United Nations trip was wonderful experience

This article submitted by Beth Zimmerman on 8/4/98.

Three Paynesville area youth recently returned from ďthe trip of a lifetime.Ē

Erin Aagesen, Amber Ingalsbe, and Anne Janotta were chosen to participate in a trip to the United Nations. The trip was sponsored and paid for by the Odd Fellows and Rebekah lodges. A total of five Minnesotans flew to Philadelphia, Pa., to meet 190 young people from around the world.

ďBesides teenagers from Colorado, Texas, California and Tennessee, there were people with us from Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and the Netherlands,Ē Ingalsbe said.

In Philadelphia, the group boarded buses and toured Philadelphia, Gettysburg, Pa., Washington, D.C., and Niagara Falls, N.Y.

The highlight of the trip was the nearly week-long stay in New York City, the girls said. The group visited the United Nations (UN) for two days, touring and listening to speakers. Each trip participant also had to compete in a speech contest after receiving a topic at the UN.

The girls also visited the top of the Empire State Building at night, saw the Broadway show ďLes Misťrables,Ē visited the Statue of Liberty, got makeovers at Saks Fifth Avenue and visited the outdoor set of ďThe Today Show.Ē

ďI went to see Katie Couric, and I even got her autograph,Ē Janotta said.

Ingalsbe had two Swedish roommates in New York.

ďThey had a lot of questions about American schools and how to say certain words,Ē Ingalsbe said. ďThey were very surprised that so many (Americans) go to church.Ē

Although Janottaís luggage was lost for a short time after the flight to Philadelphia, and the bus driver got lost in a ghetto of Washington, D.C., the girls said the trip was a rewarding, wonderful experience. They plan to keep in touch with new friends from the trip.

ďItís amazing how well you get to know people in two weeks,Ē Aagesen said.

Janotta said, ďThe Odd Fellows and Rebekahs were really nice. Itís great of them to do this for us.Ē

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