Departure / Introduction to Halle

Share:

Departure / Introduction to Halle
Mittwoch, 11. Mai 2016, of Freiwillige(r): Martin Osborne

I was on the same flight as Will and Rhiannon, two other volunteers. I must have missed Rhiannon because I only ended up seeing her on the plane but I met Will before we checked in airport so we were able to stay together for a few hours before and chat. I think it is a nice to travel together to get to know them more. It was less than a 90-minute flight and we in Germany. When we arrived in Germany Stefan, the German Red Cross leader who had interviewed us was waiting with two of the other current volunteers and we were warmly greeted and taken on the short bus journey from Leipzig to Halle (30 mins). It was already quite late and dark outside so we couldn’t see much of where we were going but it was great to finally be here. I was a little apprehensive about the accommodation. I was hoping it would be good … and luckily it was! Spacious, clean, modern, well equipped and in a central location- I couldn’t really ask for more. I had already met Andy at the interview day so I was reintroduced to him and met James, another volunteer from the previous year for the first time. These were to be my flat-mates for the year. This was the first time that I had lived away from home so I was a little anxious but both made me feel welcome and supported me and the other volunteers a lot throughout the first week and for this I would like to thank them.

The first few days in Halle were really busy so although it was a lot to take it was also a lot of fun. We registered as citizens of Halle, opened a bank account, had a guided tour around Halle learning about the history etc. (Halle is famous for having the oldest chocolate factory in Germany and also famous for its salt- there is a salt museum which we visited) but also in the night time we were lucky that our first week in Halle coincided with the Light Festival on the Peissnitz. This is like a big grass area that runs alongside the Saale river and the festival had fairground attraction, stalls to buy food and drinks and also stages where music was played. We went there on our first few nights in Halle and had a great time meeting lots of new people. So the first few days and weekend in Germany were lots of fun. More like a holiday really and so it was a really great introduction to life in Germany. But we knew that this was only for a little while and so the second week we visited all of our placements to the different facilities and to meet the Erzhierinnen (educators) and then on Wednesday of the second week we began our placements …