Hier der Bericht über den Besuch der amerikanischen Gruppe, der am Donnerstag, den 17. August 2006 in Delphos in der Lokalzeitung erschien. Die Amerikaner scheinen einen ganz guten Eindruck von Deutschland und insbesondere von Verl gewonnen zu haben, aber lesen Sie selbst:


         THURSDAY        AUGUST 17, 2006


     Friendship visitors return home

    by Mary M. Grothause

The Delphos Friendship link visitors have returned home from a two-week stay in Germany.

    The group consisting of Rick and Pam Hanser, Ken Rode, Ken and Quinn Wise, Gene and Mary Youngpeter from Delphos; Bob and Mary Miller from Landeck; former Delphos residents Tom and Leann Gordon from Convoy; and Gerald and Virginia Rode, from Louisville, Ky., returned home Aug. 8. The group also escorted six German students who will be attending local schools for part of the school year.

    The Delphos entourage got off to a much-delayed start from the Detroit airport when a computer failure canceled flights until the following day. Once that flight arrived in Paris, a connecting flight was missed, delaying the group for another five hours.

    For Pam Hanser, 48 hours without much sleep was tough to deal with, especially once the group arrived in Berlin with sightseeing as the first thing on the agenda.

    “When we were visiting the Reichstag, their parliament, I could feel my head nodding during one of the speeches, and I didn’t want to appear rude,” she said.

    During the group’s first week in Germany, they stayed in hotels and toured various cities, including Berlin, Potsdam, Hamburg, and Bremen. Berlin was in the midst of a heat wave, with temperatures in the 90s and only one of the three hotels they stayed at had air conditioning. The discomfort was added to because no ice was added to cold beverages served.

    The second week the visitors stayed with host families in the Verl area and took trips to churches, a brewery, milk cow farm, a beer garden and a fruit market. The host families had all formerly visited Delphos.

    The tour of the brewery was unusual in that beer was served at the beginning of the tour.

    “First time I’ve had beer at 9 o’clock in the morning,” commented Rick Hanser.

    For Pam Hanser, the amount and quality of food served by the host families was overwhelming. Breakfast consisted of several kinds of meat, eggs, breads and cheeses. An afternoon snack of cake was served at 3 p.m., with the evening meal beginning at 8 p.m.

    “Everything was delicious except for a meat dish that was covered with a clear gelatin but I ate some to be polite,” she related.
    Rick Hanser, a Delphos city councilman, had the honor of addressing Verl city council, presenting a short address signed by Delphos Mayor Jerry Neumeier and council. Hanser memorized his speech in German so he could present it in their language.
    Fellow traveler Gene Youngpeter was on his sixth trip to Germany, accompanied with his wife, Mary, who had been there once before. Gene had been stationed in Berlin in 1952 to 1953 with the U.S. Army and made several trips to Germany later with Mike Leach from Landeck.

    Youngpeter’s great-grandfather was originally from Belgium and emigrated to Seneca County, Ohio, in 1830 or 1840. His ancestors eventually settled in the Landeck area because of the Miami-Erie Canal route.

    Gene’s younger brother, Frank, struck up a friendship in high school with a German exchange student, Norbert Mayr, and the Youngpeters stayed in touch with him when he returned to Germany.

    Gene also established what he calls his own friendship link with Hans Jurgen Lund through the Delphos program established in 1999. He, Mayr and Youngpeter all managed, through one translating for the other, to communicate over the years.

    Youngpeter was a little disappointed in not being able to tour the church in Hamburg. Due to 7,000 bicyclists competing in a race, the group was unable to travel near the church but later were able to visit St. Michels. He did enjoy the visit to the brewery at Detmolder, one of only two in Germany that are owned by women.

    The travel group was honored on Aug. 6 by riding in the Schuetzen parade in a horse-drawn wagon. According to Youngpeter, a schuetzen fest is a shooting competition, with the winner being required to buy beer for all the holidays during the following year.

    While all the Delphos visitors returned home Aug. 8 tired and weary, they all expressed gratitude in arriving home before the increased flight security and delays that went into place Aug. 10.

The Delphos group at reception with the Verl mayor and city council members. The group was presented with city plates, towels and friendship gingerbread heart cookies. German travelers are Ken Wise, Mary Miller, Bob Miller, Virginia Rode, Ken Rode, Gerald Rode, Leann Gordon, Tom Gordon, Quinn Wise, Pam Hanser, Rick Hanser, Mary Youngpeter and Gene Youngpeter.

Photo by Manfred Koehler, "Verler Zeitung"

Pam and Rick Hanser hold the “Friendship Quilt” made by Margaret Geise of Delphos. The group took the quilt to Germany.

Photo by Rick Hanser

Noch eine kleine Anmerkung dazu:

Wenn ich in den USA ein Getränk bestelle, sage ich immer: "No ice, please", denn ich bezahle ja beispielsweise für einen halben Liter Cola und nicht für 200 ml Cola mit 300 ml Eis; da bin ich ganz Lipper, obwohl ich diesen Landstrich nur als Ausflugsziel kenne. Außerdem möchte schließlich nicht, dass mein Getränk sich nach kurzer Zeit durch das geschmolzene Eis in eine wässrige Plörre verwandelt. Wenn ich also in den USA "No ice, please" sage, schauen mich meist völlig ungläubige Augen an, denen ich ansehen kann, für was für einen Trottel und Kulturbanausen man mich hält. Nun ja, und Pam mag es in Deutschland ebenso gegangen sein; nur umgekehrt, mit einem kleinen aber entscheidenden Unterschied nämlich: Das Eis für meinen Drink können die Bedienungen in den USA problemlos (wenn auch widerwillig) weglassen, aber das von Pam gewünschte Eis können die Bedienungen hier in Deutschland nicht so leicht in den Drink zaubern, wenn keines da ist. Ja, manchmal ist es schon schwierig, sich in einem fremden Land so richtig daheim zu fühlen...

Frithjof Meißner, Kaunitz, August 2006