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.

  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • 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

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