Friday was the last full day that the ConVal exchange students were able to spend with their partners and host families in Salzburg.
“This morning, we changed our plans from a nature day to a town day because of the forecast – we are glad we did because it really poured today,” Frau Hodgdon reported. “We headed to the ‘Haus der Natur’ which is a really excellent science museum. They had exhibits on everything from space to the art of taxidermy, mineralogy to dragons.” One room contained a collection of “Schiachperchten” (“ugly perchten”), scary masks carved of wood and adorned with horns. The masks are worn by scary furry creatures with loud cow bells and whipping rods in the centuries-old tradition of “Krampus” runs on December 5.
“Then we all scattered to go home to pack, take naps, and squeeze some last fun in. Finally, we headed up the mountain to the Gaisberg for our farewell dinner. Jen, Danielle, Maeve, and Eva all gave wonderful speeches about how meaningful their time here was.”
“Fritz Baier reminded me tonight that a tourist brings back souvenirs, a traveler brings back stories,” Frau Hodgdon concluded. Addressing the parents of ConVal exchange students directly, she continued: “I hope you will have plenty of stories and pictures and this truly is just the beginning of your student’s adventures abroad. We don’t think tonight was an end, but a start to further adventures.”