Global Gratitude, part II: back on solid ‘Merican ground.

So, this post rounds out Eurotrip 2016. I’m grateful for the chance to chronicle my experiences this way, and in a few years, when names and places are escaping me, I’m glad I’ll have this lengthy, delayed, though hopefully *mildly* thoughtful account of an incredible few weeks. I can’t quite thank the Goethe-Institute or the people at the Transatlantic Outreach Program, Deutsche Bank, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Siemens, and the German Foreign Office, enough for the opportunity not only for two weeks in Germany, but for enabling a continuation of my trip, allowing me to see two new cities, and return to one of my favorites. My kids and I will benefit from the experiences I gained in these short weeks for the rest of my teaching career, and certainly I will for the remainder of my days.

Of course, as I’m a millennial, after I got coffee, the next thing I did when I got back on US soil was update facebook. Don’t ask why. I can’t explain the human compulsion to chronicle life via social media, but I willingly participate. Here are my immediate thoughts upon landing in Detroit:

11 July, Detroit Airport

“Back on solid ‘Merican ground. Gratitude is oozing out of me as I reflect on the past four weeks, so why not start sharing it now? In no particular order, I am especially grateful for…
1. A funny, engaging German seat mate named Rudy who kept the wine and the conversation flowing
2. Live piano and a Caribou in the Detroit airport
3. Snarky, clever British flight attendants who DO NOT like being accused of sounding a little bit Irish, thankyouverymuch…
4. Seeing American men in baseball hats as soon as we got into the airport (superficial I know…so sue me!)
5. The incredible people I met and the incredible places I visited in just over three weeks in Germany, the Czech Republic, and Austria.

What a gift to love the place I’m coming home to just as much as the places I’ve been.”


I cannot overstate the importance of this particular trip in helping remind me why I do what I do, and am becoming who I am becoming. The two week immersive learning experience exceeded my expectations in ways I can’t describe, but the 11 days that followed were self-indulgent, freeing, enlightening, and reassuring. 


My first Christmas back home after my study abroad experience, my mom got me a gift that has remained incredibly profound in my daily life, though I don’t know that I’ve actually told her that. It was just a piece of card stock, about the size of a business card, with a quote that I didn’t fully understand the value of then.

“I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.”

Mary Anne Radmacher

How true it was then, and remains to be. London and central Italy await…and I can’t wait to head back to where it all started. Roma; non basta una vita.

 

MC Lean

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Berlin; Day 2

I apologize for the tardiness in keeping up with these posts; I figured that I should finish one adventure before I take on my next, so I’ll hopefully be more faithful in documenting the last weeks of our trip. This is all more for my own memory than anything else (…and also for the two family members who actually read this!), but if I can encourage even one person to do or see some of the things we had the chance to experience, it’ll be worth it.

28 June, Berlin

Our second full day in Berlin started with a wonderful surprise. Though I’m sure many of us had heard of “Cabaret” or read the Berlin Diaries, I had no idea prior to coming who Christopher Isherwood was, or why his tales were such an important part of Germany in the inter-War era. We took a walking tour of the neighborhood Isherwood experienced as an adult. We learned about Isherwood, his experiences as a gay male in Hitler’s Germany, the Schöneberg district of Berlin, and got to hear wonderfully-told stories that we may have never encountered otherwise. It was an incredible morning in the most unexpected of ways. If you’re interested in taking the tour, Brendan, a Brit expat, was a wonderful guide, and gives tours regularly.

We then had the chance to experience the Topography of Terror, which is a necessary stop for anyone who wants to feel the weight of life in Berlin during and after Hitler’s Germany. The documentary evidence of the Third Reich is incredibly moving and heavy; the remnants of the physical structure of the headquarters is eery, and the traveling exhibits they have are well done.

The remainder of the day was one of the most emotion-dense afternoons I’ve experienced. We had the incredible opportunity to hear about the experiences of Margot Friedlander. I’ve written about our experiences with Mrs. Friedlander before, because such an experience needs to be documented in numerous ways. The inhumanity and injustice of her experiences and the experiences of millions of others have weighed on me many times since, and it doesn’t get easier to understand. I think of what she shared with us on a near-daily basis, and often repeat the mantra she shared with us for living in the modern world:

“Be a mensch. Be a human. Be a thinking, feeling human being.”

