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Midterm Report

Lennart Hollweg

It has been more than four months since I left Germany for my 6-month internship at the

Painted Turtle Guesthouse in Nanaimo. I have to say: “I can’t believe that time went by

so quickly!”

I have never been so far away from home, and a trip like this in a foreign country always

comes with anticipation, excitement but also fear. My fear was gone after the first day in

Nanaimo, because of the friendly welcome I received by Bruce and the awesome Painted

Turtle staff.

I arrived together with Carolin, she is from Germany too. Having a companion to

exchange first impressions with, made the first few days much easier. Carolin and I are

staying in Angie’s mom’s house. Besides a few little differences (which happens when

you live together with someone) it is a very comfortable and a pleasant place to live.

In the second month we bought an old 1988 Honda Accord. This gave us the chance to

make a lot of trips around Vancouver Island. We visited Victoria, Tofino, went skiing

at Mt. Washington and visited horne lake caves, just to name a few. The car was nice to

have when it came to getting around in Nanaimo, as Nanaimo is a very long city.

The introduction into our work was very pleasant and slowly we started providing more

guest services. In the first few weeks we did housekeeping until Bruce taught us in guest

services. When the busy summer was over; Madeleine, Angie and Sabrina taught us how

to work behind the reception.

It is very unusual for me to work with computers as much as I do here. It was a challenge

for me to learn, especially the “Room Key” reservation program. Today I know how to

use the computer in the right way and I still don’t like it very much, but for my future it

was definitely worth learning it.

I also recognize, that it has gotten easier for me to understand Canadian and English

speaking people. I know my English is not the best. It could be difficult for someone to

understand me, but I can better understand people and this is a big improvement for me!

In the last few weeks we have started to do night caretaker shifts. This can be exhausting,

but I also think that makes the work in the hostel more interesting, because it varies the

type of work we do.

I am very glad to be a staff member of the Painted Turtle Guesthouse and I really enjoy

working with all of you!!