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Exchange student wants to experience a new culture

Toshiya Cramer is an exchange student at Gregory High School this year. Her hometown of Rutten is situated in the Netherlands, a small country sandwiched between Belgium and Germany in Western Europe. She is already accustomed to small-town life. In fact, her home town is much smaller than Gregory at around 300 people. Located in a very rural area, Rutten and the surrounding villages are in an agricultural area. It is one of several small villages in the municipality of Noordoostpolder in the Flevoland province in the central Netherlands, surrounding the larger town of Emmeloord, where her school is. This municipality has the largest land area in the Netherlands. The North Sea, located to the north and west of the Netherlands, is continually battering the land.

At home, 16-year-old Toshiya lives with her mother, Jeannette, who works at a facility for recovering addicts and those with mental issues, and their three cats. Her sister, Sherryl, 28, runs a dancing school, and Ayella, 25, works for a financial company.

During the school year, Cornelius and Dawn Waldner and daughters Gayla, 16, and Ashton, 14, and their cats are her host family. Toshiya loves cats, so much so that the Waldners gave her a kitten of her own.


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