We then got to experience the German people’s second favorite food–Italian– as we met with a representative of the federal foreign office for dinner. I enjoyed our conversations with someone so interested in our experiences and the education systems in the United States. It’s still incredible to me that the German government has made such a concerted effort (and financial investment) to help others encounter modern Germany. I’m grateful for the chance to have participated, and for the continual chances to relive it; here, in my classroom, on social media, and through the hundreds of photos and memories I took back home with me.

A really productive, thought-provoking day. One that will definitely be motivation to get back to Berlin soon!

MC Lean

 

 

Berlin; day 1

27 June, Berlin

I had been to Berlin once before, as a young, impressionable 21 year old on my first international trip before my study abroad experience began. I did what I thought tourists were supposed to do: checked boxes of the most well-known sites in the city, ate some sausage and drank some beer, and moved on to Athens without any particular affinity for the city. I later realized that my love for Europe was borne out of being immersed and uncomfortable; a few days in Berlin was clearly not enough to fully understand the gravity, history, and modernity of this incredible city.

Nine years later, I’m thankful that I’m older and (arguably) wiser. Berlin is an incredible, cosmopolitan city that is continually changing and growing. We only had a week there, but I could have done another few weeks or months without question and still wouldn’t have seen even close to everything I wanted to see. We stayed in the Kreuzberg neighborhood of Berlin, which provided a really interesting mix of ethnicities, foods, and sites in close proximity to our hotel. Immediately upon getting into our rooms, we promptly left again to find somewhere with a big screen to watch the German national team take on Slovakia in the Euro Cup. Though I’ve never been a soccer fan, it was fun to be in the city during the tournament. If soccer is the most popular sport in the world, I’ve got to be missing something, right? (…the jury’s still out on that one…)

The next day, we began seeing Berlin in earnest. We started the day with a lecture from Professor Wolf Wagner on the realities of modern Germany. We had lunch in his neighborhood, at a Swabian restaurant, which had food representative of Swabia, an ethnic enclave that today is divided between Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria in Southern Germany. We then took a bus tour of the city, and ended the day with a wonderful tour of the Bundestag, and lessons on German government and history. The Reichstag is an incredible mix of modern and traditional, and effectively incorporates the less savory aspects of its history well.

Like many public structures and monuments in Germany, the Reichstag presents information and history surrounding the government under National Socialism or during the period of Divided Germany generally without commentary. It doesn’t tell you what to think, or how to feel, but allows for the space and the interpretation to make the experience your own. This upsets some people, both travelers and Germans alike, and there are even domestic protests that surround the ways Germany chooses to honor those who lost their lives in the Holocaust. The way Germany, and Berlin in particular, deal with the atrocities in their history is remarkable. Controversial, definitely, but I just came across the German word Vergangenheitsbewältigung, which literally translates to “coping with the past,” which they’ve had to do with regularity in the 20th and 21st century. Especially since the fall of the Wall, memorializing those periods of history has become a priority in the country, and is done with incredible care and consideration. It is continually both reassuring and terrifying that we are so close to so many awful chapters in human history, and the way we deal with them is continually improving and expanding. Lots more to come on the ways that Berlin remembers and memorializes, but in an attempt to keep this chronological, I’ll just say that our first day and a half in Berlin only left us all wanting more…

(Also, ’tis the season to promote this fantastic opportunity, since the application just came out. If you’re a STEM or social studies teacher, please, PLEASE check out the Transatlantic Outreach Program. The application can be found HERE, and I’d be happy to answer any questions you have on the application, the lesson evaluation, the workshop, etc. Take advantage of this opportunity!!)

MC Lean

The cutest city I ever did see.

After a heavy, fulfilling day in Friedland, we were on our way to Quedlinburg. A small central German town, unknown to most of us prior to our journey, Quedlinburg was one of the highlights of the trip for me. Situated about halfway between Hanover and Leipzig, found in the state of Sachsen-Anhalt, the entire old city of Quedlinburg is a UNESCO world heritage site. The old town has one of the highest concentrations of timber-framed homes in the world.  Spanning five centuries, these homes (and now businesses) are some of the cutest, most endearing parts of this quaint city.

Check out the beauty and Disney-esque character of these buildings! It felt like Belle would pop out singing at any moment!

