2004-05 Outbound to Austria
Date of Birth: January 16,
School: Gainesville High School
Sponsor: Gainesville Sunrise Rotary Club, District 6970, Florida USA
Host: Scharding Rotary Club, District 1920, Austria
|August 11 Journal and
Pictures - "My
host family is great. They like to tease a little bit, but that's okay. In a
few months I will be able to understand them and tease back."
|September 2 Journal and
Pictures - "I
stepped out of my comfortable world in Florida and took a nosedive into a
realm where everything seems surreal and the confusion factor is nonpareil."
|October 12 Journal - "Many of the students were interested to meet me and know who I was, but I
wasn't as big of a buzz as I thought I would be. In a way, I was kind of
disappointed and in another, I was relieved."
|November 20 Journal -
"It has begun to snow here in Austria. The snow is incredible. Many people
in my village know me now, so I've built a good enough rapport to throw
|December 30 Journal -
"The street market was incredible. You could buy just about anything there.
The Christmas cheer and ambience was augmented by the caroling
|January 30 Journal - "I
would also like to tell everyone to watch out, because I'm taking dance
lessons with my host mom (read: her husband is too chicken to do so
|February 28 Journal -
"Now that I have hit the half-year mark, the passage of time hit me with
full force this month. The speed at which time moves when you are away from
home is something I'll never be able to explain."
|March 31 Journal - "I
could discover something about myself that my life at home wouldn't allow me
to. I now understand Elliott more because I have been an exchange student."
|May 4 Journal - "The
weather has finally warmed up a comfortable amount here in Austria.
Therefore, the basketball court has been taking a lot of punishment from
|May 30 Journal - "I'm
feeling a little melancholy right now about my imminent departure, but am
excited at the prospect of showing my dad around Austria for a few weeks."
my name is Elliott Woehler. I was born in Nashville, Tennessee (where I
lived for one year). I moved to Jacksonville when I was little (over one
year old). I lived in Jacksonville for four years. My dad wanted to major
in journalism at UF, so I moved to Gainesville when I was five. I have now
lived in Gainesville for 12 years and I like the town very much. I attend
GHS and am considering going to UF after my exchange next year in Austria.
Also, I am an only child and I live with my dad.
I love to
go to Gator Football and Basketball games. The excitement of a pumped up
crowd is like nothing else, it's almost surreal. Along with going to
basketball games, I also love to play basketball. I meet my friends just
about every Saturday to play basketball for about two or sometimes three
hours. I have been playing basketball since I was about 5 years old. It
allows me to clear my mind and exercise in a way that isn't tedious. I
played on a couple basketball teams when I was in elementary school, but I
haven't since. I also enjoy reading. My favorite book, which I read less
than 2 months ago, was A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. Even
though I'm not a particularly religious person, the book has many religious
themes but in itself is very engaging. It's about a very small boy named
Owen Meany (who is a prodigy) and his friend, the narrator, Johnny
Wheelwright. Anyway, they grow up together and learn many things. They are
great friends and I hope to make a great friend like that during my year
abroad in Austria.
I have traveled
a lot. I've been to Greece, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, Germany,
Spain, Italy, France, Gibraltar, Ireland, England, and Canada (Quebec). My
favorite country would have to be Ireland because of the friendly people
and beautiful rolling hills. However, my favorite individual city would
have to be Lucerne in Switzerland because it is located on a river that
has a beautiful chapel bridge, and the city is set up so one can walk
anywhere (I can't imagine why one would need a car there). I have taken
three years of Spanish and am currently in Spanish Honors Society (I'm
sure that'll do a lot of good next year, as German isn't a romance
language). I have taken very little German, but I am determined to learn
some before I go.
I have one
dog. He is a Jack Russell Terrier named Nero. He is very hyperactive and I
will miss that about him, but he will be here waiting when I get back. I
also have a corn snake, but he is more my dad's pet than he is mine. Also,
even though I have only two pets currently, I have had a lot more. I used
to have three dogs, two goats and many chickens (however I'm glad that I
am only responsible for one pet now).
Now I say
Auf Wiedersehn because otherwise, if I keep writing, this short biography
could quickly turn into a tedious novel.
August 11 Journal and Pictures
Hallo jeder! (hello everyone)
I am now in Zell an der Pram. The town is gorgeous! There
are beautiful rolling hills in every direction, and amiable people flock
the streets of the local villages. I am trying to get used to the change
in time and food, but I'm sure that will come. German is slowly invading
my brain as I prepare for language camp on Sunday. I hear it is on scenic
Lake Traunsee, however everything in Austria seems to be scenic, but I
suppose the Austrians are used to it. I reside in upper Austria, which is
the less traveled part of the country, but I think that makes it more
I am going to Linz today to get a basketball so I can play.
