Posted by Mary Jones on Feb 07, 2018
Karen Schibline, filling in for President John Fuller who was attending his brother's funeral in Florida, introduced our RYE student, Michel, who presented a program about his home country of Germany.
Michel presented an awesome program about his home country of Germany. He showed us where his home is located near the border of Germany/The Netherlands.  Here's some of the info he shared:
•Germany is composed of 16 Federal States. Michel's hometown is in the state of North Rhine Westphalia, the most populous state.
• The Berlin Wall came down on October 3, 1989, some time after which the capital of Germany moved from Bonn to Berlin.
• Germany has a population of @82 million.
• Like the U.S., Germany's government has three branches -- the legislative, judicial, and executive. 
• The German Bundestag is equivalent to our House of Representatives, and has a minimum of 598 representatives, tho' it can have more depending on the outcome of elections, which are held every four year.  The German Chancellor holds that position for four years, but there is no limit on how many four-year terms the Chancellor may hold. Helmut Kohl was chancellor the longest, holding the post for 16 years.
• Germany is a member of the European Union, which is composed of 28 states.
• The EU Parliament is located in Strasbourg, France, and has 750 seats in that governmental body.
• Michel's hometown was founded in 1222. It is primarily a manufacturing area, with a population of about 70,000. It's an area well-known for its popularity with bicyclists.
• The drinking age in Germany is 16, but the driving age is 18.
• Beer was first brewed in Germany in 736 in Bavaria. Now there are between 5,000-6,000 different kinds of beer in Germany, but the most popular is typically Pils.
• Octoberfest was started in 1810.
• Michel is an active member of the THW, the German agency Techniches Hifswerk, which is a civil protection agency composed of about 80,000 volunteers throughout the country who assist in times of natural disaster to help fellow citizens.
• Michel's mom is a pharmacist, his father is a painter, and his sister is now in 8th grade.
• Michel is a member of a local Track and Cross Country Club. He noted that sporting teams are separate clubs and not part of a school system.
• Michel attended a Catholic high school before coming to the U.S., but he will attend a business high school when he returns, and he will have about 3 years of high school left. 
• His hobbies include mountain biking and wind surfing.
Michel also shared a few YouTube videos with us highlighting various aspects of his country and his home town.
Karen Schibline noted that the 2019 International Rotary Conference will be held in Hamburg, Germany, and suggested that those who attend that conference could visit Michel.
Karen asked David Hayford to lead the Club in the Four-Way Test to close the meeting.
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