Relatively untouched by World War II, Quedlinburg is today, a sleepy town still largely untouched by traditional tourist pitfalls. In an effort to make the city sound even more enticing than I can on my own, I scoured the internet for other visitor information I could pass along to the six of you who are actually reading this in an effort to get people to this beautiful city. What that convinced me of even more fully is that YOU NEED TO GET TO THIS CITY! It seems to be a secret, even to the wide world of the internet–three of the four sites I found information on started with wiki.

A couple brief insights from our 24 hours there: Hotel zum Bär is centrally located, just off the main drag in the old town. We enjoyed our stay there, and I would suggest it to anyone looking for a hotel. We also ate dinner at the restaurant atop the Cathedral Hill, and the view, and the food were well worth the (not very difficult) walk up.

I have little else to say that the photos can’t say for me, except that the quiet peacefulness of this city provided a wonderful contrast to the loud, energetic, diverse, gritty city we were about to encounter in Berlin. When I get back to Germany, you better believe that a trip back to Quedlinburg is on the agenda. I can’t wait!

MC Lean

Friedland

24/25 June, Eisenach and Friedland

The staff at TOP who put together our itinerary worked hard to give us a variety of experiences in Germany. On our way to a different bundesland, we had a quick, one night stop in the town of Eisenach where most of us had an authentic dinner of Thuringian sausage and local bier near Bach’s birthplace and childhood home. After dinner, some of us climbed a mountain (okay…a pretty big hill) to reach Wartburg Castle, where Martin Luther translated the New Testament from Latin to German. We happened upon a concert at the castle, complete with strobe lights and German rap; it was unexpected to say the least.

After our night in Eisenach, we were on our way to one of the most anticipated stops on our trip. We figured out early into our time together that our group, TOP 2, had largely written on the same essay topic in our application. Of four given topics, nearly all of us wrote on this prompt:

Article 16a of the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany (Das Grundgesetz) reads, “Persons persecuted on political grounds shall have the right of asylum.”

After we returned from our trip, while reflecting on how to use what I experienced in my classroom, I actually went back to my essay to see what I had written. Though focused largely on how I would take what I could learned about refugees and asylum back to my classroom, I also had the chance to write about America’s current immigration crisis and compare it to the responsibilities that social democracies carry. It seems fairly obvious that European countries are dealing with Syrian immigration in varying ways and with varying degrees of success, but also that Germany is bearing more than its fair share of the weight of the Syrian refugee situation. We were all eager to find out more about how Germany was meaningfully integrating refugees into its society, and take the opportunity to humanize the crisis by meeting some of the displaced Syrians currently awaiting placement in Germany.

We stopped in the town of Friedland for the day, which became notable following World War II because of its geography, as a city located on the border between the American zone (Hesse) and the Russian zone (Thuringia). Here, following World War II, a camp was built for German prisoners of war as they were returned from Russia, other returning soldiers, and people who had been displaced from their homes as a result of the war. During the Cold War, ethnic Germans from  Eastern Bloc countries also came through Friedland, hoping to escape Soviet Oppression. Today, the former train station serves as a new museum that documents flight, expulsion, migration, and integration. Fluchtpunkt Friedland, or the Friedland Museum, was an eye-opening experience for many of us, as it provided context for the migration happening into Germany today. In addition to providing insights into the refugee situation in Germany today, it also chronicles the plight of other refugees post-WWII, with memorable portions of exhibits that focused on Cambodia and Vietnam. If you’re interested, the museum provides a brief video tour. The audio is in German, but the visuals are still powerful.

We also had the chance to visit the present-day Friedland resettlement camp, Grenzdurchgangslager Friedland, which is a transitory camp for people who are being placed more permanently in other locations in Germany. Mostly used for Syrian refugees in transit, the day we visited, we met many kids who were eager for the German-language coloring book and colored pencils brought as gifts by two very thoughtful members of our group.

During a unique and enlightening lunch experience in which not one but two restaurants weren’t able to accommodate us (it was a very small town after all…), and we ended up eating outside a grocery store (which provided a surprisingly fun cultural experience), we ran into an American from Ohio who worked for Caritas, a non-profit organization that actively works with the youth in the camp. She and our pre-arranged guides, who are also volunteers at the camp, were gracious enough to give us some of their time to walk us around, introduce us to some of the people at the camp, and show us the facilities.

I didn’t (and probably still don’t) fully realize the impact of this day. A little bit of clarity came just a few weeks later though, as my focus in this school year, and really, life in general was identified as I experienced a perfectly-timed reading of the Alchemist in Vienna:

“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too…love is the force that transforms and improves the Soul of the World…because when we love, we always strive to become better than we are.”

