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Mersch enjoys time in Delphos PDF Print E-mail
Monday, December 10, 2012 12:10 PM

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DELPHOS — When 15-year-old German student Sophia Mersch arrived at the home of her host parents, Doris and Terry Lindeman, she was pleased with how quiet it was around the house.

“It’s not so loud in the evenings. I have four sisters at home, so it’s really quiet here,” she said.

The Lindemans have three grown children: Jennifer, Eric and Ryan, ages 32, 30 and 26, respectively. 
Mersch made the decision to participate in the cultural exchange program between Delphos and its sister city of Verl, Germany, after hearing about America from friends and family.

“My sister came here for one year, up in Michigan, and she told me a lot of things about America and how it was,” she said. “My friend Sophie Held was also an exchange student here in Delphos last year and she told me about it. My sister told me it was very different but I didn’t expect it to be so different. The food is different and the people are nicer. The cars are different, the houses, school.”
While school in America is different than what she’s used to, Mersch seems to be enjoying it.

“I like that we have more quizzes and tests here,” she said. “In Germany, we have like two big tests in half a year. I really like French class. Spanish is fun, too, and gym. I didn’t like the uniforms at first but I do now. I also really like the football games; they’re a lot of fun.”
When she graduates, Mersch has a pretty good idea of what direction she wants her career to take.

“I would like to do something with handicapped kids,” she said. “I worked with handicapped kids at school for like three weeks one time and enjoyed it. It was really interesting.”

In Germany, Mersch plays handball, tennis and hangs out with friends. While she doesn’t have many activities here in Delphos, she keeps busy with her host family.

“We went to Cape Hatteras, to the Atlantic Ocean,” she said. “We’ve gone kayaking and we went on a boat trip for a week with Julie Intveen’s host family. I got to go tubing, which was so scary at first. We went to a Notre Dame game and my first week here we saw a Tincaps game in Fort Wayne. We also went to the Western and Southern Open Tennis Tournament.”

Since arriving in August, Mersch has found many things she likes about American culture but only one thing she dislikes.

“I like that Americans decorate outside for the holidays,” she said. “I like that they help you in the grocery store, how they bring your groceries out to the car for you. They say have a nice day, too, and I really like that. I like apple pie and The Cheesecake Factory, because I love cheesecake. One thing I don’t like about America is the death penalty. We don’t have that in Germany.”

Mersch says she hopes to come back for a visit someday. Her host mom Doris, says she will be missed when she leaves today.
“Hosting her was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made,” she said. “She’s fit into the family amazingly well. It’s like she’s one of our own. I’ve had so many people refer to her as my daughter. She’s a good kid; she’ll be greatly missed.”

Mersch’s parents are Claudia and Winfried, and her sisters are Johnna, 21, Charlotte, 18, Felicitas, 8, and Olivia, 6.

 

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