Tricounty News

KAHS foreign exchange students

Pavel Sizikov Pavel comes from the ancient Germany city Worms, although he was born in the Kirgiz Republic of the Soviet Union. About six months after he was born, the Soviet Union collapsed and Kirgizstan became its own country. When he was about 6, his family left Kirgizstan for Germany. Pavel's father, Alexander Sizikov, is Russian and his mother, Elvira Keil, is German. Both were born and raised in the Soviet Union where they were ostracized for being Germany; now they are sometimes persecuted in Germany for being Russian. The only negative experience Pavel has had here are racial comments made by a few Kimball students who are, ironically, of German descent. But Pavel has brushed them off as just stupid and mean. In preparation for coming to the United States, Pavel's history teacher gave him two very thick books to read. He admits he didn't get very far in them. He also met with former exchange students to get an idea of what to expect. But he was still surprised. "Everyone was so open when I got here," he said.  He really likes living in the country, living with Frank III and Cathy Schiefelbein. He has joined them in doing farm work, calving, and cattle auctions, and loves it all. Pavel likes the school system in Kimball - the sports, he explained, not necessarily the academics. He played football, wrestled, and will compete in track sections this week (in the 4x1 relay, 100-meter and 200-meter). Pavel will leave Kimball June 8 to join his parents and younger sister Elena in Germany. He has 1 1/2 years of school plus three big exams in Germany. Then he plans to attend college to study physics and math. He says he will miss the farm life, especially all the  baby animals. ********** Daniela Weever Daniela loves sports. This year at Kimball Area High School she played basketball and softball for the KAHS Cubs. "I had an awesome time," she said. "My teammates are great." Daniela has been living with Todd, Jackie and Maylani Vossen in Kimball this past school year. Coming from Gescher, a town she calls "really small" with a population of about 18,000, Daniela has had a few surprises during her nine-month stay. "The cold weather!" was the biggest surprise. Daniela wasn't prepared for quite how cold it would get this   past winter, or for how long it would last. She particularly liked high school life. "It's like a community," she said, "maybe because it's so small." Daniela's mother Connie is a social worker in Gescher, and her older brother Sebastian is still in high school. The 16-year-old will leave Kimball June 15 to spend a few days in Washington, D.C., before returning to her hometown in Germany, near the Dutch border. She participated in a German-American governmental exchange program. She will have two more years of schooling to finish in Germany, the 12th and 13th years of high school, and she's not sure what she'll do after that. Daniela will miss the friends she's made here, her host family the Vossens, and "some of the food" here. (Her favorite: Dairy Queen blizzards.)