Dear Rotary Elgin Noon Club,

I am happy to say that I am settling in very well in Germany. I have a wonderful host family. Both are freelance journalists and enjoy sharing Berlin with me. I have visited major landmarks like the Bundestag, Reichstag, Fernsehturm, various locations of the Berlin Wall, and so much more. My guest family and I will be going to Cologne for a long weekend this month. During the first two weeks of October, my fall break from school, we will be going to Switzerland.

I am also enjoying school. Compared to my schedule in the United States, my school day here is very easy. I take the train to school, and almost everywhere else too. Most lessons are still to complicated for me to follow but I work on my German during most classes. The other kids in my class are very nice. After a couple days, they really welcomed me into the class. They have been going to school together for at least five years so I was happy that they welcomed me so quickly. Through the school, I participate in rowing once a week. This is a new activity for me but I am really enjoying it. The other kids really enjoy teaching me, so I am learning quickly.

Already my English is deteriorating. It is very hard to switch from having to think in German all day to thinking in English so I apologize for my poor sentence structure. I have been working on college and scholarship applications. Does the club have a specific scholarship I can apply for, and, if so, is there an online application to fill out?

I had my first orientation this past weekend. My district, District 1940, covers Berlin and the Brandenburg area. There are about sixty students in the district. We will be going on a Paris trip in November together and then on the Euro-Tour in April. They are a great group and I know we will have a great time together. I have attached a picture of the group. I have been to one Rotary Club meeting here. I can only go once a month when they hold their monthly evening meeting. Otherwise, the meetings usually take place during the day while I am in school. I am going to be helping the Rotaract Club with some of their service projects in the future.

I hope all is well in Elgin,

Best Wishes from Germany,