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Letter: Trips to Prague, Paris were among recent highlights

Grace Moody (far right) is joined by her brother, Malik (left), and her mom, Joy, at a Crailsheim Merlins game. (Special to The Globe)

Happy spring to everyone in Worthington! A beautiful German spring has arrived, and it’s been nine months since I arrived in Germany. So many eventful things have happened since I last wrote, so let’s dive in!

In February, the city holiday was celebrated. This is where Crailsheim celebrates the story of the Horaffen. That was the main highlight of my February. I was a special guest at all the events, and I really enjoyed talking to people I already knew and meeting new people.

The first event was the Gala, where I put on a dress and went to the formal gala. I got to sit at the table, directly in front and in the center of the stage, with the new mayor, Herr. Dr. Christoph Grimmer, and the old mayor, Herr Rudolf Michl. Delicious food was served, and many great acts were put on. I was even the special “luck fairy” where I got to go up on stage and choose the winner for the raffle of that year’s city holiday picture. Afterwards, everyone kept telling me I chose the wrong seat! Next was the history night, where I went and listened to the story of Crailsheim and the history of the City Hall. I find history very interesting, so it was really a cool event for me! The next event was the “citizens fest.” It was much like the Gala, but more casual. Here they put on a great play about the Horaffen. I had a really great time there as well! The last was the city holiday reception. It was a small party held in the city hall for invited guests and I, again, really enjoyed socializing with everyone.

The reception was the end to the city holiday, but I was also invited to the inauguration of Herr. Dr. Christoph Grimmer. Again, it was very enjoyable for me to just socialize with people who were interested in talking to me. I loved being in the mature-but-still-fun setting. Those are very big highlights I will always remember and miss when I come back home. I wish I could go back again next year!

At the end of February, the election of the new exchange student was held. In total there were five great candidates from Crailsheim who would’ve all been great exchange students. In the end, Liss Marie Huβ (Huss) will be the next exchange student from Crailsheim coming back home with me in August! Shortly after was the election in Worthington as well. Chloe Bents will be the next exchange student from Worthington coming to Crailsheim.

Another exciting thing that happened in the past three months was that my mom and brother visited over Easter break. Those three weeks were very packed with many things to do, but I was excited to show them Crailsheim and to just have them there after eight months of not seeing each other. We did a lot of traveling, including many places in Germany such as Neuschwanstein castle, the black forest, Dinkelsbühl, Rothenburg o.T, and other beautiful places.

Some of the bigger trips we took were to Prague and Paris. My mom had always wanted to go to Prague after hearing about a trip her professor took there. We took a bus there because Prauge is only about three hours away. The city was beautiful, and we stayed two nights there. We booked a bus tour of the city and toured the beautiful Prague castle. I was the one who always dreamed of going to Paris, and it was on my bucket list for the longest time. We took an overnight bus and spent two whole days in Paris! In Paris we took a lunch cruise on the river and saw the Eiffel Tower, which is even prettier in person — and at night it’s breathtaking with the lights. We didn’t get to go up because the tickets were sold out, but it was still beautiful from the ground. I was the navigator in Paris, and I was very proud of how well I got us around the city. We saw many of the Paris trademarks and even took a tour to the Palace of Versailles! We had a great, small European tour as a family.

I also really enjoyed introducing my family to the people I’ve become close to in Germany and some of the places I spend most of my time. We took a tour of my school, the Albert-Schweitzer-Gymnasium, and they got to see some of my teachers and see some of the rooms I have classes in. We even got to go into the teachers’ room, which was interesting for my family to see the difference between teachers in American schools — who normally have their own rooms — and the teachers in Germany, who, in my kind of school, have to change classrooms. I enjoyed taking them around and explaining to them how my German school works. I was a little late to my afternoon class, but it was worth it and my teacher let it slide. We also did a tour of the Engel Brewery in Crailsheim. I hadn’t been there either yet, so it was very interesting to see!

They really enjoyed visiting and eating the German food and experiencing German life for three weeks. I was, of course, sad when they left, but only slightly. I miss home, but not as much anymore. Crailsheim has become home to me, too, and it makes me more sad thinking about leaving my friends and people I’ve met here in just three months!

I really enjoyed going to the Crailsheim Merlins basketball games and cheering on the team. My family even got to come to two of the games and by the end, my mom was a big fan of the Merlins. I went to almost every home game. The Merlins made it to the playoffs and into the finale and now, next year, they will be in the first league in German basketball!

The weekend after my family left, I spent a weekend on Lake Konstanz with my host mom and my host grandma. We enjoyed the big lake with a view to the Swiss Alps and took a faerie to the city of Konstanz and to Mainau Island. This island is also nicknamed the flower island. Many different species of trees, plants and flowers from all over the world were planted there! There was also an amazing butterfly house with very big, beautiful butterflies!

I am now facing my last three months of my exchange. It’s sad but also exciting to see what will happen next. I can just hope that my last three months don’t go by too fast and that I can visit Crailsheim often after I leave!