As our adventures continue we have stayed with families in Husum Germany. Each student stayed with another German student ranging frontages 16 to 18 for about four days. This has been one the of the greatest opportunities to immerse ourselves in the culture as we travelled with them to Hamburg to explore and experience Germany. Our new found friends toured us around and continuously made comments on how cute it was when we tried to pronounce German words with our American accents. With the students, we also visited a nuclear power plant in which we unfortunately had a bad translator but were able to further understand how nuclear power functions. That same day we travelled to a research facility where new materials, particularly for automobiles, are engineered in order make them lighter and therefore more fuel efficient.
After we said our goodbyes at Husum and made sure we all got each others Facebooks, we sped at 120 miles per hour towards Berlin. Berlin, unlike Husum, is bustling with BMWs and Mercedes, people and an endless variety of shopping choices. The city did not disappoint and neither did our meeting with green party member Titus, who personally explained Germany's renewable energy system. Germany is at 27% dependence on renewable energy thanks to their Feed and Tariff system, an excellent incentive for the German people to invest in renewables. Interestingly enough, when asked why the Germans are so much more concerned with where their energy comes from, he answered he honestly did not know. Repeatedly he said it was a "German thing", pointing to the considerably different values and ideals Germans already have.
Afterwords we were given the day off and let loose to explore Berlin. Groups of about four split off to see the attractions. The group I was in decidingly went to the Olympic Stadium where the story of Olympic runner Louis Zamperini takes place. We continued on to the Ritter Sport chocolate factory and then to experience the stunning architecture of the city. Other groups went to the TV tower, historical and art museums, as well as shopping centers. Berlin could easily be described as "hip". The city attracts many young people and is current on the latest fashion, music and cultural trends. Berlin is a city that isn't afraid to be alternative and cannot deny I will miss it.