Words still cannot describe how much my body, heart, mind, and soul miss Berlin, it makes me laugh a little bit if I am being honest here, because I remember bawling, absolutely bawling, to my mother on the phone my first week out there; feeling absolutely out of place, absolutely unsure about what I am supposed to be getting out of being in Berlin. It felt a little bit like first year of college, except completely new country and language for me, and new people to befriend. Berlin, this is thank you.
Thank you Berlin, for everything that you were. I miss you the city that never sleeps in my book, the lessons to plan ahead and make sure I have groceries in the fridge on Saturday because come Sunday, the Edeka around the corner will be closed, and the independence you gave me with that sweet U-Bahn, S-Bahn combo - U4, I will always remember you tiny little line. I miss the U-Bahn more than ever because even as a Californian, I still do not know how to drive and do not have my license. But the biggest thank you for döner - I have been carrying the memory of its taste with me and I have not been able to stop talking to people about it.
Thank you Berlin, for letting me be me. What I most appreciated from Berlin was the opportunity to just be a student and to get to know a city all at the same while. Back at college, I am juggling four classes, three jobs, and extracurriculars. In Berlin, I was still Vanessa just with more time for myself. I will admit, I did not know what to do with all the extra time at first and especially when Berlin’s weather was not the most welcoming at the beginning of my stay. Berlin, thank you for the time and for the reminder to take care of myself. I was an avid reader as a child - I would always ask to go to the library on the weekends and would check out the maximum amount of 14 books. Berlin, thank you for letting me get back to that child even though I did not get to 14 books in this semester, let alone a week.
Thank you Berlin, for showing me how to be fearless. Even in the ordinary moments. It always sounds a little ridiculous to be nervous doing things alone - going to a cafe alone, going to an event alone, going to the park alone. It is a lesson that I have been in the process of learning of being alone really. In being alone, Berlin, you have put people in my path that I may have not met otherwise, from going to sprachcafes on my own that allowed me to see different ways of understanding and speaking German to striking up conversations with fleamarket stand owners and negotiating prices.
All I have to say now is danke schön again, for everything. I truly hope to come back to you soon.
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<p>Hi y'all! I'm from the beautiful city of Santa Ana, CA, the heart of Orange County in Southern California. At Haverford, I am a QuestBridge Scholar as well as a Chesick Scholar; aside from being a full time student, I work at the Office of Academic Resources and the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship. I also am involved with the Alliance of Latin American Students and a resident of Existence as Resistance House at my school. When I'm not in classes or working, I love to take the time and document memories, and growth, through journals and photographs.</p>