Sorry I'm a little late in posting but here is the daily diary for June 27th and June 28th.
Today was a relatively free day that was set aside for people to work with their community partners or to enjoy some free time.
I am still impressed with anyone who still manages to get out of bed for the 7:30 breakfast. I assume people made it down this morning, but I was not one of those people. In the morning, most students had meetings with Julie and Kathryn about their community placements. These meetings were just check-ins to ensure everything is running smoothly with our community partners and to check up on our research projects. I watched people come and go in the lobby as I “worked” on homework. Only a few groups went to their community partners today: Neopanterra, and members of the Kotti group.
Others who did not visit their community partners had the day off. Most people chose to explore the city on their own. Several students went to museums and others walked around different neighborhoods they had not yet seen.
Ally, Laurette and I set out for Neopanterra around noon. We stopped by a paper store in Kreuzberg to pick up paper and pens so we could draw with the children. After missing our first bus stop and trucking for 15 minutes through the forest, we arrived at Neopanterra around 2:30. We played with the kids in the backyard for a few hours and did arts and crafts on a table outside.
Though I did not get to attend the Gorki workshop, I heard about it from several of my classmates. The workshop this week was led by Mai-An Nguyen. Students learned about a Gorki-run program called the Exile Ensemble, a group of 7-8 actors that are in exile from their home country. The government helps support these actors and pays for programs like German classes so that these actors can eventually work in German theaters. The play that we will see this Sunday will be about the struggles of being an immigrant. Students were asked to imagine what it would be like if they had to flee their own country. They did activities that prompted them to think about where and why they would go to a certain country. They also did activities that made them chose between personal items that they would take with them.
After the Gorki workshop, the group split up. One half of the group found an English bookstore near Humboldt, browsed for books and grabbed dinner. The other group met with the Neopanterra kids and had a laundry party! We lugged our laundry for 15 minutes to the nearby laundromat. After three rounds of drying, we left with bag of clean (and dry!) clothing.