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From Guests to Friends: Mosbach Group At Carpathia Club

By Monica Forest

I was worried that my kitchen floor was ugly and that I didn’t have matching bedding and towels. But, I had said yes to taking in a few people from the Mosbach group. To whatever made that “yes” pop out of my mouth, I am incredibly thankful.

The Donauschwaben Mosbach group is a Jugend, Tanz und Gesangsgruppe, all of which are represented in the tour’s performance. The twenty-two performers, who range in age from 14 years old to seniors, will visit Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Akron, Kitchener and Toronto over the course of three weeks. The Carpathia Club welcomed Mosbach on August 7th, with a relaxing dinner together where our Mosbach guests could unwind and where we all got to know each other better. I found everyone from Mosbach to be appreciative, thoughtful and especially fun.

The first full day started with a tour of Detroit by our tour guide, Gary Istok. Gary is a wealth of knowledge about the city and really knows how to show off Detroit. The tour included Belle Isle with fantastic views of the downtown skyline, William G. Milliken State Park for lunch next to the river and lighthouse, the beautiful Guardian Building, the People Mover, hanging out in Campus Martius Park drinking Starbucks, and finally visiting Comerica Park where everyone had fun posing for crazy growling pictures under the huge tiger. The day’s highlight was meeting a bridal party at Belle Isle’s James Scott Fountain, where Mosbach surprised the bride with a serenade - the bride was incredibly moved and appreciative. The day ended with an American BBQ which literally made Mosbach cheer! The group had been hoping for a chance to try a real BBQ, corn on the cob, and root beer floats.

The next morning included some free time where each family could spend time shopping, visiting or relaxing. We ended up choosing to hang out at Schwalbe’s lake, going tubing, swimming, lounging and laughing. I especially liked singing together on a pontoon boat cruise. Thank you very much to the Schwalbe’s for being so welcoming and generous.

That evening the group performed a beautiful, three-part performance that included songs, dances and history. President Anton Kindner made a very meaningful speech, and I appreciate that his speech mentioned Adam Medel. President Kindner and President Schwalbe then sincerely complemented each other’s groups and exchanged nice Andenken. As the show continued, Mosbach’s performance pulled the audience in. People clapped to every dance and haben geschaukelt to every song. The evening ended with the Carpathia and Mosbach doing a friendship dance together.

Although this was the first time I hosted a family, it was so much better than I had imagined. I have so many favorite moments with my family! I’m still laughing about Michaela thinking she had slept on a waterbed which was actually a deflating air mattress – too funny! Another favorite time was talking to Justine until 3AM, hearing about her incredible travels, being impressed by her passion for the Mosbach group, and seeing her love and grief for a recently deceased grandfather. Another moment was simply a sweet conversation while driving Jennifer to another host family’s house. We shared ideas and talked about travels, dreams and our families. Finally, I loved seeing my girl, Charlene, being so charming and beautiful during the Mosbach performance. I seriously started getting teary-eyed because I was so proud of her! I can’t pinpoint when it happened, but somehow Mosbach went from guests to friends.

So, does it sound like the group was in Detroit for a month? We did so much together and learned so much about each other, but they were only here from Sunday night to Wednesday morning! In all, host families only had to provide a place to sleep and a few breakfasts because each day was very full. Some hosts could not go on the tour. That was okay. Some hosts could not drop off their guests during a work day. That was okay, too. Arrangements were made so there were no worries. I mention this in hope that more people consider housing groups as they visit Carpathia. Please let me, or someone on the board, know if you’re interested.

As Mosbach was getting on the bus to leave for the next city, I tried to sing a few lyrics from ‘Kein schöner Land.’ I couldn’t sing two words before my tears snuck up on me. We all got choked up because we all understood: Das Dabeisein macht der Liedtext wahr, “Presence makes the lyrics real.” So, again, whatever nudged me to be a host, I am incredibly thankful.

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