Today I spent complete one year in Goettingen. It was a very day of the August 2008 when I put my first step in the Frankfurt airport in Germany. The words used by my friends - Rajenda and Netra in the orientation are still sounding in my ears. But I don't notice - how fast these 365 days flew from me. During this period, I found many pleasures and happiest time in my life. In the contrary, I came through many ups downs; challenges, hardships and some bitter moments that I faced with my own life and studies. I also experienced some excitements and some confusion on interlinking long working experiences into real academic field. These all things gave me the sense of real life.
After completing all the formalities at emigration check in Frankfurt airport, me and Bharat approached directly to the luggage counter to look for our baggage. It was already 10.00 o'clock, but still we could not find our baggage. Some other co-passengers were also looking for their baggage. After 2 hours, we registered our concerns in Lost Baggage Tracing counter in the airport. Then through Inter City Express (ICE) we travelled to the 'Goettingen'. University of Goettingen was our destiny for at least two years from August 2008.
We had a call to Antje (our tutor) once we reached out to our University at Buesgenweg-1. Despite she was on leave, she responded us very kindly and sent her friend Mr. Malte to pick up us from North University to Albecht Thear Weg. He was the first German to give us the first impression about the German people in Goettingen. His simple and friendly behavior made me to architect positive attitudes towards whole German people.
The friendly welcome of Rajendra and Jitendra at the very beginning in Goettingen made us to forget all our exhausts, stresses and loneliness. Moreover tasty Nepalese meal prepared by Asha Bhauju at that day reminded me that still I was in Nepal. Rajendra gave his very important time to orient us about Goettingeli system. He took us in the market where we did shopping for our basic things. Similarly, I met my other colleagues Netra, Dr. Ajaya, Dr. Lok, Sabita Khatiwada and Bhagawati Mahat. Rosan was in Nepal for his field work at that time. Their supports and orientation made very convenient to mix up in the new setting and environment. Otherwise, I could not imagine how difficult it would be. In the meantime, I got my lost baggage through DHL after couple of weeks which made me more than happy.
I learnt German Language course for about two months from August 2008. Gradually, I could speak some very basic things of German language like "Hallo! Ich heisse Dev, Ich komme aus Nepal, Ich bin gut und du?.........................." To communicate properly, the knowledge of the language is the most important aspects in human life. It reminded my preparatory time for IELTS in Nepal where I had practiced to write essay on 'major difficulties in the abroad'. In March 2009, I competed my first semester. The result was not 'too bad'. Again, I am taking my second semester exams and waiting for 'not too bad' result with complete patience. 'Not too bad' is frequently using word in Australia. There people prefer to say 'not too bad' like a slang word, instead of 'good'.
My wife (Kalpana) and children's arrival in Goettingen, added me a lot of pleasure and love. Still I have fresh memory while I first time saw them at Frankfurt in the last December. My life became very comfortable after they arrived here. In cold winter, we played with full of snow which we have never experienced before. It was amazing while we saw it for the first time. We, including my kids greatly enjoyed with the snow in Goettingen.
We celebrated our greatest festival Dashain collectively in Stutgart where many Nepalese friends from different parts of Germany were gathered to participate in 'conference' organized by the Trpoentag. That moment brought much happiness among us and we collectively felt proud of being Nepali. Other social gathering in Goettingen among the Nepalese during different festivals and other occasions reminded our tradition, brotherhood and nationality at every step. I met my good friends again in Goettingen. It reminded me some 13 years back student life at Institute of Forestry in Pokhara where we studied in the same level. I still remember some funny incidences of those days! Here, I could understand them again more than I knew before. I could experience their emotions and their broader perspectives on different aspects of life. Moreover, I am so much impressed from their tremendous outstanding performance and excellence in Goettingen. I also met completely new friends, even from Nepal namely Dr. Ajaya J Kunwar, Dr Lok Nath Paudel, Dr. Hari Datta Bhattarai and Dr. Babita Bhattarai including others many friends from whom I learn many things. Their simplicity and the love towards Nepal are the commendable things for me.
The wonderful opportunity to be familiar with many friends from different countries including Nepal would be one of the unforgettable memories in future. Mixing up with their life style, cultures, feeling and other human-sides was the very golden opportunity in my life. I could enrich my level of knowledge and skills on scientific forest management from an international perspective. I am very much thankful to my colleagues especially Netra and Rajendra for all the efforts they made towards me. Importantly, I am very much thankful to DAAD and German Government for providing such a unique opportunity to experience and learn many things through the medium of stipendium.