after caroline left berlin, i stuck around to attend a conference for my job. the set-up was quite nice, let me tell you. free transportation to and from berlin! a week’s worth of lodging in one of berlin’s best hotels! a room all to myself! central location! 3 huge meals a day! had it not been an “all expenses paid” situation, this story would be told very differently. i mean, it was towards the end of the month and by that time, i’m usually collecting bottles to turn in for money, so, you get the idea (just kidding, mom……a little).
anyway, around around 140 americans attended this conference in berlin. we had a few activities/panels scheduled for us during the day but ended up having a lot of free time to stroll through the city and enjoy each other’s company. despite the aforementioned perks of the conference, the real highlight for me was getting to spend nearly every moment with “the franken group” (me + a handful of other fulbrighters who live in the franken region of bavaria). since september, the group of us have probably hung out once a week, if not more, despite living in different cities (though all on the same train line). we couldn’t help noticing at the conference that the majority of the other americans seemed a bit isolated, after not having gotten to know fellow fulbrighters in their region; it made me so very thankful that our group put forth such an effort to bond at the beginning of the academic year. after all, those friendships got me through so many tough times (ie week long hospital stays!) and made my fulbright experience significantly brighter.
one of my favorite afternoons of the conference week was spent lying in the grass in front of the berliner dom (otherwise known as the lustgarten) with the other “franken” friends. i’ll always remember this day, i think. it was pretty perfect. :)
note: the first 3 photos were taken by emily’s disposable camera…aren’t they awesome?
other note: i think i am asleep in that last photo. someone had just played with my hair for 10 minutes and….well, that means automatic naptime in my book.