Morenci's exchange students: Claire Van Bon 2012.10.17

Written by David Green.

claireClaire Van Bon knew when she signed up with a student exchange program that she would face new challenges and experiences in America. She's certainly getting her fill.

"It's quiet outside," she said.

Coming from the Dutch city of Oss, with a population of 58,000 people, to the rural Morenci home of Bryan and Jennie Hilton, it took a while for Claire to adjust to the silence of the night. No trains, cars and people on the street throughout the night.

"I used my iPod music to fall asleep at first," she said.

At home, she's accustomed to taking the train around the city or even hopping on a bicycle to transport herself. Now she's dependent on her host family or other students to drive her into town.

There are also some stark differences in the school system. In the Netherlands, her high school has 5,000 students. Sports, band and other activities are all separate from school. That's only for academics. The schedule varies from day to day at her school and some days she's not in class the entire day.

"School is a lot different," Claire said. "You can listen to music. You don't have to do your homework. It's your own responsibility. Here, you're forced to do everything."

Clair has a sister at home in Oss. Her mother directs a medical office and her father formerly owned a furniture store. She's already finished high school and will attend college next year to study hospitality and event management.

She's looking forward to a trip to Holland, Mich., hoping she can find a store selling some Dutch food.

  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016