbits of knowledge today:

1.  Swiss chocolate is chocolate from the Gods.

2. The highest mountain in Liechtenstein is Grauspitz, which is located in Malbun a nearby ski village.

3.  Landle is another word that locals use for Liechtenstein, and instead of saying “hi” the residents here say “hoi”.

4.  The Irish have the most complicated games EVER.

5.  Sour gummy worms are universally liked.

Climb every mountain…

So I am a bit behind on my blogging so forgive the fact that I will now retell events that

At the beginning of the hike...notice how happy I am at this point.

occurred two days ago…

Sunday was the official beginning of Introduction Week here at the University of Liechtenstein (Uni as I have learned to call it) for all of the International Students.  The day began with a “short hike” up the mountain to

 

, the location of a former castle’s ruins.

Now allow me to inform you that by “short hike” the people here DO NOT

Jennifer and I making the trek....

MEAN SHORT.  Two hours straight uphill in my dictionary is a long, strenuous, nearly impossible hike that should only be done maybe twice a year.  But since I am in a new country and came here to try new things, I put on my happiest face and vowed that I would go by their definition and this would be just a “short hike”.  This attitude lasted maybe…. 10 minutes.

And after those ten minutes of just the entry road to the mountains, I reverted to my American ways and realized this would be no “short hike”!  We climbed and climbed, and climbed some more, and climbed, and then climbed, oh and then climbed and as we came to a rest our lovely fellow student and tour guide announced with eagerness ” Yaya guys we’ve made it about ONE TENTH of the way!” Seriously.  This was not a joke.

As I am sure any serious hiker or really even anyone who has climbed a mountain more than twice in their lives (unlike myself) knows after so long your legs eventually go numb and the climbing uphill doesn’t really phase you anymore, as happened to me.  Eventually I figured what was the use in thinking about how bad my legs would be hurting

On the way up...

in the morning and instead think of the amount of chocolate I would be able to eat afterwards! 

Enough about the journey upwards…once we reached our destination we were greeted by the lovely ruins as seen in the picture and even graced with fresh snowfall!  From our location you could see the entire city of Vaduz as well as across the Rhine River into nearby Switzerland! Two countries in one view…AMAZING!

 

Wildschloss...old castle ruins

The hike downhill was much less strenuous; however, it certainly was no walk in the park either.  Downhill was a very welcome change, but again after a certain point the calves begin to tense up and not exactly like walking downhill anymore.  Of course this is all because I am not used to hiking or climbing mountains for that matter so judge all you like, but mountains don’t exactly exist on the MS Gulf Coast!!

Following the hike I had a quick lunch/dinner and Jennifer and I retired to a lovely power nap before we took place in the evenings activities, a trip to downtown Vaduz for a traditional “groundhog day like” event.

The “Funken Vaduz” is an old Liechtensteiner (and probably elsewhere in Europe) tradition where a giant pile of brush/sticks/trees are gathered and atop is a tree with a witch tied to it.  The witch is loaded with fireworks, and the local firemen all gather witches brooms light them on fire, swirl them around their heads, and use these to light the giant pile on fire.  As the pile burns, the witch catches fire and explodes (due to the fireworks), and eventually the tree will catch fire as well.

Where the “groundhog day-ness”

Funken Vaduz

comes in is with the ignition of the tree.  If the tree catches afire and falls over than it is thought that winter will continue and a bad summer will follow.  If the tree remains erect, it is thought that winter is now over and a celebration is in order!

L

The traditional band inside of the Christmas tree decorated tent.

ocal men, women, children, and tourists were all in attendance and the night featured fireworks (both large and small), burning trees for warmth throughout the area, and overall merriment!  A tent was decorated with Christmas trees and Christmas tree branches (with no decorations) and inside was a traditional band complete with an accordion and two other instruments (I don’t want to name them for fear of getting it wrong and offending those musicians out there!).  Also inside the tent was beer, wine, sausages, bread, and more tasty goodies.  Our buddy team leader advised me to order ein punche (basically hot Fanta) and they passed around “sweetbread”, which was very similar to a sugary donut hole!-DELICIOUS!

The entire event was literally straight from a fairy tale book or a medieval movie (whichever you prefer).  Since the country of Liechtenstein is governed by a prince and his family there is an actual castle that sits above the city where the royal family lives.  NO LIE.  The castle is all lit up at night-time, and taking part in a “witch burning groundhog day” with a castle overlooking you, and sheep baa-ing in the background is as surreal as it gets!

After the Funken we returned to the dormitory where sleep was the first thing on the agenda!  The warm, fluffy bed felt so nice after a day of strenuous (yet rewarding) activities….until the next morning.  The pain in my legs and back from hiking was so severe that I almost regret telling you for fear of embarrassment!  Man did I get my butt kicked!  No WONDER there aren’t any obese people here…just take a “short hike” and its like going to the gym for a week!