Our time in Friedland was full of experiences none of us will soon forget, and put faces to the situation that so many will only hear about on the news. I’m constantly reminded of the comment the immigration lawyer we met with made our first day in Passau; “We need to help these people because they need help.” It really isn’t nearly as simple as it sounds, but who doesn’t wish this and so many other situations could be dealt with using a bit more compassion and understanding? I was glad to have been reminded of that on this day, and so many others since; continually working on becoming better and loving more.

MC Lean

 

Try to Make your Life

30 June, Berlin, Written 3 July on a train between Berlin and Prague

 

“How is it possible that something like this could have happened?”

Elie Wiesel died yesterday. We heard the news after we had just gotten back from a public viewing of the Germany-Italy soccer game at the Brandenburg Gate.

I’m a fatalist by nature, which is certainly inconvenient at times, but I couldn’t help but think about the coincidental timing of his passing. It was my last night in Germany, and after spending a significant amount of our week thinking about how humans remember and memorialize tragedy and inhumanity, this news seemed particularly poignant. This remarkable man has left an enduring legacy in so many ways, but certainly in the form of several books that millions of kids all over the world have read, and will continue to read.

Being in Germany, having just spent the better part of a week learning, re-learning, discussing, and contextualizing the Holocaust and the experience of Germany under National Socialism, Wiesel’s death seemed especially poignant, as we had just met with a survivor of the Holocaust, and had discussed in several conversations how important it was to tell these stories before those who lived them are gone. Afterward, we collectively, and strongly, felt an increased duty to be the conduits by which these stories reach broader society. We had previously discussed during our experiences that some things in the world around us are rapidly changing, and many believe we (people, educators, etc.) need to adapt to those changes or get left behind.

I believe that we, as social studies, humanities, and liberal arts teachers, will forever be story-tellers. The medium may change, the means may change, but we still tell stories, help kids contextualize stories, and help reinforce stories that are undertold. As the world around us is changing and the purposes of education are shifting, I believe it is implicitly the role of educators to help kids think and engage them in the world around us. Thinking deeper, broader, harder than they would otherwise, remembering that students are people first. People who will soon leave the safe bounds of school, and enter a world where they will be citizens, and consumers, and employees, and friends and family, but will remain, most importantly, humans.

We had the great fortune of meeting with Margot Friedlander, a Holocaust survivor who lived in the states for 64 years before her return to Germany in 2010. In addition to her chilling experiences in Theresienstadt (Terezin in Czech), she also shared words of humanity to bring back to our students. During her unimaginable experiences, she shared that she had continually wondered, “How is it possible that something like this could have happened?” She told us that people needed to always use their own feelings, and avoid being influenced by politicians and public figures. She mentioned that students should focus on doing the right thing, and that though we can never love everyone, we can certainly respect everyone. Her book, Try to Make your Life, shares her experiences before, during, and after her time in Theresienstadt. An incredibly profound message, we had the chance to listen to her story, and ask her questions about her experiences.

Margot Friedlander 6

I couldn’t help but think about my experience at Oksan Seowan when she made her last comment in answering a question about what we should bring back to our students.

Be a human being. Be a feeling, thinking human being. A mensch.

71 years after she was freed from one of the most vile acts of inhumanity we’ve ever known, this woman is still actively sharing her message and encouraging us to be more fully human. The importance of her story, and the story of everyone affected by the Holocaust, and the War at large has not diminished, and as her generation passes, it’s left to all of us to work to ensure her story and the stories of others like her, are not forgotten, and the lessons that were learned are shared.

Quotefancy-58993-3840x2160

As a result of these two weeks, our conversation with this incredible woman, and my personal reflections on the importance of the loss of Elie Wiesel, I’m more convinced than I’ve ever been that teaching (in many, many shapes and forms) is one of the most profound expressions of humanity I have encountered. That’s a pretty incredible thing to start a school year with.

 

MC Lean

Point Alpha

6/24, Point Alpha Foundation, East/West border outside of Geisa

(((This post was one of the most difficult I’ve written thus far. Not because of the content, though those are certainly coming; it was because this experience was incredibly surreal and difficult to put into words. Sure, we were all a little loopy from the heat, but it was mostly because the reality of a divided Germany is so near in our history. I was born in a world with an Iron Curtain. Trying to wrap my brain around that has taken more time than I imagined it would, but in trying to be both chronological and diligent, this needs to get out in writing (hopefully to be amended in the future). So, I apologize for my narrative writing and lack of articulation regarding this incredible experience. Just take my word for it: it was profound. And if you’re ever near the border of Hesse and Thuringia, PLEASE go visit Point Alpha Stiftung.)))

