|Thomas appreciates host family, city for learning opportunities|
|Saturday, October 26, 2013 12:00 AM|
BY ERIN COX
Thomas, one of five German cultural exchange students living in Delphos, is from Werther, Germany. One of his teachers at his school lives in Verl, the sister city of Delphos. The teacher helps to organize the cultural exchange program with Delphos and expands the program to include his students in Werther, as well as students in Verl.
“He wants to give as many students as possible the opportunity to try something new and learn,” Thomas said.
Thomas had visited the United States twice before coming here in August but he had never been to Ohio. He wanted to participate in the cultural exchange program to improve his English, become more independent, see and understand how people live here and try another life.
Gary and Judy Mack, his host family, have aided him in trying to reach his goals.
“I’m pretty lucky I have such a great family because they want to show me the country and the way of life here,” Thomas said. “They give me so many opportunities and that is really just amazing.”
One of the nicest experiences Thomas has had thus far was a fishing trip with his host uncle on a lake in Michigan.
“I had only fished once before and I can’t remember it,” Thomas said. “This fishing trip was so much fun. I liked it so much. I learned to clean the fish, put the worms on the hook and then Judy cooked the fish for me and I got to eat it. It was amazing.”
He also visited Hocking Hills, attended the Allen and Van Wert county fairs and went to a Tin Caps game.
“Going to the Tin Caps game has been one of the highlights,” Thomas said. “We don’t have baseball in Germany and I really liked it and I’d like to go again.”
Germany also does not have pageants, he said, so he got to see a glimpse of what pageants are as he was an escort during the Canal Days Queen pageant.
His favorite experience has been attending the football games.
“In comparison to what I have in Germany, the football games are really amazing,” Thomas said. “Everyone comes together to support the team and it shows so much strength with the school and the city.”
Thomas has noticed school spirit is a week-long activity.
“The whole week is working towards this one night,” Thomas said. “The supporters and the whole school will stand there to watch the game and it’s really cold and it doesn’t bother them. They want to support their team.”
Thomas is a tuba player and plays the sousaphone in the marching band at Jefferson. He had never marched before but said the nerves do not compare to the nerves he gets when playing in competitions in Germany in front of a jury rather than a stadium full of football fans.
“I may get a little nervous about forgetting my marching steps but not the playing part,” Thomas said.
There are two different ways to look at the thought of going back to Germany, Thomas said.
“When I go home, it’s home,” he said. “Just to be home, sleep in my bed, eat my mom’s food and see everyone again will be happy for sure.
“Then there’s the side where I’m sad to leave,” he continued. “I’ve found new friends, nice teachers, I’m learning new subjects and I want to keep learning.”
Thomas appreciates the openness of all the people he has met to show him what living here is like and to help him get the most out of his five-month stay.
“I really like Delphos,” Thomas said. “Everyone is very welcoming and nice. ‘The friendliest city in America’ saying fits it well.”
|Last Updated on Friday, October 25, 2013 8:42 PM|