From all corners of the world, gathered at the Rollins house in Hayfield are: (front) Vinicius Caseta, of Brazil; Mika Nakamura of Japan; Aurora Cagnizi of Italy; Melanie Eggler of Hayfield; (middle) Lisa Rollins of Plainview, Leonard Rollins of Hayfield, Heather Eggler of Hayfield, Kristen Eggler of Hayfield; (back)Len Rollins of Plainview; Jon Rollins of Plainview; Jolene Rollins of Hayfield; and Kyle Eggler of Hayfield.
Photo by Ruth Hanson
By Ruth Hanson
Aurora Cagnizi, from a small town near Rome, Italy, Vinicius Caseta, from Americana, Brazil, and Mika Nakamura from Chita-gun, Aichi, Japan, all gathered at the home of Jolene and Leonard Rollins in Hayfield last Sunday afternoon, August 11.
It was an amazing get-together.
Mika had been an AFS exchange student at the Rollins home 25 years ago. Aurora is an AFS student this year with their daughter Heather and son-in-law Kyle Eggler and their daughters Kristen and Melanie in Hayfield. Vinicius will be an AFS student this year with the Rollins' son Len and their daughter-in-law Lisa Rollins and their son Jon and daughter Ashley in Plainview.
Aurora is 16 years old and would like to become an English teacher in Italy. She has been studying English for 10 years.
She came to Hayfield last Thursday, August 8th, flying from Rome to Frankfort, to Chicago and traveling by bus to the Twin Cities.
"My whole new family picked me up at the airport," she said.
Aurora will be a junior at Hayfield High School, the same as Kristen. Melanie is a sophomore. Heather works at the Mayo Clinic Health System in Rochester. Kyle owns his own business - Karnival Kraftsmen. And then there is Khloe, a five-month-old toy Australian shepherd.
"Yes, I like dogs," Aurora said, smiling.
She said she would like to learn more English while she is in Minnesota. She would like to make friends and go to the Mall of America.
She hopes to run on the Hayfield cross country team and plans to be in the high school choir and band. Kristen plays the trumpet. Melanie plays the flute and a baritone sax that her sister says is as big as Melanie.
as Melanie. Aurora would like to be in the fall and spring plays.
She will be taking math, physics, chemistry, English, American history, Spanish, choir and band.
Kristen will be in several classes with her.
"I'm having a good time so far," Aurora said. "I like to cook, especially pasta. I will help Kristen cook suppers. I'm anxious for school to start."
Kristen will drive all three of them to Hayfield High School. Kristen plays volleyball and is on the dance team. Melanie is the manager of the volleyball team and is out for dance, too. Aurora will be going out for dance team and track and field.
All three girls are very excited and very pleased to be spending the year together.
Vinicius is 17 years old and has a 16-year-old brother. His father, Sivanie, is a business owner that makes machine parts. His mother, Tania, is a stay-at-home mom.
He came to Minnesota last Friday, August 9th, flying from Sao Paulo to Miami to Chicago and coming by bus to the Twin Cities.
Len Rollins works at the Mayo Clinic in a lab. His wife Lisa works in a different lab. Their daughter Ashley is 22 and is a student at the University of Minnesota at Duluth. She works at Starbucks and Target in Duluth. Their son Jon is 20 years old and is also a student at UMD. He is working for his Uncle Kyle this summer.
"I hope to become a game designer - to design video games," Vinicius said.
He plans to take English at Plainview-Elgin-Millville High School and hopes to play the drums. He hasn't registered for classes yet.
But sports, that's another thing. He wants to play soccer and basketball and something in the spring.
"He wants to be busy," Lisa said.
He wants to make palha italiana, a sweet desert, for his host family.
Vinicius began taking English as a fifth grader. He will be a senior this fall.
"English is the only subject in our school that you have to pay extra for," he said.
He said he is having a good time so far and that he has a very nice dad, mom and brother and sister. There are no pets at his house.
"I like to do a lot of things," he said.
He comes from a city of 200,000. Plainview has a population of 3500. Brazil has a population of 200 million.
"The teachers at P-E-M High School are exceptionally nice," Lisa said.
Mika grew up in Nakatsugawa-shi, Gifu, Japan. She teaches English, Japanese, history and geography in a tutorial school that she runs in Japan.
"Tutorial schools are very popular in Japan," she said. "My husband, Hitoshi, teaches there, too, with me. He also teaches math and science in a public junior high. I have two schools with a total of 100 kids in grades one through 12, in classes of anywhere from one to 15 students per teacher. Kids do well because of the small classes. I'm a teacher with a staff, mostly college students who want to be teachers. It's lots of responsibility, but I enjoy it."
She said she remembers spending time with friends and with her family in Hayfield.
"I came to visit this time just to see them," she said. "I wish it could be longer than a week, but it's impossible."
She has two boys. Hajime is 17 and went to Germany as an exchange student last year and had a good time, according to his mother. Her other son, Riki, is 15.
"I like being a mother," she said.
She looked back on her time in Hayfield 25 years ago and said, "I liked going to football games. I wore my Japanese national costume - a kimono - to the Homecoming dance."
"She was such a nice gal," Jolene said. "She was another very special daughter - and they still are. I was really happy when I heard she was coming."
Leonard commented that Mika was always prompt and on time.
"She was ready when we said it was time to go," he said. "She learned to water ski in about five minutes. She had skied on snow only once before coming, but she and Heather snow skied together."
They remembered that Heather and Mika took chemistry together.
Len was in college the year that Mika was in Hayfield.
They were all looking forward to a week of remembering and getting to know Aurora and Vinicius.