Back to Brussels (Written in Dedication to Friendship)

I’m going to start off this post by saying hello, it’s been awhile! (I know I posted another post an hour ago but I’m saying this in reference to the posts I made prior to today, haha) My last post explained why I’ve been absent and what I’ve been up to – so this one I’m going to keep short and sweet. This is dedication to the friends I’ve made on this trip, as well as some of the nicest moments I’ve had over the last two weeks. Why am I doing this? Well, because they’ve been my rock throughout this whole experience and because I love them.

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I’ll start off by explaining the title – yes, I went back to Brussels. This was a few weekends ago (between London and Dublin), but I separated it from the last post because I felt like it better fit the theme of this post. I didn’t go because I wanted to relive one of my favorite memories of the trip (though that was a perk, haha) – but because Nader and I crewed for Kim all weekend. She was first of our group to fully shoot her documentary- and we got the pleasure of working on it with her. No exaggeration, it really was a pleasure, and it turned out wonderfully (despite my nerves and the initial “oh god I hope I don’t screw this up for her” thoughts and the “what ifs?!” that circulated my mind prior to shooting). On top of it, we had some of Sunday off, which we spent taking pictures and exploring mini Europe. Here are some of the gems:

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What I really learned from the experience though is the importance of knowing each persons strength and finding ways to actualize those strengths. Kim, Nader and I make a great team because each of our areas of expertise in film complement each other’s (like I bring absolutely NO technical expertise in but it’s fine- they’ve got me), and because our energies mesh well together. Yeah, I know – you rolled your eyes. But I’m being serious. We each have certain levels of calm (mostly Nader), enthusiasm (mostly Kim), other pleasant attitudes (me I guess?)etc. that benefit the other and it’s creates an efficient and enjoyable dynamic. For me especially, their ability to make me relax and laugh – as well as feel considered and respected for my input is something that’s helped me out a lot.

Not to mention we spent an entire bus ride going through Kim’s 100 question game. We got to know each other VERY well after that, haha.

Then of course I can’t forget to shout out to Kayla and Kelcey, my friends, sisters and *gasp* the co-writers of this blog. They’ve been on almost every trip with me, including our London trip (the weekend before Brussels round 2) which I mentioned in my other post. It was good spending some one-on-one time with them (even thought I have mixed feelings about the trip) and it’s exciting to think that we will be living together next semester. We’ve already got a few German themed dinners/parties planned.

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Lastly, I’d like to shout out to Nader and Antonio, who met up with me for a fantastically spontaneous Bavarian dinner after I got back from London. I think it’s important to note that I literally have never been grosser than my post-London state (lack of shower for 3 days despite a night of clubbing thrown in there whilst sick) but they managed to overlook it, haha. Homies.

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Oh, and I’m low-key obsessed with Bavarian food. I wish there was more of it in Bonn, or that there was a street food version of weisswurst . That being said – I don’t hate that the restaurant we went to was made to look like the Paulaner tent at Oktoberfest, haha.
Later in the week Antonio and Nader accompanied me on my two picture taking adventures through Bonn. I knew I’d be busy filming Kim’s documentary the upcoming weekend and then going to Dublin the weekend after, and the fact that I hadn’t taken any pictures in Bonn was dawning on me. So if any of you were wondering where I actually spend most of my time. Here is my German home:

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And here is the train and bus station where I spend a lot of time running to and from destinations.IMG_2016

Back to being sentimental. I really appreciated Nader and Antonio’s company because 1) the photos turned out fantastic 2) I had a great time 3) the experience made me further fall in love with Bonn. (Which helps me when my Euro-exploring FOMO creeps in) Not to mention I was kind of in a slump after stressfully rushing through London (annddd spending more in 1.5 days there than my whole weekend Oktoberfest- yeah) (annnnndddd being sick) so wandering around Bonn was uplifting.
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Considering I’ve been in California for the last two autumn seasons, it was nice to see all the colors and changing leaves. Antonio and I also made it to our favorite spot during golden hour and got a few great shots of the Rhine.

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What working with and spending time with friends has shown me is that they’ve got my back and can always manage to make me smile. Really, each person that I’ve gotten to know personally on this trip has made my experience meaningful. It trips me out that so many of us barely knew each other beforehand. We came here as acquaintances and strangers. The whole experience has been strange, intimate and wonderful- even if being with the same 19 people every day makes me want to kill someone every once in awhile, haha.

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With shooting week starting tomorrow, we are all starting to split off to film our individual documentaries.  I won’t see many of the people in our program for awhile, so I wanted to write this post to express how much I’ve appreciated them. I really wish everyone the best of luck. Despite my own stress, I have complete faith that our films will turn out wonderfully, and if not, we’ve worked very hard and each deserve to feel proud of that.

Now we’ll just have to wait to find out how everything goes!

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