Auf Wiedersehen from Hans Joohs exchangee

NEW ULM – The Sister Cities Commission and friends bid Elli Kretschmer farewell Thursday night during her going-away party at the Kegel Klub.

Kretschmer came to New Ulm from Germany in June as part of the Hans Joohs Cultural Exchange program between Ulm/Neu Ulm, Germany and New Ulm.

For the past three months, Kretschmer worked with The Journal staff and contributed numerous stories told from her unique perspective as a German living in New Ulm. She compared German and American experiences regarding fishing, farming, use of currency and other subjects.

On Thursday, Kretschmer gave a slideshow presentation detailing her time visiting America and time spent with her host families.

She donated to the Sisters City Commission a scrapbook containing photos taken by her and former members of the exchange program. The book contains extra space to be filled by future participants.

Although Kretschmer choked up at the end of her presentation, she managed to thank everyone who made her visit possible.

“This is not good-bye; it’s see you soon,” she said.

The exchange program is named after Hans Joohs, an official from Ulm who has been an instrumental promoter for the cities’ relationship. The program’s main focus is to combine as many experiences as possible.

Cultural life and traditions are just the bottom line because so much is learned. It is all about experiencing “the whole package,” Kretschmer wrote in an article early during her stay in New Ulm.

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