Morenci's exchange students: Maëlle Delhaise 2012.10.24

Written by David Green.

maelleExchange students from Europe generally come from centuries-old cities with historical pasts. That's not the case for Maëlle Delhaise of Belgium. Her home town of Louvain-la-Neuve was built in the late 1960s as a planned city to house a university.

Louvain-la-Neuve, a city of about 30,000 people, is located in the central, French-speaking region of Belgium south of Brussels. It's a city for pedestrians, with transportation located below ground and the street level designed for walkers and bicyclists.

Maëlle says she isn't accustomed to needing a car to get around, but that's certainly the case for her host family, Bill and Sarah Stiver, who live in rural Waldron.

Back in Belgium, Maëlle's mother works as a physical education teacher and her father is an engineer. She has one older sister and one younger sister, and she now has a temporary sister, Tess Stiver, who is in seventh grade in Morenci.

Maëlle's graduating class at home numbered 200 students and now she's in a school where most everyone knows everyone else.

"It's different here," she said, "but I like both."

She's enjoying the more in-depth look at America in her history class here and she also likes reading American novels in English class. Like most exchange students, she finds classes easier in America than at home, other than adjusting to the language difference.

She's a member of Morenci's cross country team and generally finishes as the number four runner. She did some running at home, but never in a competitive format. It's her first team experience and she might extend that by joining the basketball squad.

That experience would be cut short because Maëlle is in Morenci for only half of a school year. Before she returns home, she's going to a L'Arche community in Nova Scotia to volunteer. The organization was founded in Canada to create "communities" for developmentally disabled people. L'Arche now has locations in several countries around the world.

After that, it's back to Belgium for college, perhaps to study law.

  • 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

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