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Augsburg tour group in Thailand

Traveling with Auggies

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This winter, 15 Auggies traveled to Thailand and Cambodia with Augsburg College Professor of English Kathy Swanson and her husband, Jack, as their hosts.

“The trip was beyond amazing,” said traveler and Alumni Board President Jill Watson ’10 MBA. “Our hosts, Jack and Kathy Swanson, have a passion for the people and culture of Thailand that was contagious throughout the trip. They were always willing to share insights, recommend food (such as sticky rice and mango at a floating market) and go out of their way to help others and ensure everyone was having a great trip.

“Memories that stand out include the elephant camp in Chiang Mai, Thai cooking school, Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Light for Kids orphanage, and the food … all the foods!

“Traveling with fellow Auggies meant I had at least one thing in common with so many people I had never met before. By the end of the trip, I had developed new friendships, and I will be keeping in touch.”

Celebrating Lutheran heritage in Germany and the Czech Republic

Last fall, another group of Auggies traveled to the land of Luther to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Religion Department faculty members Hans Wiersma and Lori Brandt Hale led a group of 30 Augsburg alumni and friends on a multi-city tour that included Dresden, Prague, and Wittenberg—the long-time home of Reformation catalyst Martin Luther.

One of the highlights for Augsburg Alumni Director Katie (Koch) Code ’01 was the opportunity to be in Wittenberg on Reformation Day. The town marked the occasion with a festival, and the Augsburg group visited Castle Church where Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door.

“At worship that morning we sang, ‘A Mighty Fortress is our God,’ which took me back to my Augsburg days enrolled in the Luther and the Reformers class with Religion Professor Mark Tranvik,” Code said.

Minneapolis Star Tribune reporter Jean Hopfensperger and photographer Jerry Holt accompanied the group to chronicle how Minnesotans observed the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. In a story published after the group’s return home, Augsburg alumnae Carol Pfleiderer ’64 and Kathleen Johnson ’72 described how the trip itinerary offered participants opportunities to build and reflect on their faith.

Travel snapshots

[Top image]: Travelers pose at Wat Chedi Luang Temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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