Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Getting Back To Normal...Hectic!

Wow, it's been over a month since the housing disaster. I guess that's a solid indication that things are going much more smoothly.

After spending 24 hours in a free-fall tailspin (I LOVE rollercoasters, but this ride made me ill!), things took a terrific turn for us all. As soon as the decision was made that Toby would be finding a new host family, one of his classmates immediately asked her parents if Toby could come live with them.

This was huge because it meant that Toby could stay at the same school, continue to hang out with the friends he had made, and even live in the same neighborhood. (His new host family lives only a couple of blocks from where he orginally stayed.)

On top of this we got further confirmation from AFS that they were certain Toby was fine, and that at best his original housing was just an extremely bad match. The reiterated that his host mother was simply unwilling to work with them or discuss any options other than Toby leaving...wow.

So, Toby is now staying with the Hertz family. His parents are Thorsten and Sabine, and he has 3 sisters, Vanessa, Romina, and Fiona. (I think I remember him saying that the eldest had just moved out.) If you want to drop him a line he's at L├╝ttkoppel 7, Ammersbek 22949, Germany.

He continues to struggle with several of his classes...the ones that depend on a solid command of German. He said he's getting by in his Physics and Math classes, but the others are still mostly a fog to him. Everyone we've talked with says it doesn't come gradually, but more like a light switch turning on. Toby agreed, saying that a friend who had been there for 6 months already told him that's how it happened for him.

Our latest project is working on college applications. Toby is applying to Canadian schools, all in Ontario, and the province has a centralized web site to facilitate this, which is a tremendous help. He's submitted all of his applications, and he's begun getting information from them. His choices are University of Toronto, York University, and University of Western Ontario. Our next challenge will be getting high school transcripts to these schools. We've mostly figured out how to do it, and we've enlisted the help of his guidance counselor here, but we have no clue yet how we're going to get his first term German grades sent along as well. It's unlikely that any of the schools will grant him early admission based only on his transcript through 11th grade, so we will have to figure this one out!

We sent his first care package this week, with clothes and goodies for him, as well as gifts for his family. We went with the USPS as our carrier...very good rates...we'll just have to see what the results are!