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Staci (Gordon) Helwig: 1987-1988 Exchange Student

Staci remembers crossing the Berlin Wall into East Germany

Staci (Gordon) Helwig, exchange student from Worthington to Crailsheim in 1987-1988.
Staci (Gordon) Helwig, exchange student from Worthington to Crailsheim in 1987-1988.
Special to The Globe
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Host families:
Elisabeth and Werner Huss, Christa and Horst Rommler, Inge and Kurt Brenner, and Peter and Margit Goeller

MORE EXCHANGE STUDENTS
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Astrid became an Opera singer after her year in Worthington
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Dieter's love of exploring wildlife only grew in Worthington
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The sousaphone Günter received from Worthington is one of the reasons he plays in the Crailsheim City Band today

Current city/state:
Osakis, Minnesota

Current occupation:
Self-Employed/Homemaker

Fondest memory of my year in Crailsheim:
I had many extraordinary experiences as an exchange student from exploring Germany, skiing in the Alps of Northern Italy, visiting Spain, Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg, traveling and playing with the youth band, seeing castles and living everyday life with my host families. It is hard to pick just one.

Probably my most memorable experience was visiting the city of my birth. My father was stationed in Berlin, so I was born at the army hospital in West Berlin, East Germany. This entitled me to dual citizenship with Germany until I turned 18. Back in 1987, the Berlin Wall was still up (1961-1989). Traveling through East Germany with my classmates and teachers was quite the adventure. It was frightening to go through Checkpoint Charlie and humbling to see both sides of the Wall (graffiti vs barbed wire, land mines and guns). A day in East Berlin gave us all an appreciation of our everyday freedoms. It is an experience I’ll never forget. Overall, it was an amazing trip to see the capital of Germany!

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How the year abroad changed me:
My year abroad awakened my love for travel and the study of cultures. I went on to study anthropology in college and I still use the German language when the opportunities arise. It came in very handy when some of my family traveled to Crailsheim with the Worthington group for the 70th Anniversary. Translating so stories and basic communications can be shared across cultures is priceless.

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Originally published April 29, 1958, in The Worthington Daily Globe

I have to credit my four wonderful host families for helping me realize that family can be bigger than a small community. Each one gave me a different experience, but at the same time loved me as one of their own and shared their family norms. These bonds are still strong even though we are miles apart. When I was able to meet up with all four families in 2017, it felt like little time had passed. My year of being the ambassador for Worthington has left me curious about the world and has given me an appreciation for other cultures.

Copies of the book "Worthington & Crailsheim: 75 Years of Partnership" are available for purchase at the Nobles County Historical Society in downtown Worthington.

Worthington & Crailsheim: 75 Years of Partnership
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Copies of the book "Worthington & Crailsheim: 75 Years of Partnership" are available for purchase at the Nobles County Historical Society in downtown Worthington.
75th Anniversary book, lapel pin unveiled during visit by Crailsheim band, city residents.
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Originally published July 25th, 1947, in the The Worthington Daily Globe
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Originally published April 29, 1958, in The Worthington Daily Globe
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Chad's year in Crailsheim had a family connection
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Staci remembers crossing the Berlin Wall into East Germany
Members Only
Astrid became an Opera singer after her year in Worthington
Members Only
Dieter's love of exploring wildlife only grew in Worthington
Members Only
The sousaphone Günter received from Worthington is one of the reasons he plays in the Crailsheim City Band today
Members Only
Host families:
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Janssen's year in Crailsheim changed his life
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Crailsheim gave Eva a lot - but her favorite thing is curiosity!
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Editorial originally published April 29, 1958, in The Worthington Daily Globe

Related Topics: CRAILSHEIM75
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