“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine
What an amazing three weeks we have had! The CLHS student body and faculty warmly welcomed 12 students and one teacher from Madrid, Spain on August 27. Twelve Concordia students in particular were touched by this wonderful experience.
A dozen students, of varying ages, grades and interests who study Spanish at Concordia, participated in our first Spanish homestay exchange program. They opened their homes to their host brothers and sisters and shared everyday midwestern life with them. The students from Madrid attended classes with their host siblings at Concordia but also spent time on campus learning to play kickball and whiffle ball, learning to line dance, baking pumpkin muffins and caramel apples, playing board games and card games and Pictionary and enjoying a half day with Sgt. Al Conrad (JROTC) learning to shoot air rifles and navigate a ropes course.
Off campus, our friends from Madrid attended a preseason NFL game Colts versus the Bengals at Lucas oil Stadium, jumped for hours on the trampolines at Skyzone, toured Debrand Chocolates, toured the Air Force Base to commemorate 9/11, and spent a day in Grabill enjoying Amish cooking and visiting an Amish school and candy shop.
Other high lights included a day trip to the Indiana Dunes State Park, the Johnny Appleseed Festival, a home football game, soccer and volleyball games, a trip to Costco, Laser tag, tie dying and two pool parties!
A tour of downtown Fort Wayne complete with lunch at Coney Island and dessert at Yummi Bunny was a favorite! Another highlight was going to an IMAX movie that won’t be released in Spain until next month!
Of course the real magic happened in the homes of our students and their very gracious families. As they shared dinner, everyday activities, church, bike rides, games and stories with the students from Spain, bonds were formed and relationships were created.
Although tears were shed when it was time to say “goodbye” at the airport, our students and their Spanish friends were reminding each other that in six months and five days, our students would be landing in Madrid to continue this adventure there! We can hardly wait to spend 17 days in Spain in the spring with our family from abroad!