On Sunday we had to wake up unusually early in the morning, because it was an exciting day: We were going to the Ohiopyle State Park! It’s a big national park located in the southern reaches of the Laurel Ridge. So, in the morning it was kind of stressful, because of a lot of people prepared their breakfast with the food they bought Saturday evening, in our small kitchen. But nevertheless, we got it! On the way to Ohiopyle we crossed beautiful landscapes and neighborhoods with farms, which made us aware how huge this country is. After a relaxed journey our first stop was the “Falling Water” which is an UNESCO world heritage. 1935 this house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for the “Kaufmann’s” family, a very wealthy family. They used it as their weekend house. The unique quality of “Falling Water” is its integration into nature, because it is located directly above a waterfall surrounded by wilderness. Edgar Jonas Kaufmann designed some furniture by himself. Most of us were surprised that he and his wife Lillian slept separately. So, the male sleeping and working rooms had higher ceilings and bigger furniture’s. It was really interesting to recognize that everything in this beautiful house was connected to the nature. As a gift for their anniversary, Lillian got an additional complex of the building: the guest house. It was directly connected to the main house with similar furniture as the main house. One of the differences was the size. After visiting “Falling Water” our guides recommended to go to the viewpoint to enjoy the stunning view. That was exactly what we did and took a lot of pictures. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures of the inside of the building.
The next stop was the lunch at the beautiful “Cucumber Falls”, which was an amazing experience in the nature. Some of us even watched a chipmunk ate a butterfly in front of our eyes which was really shocking. After that, our group separated into two smaller groups: some of us were in the mood to experience the natural water slide and the others just relaxed and enjoyed the sun at the wild river. Unfortunately, some guys hurt themselves during the water slide, so they came back to the river soon. After a while the whole group were reunited again at the river and enjoyed the rest of the stay in the sun.
In the afternoon we set off to Washington to have dinner at “eat n park diner” which is a local restaurant. Most of us were starving, because we just had the small lunches prepared by ourselves. After the delicious dinner we got back to our house and some guys relaxed, some worked on their laptops, some took a short walk around the neighborhood, but the majority played our favorite game: werewolf. After this exhausting but very wonderful day in the nature everyone went to bed quite early. Times ran so fast and we couldn’t believe that our last week is going to start on Monday.
On Monday, our day started with the sustainability class with Corey. We began with our final project “Create a revitalization plan for Washington, PA”. We had to take photos of downtown and started our research by asking locals about their opinion to Washington. This was a lot of fun and we got so much interesting facts and opinions about “little Washington” how Corey calls it. After lunch, we had our intensive English course with lovely Cathy in which we worked on our vocabulary by playing the game “Sour Apples to Apples”.
In the evening some of us went to Tanger outlets to continue their shopping trips. But most of us spent the evening at the fair in Washington which is the second largest fair in the state. The atmosphere was quite different than the fairs we are used to in Germany. The American fairs aren’t only about carousels and rollercoasters there are also places where farmers present their animals, local organisations try to convince people about their opinion and a lot of events like a tractor race. Of course, there was much greasy food and of course we wanted to try it all. We really looked out for deep fried butter but unluckily we didn’t find any. Instead we tried deep fried Oreos, Snickers, brownies and a lot of other stuff. It seems like Americans just deep-fry everything. Besides all the food, it was an experience to talk to more rural people and get a real insight in what Americans think about politics and culture. We talked to representatives of the Democratic party and to some farmers who presented their pigs at an exhibition. It was an exciting day with a lot of new experiences.