Bon Voyage Paula

A two-generation connection for families

Alvarez and Eidam families in New York City, NY

Thanks to the OWH for this article!

A two-generation connection for families

Bill and Deb Eidam of Elkhorn threw a farewell party Friday night for their foreign-exchange student from Spain — part of a two-generation connection.

Paula Lopez Alvarez enjoyed her sophomore year at Elkhorn High, which included rising early for 5:15 a.m. swim team practice.

Four decades ago, Bill’s family hosted Paula’s mother as an exchange student in Wilcox, Nebraska, south of Kearney. Four years ago, in New York, the two families hatched the plan for Paula to stay with the Eidams.

It’s been a great year for Paula (pronounced Powell-a), as well as her hosts. They traveled to the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone Park, California, Chicago, Florida and elsewhere, as well as to a Husker football game.

Retirees Bill and Deb were empty nesters, and said it was fun having a teenager at home again.

“Paula is vivacious,” Deb said, “and she’s made a bazillion friends.”

At Elkhorn Hills UMC

While here, Paula was involved in Elkhorn Hills Youth Group and church activities.  One of her favorite things this year was working in South Omaha with our youth during the Winter Youth Retreat.

Here are some comments about Paula’s time here.

  • Can’t wait to be together again. In only 3 months we will be able to hug each other. What a good year we are going to have‼
  • It’s going to be a blast. Planning all kinds of things to do to immerse you in American culture. Bill’s planning trips to Florida, California, Minnesota and Michigan.
  • In less than 24 hours, we will be picking up our Spanish daughter from the Minneapolis airport. Thank you Ricardo Lopez and Pilar Alvarez, for entrusting Paula López Álvarez, to our care. It’s going to be a fabulous year!
  • Paula’s 1st day at EHS. When I picked her up, she was talking a 100 mph, in English, smiling from ear to ear.  Morgan, you are a doll. Thanks for helping make her first day so special. So fun to see her excitement, joy and smiles.
  • Our Spanish Daughter experiences her first Husker game!
  • Our weekend was packed. A fantastic wedding and EHS prom. Doesn’t Paula look gorgeous?  A beautiful young lady…red definitely is her color!
  • Iowa State Fair!  Everyone had a great time and Paula got a front row seat to a calf being born!!!
  • Stopped north of Cheyenne to stay with one of Deb’s friends who has a hereford ranch. Paula got her cowgirl fix with petting a bull and riding a horse. Then headed home with a stop in Wilcox, NE, to show Paula where her mom and aunt stayed with my folks as exchange students.  Forget to inform Paula to stand in the stirrups when trotting. She’s still sore.
  • I think Paula López Álvarez was the only one in the crowd cheering for the calf and not the cowboy!!
  • Definitely laughed a lot on this trip! And we loved every minute of showing you the U.S.A. Next stop, The Black Hills.
  • Paula López Álvarez doing some solo kayaking on the way back.
  • Simply Amazing!!! What a wonderful trip!!!!
  • Paula getting last second pics before we leave. Paula López Álvarez fell asleep 5 minutes into the drive home.
  • It might be too perfect that Paula likes to craft and is already working on her scrapbook of her year in the U.S.
  • I won’t have words to thank you for this trip! Bill Eidam Debra Sanborn Eidam.  Thank you for your patience with the photos and for all the laughs we have left on the way ❤️
  • Last trip with Paula. #Coloradorbust
  • Thank you one more time to Bill Eidam and Debra Sanborn Eidam for making my last trip awesome. Couldn’t be better way to end this wonderful year. I Love you.
  • The party will be wonderful – I know you! 🙂 Paula is definitely going to be missed in our youth group family! She’s made such an impact on all of us!!
  • Deb is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. You are really lucky for being part of her life. She’s wonderful!!!!

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