I am trying to bike and get enough exercise so as not to add that "rotary
ten or fifteen lbs., or 25 kilos...."
My host family is great. We play cards every night. They
like to tease a little bit, but that's okay, in a few months I will be
able to understand them and tease back :) They have a crazy dog whom I
call Vereichte Hund. They also have many animals, they are all over the
The trip over was okay, the Amsterdam airport wasn't so
great (too many tall Dutch people and no A/C :) Pictures will come soon!
Me eating mitagessen with the family, l. to r. host aunt Herta, Host
mom Ingrid, me, host sister Andrea, host sister Michaela
Me in the house,
a little disoriented
Me, Ingrid, and Andrea
sitting by the computer
September 2 Journal and Pictures
I have now been in
Osterreich for just over three weeks now and the time has flown,
literally. So much has happened since the last time I have written, I
almost don't know where to begin.
Well, I went to Language camp in Altmünster
for two weeks, which was a unique experience in itself. I went to class
every morning from 8 to 3, with a one hour break in between. We also got
short 10 minute breaks called pauses in between each class. It was funny
because I would always do something in class to insinuate that it was time
for a break. Sometimes I would do a fake cough and say the word Pause as I
was coughing. Other times I would look out the window and say something
mildly obnoxious like, "wow look at that pause!, I've never seen one like
that before." The teacher enjoyed it though, no one is too serious here.
In the evenings after class I would sometimes go down to the lake shore
and indulge myself in the inexplicable essence that is Austria. The
scenery looks like a picture, none of it seems real.
After glaring at the sheer magnificent beauty of
Traunsee and Traunstein, the lake and mountain in Altmünster
respectively, I would attempt to go swimming in water that was so cold it
could be compared to the water in Ireland or Maine, too much for a Florida
Boy either way. Sometimes on the beach, I would sing songs with the Latin
Americans that we learned in class. The songs were very stupid, but they
initiated plenty of laughs and odd looks on the beach. Somehow, though, I
enjoyed telling the whole beach of Lake Traunsee that "I am a foreigner
and I don't speak very well in German," but that's why I am here right? I
stepped out of my comfortable world in Florida and took a nosedive into a
realm where everything seems surreal and the confusion factor is
Most of this I can contribute to the language. They speak a
strong dialect in this part of Austria, so Hoch Deutsch doesn't do me that
much good anyway. Nonetheless, it is still enjoyable to engage my mind in
a language that I can't comprehend beyond any real significance. On the
plus side, my German has improved a lot, especially my reading. I can
comprehend a surprising amount of what I read, but when I attempt to watch
TV, I can only pick out a few words. I also find I get headaches sometimes
at night because of the influx of this confusing language into my mind.
Even my jaw hurts sometimes from attempting to speak it...lol
Other than that, I have been to Linz, Passau, Salzburg,
Gmunden, and various other places. I am going to Vienna next week and I
start school in two weeks.
bis bald (until soon),
PS- If you ever venture to Linz, you must checkout AARS
Elektronika museum, it's quite impressive...
A picture of all of the Rotary inbounds to Austria;
as you can see we are
quite a diverse group!
A nice picture of the town
that I go to school in;
I personally like this better
than the Art Deco in Miami...lol
October 12 Journal
|Hello all you eager followers of my journal, I know it has been a
while since I have written, but I have been really busy here in Austria. I began
school on Sept. 15th, which is much later than I begin in America. On my first
day of school I only had to go for two hours because it was only an information
day. Many of the students were interested to meet me and know who I was, but I
wasn't as big of a buzz as I thought I would be. In a way, I was kind of
disappointed and in another, I was relieved. I've come to find that that has
what my whole exchange has been, ups and downs. I'm slowly learning that you
can't expect everything during the exchange year to be perfect, because nothing
in life is. You simply have to put the year in perspective and consider the
experience as a whole.
Anyway, I have been going to school now for over a month,
and overall I'm having mixed feelings about it. I generally get along with
the girls in my class, but the males are extremely immature. Thereby, it is
difficult to be able to get along with them that well because I am a more
reserved and introverted person. My classes are very difficult at times.
