After several educational events throughout the last years it was time for something different. An Exchange should let the people of EESTEC experience the Black Forest as well as our beautiful home city of Karlsruhe.
My Exchange began on Friday night the 12th of July when I picked the first participant up at the airport in Baden-Baden. To compensate for the lack of new faces on Saturday, Sunday was stuffed with arrivals. We decided spontaneously to round up all the participants, we had two by this point, to drive to Baden-Baden for a sightseeing trip and to collect more people along the way. Our guests enjoyed a Classic Car Meeting, the beautiful city streets and classy city parks. We went back to Karlsruhe for a relaxed evening in our beloved “Oxford Pub”. Furthermore, there was a trip to the top of the Mechanical Engineers Tower which provided a magnificent view over the nightly city. After a little garden party and lots of sleep we were ready to start “Rotkäppchen goes wild” officially on Monday morning, the 15th of July. We assembled at the train station where we, the organizers, met with the remaining participants to drive up to the cottage. There our opening ceremony was held on a terrace underneath our waving EESTEC flag and with an amazing view upon the small town of Forbach below.
Tuesday was the day of our expedition to the Schwarzenbach reservoir. We reached the lake after a straining 2-hour uphill hike through the forest. Luckily, we brought Max the dog with us. He would lend a paw by pulling people up the mountainside and preventing premature rests with his enthusiastic barking. Once there, some people explored the lake in rented boats and others the surrounding woods until we eventually all met up for a swim. Not even the cold, dark mountain water could stop brave EESTECers! The refreshing waters prepared us to face the final challenge of the day: Our International Night, which provided us with food & drinks from all over Europe in a cottage atmosphere, fun & dance, and crazy photos. Still, the highlight was our own video record of Rotkäppchen created by participants and organizers alike.
On Wednesday we used the free time for a little individual exploration of the surroundings while others rather preferred recreation. After that the hard skill workshop “Maultaschen: The Swabian secret weapon” took place where people learned how to properly prepare, serve and eat Maultaschen. The “Beer Night” was another event dedicated to German culture. It included a presentation on the various types of beer which are commonly consumed inside Germany and also a beer tasting. During the breaks of each round, each person got a mysterious glass. Within small teams we discussed the presumed content (sometimes we even guessed correctly).
Sadly, our time in the wild came to an end much too soon when we had to leave for Karlsruhe on Thursday morning. We already started into the weekend the next day with the obligatory City Rally. Therefore 3 teams were created for a little more of competition. The goal was to collect as much points as possible at different stages around the city. Participants had lots of fun playing “Schlossgartenbahn” in the park, pretending to be the pyramid at the Marktplatz or posing inside the fountain. We concluded the game by dancing EESTEC´s signature Haka around the famous Fridericana. From Friday onwards we visited the festival “Das Fest”. Typical Fest activities included: listening to many different concerts, strolling down booth lanes and cheering on the participants of a skater tournament. While many bands were german classics like “Fettes Brot”, they were memorable enough to be enjoyed by everyone. Having a white sausage brunch and relaxing in the park in the morning was just enough time to recover a bit and survive all of the festival for most of us, and a small camp just outside the festival area gave an additional opportunity to catch your breath all around the clock.
In the end, I’d like to thank the Orga team for making this event possible, all the people who contributed to our Skill Academy 2019, which was essential for fundraising, and the EESTECers from all around Europe who spent these seven + days together with us to make “Rotkäppchen goes wild” truly unforgettable.
See you around next time!