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Ana Anthony/Daily Globe John Martin (second from left) is shown with his family (from left) Deb, Jackie and Tom at the Worthington-Crailsheim International Banquet.

Letter: Skiing in Austrian Alps a February highlight

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Hello Worthington! Well, February was a quick and exciting month. As always, I'm loving Germany completely -- more every day. This month kept me quite busy, starting off with my BoGy Practicum. Everyone in the 10th class (10th grade) does this as a way to find out what students are interested in and what jobs they would be good at. Most of the time students have to go out and find a workplace to take them on for the week, but the City of Crailsheim organized my BoGy Practicum for me.

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My first two days were in the city library. Everyone was super friendly and I worked on the computer system for the book loggings, and reorganized a few things. I don't think a career in the library area is for me, though I enjoyed the people. Then I spent two days in the Volkshochschule. This was really interesting. The Volkshochschule is a place where you can take classes for a fee, somewhat like a community college. There are a wide variety of classes to choose from ranging from yoga and sport classes, to several different languages and even cooking classes. Friday I spent in the City Hall of Crailsheim. On that day I visited the archives and saw a book from 1420-something -- older than America's discovery! That was pretty impressive. I also went with a writer for the city newspaper and saw a story being covered. I don't really see myself in a writing profession, but it could be a consideration.

After my BoGy week, I went skiing. It was totally awesome! First I went four days with my next host family, the Beezes, and then three days with my current family, the Mertens. The skiing was incredible -- about a foot or two of fresh snow each day before we started -- and we had more than half the days with full sunshine and visibility. I went to four fabulous different ski resorts, all in the Austrian Alps. It was simply fantastic and I had so much fun; I have never been anywhere with such good skiing. Some of the runs were really long and the lifts had heated seats with windshields and footrests, which was pretty cool. One day we did a loop of runs that was about 40 kilometers (25 miles) long. That was pretty exciting, and we saw some really great scenery.

Last week, I went to a medieval-themed market in Kirchberg. It was quite interesting. People dressed up as knights and jesters. Of course, there was also a lot of good food. "Flamkuchen" was a new food that I tried, and it was really good. It's like a pizza without sauce that is baked in a fire. There were a lot of interesting articles for sale -- real swords, real armor and shields along with old style clothing. Some people really get into it. Ax throwing and archery were also there. It was quite entertaining.

I'm going to be moving in with my next family in Ilshofen, Family Beez, shortly. There I'll have just one brother, Manuel, but I have a ton of friends that also live in Ilshofen so it should be a good time. Ilshofen is located about 10 minutes from Crailsheim and has a lot of bus availability. It will be quite different from my last seven months of having more than three siblings, but I'm looking forward to it nevertheless.

I look forward to sharing with you next month about how things are going with my new family.

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