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Many thanks for American experience

Hi! My name is Beatrice Naticchioni and I've been an exchange student in Detroit Lakes this year. I came here in August 2008 and I left June 9 (Tuesday) to go back to my home country, Italy.

This has been the most important year of my life. Being so far from what I've always knows as "normal" helped me open my mind to other cultures and new worlds. This experience was the greatest of my life. I just want to thank all who helped me throughout this year and made it possible for me to make the best out of it.

First of all, I want to thank my host family: Clayton, JoAnn, Becky, John Schott and Anna O'Gorman, who have been so nice to share their house and lives with me. They've done so much for me, being there whenever I needed it, supporting me just like their own daughter.

Then, I want to thank Ginny and Lowell Barnum, my exchange coordinators, always checking on me to see if I needed help. I felt surrounded with warmth and love, which made my stay easier.

Other than that I want to thank Bonnie and Al Mohs, who have been like parents to me. Someone who I want to thank also is Tom Vagle, who I consider now my American daddy, and Winona LaDuke, who has been a relevant part of my life in America, accepting me as part of her family.

I feel like I have lots of bonding now and a new life. Thanks to the Detroit Lakes community, which gave me this wonderful opportunity. I really enjoyed what you offered me. With love -- Beatrice Naticchioni, Ascoli Piceno, Italy