Homecoming Away From Home

Manitou Springs High School (MSHS) is hosting 10 exchange students from around the world for the 2018-19 school year. There are students from Spain, Norway, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia and the Czech Republic. Although, at MSHS, there is an annual celebration that most exchange students are not familiar with: Homecoming week.

At Oda Tiller-Brattebø’s (12) school in Trondheim, Norway, they host a dance but it is not called Homecoming and there are no events surrounding it. The first few days of Homecoming week took a little getting used to, but Brattebø enjoyed watching others dress up. Lara Heyer (11), from Germany, loved Homecoming week because it was all new to her.

On Thursday, September 20, the exchange students attended the Bonfire. “It was fun watching the fire burn and seeing a lot of people having fun,” said Brattebø. All the exchange students also went out for lunch together with foreign language teacher Terrence Batson during the homecoming assembly. Brattebø enjoyed seeing a different part of Manitou Springs throughout the week. Friedrich “Freddy” Riemer (12), from Germany, really enjoyed the week as well.

Even though the parade was new to the exchange students, they all participated in it somehow. Cristina Martinez (11) from Spain waved to the kids during the parade, Riemer was with his soccer team, and the other exchange students were walking right behind the Key Club float waving their country’s flags. “We don’t have parades at my home. We just have village festivals,” said Heyer.

Football is strange to exchange students because in everywhere but America, football is what Americans call soccer. The football team won 64-0 and it was a full house. Riemer really enjoyed the football match because he had never been to one and liked watching everyone cheering.

The dance was on Saturday, September 22 at 8 p.m. Brattebø and Riemer got ready with the same group: Molly Arndt (12), Kaitlyn Cashdollar (12), Tyler Doherty (12), Aliah Char (12), Allie Robbins (11), Gunnar Marquardt (12), Dakoda Petrich (12), Tatiana Choate (12) and Molly Quesnell (12). The group took pictures at Red Rocks and enjoyed pizza at a friend’s. Meanwhile, Heyer got ready with Melissa McDonald (11), Martinez, and Natalija Budzane (10).