Ticos are in town ~ Mount Pulaski students hosting Costa Rican
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[January 13, 2017]
PULASKI - A group of students from Mount Pulaski and Costa Rica came
together Saturday night for a welcome dinner in the basement of the
St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church. Mount Pulaski students and their
families are now hosting the Costa Ricans, or Ticos as they call
themselves, as part of an exchange between the two schools.
The Mount Pulaski students visited Costa Rica last summer and
shared experiences and memories to last a lifetime. Mount Pulaski
High School Spanish teacher Rachel Grunder hopes the Ticos will do
the same while here in America this week.
As part of a welcome speech Saturday night, senior Eli Olson told
the group, “Welcome to our country. We are so excited you are here.
I know when I was in Costa Rica I had an amazing time. I just really
hope that we can give that to you guys. We can give you that
experience that we had and just make a memory that will last your
entire life. That’s all I got.”
Mount Pulaski High School Spanish teacher Rachel Grunder (center)
welcomed her Costa Rican counterparts, Annes and Donald, at Saturday night’s
Grunder also introduced the English teacher from Costa Rica, Donald,
and the Spanish teacher from Costa Rica, Annes.
Donald spoke at the dinner and was very grateful for the opportunity
his students were given in coming to America. "A year ago we started
with something that we thought was not going to be possible,” Donald
said. "Believe it or not these guys have worked really hard to be
here and they have done amazing sacrifices. We really appreciate and
we are grateful for the time you share with my kids because I
consider them my kids. So thank you very much and I hope that they
are going to be as well a part of your family as they are a part of
mine. Enjoy the time with them.”
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Before the dinner came to a close, Grunder had to mention something
that made Donald blush a little bit. "Donald just got married!”
Grunder told the crowd the big news and a huge round of applause
followed suit. Grunder waited for the crowd to die down and then
exclaimed, “And he wrote her name in snow today!" Donald laughed and
said, “This couldn’t be more embarrassing. That’s true anyway,” he
added, all smiles.
By the sounds of all the laughter and the sight of all the smiles Saturday
night, it’s obvious this group is going to have a whirlwind week of fun and
adventures ahead of them.
Following the dinner Saturday night the group headed to MPHS for a casual dance
with the rest of the student body.
On Monday school began with a big welcome assembly for the visitors. The group
also spent some time in Springfield this week ice skating, visiting the Abraham
Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library, shopping at Scheels and eating, of
course, at local favorites - Charlie Parker’s Diner and Fulgenzi’s.
Sporting events are also on the agenda for the week and the Ticos have already
been spotted sporting the purple and gold Hilltoppers colors. The group also has
plans to do some sightseeing in Chicago before flying back home on Monday.
If you see these fine young people around the community be sure to make them