Posted by jonas-foege On 09/17/2014
This should be the part where I’m talking about my arrival in Valdez and all my experiences so far. That won’t happen though, sorry. Just rest assured, that I’m having a wonderful time and enjoy life to the fullest (at least to an extenct, I am capable of). I couldn’t list and describe all the things I have done so far, because it would loose some of it’s impact it had on me and would end up sounding flat (besides them being unsuitable for public knowledge). So instead I’m going to write about assorted matters of importance. Like time. Or friendship.
I used to live my life in the future, never being content with the current situation, always grasping for a better time, better circumstances, better life. Obviously that never happened (well, not until I finally departed Germany, because that WAS an overall life improvement). So as I am sitting here I try to figure out how to deal with the persistence of time (time is a thief!) and not worry about what is going to happen (right now, I couldn’t stand to think about leaving some time far away), but trying to take little baby steps towards enlightenment in the present tense.
Before I continue (and eventually stop) talking about the future (not mine, but the promise of future itself) I have to include the mischievious bitch (sorry for the term) that is the past. The past is like an old wound that never really heals. You might not be aware of it’s presence all the time, but when you happen to incidentally scratch it, puss runs out (ok, I promise i will think of better, less gross metaphors for later comparisons). What I am trying to say is, that bad memories, personal failures, missed opportunities, or things that happened to you, that are just plain, fucked up (believe me, I know what I’m talking about) can cloud your perception of what is really going on around you (if it’s not clear enough, I’m only talking about BAD past experiences, good memories are cushions). Because you failed in the past, doesn’t necesarrily mean that you are going to fail again. I won’t go deeper on this now (becaus I feel that I might sound like some kind of motivational trainer, or shit like that), I hope I managed to make a point (and fear I didn’t), all I want to get across is, to go out and fucking enjoy life!
Why am I even writing about that stuff? To be honest, I haven’t got a clue. I just felt like writing down some of the stuff that is going on in my head right now.
One last thing (after all, I did say I was going to write about friendship) is a big thank you to all the nice people here in Valdez that make my time so worthwile. I just realised, how (I mean HOW) important friendship really is and that a reclusive life as I used to have at certain times really pulled me down. The fences, erected to protect simply divide (I wish I came up with it, but it’s a quote by Peter Hamill, just listen to this ingeniously moving song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEFns3wHt80)
Anyways, life is great and so am I, have a great day!
Posted by jonas-foege On 08/18/2014
Sensory overload. It’s impossible to describe New York in a few words and I’m lacking the vocabulary and willingness to get into detail here. But I did enjoy every single minute I spend in this magnificent city. We (meaning the other 74 cbyx participants and I) took a fantastic bustour and I went on top of the Rockefeller Center with a couple of others (stunning, especially in the dark), but I felt, that the only way to get to know NY (and I didn’t even scratch the surface of the surface) is by foot, on your own. So I seized the chance and used my free afternoon to just walk around and explore (not having a must-see checklist). I didn’t even bother to take any pictures, I just wanted to feel how it is to be a part of this living, breathing city. And as I’m realizing, that any attempt to describe my experiences is already bound to fall short I just skip to my next destination (I know, this seems to be really cheap, but it’s my blog after all and there are some things words can’t achieve), Boston/Somerville.
I had the pleasure to stay with Bill and Carolyn for a few days and had a great time, witnessing my first (minor league) baseball game, Lowell Spinners vs Williamsport Crosscutters, which I truly enjoyed, after getting myself familiar with it’s confusing rules. We had a lot of great food (my first lobster), beer (american beer is really good, despite its terrible reputation in Germany, you just have to avoid the bland and popular ones, i.e. Budweiser) and good conversations. So thanks again Bill and Carolyn, I had a wonderful time.
My last destination before my arrival in Alaska was (or is, to be more precisely, as I still am here right now) Sacramento, California. During my stay with Nate & Dave I did so many great things, but once again, I’ll just cover it briefly, for lack of time and inability to recount every little thing. We went to Lake Tahoe which is staggeringly beautiful. It’s wild mountains couldn’t be farther away from the clichéed image I had of California (Northern California definitely isn’t about surfing and fun in the sun). A trip to San Francisco and it’s surroundings (beautiful) and taking part in a wine tasting where some of the highlights. The wine tasting was especially fun, considering that it started at noon and involved several wineries and loads of wine (I bet you can imagine that after a few glasses it had quite a funny effect on me).
Anyways, I’m very glad that I got the opportunity to get to know the east- and westcoast of the USA and having experienced so many different things before my final destination. In just a few hours I will fly by night away from here (this is a reference that most people won’t get, sorry) to change my life again and discover what Alaska has in store for me.
‘Till then, have a good one!
Posted by Webmaster On 04/26/2014
I’m not good with introductions. Or beginnings in general. So I will just start writing and eventually get to the interesting stuff (you are seldom really into a book until you’ve read a few pages, right?). Please excuse me, if my language seems to be a bit rugged, my mind doesn’t always pick the best words, even though they’re in there somewhere.
Anyways, the reason that I’m writing all this, is because I’m a lucky participant of the 31. CBYX (Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange) program and therefore I will spend a year in the USA. This is a huge privilege and I can hardly express the amount of my grattitude to everyone who made this possible to happen. Even though I knew, that my placement could be literally anywhere in the US (and I had a foreboding feeling, that I would be placed where I am now preparing to get to), the mail, confirming, that I will live in Valdez, Alaska caught me off-guard. I was shocked, anxious and terrible nervous. Alaska! But after a few days, I managed to get rid of the preconceived image I had off this state and tried to embrace the fact, that Alaska will be, where I will spend a year of my life. And I managed! Sure, this means, that I am miles away from the contiguous US states, but I will have plenty of time to travel there at the end of the program. Sure, it will be cold and ridicously snowy up there (Valdez is actually the snowiest place in the US), but that is nothing I wouldn’t be able to manage. There is an abundance of natural beauty and wildlife up there and the huge amount of snow leads to a lot of interesting activities I wouldn’t be able (or dare) to do anywhere else.
Instead of living with a guest family, I will live in a dorm at the Prince William Sound Community College. I am really looking forward to all the new experiences and interesting people I will meet and can’t wait to travel north to the future (for those who don’t know, that’s Alaskas state motto). I hope that I will find the time and leisure to keep posting here, so you can take part of my adventure.
To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield!