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About Marawarpina

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being in five cities of famous, worldwide composer
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learn to play at least five instruments
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learning to say “Hi, how are you? I am fine” in at least ten languages
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joining a symphony orchestra
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going to gay pride in at least three different countries
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Travelog for: Marawarpina

Ratingen, Germany - 22nd December 2011

By: RedSwan

Hello world,

today I’ve been choosen to bet he new ToyVoyager of my mentor. Actually I don’t know what to expect and due to the facht that I’m new, I’m a little bit afraid. I already met some Voyager my mentor hosted and I really loved listening to them. But was it so right that she chosed me? Maybe it’d be better if the racoon, surricate or the snowman travel the world. But now: Here I am and I bet I will get used to it quite soon. Furthermore I stay a bit longer with my mentor before travelling (the world).

But who am I? I will tell you now!
I’m a black rat with black/wite eyes, grey/black ears and a grey tail. I’m female and my mentor calls me Marawarpina. It’s a native Australian (Aboriginal) name and it’s translated as “stretch out the hand.” Somehow I really like the name, especially it’s not a common one. Acutally I’m three years old, what is quite old for a rat. Most rats are dead when they are to be turning three, but I’m totally kicking. Furthermore I’ve the height of 10 cm and a weight of ... I don’t know, I will tell you later. Acutally I am living in Ratingen, Germany, a city between Düsseldorf and Essen (maybe you’ve heard of one of them).

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0018.jpg http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0017.jpg

As I already said: I want to spend time with my mentor, before I start to explore the world. Furthermore we already have some plans:
- December: celebrating Christmas
- December: celebrating my mentors birthday
- December: spending New Years Eve together
- January: watching ‘Swan Lake’
- May: watching the opening show of the ‘New Kids’ at Starlight Express Bochum
- July: going to the ‘Save the koala day’ at the Zoo Duisburg
- June – August: going to some gay prides (as long as the weather is okay)
As you see I already have a little plan.

In the time between January and May and from August 2010 on I’m looking for someone who is willing to host me.

Of course I also dream about things, which ought to be fulfill while travelling. My dreams are:
- being in five cities of famous, worldwide composer (such as Mozart, Beethoven, Sondheim, Lloyd Webber, ...)
- learn to play at least five instruments expect the cello and the flute as I am already playing them
- learning to say “Hi, how are you? I am fine” in at least ten languages (next to German, English, French and Dutch as my mentor already taught me)
- joining a symphony orchestra
- going to gay pride in at least three different countries.
As you see I’ve a lot of dreams and maybe you can help me when I am not with my mentor.

I guess I told you enough about me and if not, just message me or RedSwan and we will answer your questions (as good as we can).

Until next time,
Marawarpina

* Posted Dec 30, 2011, 11:25 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Ratingen, Germany - 24th December 2011

By: RedSwan

Hello world,

Today is the big day. Today is Christmas over here in germany and I’ve the feeling that most Germans are freaking out and I don’t know why. As my mentor didn’t told me anything about Christmas, I didn’t know what to expect.

In the morning I thought it would be a quite routined day, as my mentor got up, showered and started to learn for university (again). I think it was for ‘English Linguistics and Language’ or stuff like that. I’m not really sure about it and to be honest: I don’t really care at the moment. I started to feel bored and wondered why Christmas is so special.

It all changed in the afternoon. My mentor and her family are used to be Catholic and so we went to church (a Catholic one in Ratingen) in the afternoon. But it was only 4.15 pm as we were there and the Mass was not to be beginning before 5 pm. So I really wondered why we were so early around until we went into the church. I never saw so many people at one place. It was hard to find a seat but we were so lucky, we got one of the last one in the first row. My mentor gave her bag to her mother and we went to the nativity set, where I took some pictures. Afterwards we went back to my mentors seat and after a while the mass started. It was amazing and now I know why Christmas is celebrated. Actually I really liked the end of the mass, as everybody sung ‘Holdy night’ and the lights were turned off. After the mass I got the opportunity to sit on the altar as my mentors granfather worked for that church ages ago.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0001.jpg http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0014.jpg http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0015.jpg http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0016.jpg

After the mass we wished everybody we saw a merry christmas and we went to my mentors grandfather and grandmother. There I saw that they decorated the living room a little bit. Not that much as they are too old to do so (it’s their opinion). But I really had to taked pictures in the decoration and I really loved it. Afterwards we had a typical German Christmas dinner: potato salad and sausages (and lots of cucumbers). It was so yummy as her granny made the potato salad. Then the family cleaned the dishes. As it was done, they turned off the light and all we had was candle light. They began to sing a christmas song. Something like ‘Ihr Kinderlein kommet.’ In the meantime there were a couple of presents on the table and I didn’t knew for whom they would be. But my mentor told me immediately that there are some for each of the member of the family. It would be a tradition, so we sat on the seats (everybody has his/her own, special seat every year). They started to unwrapped the presents, talked and laughed. I really liked the atmosphere :)
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0003.jpg http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0002.jpg http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0004.jpg http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0005.jpg
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0007.jpg http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0006.jpg

Not too late we went to my hosts mother and siblings. Here we wanted to celebrate Christmas as well. But this time it was different. We got there and my mentor and her siblings had to go into the roome of her sister. Even the cat ahd to go there too. Here we all had a talk and played some cards. It was fun. Then her mother cam and said, that we are allowed to go into the living room. There laid another presents and I knew now why. So again, everybody went to his / her seat and unwrapped all the presents. As my mentor got some ‘Sex-on-the-beach’ cocktail mix, they all had some of it. Not that much, as they didn’t wanted to be drunk. Again we all had a great talk and laughed a lot. Even here we were allowed to play in the decoration. It was different to the first one as it was a winterland here. I loved it and now I can’t wait to see the real snow and playing in it.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0008.jpg http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0009.jpg http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0010.jpg
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0011.jpg

Even if it looked like a common, boring day at the beginning, it was busy but fun in the end. My highlight was as everybody started to sing ‘Holy Night’ in the church.

That’s it for today and thank you for reading,
Marawarpina

* Posted Dec 30, 2011, 5:14 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Ratingen, Germany - 25th December 2011

By: RedSwan

Hello world,

here I am again.

Today was the first official Christmas day over here in Germany. My mentor told me that they are having two holidays for Christmas here and that these are amongst the boring ones. So I thought it would be that boring like yesterday morning. We even couldn’t go out for taking pictures as it was raining all day.

But around 11.30 am my mentors family came to her for having breakfast. So we were a bit busy in the beginning as we had to prepare it. After 15 minutes we were done and had the breakfast. Again we talked a lot. As we finished the breakfast, we cleaned the dishes (again) and then we watched a Disney movie. I’ve to say, that my mentor is such a Disney freak. But acutally I really liked the moviw. Afterwards we went to my mentors grandmother and –father again, where we also met her uncle and cousins. We had cake, talked again a lot and just spend time together. In the evening we went home, where my mentor learnt for university again.

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0012.jpg http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0013.jpg

Bye bye,
Marawarpina

* Posted Dec 30, 2011, 5:57 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Bochum, Germany - 27th December 2011

By: RedSwan

Hello world,

it’s Marawarpina again. This time I want to tell you about my trip to the stage door of Starlight Express.

I’m not sure if you know what Starlight Express is. If not, I will tell you now: Starlight Express (short StEx) is a musical by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber in which a boy dreams of the world championship of the trains. There’s a young steam train, called Rusty, whose girlfriend Pearl, the observationcar is. But there’s also a Dieselengine, whose girlfriend Dinah the dinning car is. The Diesel engine is called Greaseball. He is said to be the favourite as he is the “fastest thing you’ve ever seen.” Suddenly there’s a new engine – Electra, an electrician engine and right before the first race Pearl decides to leave Rusty for Electra. So Rusty doesn’t want to race anymore. The first race starts (together with Greaseball, Electra and two international engines) and Greaseball and Electra win. Greaseball uncouples Dinah. In the meantime Poppa, an old steam train, finds Rusty and sees that he is not that confident anymore and that he does not want to race without Pearl. So Poppa takes his place and wins the second race. But due to the fact that he is old, he doesn’t have the power to take part in the final race: So he begs Rusty to take his place and after a small argue he does. So he asks for the Starlight Express, a God-like train. Back to Dinah: After Greaseball uncoupled her, she talks to her friends (Ashley the smoking car and Buffy the buffetcar) and in the end she decides herself to race with Electra because Pearl is racing with Greaseball now. The third race takes place and Rusty is cheated. So he lost his tracks and the race has to be repeated. The audiences sees and know that it wasn’t his fault, because Greaseball and Caboose did it. That’s what even Pearl gets to know but she can’t leave Greaseball as she also took place in this race and is guilty as well. During the fourth race, Pearl gets injured and Greaseball uncouples her. But before this race takes place Rusty finally meets the Starlight Express and now he has the power to win the race. The race takes place and surprise: Rusty really wins! Pearl just recognizes that she has been in love with Rusty all the time and returns to him.

That’s it and to be honest: I really shorted the story as I think, you have to watch it all by your own. I also didn’t mentioned all characters that occur in the musical.

Anyway. We went to the Starlight theatre, where we had to pass the “Revierpowerstadion” where the VFL Bochum (a soccer team) has its games in it. But my mentor told me that this team isn’t that good anymore as it was ages ago. Acutally they are in the third league, which isn’t that good, as you might guess. Nevertheless I took a picture in front of the stadion.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0019.jpg

Then finally we arrived at the theatre. Maybe I should tell you something about the theatre first? Well, I do: The theatre was built for around 24,000,000 Deutsche Mark (= 12,000,000 Euro) in the time from December 1986 to January 1988. The entire stage equipment was installed in just four months. For that the first Guinnes Book records were for the fastest construction of a theatre (13 months) and for the first theatre built for a show. In May 2002 the stage was remodeled. The technical highlight is the 9-ton bridge, which hovers above the stage. So here I was. Standing in front of the theatre, unable to go inside to have a look onto the stage (but in May, I will and I will show you the stage then). But I didn't know that there's also a steam train standing with a carriage (having all the characters painted on it) in front of the theatre. That really fits to that musical. So I took pictures with it as well.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0020.jpg http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0021.jpg
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0022.jpg

So we went to the stage door, where we wanted to wait for some actors. The actors are coming from all around the world. We have some from New Zealand, USA, UK, Austria (and also had some from Australia, Japan, Philippines, ....). Okay acutally there are two or three German as well. But that is not that common to that theatre and I always wondered if they understand what they are singing as Starlight Express is in German. But I guess I will never know. Unfortunately we weren’t lucky today and we didn’t see anyone. So I just took a pictures with a painting on the wall, which shows Pearl, the observation car.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0023.jpg (Bühneneingang = Stage Door)
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0024.jpg

That’s it for today and with my trip to Bochum. I have to repeat it, as I really want to see some actors.

Bye, bye
Marawarpina

* Posted Dec 30, 2011, 6:43 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Ratingen, Germany - 29th December 2011

By: RedSwan

Hello world,

today I planned to show you the main city of Ratingen - the place I used to live (so that you get to know the place). As I already said: I planned. Right after taking two pictures, it started to rain. I hate winter and I hate it, when plans don't work out as it was planned.

Nevertheless I want to show and explain you the two pictures I took. It's not that much but I promise, I'll take some pictures there soon.

Ratingen is a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, about 12 km northeast of Düsseldorf. It's history begins in the Middle Ages and so it was settled the change of the century. But it was not until the 13th century as it received city rights. Ratingen was one of the four places of Berg which experienced an economic boom in the end of the Middle Ages, but slowed down during the Thirty Years' War. At the beginning of the Industrial Age, the first manufacturing plants opened in 1783. In Cromford the first mechanical spinnery of Europe opened, which is now part of  the "Rhine Industy Museum." In the Napoleonic times, it became part of the city of Berg and in 1815, into the Kingdom of Prussia. Nevertheless it got independed again in 1929. After relatively small war damage, Ratingen in the 1960s and the 1970s experienced years the growth and development and in the meantime several important international enterprises, such as as Vodafone and Esprit maintain their main centers in Ratingen.

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0026.jpg

Furthermore there's the church "Sanct Peter and Paul", which was build as a Romanic church in the middle of the 12th century and the first part of the 13th century. In the end of the 13th century it was finished with some elements of the gothic art. At the end of the 19th century the church was changed as architect Henry Wiethase told them to do. During World War II the church was partially destroyed but the damage has been eliminated after the war. In the 1970s, the facade was restored and the interior space renovated and redesigned according to the liturgical requirements of Vatican II. 1996 to 1998 was followed by further renovations after the east towers threatened to collapse.

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0025.jpg

That's it. I can't tell you more... Well, I could, but then without any pictures. But as I already said: I'm going to change it as soon as possible.

So: stay tuned,

Marawarpina

* Posted Jan 2, 2012, 3:20 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Ratingen, Germany - 31st December 2011

By: RedSwan

Hello world,

today was a quite busy day. I guess, you wonder why as it is just "New Years Eve". But it wasn't only New Years Eve, it was also my mentors birthday.

But first I want to tell you something about German "New Years Eve." New Years Eve is called Silvester in German, because December 31st is the feast day of St. Sylvester. Since 1972 several German television stations broadcast "Dinner for One", which is a short comeday play in English in which a comedy sketch shows "the same procedure as every year". So it can really be seen every year (and normally you have to watch it once as you're talking about it in English in lower classes). Another important fact about the German New Years Eve is, that the German are spending lots of money on firecrackers and fireworks. After midnight (where they toast with a glass of German sparkling wine) it can be seen all over the country. So there isn't just one city doing the fireworks.

Back to my day. At first we really had to get up quite early, as my mentors family were about to come over for breakfast. We hadn't done anything the day before so we had to prepare it then. And so we did:
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0027.jpg

Then her family came and she got tons of presents. But first we had our breakfast and afterwards she had to unwrap the presents. As you might see, there's lots of stuff about Australia: books, games, ... Might be, because I think she's a huge fan of this country.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0028.jpg

We cleaned the dishes and played games (and watched the DVD) as it was about to turn 3 pm. So we went to my hosts grandmother /-father. There we had some cake. A tradition is, that there's always a red wine cake, as my mentor really loves it (and she is the only one who loves this kind of cake). Furthermore we had some Russian cake. Acutally I'm not sure how it is called in English.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0029.jpg
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0030.jpg http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0031.jpg http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0032.jpg http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0033.jpg

Like on christmas, we talked and laughed and just had an amazing afternoon. But even the afternoon had an end and so we went to my mentors family for having some Fondue, doing some Sing Star and even doing the fireworks.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0034.jpg http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0035.jpg http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0037.jpg

The Fondue was quite yummy. Especially I liked the chicken. I also had some alcoholic drink, although my mentor didn't really allowed and liked it. But I drank.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0036.jpg

At the end I hope you all had a good, last day in the year 2011. See you in 2012.

Bye-bye
Marawarpina

* Posted Jan 2, 2012, 3:58 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Ratingen, Germany - 1st January 2012

By: RedSwan

Hello world!

I just came around for wishing you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

This time it won't be a long entry, as I just wanted to show you some pictures with me and some fireworks and firecrackers. It was right at midnight, so there isn't much light.

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0038.jpg http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0039.jpg http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0040.jpg http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0041.jpg http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0042.jpg

I hope that all your dreams and wishes come true this year.

Bye for now.
Marawarpina

* Posted Jan 2, 2012, 4:13 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Bochum, Germany - 8th January 2012

By: RedSwan

Hello world,

I've to apologize my mentor just made one single update this week. But due to all the rain and two storms we had here in Germany (and it was really stormy and if we hadn’t to go out we were said to stay in the house) we weren't able to do anything.

Nevertheless, we've been at Starlight Express stage door again and this time we met two actors from New Zealand and England. Finally. But I’ve also to add, that we didn’t spend so much time there.

The actors we met are called Jos Hoetjes and Edd Hall. Both are Swings here. This means, they cover lots of parts here, if someone is injured or sick or on holiday. Most male Swings cover around 10 - 15 parts.
Jos is by the way from Christ Church, New Zealand. He already played Ruhrgold, the German Intercontinental Express (ICE) in the Tour-production of Starlight Express in New Zealand. One year later he moved to German, for being Ruhrgold for a year. Since June 2011 he's a swing.
Edd is from Essex, England. He also toured through Canada, Mexico, India and the Netherlands with another musical. After doing some musicals he decided to go to Starlight Express. Since 2009 he's over here as a Swing.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0043.jpg

That’s it for today dear world,
Marawarpina

PS: If I get lucky I’m able to tell you something about my mentors university tomorrow
PPS: Sorry for this short entry today.

* Posted Jan 8, 2012, 4:43 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Düsseldorf, Germany - 13th January 2012

By: RedSwan

Hello world,

this week has been so busy and due to the fact that I'm the first of us four voyager, who are staying at home, I've been choosen to go with my mentor to university this week. I don't want to post every single day as it doesn't really differ. So that's why I post the whole week in one single post.

My mentor is one of the 19600 students of the Heinrich Heine university in Düsseldorf, where she studies English Language and Literature as a major and German Language and Literature as a minor. Acutally she's a so called "freshman", what means, that she's in her first semester.
Back to university: This university is named after the German poet and political thinker Heinrich Heine, who was born in Düsseldorf in 1797- 1965 it became a full-fledged university and currently comprises faculties of law, medicine, philosophy (my mentor is there), mathematics, natural sciences and economics. It has some partner universities in France, Italy, China, Spain, UK, USA, Czech Republic, Japan and Israel. This means, that even lots of students from around the world are able to study for a semester or longer at this university.

Due to the fact, that my mentor is studying English Language and Literature she is also able to stay a semester in an English speaking country, but she doesn't want to, as she would have to repeat this semester in Germany.

Anyway, now my week:

Monday, January 9th 2012
Today my mentor just had one subject in university. It was called "Introduction to English Language and Linguistics Part I: Structure". Acutally I wasn't sure what it is about, so my mentor read the description of this subject to me. I don't want you to miss it, so she copied it for me (source: HIS-LSF, Heinrich Heine University):
Human language is the system we use to communicate with each other, and linguistics is the scientific inquiry into that capacity. This first part of the introduction to English language and linguistics covers an overview of the discipline as such as well as those branches of the scientific study of English that deal with its structure and form (as opposed to meaning and use): phonetics and phonology, morphology and syntax. The aim is to understand and to know how to describe properly the basic facts about English pronunciation, its lexicon and grammar.
So we went there. I didn't knew it was a lecture but she told me as we got to our seats. Such a big room and right before the lecture was about to take part, you couldn't find any seat. Thank God, we were early enough.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0044.jpg

After that lecture we went home. I thought that we could chill, but my mentor just had a look at me and said no. She would have to study for the exam at the end of January / beginning of February. This week, she stdy for "American Literature". She doesn't really like this subject as it is full of dates and she really hates to learn it. But I helped her to summarize the most important facts:
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0045.jpg
Today it was just the 17th century and the beginning of Enlightenment.


Tuesday, January 10th 2012
Today my mentor had another lecture at university. Again just one, but this one was called “Vocabulary and Translation”. I imagined what it would like but I guess, you also do, but nevertheless she copied the description of it in here again (source: HIS-LSF, Heinrich Heine University):
This course prepares students for the vocabulary and translation sections of the BA Sprachpraxis Modul I AP. Using English newspaper articles or BBC podcasts on language, institutions, events and topical issues etc., it aims to expand students active and passive vocabulary, with a special focus on false friends, near synonyms, confusibles and collocations, and at the same time consolidate their command of English grammar.
Even this lecture was quite full. Maybe you can see it in this picture?
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0046.jpg

After that lecture my mentor went home again. As I already knew we couldn’t chill again and so we studied for the American Literature exam again. See, it gets more and more and I totally understand why she hates to learn it by now.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0047.jpg


Wednesday, January 11th 2012
Today my mentor had one lecture and a seminar. The seminar was the first one this day and was called: “Introduction to Medieval English Studies - Part I: Elementary” You wonder what it is about? Of course we have a description of it again (source: HIS-LSF, Heinrich Heine University):
This course is the first part of the Introduction to Medieval English Studies. Its basic objective is to give a broad survey over the history of the English language and literature in the Middle Ages. You will learn about the traditional periods and the relationships of the English language and medieval English literature related to the respective historical events and developments.

After having attended the course you will be able to:
- explain the periodization, relationships, and contact situations of the history of the English language with regard of their results for Modern English
- discuss the problems of variation and standard in relation to Modern English
- know facts, figures, and developments of medieval English history and culture
- explain the most important genres of medieval English literature and the corresponding texts and authors
- communicate in a correct and adequate way about the topics of the course
- have a certain competence of using research facilities and methods of presentation

Sounds quite interesting, doesn’t it? It wasn’t that boring like the subjects we had before. Okay it was full of information, but it didn’t feel like sitting there for 90 mins.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0068.jpg

After Medieval English Studies we had a break where my mentor and I went into the library for studying for American Literature again. Okay, a break of two hours it quite long and I guess I’d done the same.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0069.jpg

And now we had the lecture in “Translation for Beginners.” Guess what it is about? Translating and translating texts from German into English. Most of the texts suck as my mentor told me before. She wouldn’t even use those sentences in German and now she has to translate it.

Then we went home, had some food and started to study again. Somehow it gets boring and I really can’t wait for the weekend. Two more days!


Thursday, January 12th 2012
No university today. Normally my mentor has to go to university for Germany Linguistics. But due to the end-of-semester tests she hadn’t to go to university. Thank God, but we studied a lot at home as she has to pass the text in two weeks.

Friday, January 13th 2012
Today we had "American Literature and Methods of analyzing texts". Right now she's sitting in American Literature and as you might suggest it's about the periods of American Literature as well as the history in its time. It all starts with the Colonial Period (17th century) and ends with the postmodernism (now).
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0067.jpg

I don’t even have pictures of Wednesday anymore as the camera is broken. She tries to fix it and as soon as it might work again, she uploads the pictures.

That’s it of the week at university.
Marawarpina.

* Posted Jan 15, 2012, 6:06 pm Last edited Jan 23, 2012, 5:48 pm by RedSwan [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Neuss, Germany - 13th January 2012

By: RedSwan

Hello world,

Let’s start with a riddle today, yeah? Do you know what is seen on this pictures and what it could mean?
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0049.jpg http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0050.jpg
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0048.jpg

Yeah right, you saw me with my mentors pointe shoes. But that doesn’t mean that we went to ballett classes today. No, today we went to Neuss for watching the most famous ballet, the “Swan Lake.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0051.jpg

I will tell you about Swan Lake:
Swan Lake is a ballet by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and was composed in 1875-1876. It was fashioned from Russian folk tales. The plot in short: Prince Siegfried celebrates his 21st birthday and gets a crossbow. With this crossbow he goes into the forest and sees a sea where the swans can be seen. One of these swans is Odette, who is a princess and turns into a woman every night (a spell of Rothbart). Once Siegfried knows her story, he takes great pity on her and falls in love. As he begins to swear his love to her, an act that will render the sorcerer's spell powerless, von Rothbart himself appears. The Prince returns to the castle to attend the ball. Even Rothbart arrives with his daughter, Odile, who is identical to Odette. She just wear black feathers instead of white ones. The prince mistakes her for Odette, dances with her, and proclaims to the court that he intends to make her his wife. Only a moment too late, Siegfried sees the real Odette and realizes his mistake. Siegfried returns to the lake and finds Odette. He makes a passionate apology and she forgives him. Rothbart appears and both start to fight. Rothbart dies and the spell is broken. Siegfried and Odette marry in the end.

We went to Neuss by train and it took around 45 minutes. Here is me at the last station where we had to change from train into the bus, for getting to the “Stadthalle”.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0052.jpg

We arrived, looked for our seat. Furthermore we were one of the lucky ones, who were allowed to watch the warm up of the dancers and it was... Well even that was totally amazing.Then the show began. Unfortunately it wasn’t allowed to take pictures during the show. Sad, as I really would have loved. So there’s just me with some pictures, which you could see in the foyer.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0053.jpg

It was an amazing show and I’d say, you have to watch it. Ballet is simply the best!

Read you next time,
Marawarpina

* Posted Jan 16, 2012, 6:07 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Ratingen, Germany - 15th January 2012

By: RedSwan

Hello world,

today I want to show you the villiage I live. Actually it’s called Ratingen-Homberg and today we visited the south part of it as it is a bigger part of it. Some facts about the South side: 4000 of the 5000 inhabitants live there. Althought Homberg’s first documents can be dated back to the year 1067 the South part was just extended in the 1970’s. So quite late. 5000 inhabitants aren’t that much as you might think and so it’s surrounded by fields, we had to go through.

We started our trip at the mainstreet. From this street you have an amazing view to the North side of Ratingen – Homberg to Düsseldorf. Really amazing how far you are able to look. Honestly, the picture is quite small, so you aren’t able to see anything of Düsseldorf.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0054.jpg

We started to go through the fields in the Southern part and found this little farm, which can also be seen from the street as it is right at the beginning. The farmers have a great field with strawberries, another one with corn, ... And they also have cows, which are behind the farm.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0055.jpg

Furthermore we found different signs for cafes. They are far away and unfortunately we didn't go there. People from around Ratingen love to go there by car as they love our nature, the typical “farmer food” and just being on a farm.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0056.jpg

This small avenue leads right back into the Southern part. It’s the simplest way of going back into the villiage, if you really want to. And we didn’t.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0057.jpg

In the back, there are the houses of Ratingen-Homberg-South. Hard to see, I agree, but they are there! They have the look of a frame house even if they aren’t really one.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0058.jpg

My mentor used to sledge down these hills around this time. Unfortunately there hasn’t been any snow for sledging this winter. I guess it’d have been fun if we went sledging yesterday.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0059.jpg

As my mentor acutally hosts three other ToyVoyager as well you can see us hanging around in some cut downs of the trees of the forest next to the fields.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0060.jpg

An old house at a lake, which is going to be demolished this year. Sad because I think it would be so romantically living there. Still all Homberger hope that it’s just going to be rebuilt and refurbished until the end of this year.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0061.jpg

That’s us (the four ToyVoyager) resting on a tree trunk right after a walk of two hours. It wasn’t that hard though, but we needed the rest. It was right next to the old house I showed you above.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0062.jpg

After the rest of 15 minutes we went through the last field and came to this small lake. Children are used to come here for feeding the ducks and the geese. There are also some turtoise in there as well as fishes.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0063.jpg

This is the way from the field to the lake. We also went it back, for coming into a forest.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0064.jpg

This is the forest, I already mentioned before. The children of the three different kindergarten in Homberg are used to come here for playing as soon as the weather is okay, like it was today.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0065.jpg

We finished at the firehouse, which is the last building at the south side, before going back to the north. We are going to discover the north side as well.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0066.jpg

I acutally showed you some important features of the Southern part of Ratingen-Homberg. Okay, there are more and I’m sure we’re going to discover it as well. But this report was a walk of three hours and as I mentioned some posts earlier, my mentor has to learn. So she hasn’t the time for a longer walk until February. Sad, but you’ll get to know more.