 

On a 100 degree day in former East Germany…

Only the best stories start that way, right? We had a full day scheduled at the Point Alpha Foundation, starting with the interpretive center/museum, where we were able to meet a former West German guard who shared many of his personal experiences with us. We also had an ambitious hike along the former East-West border planned for our afternoon at Point Alpha. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t cooperating, and we also didn’t want people to get sick less than halfway into our trip. So, an abridged version of the walk was planned.

We started the morning at Point Alpha with our guide Wolf, who works for the Foundation. Though a quick tour through the building, both the depth and the importance of the information conveyed there was apparent. Though I was alive for the last few years of the Cold War, I didn’t experience a truly divided world. In suburban Minneapolis, I and others around me were mostly insulated from the true conflict and upheaval of the world we lived in. To be in a place, and to meet with people who had experienced that division personally changed my understanding of the conflict. Now, getting to teach about it, continually learning about it, talking to people who experienced it both directly and indirectly, I am continuing to understand the severity of the threat that many people all over the world felt in their daily lives.

The lives of those who lived in Vacha, Geisa, and many other border cities were immeasurably impacted. Families split by the border were unalterably damaged. We heard from someone who served as a West German guard during the Cold War, and as he spoke, I shuddered to think of the psychological warfare that was carried out against those loyal (or merely perceived to be loyal) to the democratic, capitalist West.

We had the chance to walk to border, and saw replicas of the fence, barbed wire, and Shepard dog houses for those animals charged with patrolling the border (they don’t call them German Shepards in Germany. Huh.) We climbed the NATO observation post (OP Alpha), and cast our gaze on Geisa, which was the Westernmost city of the former East Germany at one point.

Along the border now also exists the Path of Hope, which serves not only as the former road that ran along the border, but now has 14 sculptures depicting the Stations of the Cross, giving new meaning to the border and the journey that people take as they walk along it.

Point Alpha was  particularly notable for so many reasons, not the least of which was because it was a location on the Fulda Gap, which is the likely place the Warsaw Pact forces would have used to gain entry into Western Germany, had the Cold War broken out into actual hot warfare.

All told, I wish I could tell you more about military strategy and the Fulda Gap, and the logistical reality of the danger that was possible at this place. I wish I knew more about the experiences of those in border towns and those who crossed the border to visit family and friends. I wish we could have walked the several miles into Geisa along the border. Instead, what I can tell you is that the number of meaningful experiences I had at Point Alpha on a sweltering June day was too many to effectively convey. What an unforgettable day.

MC Lean

Borders: real and imagined

6/23, Vacha

I’ve been thinking a lot about borders and boundaries while we’ve been here. Borders are completely artificial, even when they’re physical, yet they are very real, very political man-made divisions that separate us in consequential and concrete ways. The inexplicable loyalty we feel to a place because of the boundaries imposed by some mapmaker, explorer, ruler, or politician hundreds of years ago, or in some cases, only recently, exists nearly everywhere in the world. All you need to do is talk to a Berliner about someone from Bavaria, and the strength of loyalty to state over loyalty to nation will become immediately apparent. (I know, I know…I’m one to talk, right? Minnesota is always on my heart. Figuratively and literally). German nationalism is a different beast than American nationalism, but loyalty to the bundesdländer: that’s real, and very strong.

While in Vacha, in addition to our incredible school visit, we had the chance to take a brief tour of the town, and experience a museum dedicated to telling the story of the Jewish residents of the town. We heard from the former Headmistress of the school that we had just visited, who left her position to research and develop the stories of the Jewish residents of Vacha that she and others shared with us. Vacha is a town situated right on the former East-West German border, and we had the chance to climb the tower next to the museum in order to see the border first-hand. From the tower, we saw the division between the former East and West Germany, and a guard tower that was maintained to remind citizens of the world today about the separation and the legacy it has in modern Germany.