Most of the time, I can only tell partially what is going on in class,
because most of my teachers speak in dialect and not hoch deutsch. However,
some of the students are pretty nice about keeping me informed on the class
material, and most of the teachers have been patient with me and the other
exchange student in my class who is from New York. School is very different
here in Austria. The students don't change classes, the teachers do, and we
have to wear these funny house shoes while we are in school. Oh and my
teachers like to make jokes in the classes, but other than that, they aren't
the most interesting people in the world. Ahhh, how I miss the political
tirades of my former history teacher last year....
Since I have last written, I have traveled to so many
places that I simply don't have time to list them all, but I will name a
few. I've have been to Vienna a couple times, one to tour the city and
another to take the SAT test and meet up with last year's inbound to Florida
from Austria, Teresa Lexmüller. She took me
to some museums in Vienna, which was fun. And while I think Vienna is a very
pretty city, I do not think I would want to live there...however, I am not
sure why. I also have been to bad füssing
in Germany to go to a health spa with my host mother's father. I was
surrounded by senior citizens. And being that I was the only person within a
3 mile radius under 50, I was strangely intimidated by the multitudinous
senility. Also, I went to Tauplitz for a Rotary meeting in late September,
which is a village on a mountain in Steirmark. It was absolutely gorgeous on
the mountain, although somewhat cold (it was snowing there). The Australian
inbounds from January simply couldn't help themselves as the inner children
in them took over and they had to fling snowballs at the Northern
As for me, I'm doing fairly well. I have gone in and out
of spells of depression, but I suppose that is just part of the experience.
I am in good health though. Amazingly I have not gained that much weight
since I've been here, and I eat plenty of cheese and the Nutella that "Will
be the Death of Katie's Figure". I think part of that can be attributed to
the fact that I am growing some, so it balances out I guess.
Note to future aspiring Rotary outbounds: When Rotary
mentions the Cultural shock and spells of depression, don't take it lightly,
because some of you will have a tendency to believe that the info doesn't
apply to you. I felt the same way, trust me it will, it's part of the
experience. Overall, I think the most valuable reward of an opportunity such
as this is learning something about yourself that you didn't previously
PS- Good luck Tom. I hope you are doing well in Daytona.
(Photo at right - This is Tauplitz, where we had our last
Rotary meeting. Now you all know how captivating Austria is.)
November 20 Journal
Sorry I have not written in a while you guys, but I have been quite busy.
Since my last entry, I went to Vienna for a Rotary meeting for three days on
Fri. the 24th of Oct. It was nice to see all of the outbounds again and
cruise around Vienna with everybody. We even got to see a theatrical
performance of Elisabeth, the former kaiserin of Austria, and we also
embarked on a tour on Sunday morning around Vienna by bus. I have been to
Vienna 3 times now, and I feel like I have a pretty good feel for the city.
I have also been to Salzburg to buy supplies for my host aunt's shop, and on
numerous hiking occasions (one of which is displayed in the picture below,
by the way...those kids are just friends of my host family). I officially
love to hike now. It's a great way for me to get exercise, spend time with
other people, and absorb the essence of a place that I may never see again.
It has begun to snow here in Austria. The snow is incredible. Not only is
it beautiful, but it is good packing snow (perfect for making a snowman or
throwing snowballs). Many people in my village know me now, if not everyone,
so I've built a good enough rapport to throw snowballs :)
Also, I've been scrambling to get all my college applications done, which
is rewarding and scary at the same time. Completing them only reminds me
that my remaining childhood is dwindling. So in essence, I am riding my
exchange year in Austria into the sunset of childhood. Honestly, I wouldn't
have it any other way.
December 30 Journal
Here it is, the long anticipated monthly journal of Mr.
Elliott Scott Woehler. And you, the anxious reader, want to know what has
happened in my life over the past month here in Austria. Buckle your
seatbelts ladies and gentlemen. No, seriously... Lol
Well, what have I been doing? Let's see, I went to a
Rotary Meeting in Salzburg earlier this month. I got the privilege to see
all of the Rotary inbounds again, and then some. We had some special guests:
Rotary inbounds who chose Croatia to spend a monumental year of their life.
This spiced up an already exciting weekend. It was interesting to share
stories with them about Austria, while also hearing about their ventures in
the Balkan heartland. Salzburg was buzzing during this particular weekend
because of Advent (the time leading up to Christmas). The markets in the
street were booming with people perambulating about in an attempt to find
their loved ones some heartwarming gifts for Weinacht (Christmas in
Austria). All of the inbounds went on a walk in Salzburg to tour the city,
and to see what all the excitement was about. The street market was
incredible. You could buy just about anything there. The Christmas cheer and
ambience was augmented by the caroling street-singers nearby. A large crowd
swarmed about them like flies because they were so good.
