In 2016 our family decided to ‘take the plunge’ and host an
intern. That year our two boys were in
3rd and 5th grades, and we figured that was one way we
could give back to the school AND enrich our lives at the same time.
I have to admit we were a bit apprehensive at first. That year, the interns were all full year
interns, meaning that our commitment would be for a year – a full year of
another person living in our house with us.
We were lucky that we had the
space for an additional adult to have their own living space without cramping
us, and so we filled out the application and requested a female intern, thinking
it would be good for the boys (and me as the sole female in a male household!)
to have another female – and role model – in the house!
Shortly before the intern assignments were announced, Tina
Haarbusch asked me if we could host a male intern, since one of the interns was
allergic to dogs and cats, and we have a pet-free household due to our own pet
allergies. So we said yes, and the third
week of August the boys and I drove to the Humphrey Terminal to pick up our
intern who would become like a part of the family over the course of the
Berni Hösl from Berchtesgaden lived with us for a year and
became a surrogate son to us and a big brother for our boys. He was studying to be a Sport and English
teacher at the University of Augsburg. That
ended up being a great fit for my athletic boys. Berni jumped right in to being a part of the
family. He’d hang out with the kids, play
sports with them, go snowboarding with them (he used to be a professional
skier), help out with cooking, and was a lot of fun to be with. He taught me how to make schnitzel, and
introduced us to Raclette, giving us a Raclette set for a family Christmas
present. The year went by quickly, and
Berni left Minnesota, but not our hearts.
In 2017 we spent our MEA Fall Break in Germany and visited
Berni and his family in his stunningly gorgeous hometown of Berchtesgaden, where
his parents made us a REAL Raclette dinner! We still have contact with Berni and have
seen each other a few times since then.
I strongly encourage families to host an intern if they have
the means to do so. It is a rewarding
experience for your entire family and can lead to a long-lasting friendship for
your kids and you.
- Dianne Bell & Dave Eenigenburg
- Sons Luke Eenigenburg (6A) and Jakob Eenigenburg