This town is unbelievable and my experience thus far has been very difficult to fully comprehend.  I still can’t get used to walking down the street, looking up and seeing the grand Swiss Alps covered in snow nuzzling Vaduz in their safety.  I guess one could get used to that, but I certainly don’t want to anytime soon! With each upward glance it is like a little reminder of how grateful I am to have this opportunity!

Interesting facts I have learned so far:

Some of our fellow students: Liva, Elina, and Zane from Latvia, Dan from Slovakia, and Sebastian from Germany (who we informed of The Little Mermaid which he had never hear of!)

1.  The paper here isn’t the same size as the paper in the US.  It is a little longer and less wide and certainly isn’t 8×10.

2. Liechtenstein brews their own beer called Brauhaus.

3.  People here call the crosswalks “zebras”, and you can just walk across them and the drivers of cars will automatically stop. That is how nice everyone is!

4. Hungarians have a version of Hearts called “Rikiki” which is much more fun.

5. Bacon and eggs for breakfast is weird, and something people only see Americans do in movies.

Video

Goebel goes Global: #1

Hello! My name is Jennifer and I’m a junior at Millsaps College. Stevie has mentioned me throughout her blog entries, and I have the honor of contributing to the tales of our trip in Liechtenstein through a video blog.

Who knew grocery shopping could be so different?…

Disclaimer- If you do not know where I am or who I am with or anything about my study abroad adventures read previous blogs, it is explained in more detail there!

Now back to business.  Since I eluded to the eventful grocery shopping trip, I guess I should now explain why it was indeed so eventful.  Well we started the morning with a few small missions:  get a phone, buy a bus ticket, and get food!!! At the dormitory it is fend for yourself, and since we hadn’t had the time to go to the store yet, Jennifer, Mama, and I were STARVING!  We had been told that groceries are cheaper in nearby Austria, but at this point we didn’t even care!  We just needed something to put in our stomachs! 

So we caught the bus and rode (literally just over the bridge) into Switzerland where we quickly found a “convenient store” and grabbed some much needed breakfast.  I set my sights on a chocolate covered donut and water, Mama picked and apple pie like pastry, and Jennifer of course went with some weird looking bread thing and mineral water.  My donut had a lovely surprise of cream on the inside and Jennifer quickly learned to NEVER again buy mineral water.

Now enough rambling on about our breakfast….next on our mission was to purchase a cell phone.  Since don’t have one of the larger providers like At&t, my provider wouldn’t sell me an international plan for longer than one month, and truthfully if they did it would have been way more expensive than we could have paid anyway!  That being the case, I had to purchase a go phone with the Swiss provider Yallo, that while still pricey wasn’t quite so steep as the American prices!  While this may appear to be an easy process I have learned to never assume. The lovely Swiss girl at the desk was the best we could have asked for, but if you can picture three Americans who don’t speak a word of German trying to go through a cell phone clause with someone who speaks another language natively you can only imagine!  Long story short it took oh…about 2.5 hours!

After the cell phone was FINALLY purchased, we headed across the street to the train stop to purchase Mama’s return ticket to the airport, and mine and Jennifer’s year long bus ticket.  This again was another thing I had made assumptions on! Again the language barrier made things much more difficult than expected, but we were fortunate that the woman spoke English quite well.  We purchased our tickets, but were sent to a nearby photo booth in order to complete the process.  Have you ever tried to take a passport like picture in a German speaking photo booth? Let me just warn you….IT IS NO SIMPLE TASK.

With cell phone and bus ticket in tow we walked a few blocks in search of the grocery store/supermarket that was sure to be up ahead.  We had all forgotten/never really understood the name of the store we were looking for, but we knew it began with the letter B!  We soon found out that it didn’t in fact begin with the letter B, and was instead called Coop. Same difference right?

My confusion at the shopping cart theft protection mechanisms.

Upon arrival, we were greeted with our first cross cultural obstacle: the shipping carts were locked up!  Fortunately Jennifer had remembered that the same thing occurred in Greece, and she instructed us that by placing a coin in the slot it could unlock your cart and when you returned the cart your coin would be returned.  Ok so that was figured out, but now we had a slot and about 4 different kinds of coins and no idea which one we were supposed to use!  The lovely cheese sample lady told us 1 or 2 francs would do the job and so it did!  With our buggy in tow we set out for the adventure that awaited us.

Produce was the first section that caught our eye, and since we knew we had very limited refrigerator space our items were very limited as well!  Bananas, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, and oranges all made the list; however, we quickly

The produce label maker...good thing it had numbers only!

learned that unlike in America where even the produce is labeled, in Switzerland you must make your own label by placing the produce on the scale and selected the proper number for the item. 