While all of that sounds great, the whole weekend wasn't
entirely euphoric. Rotary made us practice singing "Oh Happy Day" about 150
million times, wait maybe it was 151. I didn't mind too much because I knew
it was practice for our district conference in Osnabrück
in January; thereby, while it wasn't the most thrilling activity, I figured
it was at least worthwhile in order to put on a good performance for the all
of the Rotary members who would be present at the district conference.
However, I thought it was an interesting song selection. I know one thing, I
will never watch Sister Act again in my life.
Moving on... the celebration leading up to Weinacht in
Zell an der Pram was a lot of fun. There were a few performances in the
church that I attended, and when I wasn't at church, it seemed like I was
singing with my host family, the Haunolds. This is a dangerous combo though.
The Haunolds already love to sing, and when you give them an excuse to, you
will probably ended going to bed very late. Weinacht came, which was nice
also. We, of course, gathered around the tree, and not surprisingly, sang
more songs. After that, we opened gifts. I liked all of my gifts, but my
host sister played a joke on me by giving me a calendar with pictures of
firemen with buff bodies. I then told her it would soon be on EBay. She must
have laughed for what seemed like an hour.
And finally, I also managed to do something extremely
exciting just the other day. I climbed a 200 foot windmill. It took about 20
minutes of solid climbing up one long, and what seemed like, perpetual
ladder. The view at the top was more than worth it though. I was a little
bit scared before attempting it, but afterwards I was immensely proud of
myself because I felt like I had added one more notch to my belt of
challenges. My whole exchange year has been nothing but small challenges,
one after the other. If someone told me a year ago that I would one day
climb a 200 foot windmill, I probably would have laughed obnoxiously. The
difference now is, I have more confidence in my abilities. I feel like I'm
ready for anything. That's my life. Thanks Rotary.
January 30 Journal
This is captain Elliott reporting back for yet another
inspiring and profound journal entry ... just kidding ... Anyway, cutting
out the obnoxiousness, some pretty interesting things have happened to me
over the last month, the most important probably being that I changed host
families on Jan. 2nd. I switched from the Haunolds (Hey Tom!), to the Mohrs.
Basically I moved about 20 km closer to my school. It's been nice not to
have to get up so early, but then again I always slept on the bus anyway,
because honestly, a 40 min. ride with screaming adolescents with whom 99.9%
of them own cell phones, and actually find the show "The Nanny" funny, is
not the most fulfilling way to begin your day.
Anyhow, since moving to the Mohrs, I've found that while I
miss the Haunold family, I also really like my new family. They are warm and
friendly people who seem to be in a perpetual state of family-bonding. It
has really impressed me to see peaceful cohesion amongst so many people
under one household. Of course, I've only been here three weeks, so who
knows J At any rate, I feel extremely
comfortable and welcome here, and I would also like to tell everyone to
watch out, because I'm taking dance lessons with my host mom (read: her
husband is too chicken to do so himself J) I
told him he is going to owe me a lot of money by the time I leave ... .
And of course, that hasn't been the only thing that has
happened to me over the past month. I went to a Rotary district conference
in Osnabrück, Germany with the other Rotary
inbounds to Austria. We met in Linz, stayed there for a night, and started
out on our arduous ten hour venture the next day to land of the unknown, the
place where they actually speak real German ... dun dun dun ... Actually, it
was kind of nice hearing people actually speak the language that I am
learning in my German class, and not all of that crazy upper Austrian
dialect ... .so anyway, after the painful ten hour ride in which I must've
heard "Sand in my shoes" a hundred and fifty million times, we arrived at a
youth hostel in Osnabrück. I was, of
course, exhausted because I don't sleep well on busses. Basically, all I
wanted to do was crash on my bed and go to sleep, but lo and behold, there
were copious amounts of other exchange students who were anxiously awaiting
our arrival. They were inbounds to Germany, with the exception of one random
guy who was inbound in Switzerland. Some of the exchange students were from
Sam's district, but Sam was unfortunately not there (You're in trouble
All the exchange students seemed to enjoy getting to know
each other. Dancing and talking were the most popular activities it seemed.