So, dear world, that’s it for today. I hope you liked it.
Until next time,
Marawarpina.

* Posted Jan 16, 2012, 6:09 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Heiligenhaus, Germany - 19th January 2012

By: RedSwan

Hello world,

today we were in Heiligenhaus, a city next to Ratingen. It's smaller than Ratingen and more and more people are leaving this city. There's not much to see our to explain. Sad isn't it? I really could imagine that Heiligenhaus will belong to Velbert or Ratingen in the future.

Anyway my mentor wanted to show us the trail / bicycle path from Heiligenhaus to Essen. It opened in 2009. On the way to this trail we found this coloured shoes. My mentor explained that they are a symbol for the trail and at the opening there were coloured bicycles. They just changed to shoes for showing, that the people also can walk on it.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0070.jpg http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0071.jpg

Later on, as we walked a bit, we found this painting on a house. It shows the city of Heiligenhaus and its sights. As you see, there isn't much. Just the two churches, the trail and a sculpture where my host don't even know where it is.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0072.jpg

They we finally got to the bridge. It's the very first wagon bridge in Germany and opened on June, 26th 2009 here in Heiligenhaus. It's above a railway. Okay it's not used anymore but they are thinking about to change it. I guess it's all Heiligenhaus is proud of. I like it and the idea behind. Nothing special compared to other cities, I know.
http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0073.jpg

Okay, lately my mentor told me, that John Steinbeck, one of the world famoust authors, were born over here. That makes the city special ;)

I agree, it wasn't really much, I could tell you about Heiligenhaus.
Read you next time.
Marawarpina.

* Posted Feb 20, 2012, 4:10 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Düsseldorf, Germany - 2nd February 2012

By: RedSwan

Hello world,

today we were at the Rhine in Düsseldorf.

Something about Düsseldorf: It's the capital city of North Rhine-Westphalia and the centre of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolian region. So it's a city by the Rhine (exactley at the Lower Rhine, where the delta of the River Düssel flows into the Rhine). Furthermore Düsseldorf has a large Japanese community.

Now something about the Rhine: The Rhine is a river that flows from Grisons in the eastern Swiss Alps to the North Sea coast in the Netherlands and is one of the longest and most important rivers in Europe, at about 1,233 km (766 mi). The Rhine has seven Sections:
-> Alpine Rhine (Tamins-Reichenau to Lake Constance)
-> Lake Constance
-> High Rhine (Lake Constance to Basel)
-> Upper Rhine (Basel to Bingen am Rhein)
-> Middle Rhine (Bingen am Rhein to Bonn)
-> Lower Rhine (Bonn to the North Sea)
-> Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta.

So, as we were in Düsseldorf, we also were at the Lower Rhine.

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0074.jpg http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0075.jpg
These two signs are at the end of the "Altstadt" in Düsseldorf and explain where and how the river Düssel flows into the Rhine. The second one shows the sights at the Rhine in Düsseldorf.

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0076.jpg
This is the Rhine. Acutally it looks blue in this photo but to be honest: It's brown. :(

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0077.jpg
Here you see a watch I liked. It's 11 a.m. and -11°C. I guess we won't be here for too long, as I'm already freezing (after 5 minutes). Acutally I already want to go home :)

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0078.jpg
If you go along the Rhine you automatically find this ship. It's there for taking picture for the tourists and there are lots of.

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0079.jpg
Rheinturm (TV tower) the city's landmark (240.50 m/789 ft), the lights on which comprise the world's largest digital clock.

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0080.jpg
The other side of the Rhine. Over there you find a fair in summer

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0081.jpg
The Schiffahrt Museum (Shipping museum). Although I think it doesn't like look a museum.

Then it turns out to be too cold for staying here for longer, although we wanted to show you some more interesting buildings at the harbour of Düsseldorf. Okay, next time when it's warmer.

Bye world,
Marawarpina

* Posted Feb 20, 2012, 4:37 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Ratingen, Germany - 20th February 2012

By: RedSwan

Hello world,

today is a special day in Ratingen or in the Rhein Area in common. No store is opened, although it's Monday. You wonder why? It's easy to explain. Today is Rosenmontag, how the German call this day. It's a Christian (mostly Catholic) day. So we went out for celebrating. Our guest, Candyfloss and Leif E came with us, Leif E wore a costume.

