The start in the next week was really funny. Monday morning I did my second run in the other direction and came to a little lake with a bird refuge.
After a quick breakfast we had to meet at 9:45 a.m at the administration center in the SBCC to take our assessment tests in English and maths. Fortunately, god know why, the management of the college decided that all first semester students who don’t take a second semester don’t have to do these tests. The planned two hours for the test we spent shopping in the campus store and exploring the west campus side.
The rest of the day I spent sum bathing and playing UNO with the girls on the west beach.
Afterwards Carmen and I had dinner. It was chicken with salad and lots of vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, carrots and more.
Then Carmen and I took a walk around college, beach and town. We discovered a secret garden on the campus and Carmen showed me a great view over the beach and the city.
Back home I pumped up my bike for the next day, put out the rubbish, took a shower and made myself a bowl full of fresh fruits, nuts, honey and cinnamon crackers as well as a spicy cinnamon tea.
I started Tuesday by doing some workouts and then going to college. There they showed us around and afterwards we had a meeting with the counselor. There we got informations about the classes and the college life and what expectations they have from us. Furthermore, I discovered that there are more boys at Marina Biology Courses than girls. I was very surprised because I thought Marine Biology was more a female preserve. After the meeting I had to reschedule my whole schedule and I’m going to take Biological Oceangraphy, Environmental Geology, Global Entrepreneurship, Surfing and a Yoga Course as well.
At 1 p.m I quickly went home to grab my stuff and my bike to drive to the downtown apartments for the hike to Red Rock. The bike drive was very difficult because I thought I was going to be late and miss the bus and also because I’m not used to the American road system and did not know the directions. Fortunately I made it on time and we all went by bus to a parking lot in the canyons more in the center of the country. From there we walked up the canyon to a big red rock with a little lake surrounding it. There we had a lot of fun jumping off the rocks, sun bathing, making pictures with the GoPro and playing uno.
At 5:30 p.m we went home after this great afternoon. I drove with the bike back up the hill (worked better than before) and had dinner at about 7:30 p.m. Afterwards I showered, cleaned my room and got everything ready for tomorrow.
I started Wednesday by running. I went all the way to Arroyo Beach about 10km from my home. There I discovered that beautiful Henry’s Boat Cafe where we will go and have breakfast the next days. As well I explored the astonishing Arroyo Beach Park and took in the marvelous view there. Furthermore, I went down the beach and discovered that running on the beach right next to the waves is the most beautiful sport experience (next to freediving) I’ve ever had.
After 2 hours I got home and had breakfast. After some workouts including some yoga I showered and got ready for college. In college I talked with Registration teachers about my schedule and the workload and figured the rest out. Next week is gonna show us more about the courses and hopefully I won’t have to much to change anymore.
Afterwards we had our first PD classes, so called college orientation, to get ourselves familiar with the American college system, F1 visa, cultural communication, grading and other stuff. We have theses classes Wednesday to Friday from 3-5:45 p.m.
After class I grabbed my stuff from home and went straight with the bicycle downtown where we had a mandatory student orientation with the coral group. There were set up pizza, some snacks, games and after the presentation of Mia and Lindsay (leader of coral group) I drove back home and spent my evening relaxing.
After a workout on Thursday I rode my bicycle to Backyard Bowls Downtown. This is a beautiful little cafe where they sell smoothies, oatmeal and the best açaí-bowls of the world. Honestly I’ve never tasted something delicious like the Island Bowl before. If I could I would eat it everyday!
I planned already yesterday my bike tour to Summerland. I started after breakfast at Backyard Bowls and went along the beach bikepath to Butterfly Beach with the great Four Seasons Hotel to Summerland and back to Santa Barbara via Coast Village. After that I drove to Lazy Acres (my favorite market) and got some stuff and got ready for the college orientation at 3 p.m.
Before college I met with my friends and did the homework from yesterday. We had to find our classes and take selfies in front of them.
In today’s class we had a speech of a police officer about rights in Santa Barbara and California (DUIs, drugs, marijuana, alcohol, parties, trespassing, smoking…). Afterwards we learned about plagiarism and cheating and how to do American exams which is quiet crazy. Here we have to colour out a tiny like half a millimeter big box with only a #2 pencil. All other things are not accepted. Our homework due to tomorrow is to write about our goals at SBCC and find out about some events on the internet.
For dinner we had pork chops with delicious cabbage sprouts and potatoes. After dinner I showered and cleaned my room with the broom and stuff and planned all things for the vaquero welcome day tomorrow. Then Carmen and I sat together, had tea, I made her a Striezel with butter and strawberry jam and we talked about life and I showed her the pictures of red rock, the runs and the bike tour. It was a great evening!
On Friday I did a quick morning run to the Bird Refuge and had a delicious yoghurt with lots of fruits afterwards. Then I got ready for the Vaquero Welcome at the college today.
At 9 a.m started the Vaquero Welcome at the college with a speech of the college and student president. Then there was a playfair on the West Campus lawn which was really funny and a little bit crazy. They had set up some interactive games and I got to know many other students from all over the world. Later on there was a free lunch which consisted of burgers, chips and shaved ice cream. Afterwards we sat down and played a big round of uno together.
After our orientation classes where they showed us the learning resources center and cultural differences we all went to the Vaquero beach party and had a Mexican dinner there. Afterwards we sat at the beach an took some cute pictures together.
After a Workout and a breakfast together with Carmen we both walked up the hill to the Harmony Garden and did 2 hours of voluntary work there. There I tried for the first time the fruits of the cactus called prickly pears. They taste very fresh and sweet. At 12 p.m we got back home and got ready for the drive to Solvang.
Solvang is a little danish town about 45 minutes from Santa Barbara. It’s really European and has many tiny shops and bakeries. It is known for the Hans Christian Andersen museum and park, windmills, clock towers and the little mermaid fountain. We strolled around the town, took many pictures and bought some caramel apples and smoothies as well.
On the drive back home we stopped at Cachuma Lake to take pictures and went to buy some stuff at the supermarket and a swimsuit for me at a sports store. Carmen also showed me Trader Joe’s a supermarket and I discovered european style grain whole wheat bread there, finally! Afterwards we went home, had dinner and I relaxed (that’s not normal for me but I tried it today) for about 1.5 hours before I went with the bike to the house party.
At about 8:30 p.m I rode my bike to the house party near the shoreline park. It was like I had always imagined an American house party, it’s the red cups, chips, beer pong, music and people like in the American movies. I didn’t drink alcohol of course I had a cup of orange juice instead, it was really funny and an amazing experience.
Sunday I ran for 1:45 h and did some workouts afterwards. Then I got ready for the beach BBQ at the west beach. There the Coral Group set up a tent and grilled Hot Dogs and offered veggie salads, chips, cookies and watermelon. We played uno and volleyball and went for a quick swim in the ocean. I found some new friends and it was a really amazing afternoon.
For dinner we had so called Fajitas. A typical Mexican meal which consists of meat (different types of meat possible), onions, peppers, fajita spices and rice. It was really delicious. Furthermore, I changed my bed sheets and did my laundry after a long explanation how to do it. Then I put them into the wardrobe, made my bed and was very happy as I discovered how my mother always puts the socks together so they would fit in the wardrobe. Afterwards, Carmen and I made banana bread together. It’s an amazing recipe and tastes incredible! Of course we drank tea at the end and ate some pieces together, Olivia joined us as well.
That was my first week here in Santa Barbara, I still need some time to get used to the different rhythm. I am really excited but also a bit nervous because tomorrow starts the real college life for me because the classes begin. Let’s see what next week has in store for me…