Shelbyville Daily Union

Local News

November 28, 2013

Former rotary exchange student returns to visit host family


On this return trip, she is spending Thanksgiving with the Behl’s before heading to New York as part of a month-long trip that began in California at Disney Land.

Before coming to SHS, Ruhle had already graduated in Australia making her school time a lot more fun. “One class I did well in was Mrs. Sweeney’s speech class. For my demonstration I got to show the class how to make a Vegemite sandwich.”

Jerry Yockey was one of her classmates and remembered her well. “We were looking at some of the old videos from school and you are in them,” he said.

Someone suggested posting a You Tube to which Diana threw up her hands and said, “Oh nooo!”

Diana’s love of travel and of the people of the US is now being passed to the next generation, her adoptive daughter Mei Lan from Viet Nam. When Diana was 15 years into her teaching career, she went to a job fair in New Zealand and looked at teaching for a designated amount of time in other countries.

“I thought about Asia in general—China and Mongolia, but sent in my resume and found the best offer was Viet Nam. I stayed in Ho Chi Minh City and met Mei Lan when she was only two days old and decided I couldn’t live without her. She is now seven and has added so much joy to my life. I returned to Australia in 2007 and resumed my quiet life and teaching career. I want to make Mei Lan a healthy, functioning member of society. I am pleased to bring her to Shelbyville with me and show her this very special town and very special people.”

Don Behl remarked that while on her fist visit, Diana became addicted to Hostess Twinkies. “A near disaster was averted when Hostess went out of business for a while but last night we were able to present her with a Twinkie and a Ding Dong to Mei Lan.”

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