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.