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Letter: Worthington student enjoys first month in Germany

By Jaron Sternke, Worthington exchange student to Crailsheim

They say time flies by when you’re having fun. That is so true! I can’t believe it has already been a month since I left Worthington. I have been very busy and I feel honored to share my experiences with you.

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First off, let me acquaint you with my host family. They are a family of five with all daughters (Annika, Sophia and Emelie). I would give you their ages, but I have learned that it is better not to ask a woman her age. My host parents’ names are Uwe and Daniela. Ever since they picked me up at the airport, they have been awesome. They are so kind and nice. They really make me feel at home. I appreciate their hospitality very much. My host family has made my transition go very smoothly and I am very grateful to them for that.

During most days here in Germany, I fill my time with swimming, watching German television, eating delicious food and riding bike. The view when I ride bike is spectacular. There are rolling hills (which makes for some good exercise) and peaceful forests that have made bike riding one of my favorite activities. I have also gotten together with some of my future classmates from school. Many of them have added me on Facebook, so I have been able to meet many of them before school even starts.

Toward the beginning of my stay, I went to Holifest and it was awesome. There were a ton of people there! It was like a colorfest —you buy color in color packets and then you throw it in the air or on people — basically whatever you want to do with it. There was also dancing, food, beverages and mini swimming pools there. It got kind of hot that day, so the local fire department came and sprayed water in the air to cool everyone off. That was pretty neat.

Another fun thing I went to was the Tour de Landle. It was a group of about 3000 bicyclists that traveled from city to city. They took a break in Crailsheim, and there was a huge party. There were singers there, and people were dancing and having a good time. I enjoyed that very much. A few weeks after that, Europe’s largest circus came to town. The Krone Circus had many talented acts ranging from dancing elephants to acrobats. My host dad took me along with Emelie. We all enjoyed it very much.

The next big thing I did was to go on vacation with my host family. We went to Inzell, Germany. This is close to the Austrian border. The first day we were there, we went swimming in a natural swimming pool. It was really cool. It looked as if they had made a couple of swimming pools out of a lake. There were even fish swimming around in the water. The Alps in the not-too-distant background added a bit of extra beauty to the view. On the second day, we went to Salzburg, Austria. There, we walked around the beautiful old city and I got to see where Mozart was born. That was pretty cool. Now when I say the city was old, I mean old. The oldest building I saw in Salzburg was built in 1408. That was before America was even discovered! In Salzburg, I also went to the House of Nature. It was a museum. It was nice there, because everything was labeled in German and English (so I was still able to understand everything).

On the third day, we went on a hike in the Alps. That was very fun and tiring. In total, we walked for about four hours. On the fourth day, we went to the Chiemsee in Bavaria (a very large lake). There we rented a small paddle boat and went out on the water. I got to steer the boat for the first ten minutes and I loved it! Then, on the fifth day, we went soccer golfing. This is the same as Frisbee golf, only with soccer balls. It was really fun, but I am sorry to say that I did not win.

On the sixth day, we went to the salt mine in Salzburg. There, we had a tour of the mines. It was very interesting to learn about. After that, we went to the König sea (which translates to King’s sea) and relaxed there for a bit. On the seventh day we rested … just kidding. We went to a lift that took us up the mountain. Up there we had an excellent view. We were able to watch some paragliders take off, which was interesting to see. Later that night, we went to play mini golf. At the fifth hole, it started to downpour, so we had to make our way back to our room in the rain. I loved it! The next morning before we left, we went back to finish our game. I am happy to report that I won.

Since vacation ended, I have gotten back into the groove of swimming, riding bike and hanging out with friends. I have been having a great time over here, and am looking forward to making new friends and enjoying new experiences. Thank you for all of your support!

Until next time,