DONIPHAN – Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of two articles about Doniphan-Trumbull High School’s two foreign exchange students this year.
Gina Mauri, age 16
From Llavorsi, Spain
Gina is living in Doniphan this year with Brian and Dawn Stock, Madelyn Stock - 16 and Andrew Stock - 14.
Following are some comments from her host mom, Dawn Stock:
Why did you decide to host an exchange student this year?
Maddy really wanted to host a foreign exchange student. She made a powerpoint presentation titled “Top 10 Reasons Why I Want a Foreign Exchange Student” and presented it to Brian and I. We have never done anything like this before, but we were able to look through a variety of different kids and choose one that we thought would fit best with our family.
What is most rewarding about hosting a foreign exchange student?
Gina comes from a community and family that is very similar to ours. She lives in a village in the mountains of Spain and it has a population smaller than Doniphan. That was important to us because we didn’t want her missing big city life. Her family also owns a small restaurant and hotel so she loves to cook. That has really been fun at our house since we like to cook a lot too so we spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Gina has been very easygoing and willing to try anything. We’ve enjoyed learning about her culture and her and Maddy and Andrew truly act like siblings.
What are some activities your family has done together with your student since she arrived?
We have taken Gina to the Henry Doorly Zoo, a Coldplay concert, state fair, Nebraska football game, and we plan to have a trip somewhere in March. She played on the D-T volleyball team and student manages the girls high school basketball team, which keeps her busy. They don’t have sports teams at her school in Spain so this has been a new experience for her.
Following are some comments from Gina about her experience so far in the U.S.:
What country and city are you from? What is the population of the city you are from and what is it like there?
I’m from Llavorsi, a little village in Catalonia, Spain. There are about 600 habitants in my town. Llavorsi is a mountain tourist village. In the summer we have some activities like rafting, horse riding, canyoning ... In the winter I love go to ski.
What were your first impressions of Doniphan?
I arrived at Doniphan on July 28. My first impression was good, it was a small town like mine. One of the things that I like about Doniphan- Trumbull is the dedication to sports. The first months I was here, I did not give importance to the games, but now I’m starting to like watching games.
What are some Christmas and New Year’s traditions in your home country?
I love Christmas. We have some traditions but they are similar to the ones here. We have a New Year’s tradition, for the twelve bells; we eat twelve grapes, and if you can eat all the grapes, you will be lucky all the year. I hope that my first Christmas in the United States will be unforgettable.
Why do you enjoy living with your host family in Doniphan? What are some activities you’ve done together? I love my host family, from the first moment they have taken care of me. Since I’ve been here I’ve done a lot of things with them, I’ve been to the Omaha Zoo, we went to a Husker game in Lincoln, we went to a Coldplay concert.