Exchange students get tastes of Western Tidewater

Published 1:39 pm Saturday, July 14, 2018


All good things must come to end and that even includes vacations. Such is the case for the exchange students hosted by local members of Lions Clubs International. On Sunday, the teens will board airplanes and return to their respective homelands after three weeks in this area of Western Tidewater.

To send them off on a high note, the hosts treated the guests to dinner and dancing on Thursday evening. That’s when everyone went to Fred’s Restaurant downtown, followed by the We Be Jammin’ concert at Barrett’s Landing.

This year, Jana Opel from near Frankfurt, Germany, and Alice Bronzin near Milan, Italy, were guests of Welton and Lottie Deshields of Franklin. The couple has been participating hosts for several years.

“I really enjoyed the friendliness and openness of the people,” said Opel, 18. “They really care about you.”

Bronzin, 17, nodded her head in agreement about what they liked most during their stay.

Opel also mentioned she liked the “sweet salad” she has eaten. By that, she was of course referring to the kind that uses marshmallows.

Bronzin said that back in Italy she will be in the equivalent of high school for two more years. Studying medicine is what she is considering at this time.

Opel, who graduated this past June, said she is considering a career in law, specifically international law. Studies at a university could begin later this year.

As with other students in the past, they joined others to tour parts of Virginia, Washington, D.C., and go to a camp attended by other teens from other countries.