Former 1982-83 International Exchange Student Returns to Vernon to Say Thankyou

The following letter was received by Otto Rieve from Hauke Mueller following his visit the Wednesday, June 22, 2011 Club luncheon:

Dear Otto and the Rotary Club of Vernon:

Thank you so much for the warm welcome that the Rotary Club of Vernon gave Christiane and me today at the Rotary lunch. It was indeed a very special occasion for me to be back and to visit you fellow Rotarians after such a long time.

I was born in Essen and became a Rotary exchange student in Vernon during the school year 1982/83. I attended grade 12 at VSS. Vernon turned out to be the perfect location for me, who loves to do sports and any kind of outdoor activity.

I stayed with four families during my exchange year: the Hunters, the Hickenbottoms, Betty and Jack Peters, and Betty and Harvey Gee. I was taken to the Rockies, to Shuswap Lake, to Vancouver and many other interesting places. In the winter I skidooed with Jack Peters and in the summer Harvey Gee took me waterskiing. And so I could go on and on...

After my exchange year was over I went back to Germany. I finished high school and went through law school. After that I married Christiane and we had two daughters, Hannah and Luise, now 19 and 17 years old. I then got a job with the Coca-Cola Company and we moved to Berlin.

Luise has spent the last year in Vernon, too. She was an international student at Kalamalka High School and she stayed with Alan Gee and his family, who used to be my host brother when I was in Vernon with the Gee family. Alan and his family visited us in Berlin two years ago as did Betty and Harvey Gee, and Betty and Jack Peters who visited us in Germany some years ago. My family and I have also hosted three exchange students in Germany.

Looking back, the Rotary exchange programme, the opportunities and the friendly people I met while I was on it all those years ago, were pivotal and defining to me for many good things to come. I cannot emphasize enough how thankful I am, especially towards my host families.

All I can say is that we would love to return part of the favours. If you or any of your family members were to travel to Germany and if they may be looking for a place of contact in Berlin, we would be happy to host or support them in any way we can.

Thank you very much again and all the best regards,

Christiane & Hauke



Interested in being a sponsor?
Download the website sponsorship guide