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Foreign exchange students share tastes of home (Hometown Press article)

posted Dec 15, 2016, 8:01 PM by Webmaster lynnville-sully

Foreign exchange students share tastes of home

Lynnville-Sully welcomed two foreign exchange students at the beginning of the school year – Nele Hobohm hails from Leipzig, Germany, and Lydia Akergren calls Skovde, Sweden, home. For the 2016-2017 school year, the two are fulfilling their dreams by experiencing American and Lynnville-Sully culture.

“The reason I wanted to come to America is because I wanted to learn the language and experience the American culture,” said Hobohm, who is living with Marlo and Ruth Jansen of Sully this school year. Her family in Germany consists of her mother, Kirsten Hobohm, father Andreas Duben, and sister Cara Hobohm.

Akergren, whose host family includes Dwayne, Janelle, Zach, and Taylor Maasdam of rural Lynnville, agrees. “It was a dream of mine to visit America,” she said. Akergen said her favorite thing about her foreign exchange student experience is the people she has met, but she does miss her family and friends. Her mom Katharina, father Kent, and older sister Amanda wait for her return to Sweden.

Since their arrival to the states, the two have immersed themselves in a variety of activities, including cross-country, basketball, and cheerleading, gaining new experiences and new friends. Hobohm’s favorite thing about living in Iowa and attending L-S is the school spirit she has been part of. Recently, the two were able to share part of their culture with their L-S peers and provide American tastebuds with experiences of a foreign flavor.

Food is something everyone experiences differently since culture and location affect flavor, availability of ingredients, and appearance. It's always exciting to be able to experience a flavor that is totally different from anything one has ever tasted before. Some L-S students got to have that opportunity when the foods classes prepared food from the cultures of L-S’s foreign exchange students. This was especially important to Hobohm, who misses her native food.

Both Hobohm and Akergren are enrolled in Ms. Gelene Evans’ foods class and had the opportunity to share unique dishes from their homeland. They both chose their favorite dishes. Hobohm chose stuffed bell peppers, pea soup and sausage, yeast dumplings, and spatzal and baked apples. Akergren chose pytt i panna, tomato salad, scones, and kladdkaka chocolate cake.

“It's really a blessing having the chance to experiment with these different dishes from a foreign place. While I enjoy this project very much, each dish poses a new challenge such as having to convert measurements from metric to the imperial system or trying to use a completely different cooking style,” said Evans, family and consumer sciences teacher.

Discussions about the foreign food started on Monday, Dec. 5, and the class split into groups to divide the work. On Wednesday, they prepared the food, and on Friday, they began the process of cooking it. Finally, once the dishes were prepared, students were able to eat the food they worked on throughout the week.

“I really appreciated that I was able to show some of my friends my own culture through food. It was a lot of fun showing everyone what we eat in Germany. Overall, I thought the project was a success; the food tasted great, and everyone else said they really liked it,” said Hobohm.