Letter II

Berlin "Brandenburger Tor", Germany

Kitzbühel, Austria

   Frankfurt River "Main", Germany              Paris "Tour Eiffel", France

For 5 years, my family has hosted German exchange students through Frau Kluge's educational exchange program e-flac (education - friendship, language and culture).

Often, when the students come to New Mexico, I have assisted Frau Kluge and have taught them interactive English lessons.

Throughout the years friendships have been made and this past summer I had the privilege of being able to go to Germany and visit two close friends that I have made through the program. One of the friends I stayed with was Julia from Berlin. Julia had come with the program and had stayed with my family three different times.

During her visits, she was able to see my city, meet my friends, and experience American culture. I was very excited to visit Julia in Berlin and experience the German culture, meet her friends and step into her life.

While in Berlin, I was able to see the Jewish memorial, former Soviet East Berlin, see a renowned parade, and watch the European Cup tournament.

We even traveled to Austria for several days and enjoyed the breathtaking scenic view of Kitzbuehel.

The other close friend I stayed with, who has become like an aunt to me, lived in Hofheim near the Frankfurt area. During this time, I was able to go to Frau Kluge's school, meet her adorable students, and give a presentation about Indian's of the Southwest.

We toured the area around Frankfurt like Mainz, Wiesbaden, Ruedesheim and even visited Stuttgart.
As a surprise, my host family took me to London and Paris!

Little did they know that by taking me to these magical places they were fulfilling two of my dreams! London and Paris were breathtaking and definitely major highlights of my trip.

My experience with my close friends was one that none will be able to compare. I was treated as an honored guest in their homes and they were very conscientious to take me places and show me not only the highlights of Germany (or Europe) but also common events or places.

During my trip, I was able to see traditional places, eat traditional food, and experience the culture in such vivid way that surpasses just reading about it. I met so many wonderful people who were welcoming and made me feel right at home.

In all, I was abroad for 5 ½ weeks. I could not believe how fast the time flew by, but I guess it always does when you are having fun! What a wonderful experience I had thanks to my generous hosts! I love looking through the thousands of pictures I took on my trip and reliving the memories.