(magden. i didn't take this picture, my host family sent it to me)
I've realized that I haven't actually updated you on anything that's happened since the District Conference. I've only posted random philosophical things, which (while fun to write), are not the most informative blog posts ever.
Since March I've heard from my host family. They live in a small village named Magden, (which is absolutely gorgeous) in the Basel region and near the intersection of the French, German, and Swiss borders. I will be going to school 45 minutes away in a city called Muttenz.
Needless to say, I'm thrilled.
Speaking of school, Swiss schools operate differently than American schools. Although that doesn't really bother me since I've never been to either...
I'll attend Gymnasium, which is basically another level of high school for Swiss students who are collegebound. My schedule will fluctuate throughout the week, with some days starting at 8 and going till 5, and other days starting at 10 and ending at 12. There are more subjects to juggle in a day, but the lessons are shorter (my host mom says that they last 45 or 50 minutes?) Also, from what I've heard, I don't have any homework and I can finish it all in school! Hooray :)
Meanwhile, things have been moving along here. Preparations for my visa, for my GA card in Switzerland, for language camp and for school and for everything that seems far away now but will be familiar and normal in a year. It's odd to think that all around the world, other kids are doing this exact same thing. Other kids have done this exact same thing. Call me self-centered, but for some reason it feels so much different for me to do it than it does for me to hear about others doing it.
I've actually begun to think about packing, early as it seems. I know I'm not supposed to bring too much stuff (Switzerland does have shopping, believe it or not :) ) but I have the odd impulse to bring as much of my belongings as possible, just to have things from home. At the same time, the stories that YEOs tell about coming with only a change of clothes and shoes and a carryon--well, that sounds adventurous, slightly risky, and extremely appealing.
Knowing me, I'll probably be somewhere in between the two extremes. There should be some sort of packing list... when I finally leave maybe I'll write one for all the future outbounds to follow me. Or maybe I won't, just so that they can experience the delightful wondering of whether they've packed everything they need and do they need shampoo or should they buy it there and do they need a year's worth of lotion and what if none of their clothing fits in and should they bring peanut butter and oh why is packing so complicatedly boring?
I should probably be practicing my German more often--currently I'm in the middle of Dress Week for a musical, so I haven't had all that much free time. Still, I'm doing some vocabulary work through Language Perfect and practicing on Duolingo when I get the chance. I'm also carrying a German grammar book with me basically everywhere, hoping that it'll transfer its secrets to me simply by the fact that I am in its immediate vicinity. Maybe languages can be absorbed through the skin?
Oh well, one can always hope.