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Osakis Winter Lecture Series to begin January 20

How does it feel to see snow for the first time? To shiver in below-zero weather? To live in another culture far away from home? As foreign exchange students in Osakis, Hathaipat "Hui" Aimpichaimongkol and Mai Hoang are finding life here very dif...

How does it feel to see snow for the first time? To shiver in below-zero weather? To live in another culture far away from home?

As foreign exchange students in Osakis, Hathaipat "Hui" Aimpichaimongkol and Mai Hoang are finding life here very different from their countries of Thailand and Vietnam, respectively.

In a talk called "Our Minnesota Adventures," the young women will recount some of their first-time experiences Sunday afternoon, January 20, at the Osakis Information Center, 11 E. Main St.

Accompanied by their host family, Gary and Sheryl Nielsen, Hui and Mai will begin the program at 2 p.m. Admission is free and everyone is invited. There will be time for questions and refreshments will be served.

The students' talk leads off Winter Lecture Series 2008, now in its 20th year. The three-part series is an annual project of the Osakis Area Heritage Center, with this winter's lectures sponsored by grants from Runestone Electric Association and Stearns County Electric Association.

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Sheryl Nielsen will introduce Hui and Mai and describe the foreign exchange program. She'll relate what it's like to host foreign exchange students, all of whom speak English and have their own spending money.

In a recent Osakis Review interview, Hui, 18, and Mai, 17, both mentioned the shock of cold weather after spending all their years in a warm climate.

Yet the two were excited over the first snowfall, Nielsen said, recalling how they went outdoors to catch snowflakes in their hands.

The drawback of cold weather has been relieved by the fun of tubing at Andes Tower Hills and seeing a Holidazzle Parade in Minneapolis. They enjoyed going to a tree farm to cut the family's Christmas tree and recently made snowmen.

Both Hui and Mai have a sense of humor and a wonderful personality, Nielsen said. She noted proudly that they have made the Osakis High School honor roll and sing in the school choir.

Sunday afternoon the young women will talk about their Minnesota adventures and also share details of their home cities, Hui's Bangkok and Mai's Hanoi. While noting differences, they will point out some similarities too.

For more information on the Osakis Area Heritage Center or Winter Lecture Series 2008, call (320) 859-5161 or (320) 859-4151.

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