Malte Wendeler and Lena Slonina were speakers for the evening, relating their experience as exchange students.
Joe Ramirez introduced Mai Taxerman, a Carlsbad Rotary sponsored exchange student. Mai is in the 11th grade in Torrey Pines HS – she spoke briefly, about how she looked for exchange opportunities and contacted Joe. She will be going to Switzerland; not sure yet about which town/city.
Lena Solnina is from Poland. Lena showed several interesting PowerPoint slides that captured her year in pictures. Everyone was so nice and she became part of their family to experience American culture – like American football, Pumpkin Pie, s’mores, Domino’s pizza, burritos. She aims to start a restaurant in Poland to serve those things. She has tried surfing and would love to master that sport. She showed pictures of her Mom and dad and brother, who she really misses. She got to sit in the driver's seat of a Porsche and attend a RYLA gathering. She thanks Dave Saviage and Rita Famulare for hosting her. And she thanks Joe Ramirez for his involvement, and Carlsbad Rotary for the sponsorship. As we know, Carlsbad Rotary’s own Kasia Trojanowska is Polish.
Malte Wendeler showed his year in slides. Malte is from Germany, flew from Dusseldorf to London to San Diego. His year has inspired him to change – to be more involved with life, He enjoyed attending Carlsbad High School, picked his classes and became a member of the soccer team. He learned what it was like to live by the ocean, to live with an American family. He has learned to get out of his shell and take chances, to volunteer more often. He went to Las Vegas and saw Hoover Dam and went to Big Bear for a weekend. His appreciates his family, who visited California. He will miss school, the easy, pleasantness of people in restaurants, genuine friendliness of Americans.