Following produce we pretty much went on a wild goose chase for whatever items we thought we needed to get us started.  Milk made the list although as you can see from the picture the choices were quite confusing and since nothing was in English I’m still not even sure what I bought!  It had a cow on it so it had to be milk right?…

We finally decided that since refrigerator space was limited our best tactic was to find things that could be kept in my room so as to not go hungry in the middle of the night!  The chip and cookie isle was certainly an experience.  Pringles seemed familiar so I tossed those in the cart, apparently paprika is the big thing for chips here, but too afraid to try it those didn’t come home with me.  Oreos, peanut M & Ms, and Special K were all purchased, and before you go on making

You tell me if you know which milk to buy?!

fun of me for not trying new things, I would have, but I couldn’t read ANY of the packages so I didn’t want to waste money on things when I didn’t even know what they were!

After about 2 hours wandering aimlessly throughout the store we thought we had grabbed enough supplies so as to not starve and made our way to the checkout counter.  You know how in America they give you plastic bags at the grocery store to store your purchases?…Well in Europe THEY DON’T.  Jennifer’s mother had the foresight to guess this and sent her with 2 bags, but I on the other hand had no prior warning.  We ended up shoving what we could in Jennifer’s bag, and having to purchase 2 Coop bags for the remainder of my groceries.

Cell phone, bus ticket, and grocery shopping all complete we made a quick pit stop at McDonald’s (and the cheeseburgers do taste different over here) and made our way back to the University.  That same evening I sent mother off on our way back to the states.  Much harder than I thought (but I will save  you the sappy details), and later that night enjoyed our second meal together with our fellow international students. 

Successful grocery trip number 1!

Since I have to mentally process so many new things each day, and there is no possible way to document each and every one of them I have decided to include a section at the end of each blog about the new things I have discovered from both my experiences and the people I have met.

1.  People from Mexico call American’s gringos or gringas (something like that) which originated back from the war when we wore green.  (they assured me this term is in by no means derogatory)

2.  People in Europe use ketchup for EVERYTHING at a barbecue.  Take a pieces of chicken off the grill-put ketchup on it. Take a piece of sausage off the grill-put curry ketchup on it. Take a piece of turkey off the grill-and what else but ketchup!

3. People over here LOVE American television-Desperate Housewives, One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl, How I Met Your Mother, Grey’s Anatomy  you name it they watch it!

4. Running up these hills will bite you in the butt the next day. And what they call a short hike actually turns out to be 1.5 hours straight uphill…

5.  Special K with “red fruit” isn’t Special K with strawberries, it is literally Special K with a variety of red fruits including strawberries, cherries, and raspberries.

A glance at the treasures purchased earlier in the day....notice the most important item front and center from home-Tony's seasoning!

Abroad from the Alps!

After months of waiting, the adventure finally all began at 3:30 am Wednesday morning.  My family awoke to the way too loud alarm clock and after groggily getting put together we set off for the Gulfport airport en route to Europe! 

Now would be the proper time to inform you of our Cantrell luck.  No matter WHAT there will always be a disaster when the Cantrell’s are travelling, or really doing anything for that matter.  So…as always this time was no different disaster #1 occurred when we missed our first flight to Atlanta.  And by missed I don’t mean we were late or anything, I mean that my mother works for Delta so we fly free, but on standby and OF COURSE this particular flight decided to be FULL!  Apparently the day after Mardi Gras everyone decides to fly…who knew?!  Anyhow with that being our only chance at getting to Atlanta from Gulfport, we had to quickly go to plan B.  Mama and I decided to drive to Jackson where we the flights to Atlanta were wide open, but we had to move fast! 

After a hasty goodbye to my dad and brother, we began the 2.5 hour drive to the home of Millsaps.  While it would have certainly been more convenient to just fly out of Gulfport, I liked the idea that I was leaving the city Millsaps is in, it was almost as if Mother Millsaps didn’t want to send me off without seeing her one more time! (cheesy I know but…oh well!)

Alright so…long story short we made it to Atlanta via Jackson, and after a four hour layover, we received our standby tickets for the flight to Zurich, and I only

Enjoying the perks of flying first class!

have three words….FREE FIRST CLASS!  Now having been to Europe once before, I can assure you my family NEVER flys first class.  This was an experience in and of itself!  We were greeted on the plane with orange juice and champagne, down comforters, full size pillows, and headphones that were pretty much Bose!  As if this wasn’t enough the lovely flight attendant delivered a menu form which we to choose our entree because of course the first, second, and fourth course were chosen for us!! (I am not kidding a four course meal on an airplane!!!)  But wait it doesn’t end there!  We sat in seats that by simply pushing the “sleep” button would recline to a position comparable to sleeping in a bed, we had our own personal tvs, we were also given breakfast, and warm towels before each meal!! 