However, Rotary once again made us practice singing, so we could present our
song in front of hundreds of other Rotarians. Luckily, they scrapped Oh
Happy Day, because everyone hated it, and no one sang with enthusiasm. I
also think Whoopie Goldberg is now the consensus least favorite actress
amongst all of the inbounds to Austria. Instead, we decided to sing an
Austrian folk song. It's called "Peter's Brundele." It's a lot more fun to
sing, and there is no obligation to learn ambiguously passionate gospel
choreography (which didn't fly well in our group either). So then the Rotary
meeting came, and it was interesting to hear people from all over the world
articulate their presentations in either German or English. It wasn't always
enticing, but hey I'm still a puerile young man. During the presentations,
the Rotary international president from Alabama (of all places) stood up and
gave a speech. For some reason, I became strangely intrigued to see a fellow
American on stage, and hear his thick southern accent. It seemed as if I was
comforted by it. It was also quite comical to hear him say a couple
sentences in German. I must admit that I chuckled along with most of the
other Rotarians. However, it was okay because the guy read it in a way that
emphasized how bad his German was. After the district conference, we made
the treacherous ten hour journey back. I was so tired, I almost fell over
when I got off of the bus in Linz.
I also wanted to announce that I celebrated my 18th b-day
with the Haunold family. However, I was a little melancholy during the days
leading up to my Birthday as the song "Have you seen my childhood?"
endlessly replayed itself over and over in my head. I also had numerous
flashbacks to random scenes that I remember while growing up, and in a way,
they were comforting to me. That, along with the fact that I'm doing
something that has already propelled me into adulthood, has made the
transition easier. As I grow older, my exchange year will help keep me
younger, because I can reflect on all of the wonderful things I have
accomplished this year. I will always be able to envision in my mind how
truly amazing this year was. Whether I'm 20 or 60, I will always have that
at least that much.
Life? Where are you? Show yourself! You don't scare me ...
February 28 Journal
Wow! As usual, it has been about a month since the last
time I updated you on my life. I hope all of you, my readers, are interested
in this next update. However, I don't want you to be disappointed simply
because not really all that much has happened to me in February. Actually,
February has been probably my most normal month here. I did have semester
holidays for a week. It was nice to have a few days where I could either veg-out
or go outside to go bobsledding. But now that I'm back in school, my mind
seems to be a bit behind due to the layoff, but I enjoyed seeing my friends
nevertheless. One of my friends actually went to Bratislava during his
Ferien and took pictures of President Bush and Russian President Putin while
they were having a conference in Bush's attempt to call for a reunited
Europe and US. What's funny is that the Austrians don't see it as that.
Considering just about everyone here hates Bush, they see it as a phony
attempt to appear genuine, or a very belated attempt to do something he
should have done years ago.
Now that I have hit the half-year mark, the passage of
time hit me with full force this month. The speed at which time moves when
you are away from home is something I'll never be able to explain. Sometimes
it feels like the time won't go fast enough, and yet it feels like I just
wrote my Jan. entry the other day. Along with that, I have been pondering
quite a number of things. Like, what I was most surprised about when I came
to Austria (just how tall Austrian people are), and what I have noticed
simply from living here so long (that so many people either own many of the
same things and/or behave with similar mannerisms). A lot of Austrians are
very much alike, and they are a people who are very stuck in their ways. But
those ways work for them, and that's why it seems like everyone is alike in
one way or another, because they share a common bond in thinking that their
way of life is the best, and most efficient way to live. One year ago, had I
known this, I probably would have called these people nothing more than a
bunch of sheep. But what I now realize is that they are a people that value
structure and continuity, so everyone being alike in one way or another is
almost vital to their way of life. It's just different, but not wrong.
Also, as a side note to my small diatribe above, I would
like to note I will be going skiing for a week soon and I also have a Rotary
function in Linz on the 11th of March, in which I will be celebrating 100
years of Rotary. All I have to say is Rotary has impacted the world in a
positive way for one hundred years. Which if you think about it, is
impressive and overwhelming at the same time. Keep up the good work guys!
March 31 Journal
is Elliott, catching up again. Since the last time I wrote, I have gone
skiing in Schladming. It was a nice resort. It wasn't too touristy, and the
view was incredible (right). It took me a while to get the hang of
skiing, but once I did, it was a lot of fun. I think the main reason that I
had problems at first though was that I was expected to make these pinpoint
turns on skis that had no wax on them to speak of. I realized this by the
second day, and got this problem fixed, and immediately improved. I also did
some sledding down a track that was all the way at the top of the mountain.
It was so thrilling. Even though the sleds don't really go that fast, it
feels like flying, because of all the hairpin turns and perilous stretches
of ice that send you careening all over the track.
