Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Today was both a happy and sad day. Happy because today was the Humboldt Foundation’s annual meeting, including a reception with the president of Germany and a boat cruise on the Wannsee. But today was also sad because I had my last meeting with my fellow Russian scholars. Though I certainly hope I will see them again soon, there is nothing officially set up, like there is with the Americans.

On my bus ride back home after saying goodbye, I reminisced about how we have all changed and grown. Our German is much better! We have all learned more about Russia, the US and Germany. We all survived the process of registering with the proper German authorities! And perhaps most importantly, I think we all view the group less as Russians and Americans and much more as one group of “German Chancellor Scholars.”

I lamented to one of the Russians that it would be great if I won the lottery—I wouldn’t have to make a choice of what to do next. I could have an apartment in Germany, one in Washington and we could all get together for BUKA parties. Very sincerely, and very accurately, he said, “but Erin, we have already won the lottery.” How incredibly true! To have been given this opportunity, to meet such a fantastic group of people in the program, and to reconnect with even more wonderful friends who I knew before, I am truly blessed. There are few other things that I could have hoped for from this year!


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