Hard to believe I've only just gotten to the Welcome Party--although, since this blog has been fairly non-linear, there hasn't been much recently I haven't mentioned at one point or another. Back in May or June, I was invited to the Welcome Party for the Study Abroad students participating in the program I was in last year. I train-ed to Osnabruck, where Dr. Werner picked me up and we drove to the on campus lodgings we stayed in before, and met the students.
There were significantly fewer people in the ground than last time: one girl, and three guys I think. However, we got several University of Osnabruck students to participate (only one person the same as from last year). So I introduced myself and what I was doing to the people I didn't recognize, and greeted the person who knew me from before.
Together in the van, we drove out into the German countryside--out to a farm near the Artland Breweries (with the Artland Dragon mascot, which you may remember from the basketball team) which we went to last year. The "Farm," as it was called, was actually a little 'Bed and Breakfast' type place with a working restaurant, a sculpting class, a pool, a mini golf course, and archery. There were lots of people there not associated with us; we were told they were having a family reunion of some kind.
Lunch was fantastic. We stated with shots, some sort of slightly sweetened green vodka if I remember right, and an epic bread bowl (thick pretzels and seedy breads). Our plates had a fine mix of meats, cheeses, and fruits, which is really my favorite kind of meal. So we mixed-and-matched our lunch items for a while, and then divided the party for activities. I chose the group going mini-golfing first, and I was able to get into an enjoyable group of three semi-competitive individuals.
I did well, winning a few holes and generally providing enough of a challenge to one without alienating the worse player. After golf was archery which, to be honest, I get board with incredibly fast. Sure, the first five arrows I shoot are interesting as I try to concentrate on the directions and hitting the target. But, when I'm hitting the target every time and I've repeated the same sequence of movements twenty times, my mind tends to wander--and that's about the time I'm ready to head home. Sure enough, we quit eventually and we split ways as I'm taken directly home (it's quite close) while the students are taken to the Brewery.
Probably got the short end of that stick.