This month my placements with Give Something Back to Berlin and with the Federal German Government Family Civil Service sadly came to an end and this will be my last blog post. I will miss the refugees learning English, plus the Marie Curie Gymnasium, the Learning Resource Centre I ran, my marvellous Mentor/Manager Tatjana, plus Niklas and the English Department and all the pupils of course. I’ll also miss the maintenance man! We do not speak each other’s language but he has been a daily help to me and nothing is ever too much trouble: lost tables, lost chairs, broken equipment, overheating etc. I now leave having passed my year and have finished my position with a fantastic reference.
I had my last visit to the Baltic Sea to the Education Centre where we were presented with a vast array of different seminars, presentations and outings. I did not get my own room this time but found out why I did on my last visit, on arrival they thought I was a boy allocated me a room realised I was a girl and were so embarrassed they dared not ask me to move! I did not mind at all as it meant I had a 3 bedroom dorm room all to myself! This time there was rock and tree climbing, courses with zip wires, long and I mean long up to 20km walks, swimming in the lakes and sea. Luckily the German approach is to do as much or as little as you want, that allowed me to have some quiet times chatting to participants or reading a book or two or three!
Returning to Berlin I have had to clean up the house I have been living in, it felt like a mammoth task as it is a four-storey home with a large garden. It has been good for me to see the hard work involved & the realities of running a home both financially and physically because us young people tend to go from living at home to independence without any in between. It also helps me appreciate what efforts my family put in to keep things running smoothly so I could just deal with the pressures of school, exams and that pesky business of growing up.
Although I have been busy with my placement and home there has been time for going out and about with friends. I tried a new games night at the Computer Science Museum, with over 250 people attending for free to try out new games both board and electronic. So cool to be around these imaginative & creative’s learning about their ideas, designing process & test phases. I also got to say goodbye to all my Japan Meet Up mates at a Hanabi-taikai (picnic & firework party).
Returning to the UK has been both exciting and sad, seeing family and friends yet leaving my new community in Berlin behind. I am already booked up and helped out volunteering at Rhythms’ of the World and have my first Wilbury Café on Saturday 1 September at Wilbury Hall thanks to funding from the Heritage Foundation. I hope to see many of my wonderful Wilbury Community Forum group and aim to put on my first freebie of make Berlin Anime badges, pass on quite a lot of free toys and games to families all by doing further fundraising. Luckily David’s Bookstore & Music in Letchworth has supported me already with my first event in our wonderful Garden City.
TOP TIPS FOR BERLIN
The University for the Arts has a Calendar of events often concerts/talks for free plus a summer school for artists https://www.udk-berlin.de/en/courses/?no_cache=1
Pick up a booklet in a central church mostly free concerts and events in churches in Berlin or see on line http://www.kultur-in-kirchen.info/
Concerti is great too pick up a booklet placed around Town for a lot of free concerts in and around Berlin https://translate.google.co.uk/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=https://www.concerti.de/&prev=search
The Catholic Cathedral opp. Museum Island behind the Opera House is great for concerts e.g. Weds free 3pm Organ concert & in a building behind there is a community café M-F get a cheap cuppa just make a donation-great for a quiet spot away from the hoards https://www.hedwigs-kathedrale.de/en/domgemeinde/welcome
The Blue Church at Zoo has loads of free concerts too https://www.gedaechtniskirche-berlin.de/calendar/6072/alle-veranstaltungen
If here in Berlin for a while the year State Museum Card is great alternatively there is a handy 3 day pass for 30 museums https://www.smb.museum/en/plan-your-visit/annual-tickets.html https://www.smb.museum/en/plan-your-visit/3-days-museum-pass-berlin.html
Plus one for free museums https://www.museumsportal-berlin.de/en/plan-your-visit/all-about-admission-fees/free-entry/
Good site for free things to do www.gratis-in-berlin.de