But for describing you Carneval here in the Rhein Area I copied a bit from Wikipedia:
"Although the festival and party season in Germany starts on 11 November at 11:11 am, the actual Carnival week begins on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday. German Carnival parades are held on the weekend before and especially on Rose Monday, and occasionally on Shrove Tuesday as well in the suburbs of larger cities. The Carnival session begins each year on 11 November at 11:11 am and finishes on Ash Wednesday with the main festivities occurring around Rosenmontag; this time is also called the "Fifth Season.
In German-speaking countries, two distinct varieties of Carnivals are held. The Rheinish Carnival is held in the west of Germany, mainly in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland Palatinate, and is famous for celebrations such as parades and costume balls. Cologne Carnival is the largest and most famous. On Carnival Thursday (called "Old Women Day" or "The Women's Day"), in commemoration of an 1824 revolt by washer-women, women storm city halls, cut men's ties, and are allowed to kiss any man who passes their way."

So we celebrated the Rheinish Carnival. First of all, you've to know, that you get lots of candies at those parades as long as you scream the right word: "Helau" is used in Düsseldorf and Ratingen, where I live and "Alaaf" in Cologne. But if you scream "Alaaf" in Düsseldorf and "Helau" in Cologne you'll be in trouble. We screamed thousands times Helau, I guess, so we got tons of candies. Most important to know of this parade. They make jokes of the German politics. Okay, not really in Ratingen, but in those big ones like Düsseldorf and Cologne.

Okay, I want to show you some pictures now:

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0082.jpg
Acutally it's 9 a.m. and we're standing in the city, freezing while having 1°C. The parade begins at 10.11 a.m. and will be here around half an hour later.

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0083.jpg
The first group. They all wear a "Pippi Longstocking" costume. Some of them are riding on a horse.

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0084.jpg
A huge van. I guess it was from blue-white Ratingen, a Carnival club.

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0085.jpg
Another van, having the from of a typical Carnival hat.

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0086.jpg
The smurfs. Okay, just people who dressed like the smurfs.

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0087.jpg
The smurfs van. I really liked it. Looks amazing, hunh?

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0088.jpg
This van is looking like a steam train. It was the most expensive of this parade and was belonged to the Carnival prince and princess from Ratingen.

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0089.jpg
The second van of the Carnival prince / princess.

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0090.jpg
This van is from the Catholic church. They were in jail. Okay, not really but I liked the idea.

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0091.jpg
The dancers of the Carnival Club Green-White Ratingen.

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0092.jpg
The van of this Carnival Club.

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0093.jpg
The second van of Carnival Clubb Green-White Ratingen.

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0094.jpg
Here you see a van, showing two of the four catholic churches in Ratingen.

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0095.jpg
A van having the logo of Ratingen. A red lion with a blue crown (and normally a blue wooden wheel)

http://home.arcor.de/uhhuhherpics01/marawarpina_0096.jpg
Another van having our logo.

That's it for Rosenmontag. I hope you liked the pictures.

Read you next time, dear world,
Marawarpina

* Posted Feb 20, 2012, 3:13 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


Bochum, Germany - 17th March 2012

By: La_Kate_Boheme

Hey there!!

Here I am, spending the first day at my new host here in Bochum. Actually she lives in two cities, Bochum and Dortmund, but we're gonna spend the weekend in Bochum.
Bochum belongs to the Ruhr Area and is the 16th biggest city in Germany. It's best known for the musical Starlight Express, the german mining museum and the planetarium.

I met some other TV's, a donkey called HolgiHH and a lion called Brownbeard and we talked a bit about toyvoyaging and stuff like that. I really like them, they're both very nice :) They told me about their travels and their hosts. HolgiHH is an old hand, he traveled around the world and visited many places. Brownbeard is kind of a newbie, just like me. :)

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-ZVLf2Hjx2kg/T2W7sznrPfI/AAAAAAAAAm0/MFGvQ8SA1J4/s512/SAM_1251.JPGhttps://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-XcnGF5jybK8/T2W7rpy1OwI/AAAAAAAAAmk/qifKh2AEDkI/s512/SAM_1249.JPG

As you know, I'm gonna travel to Scotland with my host and the other TV's. I'm sooo excited!! We're gonna spend the nights in Edinburgh from monday until friday but we wanna take a day trip to Glasgow on wednesday or thursday. Besides, we wanna take a trip by bus to the Highlands etc. but that's not fixed yet.

Well, the luggage is already packed and I'm ready to start the travel to Scotland, but unfortunately I have to wait until monday..
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-GALiIDQ20qI/T2W7u8bExQI/AAAAAAAAAnI/Nt18P45E50k/s512/SAM_1253.JPG

Well, I won't be able to update the travelog during the stay in Scotland so you have to be patient but I think I could manage to make some updates on sunday next week or perhaps on monday.

I shall say "hello" from my new friends :)
I hope you have a nice week.
Read you next time!!
Marawarpina x

* Posted Mar 18, 2012, 12:06 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page


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