Junior Laura Thompson of Swansboro
- What was your favorite experience on this trip?
“There have been so many wonderful experiences on this trip so it is hard to choose only one. However, if I had to choose, it would be the connections we were able to make with audiences who had no idea what we were saying. I believe that music is the universal language. In Wangen, Germany, the choir really experienced that connection. We let go of ourselves and gave everything we had to the music. The audience was so engaged in the message of the music so it was very moving for me.”
- How has your perspective changed on this trip?
“I have been traveling around the world since I was a kid, but never have I ever had life-changing experiences like this trip. My favorite part of travel has always been learning about the culture, but this trip was different because we got to stay with a host family for a night in Germany. For a night, I was able to experience how families in Germany live. We shared family histories, traditional recipes and a bond that will last a lifetime. I now have a second family in Germany who even consider my family their family. Next year, their son will be doing the exchange program with my brother. They say that once visit Wangen, you will always come back and now I know why. They took me in with such an open heart, I can’t wait to go back.
- What have you learned through your experiences?
“Aside from learning about the culture, history, and language, I was able to learn to really cherish every moment with the people on this tour. The people on this tour are such amazing people and it’s hard to believe some of them have graduated. For the past two years, I have been inspired by the talent and determination the choir has. We have been able to completely connect with audiences because we have poured our hearts into the music. At the end of the day, we are a team and I couldn’t ask for a better group of people. They have helped mold me into the person I am by being a superb example and model of kind-hearted and generous human beings. I am so grateful that God has blessed me with such a wonderful family. When we went to the Nazi concentration camp in Dachau, I really felt this. My life has been filled with wonderful blessing where a large number of innocent lives were taken because of their faith. I can’t imagine losing a loved one to something so awful so I feel truly grateful for the wonderful life I do have with my family and friends.”