I last wrote, I have changed to my third and final host family. My host
father is the president of my Rotary Club. He's a really nice guy. Now that
I mentioned it, everyone in my host family is a pleasant person. I like all
of them. So far, I have had no problems.
My host father wants to take me on a few trips around
Austria, which seems like a fulfilling way to finish out my year. I know,
it's here already, the final quarter of my year. It's incredible how fast
time moves when you are away from home. And because of this rapid movement
of time, I am basically facing a dichotomy in my emotions. This may sound
clichéd, but the feeling is inevitable I think. While my departure is
imminent, I am not that scared or nervous. I mean, sure, I will miss my
friends here and all, but I'm excited to see how things are going back at
home. I was recently accepted to Emory University, and am thrilled about
beginning college life, but terrified at the same time. Looking back though,
I can only be fully grateful to Rotary for giving me the chance to bring my
life in a different direction, so that I could dabble into something new,
and discover something about myself that my life at home wouldn't allow me
to. I now understand Elliott more because I have been an exchange student.
And while I still have some enigmatic qualities about myself, I am at least
more ready to accept them as something that makes me unique.
So until next month,
May 4 Journal
Well here it is, my April journal. April has been a pretty
calm month for me. The weather has finally warmed up to a comfortable amount
here in Austria. Therefore, the basketball court has been taking a lot of
punishment from me. It has been great to get outside and shoot some hoops,
and get some exercise. I love the feeling of coming home with sweat dripping
off of my face.
Other than that, the only thing out of the ordinary that
happened in April was me taking a trip with my class to a University in
Salzburg. It was interesting to take a look at the University system here
and compare it with that in the US. The University was very spread out, but
much more austere than what I am used to. There are few extracurricular
facilities for the students, who are more or less on their own to
accommodate themselves in that department. However, I met some of the
teachers, and even got to sit in on some of the classes, and it seemed as if
the students at this particular University were in good hands.
Also, I have to begin University in America soon, and I am
getting really excited. I have to get my school here in Austria to send in
my final report card and hopefully that will go through and I will be on
track to graduate. As of right now though, nothing is guaranteed. I also
hope that Emory University understands my situation here in Austria and that
the grading system is a bit different. So they have to consider me a special
Well, that is all for now, Good luck to the rest of you
finishing out your years wherever you may be. Spend lots of time with your
host family as this is the last time you may ever see them...
Until next time,
May 30 Journal
This will be my second to last journal. Wow, the time is
almost gone. I'm feeling a little melancholy right now about my imminent
departure, but am excited at the prospect of showing my dad around Austria
for a few weeks.
The season changed here with a whip, and it is quite warm
now, if not hot some days. I find myself sweating in mid to upper 80 degree
weather as I think to myself, wow I'm going to die when I land in
Gainesville. Okay, so maybe Matt the converted Siberian will die before I
do, but nevertheless, I can't believe how accustomed I have become to this
cooler weather and abounding rain. But there is hardly ever any lightning
here. One of my host sisters in my second family, Myriam Mohrs, apparently
loves lighting. I should tell her that there is a lot of amusement beckoning
for her in the sunshine state.
Since my last journal, I took a trip to Salzburger land
with my current and final host father. We visited a large bird sanctuary,
Hitler's city of birth (including his house), and a fortress on a mountain
in Germany where Hitler used to spend his holidays. I found it quite amusing
that Hitler's birth house is nothing more than a yellow book store with
nothing but a stone with a quote about fascism engraved on it to indicate
that that was where Hitler was born. The lady who owns the bookstore must be
somewhat of a prude. I also took a day trip the other day with a friend of
mine to a water park, which was nice but expensive.
Also, my report card was sent in from my school here in
Austria and I am just waiting for it to be processed by GHS so I can
successfully graduate. It's nice to be finished with school and not to have
to worry about doing homework anymore. It's funny though, because I didn't
really have to take tests but in two classes this year, I actually missed
having to study with my friends for a big test. I must say that I learned
this year that life is more ironic that I could have ever imagined.
Finally, I visited my first family, the Haunolds, this
past weekend just to see how they were doing and to catch up a little bit. I
biked a total of 12 miles to do so. It was all in all a good way to get
exercise and socialize a little bit. I am also going to Linz this weekend
for my final Rotary meeting. I am excited to see the exchange students
again, but I am somewhat despondent in realizing that many of them will be
flying home soon thereafter.
PS-- I wish nothing but the best of luck to all of
the district 6970 04-05 inbounds and outbounds for the remainder of their