(Oh and I guess  now would be the part to mention that Mama did indeed travel over with me to get me settled and get an idea of where and with whom I would be living with…I mean its a free flight so can you blame her?!)

After a divine flight we landed in Zurich very much rested, and began the 3 hour wait near baggage claim for Jennifer’s flight to arrive. There aren’t exactly seats in the baggage claim area so we located ourselves near the money exchange counter, and I am sure they thought “What are those sketchy Americans doing sitting there so long” but we didn’t have a way to tell Jennifer where we were so there we sat! 

Jennifer finally arrived around 11 am (keep in mind we are now 7 hours ahead of ya’ll at home) and with our 11 bags (total) we set off for the train station.  We had been given directions to take a train from Zurich to St. Gallen (a small Swiss town) switch trains to Buchs and then a bus to the University stop.  Well we had interpreted these directions as the school being a hop skip and a jump away…it wasn’t.  The total journey took us a little over 3 hours and was certainly a learning experience.  I don’t know if you have ever tried, but lugging 6 bags (ALL of which are 50 lbs or more) on and off 2 trains and a bus in less than 3 minutes is no easy task. 

As if this ridiculous amount of strenuous activity were not enough, when we finally arrived at the University’s bus stop we were greeted with an entirely new challenge…the hill.  Of course when we first arrived we had no actual idea where we were actually supposed to go so we had not yet noticed the hill.  After two empty stores we finally found a woman on the street that gave us some vague directions to the University which is when we first took note of the hill.

Now this wasn’t some Mississippi hill that you can see while driving Highway 49.  No, this was a hill that was stealthy and one only really noticed how much of a hill it was once walking up it.  About ¼ of the way to the top Jennifer was the first to give.  Suggesting the idea that it was an impossible feat, and we try another option.  Mama and I insisted that we could do it, and we just had to reach the “white house” (which the lady had pointed to turn at) that was only half way up.  Well, we reached this “white house” and it was not in fact where we needed to turn.  The correct turn was at the top of the hill which at this point we were not reaching anytime soon! 

After finally admitting defeat to "the hill" I sit amongst our bags waiting for Jennifer to return.

Mama and I finally admitted defeat and Jennifer ran off while we watched the bags in search of the University and people who could offer help.  She returned a few minutes later with the cavalry of buddy students eager to meet the Americans whose bags were too heavy to carry up the hill!  Each person grabbed a bag, and embarrassingly enough we FINALLY made it to the dormitory. 

I have never met such friendly welcoming people, and after the fitful travels from the airport this was exactly what we all needed.  They were so interested in our arrival and offered to help in any way they could and it became a world wind of signing paperwork and unloading backs to make ourselves comfortable.  The rooms here are quite interesting, and very mod and organized. 

The breathtaking view from our window...this is really what we will wake up to every morning!

We discovered there was a chart for each student’s refrigerator space, pantry space, and bathroom.  The window blinds were an adventure to discover how to work, and there were only three clothes hangers….three. For those that now me three hangers is literally a joke.  I mean three clothes hangers wouldn’t even fit all of my cardigans!  (and no judging I buy everything on sale!)  We added clothes hangers to our grocery list for the next day along with food (which at this point we were starving!),  laundry detergent, soap, and more essentials.  (I will detail our grocery shopping adventures in a later post.)

Dinnertime was around 7:00 pm, or 19:00 as I will soon learn to tell time, and this was our first opportunity to meet some of the fellow international students.  There are students here from Ireland, Latvia, Slovenia, Egypt, Tawain, Poland, Germany, Canada, Mexico, Hungary, and those are only the ones that we have met thus far!  And they had ALL already heard about us before we had met them.  Apparently word got around that we were the American girls with all the really heavy bags that had to get help on the hill…good first impression eh?

Just outside the dorm a view down the street.

Anyhow dinner and introductions was over potato soup and followed by much-needed sleep for Jennifer, Mama, and myself.  Yesterday was the day for grocery shopping, but since I am running late for our first Liechtensteina (as I was told you call those that live in Liechtenstein) barbecue I will have to save that for later! 

Here is my soppy bit about missing home and my family and friends and especially Millsaps.  Up until I actually got to the Atlanta airport, I guess I hadn’t actually thought about the fact that I was leaving everything I had ever known behind.  Things aren’t incredibly different here, but not speaking a word of German certainly doesn’t help!  I will be having the time of my life and of course will keep you up to date, but I can predict in a few months when I return there really will be “No place like home.”