One was Milena from Brazil, who visited the Weis family over Christmas and New Year 2016. The family did everything they could to make sure their guest’s experience was unique: Together, they visited Hamburg, Lübeck, the Baltic Sea and Berlin. Milena stood in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin with tears of joy in her eyes.
TANNER is like getting siblings from all over the world,” says Nina when talking about Milena who was like a sister to her at that time. “An unbelievably beautiful friendship arose in those two weeks.” This was how - during an eight-month “short trip around the world” - Nina came to visit Milena in Brazil where she had a second TANNER experience. The Brazilian girl’s family welcomed her with open arms: “Milena’s family returned the gift my family had given her.” Nina and Milena looked for - and found each other. Niels Weis sees it the same way: “I am certain this friendship will last a very long time.”
She was like a daughter for Niels and Tanja Weis. “Later, she even called us Mummy and Daddy.” When the family recalls the memories during the time spent together, their eyes light up. “Emotionally, an absolute plus,” says Tanja Weis and laughs. Milena still sends Christmas presents today, writes when there’s a birthday and even sends a card on Mother’s and Father’s Day. The exchange was the nicest one for the family - the farewell the most difficult.
“We had so many good times with the children visiting us,” says Tanja Weis. “If you open your heart and home, you have the chance to get to know these children’s culture. TANNER enriched our family and we would do it again any time.” Dad, Niels, also sees TANNER as being closely linked to family: “In those fourteen days, you are a family for the visiting children. There is a difference between traveling and living with a family.” And the exchange program aims to get to know a culture from the inside.