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Foreign Exchange student comes to Muncy

By Staff | Sep 8, 2010

Muncy High School students came to the Blaker residence on Sunday to help Linus Waydhas, a Foreign Exchange student from Germany, celebrate his 17th birthday. Front row l to r: Chris Secules Jr., Linus Waydhas, Kaitlyn Shank, Jennifer Vo, Anna Schultz, Kathi Blaker and Corky Blaker. Top row l to r: Lee Fry, Doug Zehner, and Rijad Sabanobic.

MUNCY – Traveling to a new country is always an exciting experience for a young person. German foreign exchange student, Linus Waydhas can attest to that. Since arriving in the United States at the home of Kathi and Corky Blaker on August 19, his world has been in a constant whirlwind. “I really like it so far,” he expressed on Sunday, September 5 during a picnic birthday celebration in his honor. Even though he is thousands and thousands of miles from his home in Essen, Germany, Linus has assured everyone how much he likes Muncy and meeting all new friends and living in a new house for an entire year. “I love it,” he told everyone on his 17th birthday.

“We picked him up on Sunday, August 19 that night and the very next morning at 9 a.m., he had to be at football practice,” said Kathi Blaker. “Boy was he ever exhausted. We also went to an open house and football practice again on Thursday and a game Friday night.”

Linus said he likes to play football. “It is very different here. In Germany we have club sports only and I only get to play about two times a week. It is much more fun here,” he added. He played for the Assindia Cardinals Team club for four years as a corner back in Germany.

Linus is spending his junior year at Muncy High School. In July he will return to his home country to complete his senior year and a final year of high school. “In Germany we go to school for 13 years total.”

The Blakers made arrangements with Mitch Morgan from the Muncy Rotary to host a foreign exchange student. “This is our first time and we are really enjoying it so far,” said the Blakers. Although their own three children are grown and on their own, they said they liked having young people around again. “Now we have a house full of kids again since 8 years,” said Kathi. The couple especially enjoy going to the football games to watch Linus play. They really shared his excitement when Linus got to go to a Penn State game on Saturday. He said he never saw such a big college football game before. “It was amazing how many people were there, and the Blue Band was cool,” Linus exclaimed.

Foreign Exchange student, Linus Waydhas, will be spending his junior year at Muncy High School. He is from Essen, Germany and he is staying with Kathi and Corky Blaker in Muncy who made arrangements with Muncy Rotary to bring him here.

“It was great to meet this German athlete who wanted to play football and we thought it would be a good match,” added Blaker who has served on the Muncy School Board for 11 years. “It’s kind of neat, getting to meet the teachers we hired and how things work. I get to use School Wires, a program the board helped to implement,” she said. Kathi was given a password for Linus and code on the school’s website so she can view his grades and progress. She and her husband remain in close contact with Linus’s parents. They sent him some money for his birthday so he could get an I-pod touch. “I took him to Target with Doug Zehner who helped him get one. He has over 1,000 songs downloaded on it so far.”

Linus explained that he was able to connect with several other Muncy High School students before coming here through Facebook. “They contacted me in Germany,” he said. Mackenzie Ruby and Sophia Reeder would tell me about Muncy. I would Google and search the internet about Muncy before I came here,” Linus said. He commented on how much he likes the rural atmosphere as he comes from a very urban city.

Linus who speaks perfect English said he also had a choice to go to Venezuela but he really wanted to come to the United States. “This was my first choice,” he said. He hopes to go into law enforcement someday and will finish his studies in Germany.

The Rotary has a trip planned to the Poconos for Linus in November and one to NYC in December.