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Letter: Exchange student experiences first Thanksgiving, Christmas in Worthington

Hello Worthington! This is Lilo, your Crailsheim exchange student for 2017-2018.

I would like to start by telling you about my first Thanksgiving. Together with the Burns family I celebrated Thanksgiving. We don’t have Thanksgiving in Germany, so this Thanksgiving was a first for me. It was a great experience! We talked, played games and, of course, had delicious food. We had turkey, ham, hotdish, stuffing — just everything you need for a good Thanksgiving and to make a German happy. In fact, I liked the stuffing so much I think I want it as food for my grad party.

The day after Thanksgiving I moved to my second host family, the Van Notes.

Moving out from the Burns wasn't easy for me. The Burns were my first family and they were the family that helped me getting settled in my new home, Worthington. In order to all they did for me, I would like to say a huge thank you!

The Van Notes — Krista, Nate, Terry, Austin and the family dog Winston — welcomed me with open arms.

My favorite winter activity was being a part of the Tech Crew for the winter play “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” I had an awesome time preparing, painting and building the set together with really nice people who ended up becoming friends.

And then the winter break came. Over Christmas, we went to Marshall to celebrate Christmas with my host mom’s family. Christmas far away from home was more difficult than expected, but with the help from my host family I was able to enjoy it a lot. Together with my friends I spent New Year’s at the Hoefkers’ house. We made cotton candy (which tasted way better than German cotton candy) and watched the New York countdown.

Over New Year’s I also experienced my first real cold. When I told my friends and family about the fact that it was currently warmer in the Antarctica than in Minnesota, they didn't believe me. But after a little while of looking up temperatures on the internet everyone told me, “I’m so sorry. Do you have a warm coat?” And yes, I had a warm coat. My letterman’s jacket arrived shortly after Christmas, which made me very happy and kept me warm.

With the new quarter starting I got new classes such as Intro to Floriculture, Intro to Art, Trojan News and Spanish 1. I also helped out with the Courage Retreat and started a new activity — Speech. I've already been to two meets and placed 19th and 14th in my category, Creative Expression. Speech is, just like tennis, something I would love to continue doing in Germany.

The last couple months I kept myself so busy I didn’t realise how fast the time was flying. It seems weird to know that soon I will miss Worthington as much as I miss Crailsheim right now. Worthington became my second home, and I’m proud to say I’m a part of this community.

Until I write again ...