Back to “Reality”

After spending the past half a year prenting to be a “journalst”, environmental activist in the class room and learning to become a true “Heiner”, returning back to my curiousity across town and through the farm won’t be same again.

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A boy who thought he could change the world

February 18th-24th, 2018

What does it mean to take a calculated risk? How can you listen to your heart when your head says no? When will be your moment to shine? The simplest answer to all these questions is to have faith in the midst of your circumstances, situation and environment that a bigger opportunity is waiting for you on the other side of all your fears. Some might say it was the right time and right place to make a move, I would call it following my curiosity. The story of convincing the border patrol that I was entering the isolation of the United Kingdon to study abroad, while already studying abroad and a lonely engineer finding his way through an emotional and highly passionate group of future economists, diplomats and young men and woman who will change the world starts here…

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The Egglestons in Deutschland

December 24th, 2017 – January 2nd, 2018

After many spotty phone calls over WhatsApp, spontaneous surprises from Amazon Deutschland and years of eager anticipation, the day finally arrived to introduce my parents to the people and country that I fell in love with over eight years ago

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Weihnachtsplätzchen in Alsbach

December 9th, 2017

Sharing the warmth of a community that has brought me so much joy feeling at home thousands of miles away from “home” I invited a fellow Ram to join me on my excursion to Barbara’s.


Even a familiar face showed up from Stuttgart to join in on the holiday fun.


Making food together seems to always bring out the best comradery in people…



But don’t worry we all took cookies home to share…


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Feuerzangenbowle-Filmkreis Plätzchen

December 3rd, 2017

Preparing for their fundraising night on Thursday or as the Engineers without Borders (IOG) call Feuerzangenbowle-Filmkries a few students and I got together to keep warm on a chilly Sunday afternoon and bake cookies.

Of course, a mouth-full cannot be left alone without a deutlich explanation. Later this week, the group will be holding a short-film evening to gain support for their projects by selling not only cookies but also Schluck fulls of Wein from a Feuerzangenbowle. Now you might be asking yourself…Michael what in the world is a feuer…thingy-waddah. Glad you asked. Simply let the Germans take care of this one…

In anticipation of the fundraiser, we executively decided it would be best to occupy an almost empty apartment which ironically turned out to be a great decision to stay warm during the city’s first snowfall of the winter!


As the kitchen started to fill up fast I realized that I didn’t have enough oven trays to go around for everyone’s cookie dough as I found myself preoccupied stretching to make everyone feel at home. Luckily to my surprise, I discovered one of the students lived just a few minutes down the road by foot and ran back into the “storm” to pick up a few extra goodies.

Just as everyone was getting settled in I too anticipated the cold as I zipped up for the terrors of the outside to which my Kommilitonen reassured me they would let me know if I should expect to come back to a pile of burned debris.

Losing track of time saying my goodbyes I sprinted to the tram stop appreciating the benefits of my marathon training these past couple months and made the next tram off to Arheilgen’s main station. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the only one running late, finding the lack of connections on a weekend, not the only thing to worry about as the next Bus faded off into the distance as I stepped off the tram. Kicking myself back into gear I made it to the train station with some breath to save that was soon taken away as I got off at the wrong stop at the Airport thinking I had made it to the correct terminal. Apparently, there is a difference between Tor 2 and Terminal 2 in which I found myself squeezed between people getting ready for work sliding through the security gates until my turn was up which had terribly confused the inpatient gentleman behind me to what I was doing. Getting myself back on track I trecked through the snow feeling worried about my friend’s arrival until I had come across a similar figure enduring the same ordeal as myself. I had asked her where she was coming from and if she knew were the international arrivals were. To my luck, I discovered we were looking for the same building as she was hoping to board a flight out of the bitter cold and into something quite more manageable in Turkey. To my disappointment, she said she would most likely not be able to fit the warm weather in her luggage on her return flight but our teamwork proved to be efficient for the both of us as we found what we both needed.

Collecting many different looks from my sign around the Terminal I was shocked that nobody knew who I was looking for. Some laughed, some scoffed and others just didn’t understand German I think. This didn’t bother one kind woman who also waited outside the gate with me anticipating her son’s arrival from Portugal. Being a foreigner herself we had an easy time talking with one another although she’s lived in Germany for most of her adult life. After all these years she had said that the only thing she has struggled to take up is a convincing German accent; struggling with some of the same tones as I have found to be quite special belonging to the German language.


Catching the attention of my wandering anticipating eye was a familiar face smiling with excitement and relief that he had finally arrived. Having the patience to travel just a bit further he bravely embarked with me back to Darmstadt on an empty stomach and sleep deprived thoughts.

The smell of freshly baked cookies wasn’t the only thing we were greeted from as I ran into my landlords hastily keeping up with the snow that was building up along the street outside.

Delighted to practice their English, Ian’s arrival was met with many open arms and warm discussions as he didn’t hesitate to mingle and help the others complete their cookie undertaking; although bringing freshly baked cookies from America does serve as quite the bargaining chip.

Yet again I am reminded of food’s innate ability to bring people together even under the most exceptional circumstances.