Standing in this tower in Vacha, in the state of Thuringia (Thüringen in German) provided another profound German experience with the artificiality of borders. There was no visible divide; the grass was the same green, the houses looked the same, the water in the river didn’t flow opposite directions. It was a completely artificial division that stood for very real, tangible things. This division ruined, and in some cases, actually cost lives. It broke up families, it broke alliances, it broke economies, and it broke spirits for decades of Germans, both then and now. One local story we heard was of the house that fell right on the border in the photo above. Portions of it couldn’t be inhabited by the same family while the Iron Curtain remained, so the family packed up those rooms, and lived only in the portion of the house in West Germany. That was just one example of the very real division of the country during the Cold War.

One of the requirements for participation in TOP is the creation of a unit to be shared with other teachers to improve the teaching of Modern Germany. The unit I will be writing has to do with this notion: the importance of borders, the continual shaping and reshaping of them, and the human impact of these imposed divisions. I’m particularly interested in how the East-West division still affects a unified Germany today, 25 years later. Because of my experiences in Korea last summer, I’m also hoping to see if I can make comparisons between the successful and less successful aspects of German reunification, and the current barriers to Korean unification. If I can pull it off, it’ll hopefully be a thoughtful, useful way to frame current events by contextualizing them in the past. The importance of the lasting legacy that is associated with those boundaries has become increasingly apparent as we travel the former Iron Curtain. We’ll visit the Point Alpha Foundation tomorrow, which plays a significant role in educating about and maintaining the former border itself, and will be an incredible opportunity to learn about the East-West divide, and actually walk the border that figuratively and actually divided the world during the Cold War.

In a time where borders have become fundamental components of our daily conversations, and are consistently used to fan the flames of political rhetoric and division, the continuing importance of the Iron Curtain and borders in today’s world is striking. I’m hoping that as I reflect on this experience now and during the school year, I can help my students think meaningfully about sovereignty, conflict, and other boundaries around the world; the Korean Peninsula, US-Mexico, Sudan-South Sudan, Russia-Ukraine, China-Tibet, and so many other conflicts over man-made boundaries and artificial divisions. Difficult and important issues to think about, especially in working to help the young people and future politicians and policy makers I get to teach make sense of our world.

MC Lean

“We are one world…”

Vacha 6/23

We had the chance to visit a Gymnasium in Vacha, a small town on the former east/west border of Germany, where we had the great fortune of sharing our day with several teachers and five incredible students. Julian, our primary tour guide, speaks five languages, two of which he learned on his own, after school. He wants to be a journalist or a teacher, because he believes in the importance of sharing what you know with people. He wants to travel, and influence people along the way.

Vacha 1
Julian (on the left, in the American flag shirt) tells us about the school

I asked Julian what he would want American students to know about Germany, as I explained that Americans students are often less internationally-inclined, and it would certainly be rare to find a high school junior who speaks two languages, let alone five. I wanted this seventeen year old to give me the silver bullet; how do I get my kids to think broadly and deeply? How do I engage them in the world around them? Most importantly, how do I get them on a plane, so they can figure all of this out themselves? Teach a man to fish and all that, you know…

I think he imagined what he said in response was common sense:

“We are one world; we shouldn’t be divided by boundaries. Only doing the same things every day is not experiencing life.”

It’s certainly not. What an important message from an incredible young man.

 

MC Lean

Germany Awaits!

The time has come! Thanks to an incredible opportunity through the Goethe-Institut available to STEM and social studies teachers called the Transatlantic Outreach Program, I’m headed to Germany for two weeks with other social studies teachers who are interested in learning about Modern Germany, and making a concerted effort to educate our students on modern issues in Europe and beyond. On Friday, I’ll be heading to DC for orientation, and then on Saturday, we’re off to Munich! The itinerary is comprehensive and varied–lots will get done in a seemingly short period of time! I’m hoping to post from every city, as well as about unique opportunities we experience along the way, but I’ll only have an iPad to do so, so please forgive typographical errors that you may find.

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While there, we’ll tour a variety of German secondary schools, meet with quite a few German students and teachers, and tour German businesses as well. So here’s where you come in, loyal readers (all 7 of you!). I’m hoping to solicit some questions that you’d like answered about modern Germany. Send them my way here (in the comments), on facebook, via iMessage which I’ll be using while abroad (if you know me in real life!), or email mcleanmeetsworld@gmail.com.
Looking forward to keeping you all updated on this adventure–for now, bis bald! (I hope that means see you later…if not, I apologize for anyone I offended in German!)
MC Lean