OH JO. This is an exceptionally difficult article to write because Jo was one of the first to go back home for good. Okay, be cool. Be cool. Jo is a 22-year-old German student that did an exchange in Kansas, USA. This exchange prepared him for my arrival, for he had a country music playlist he'd play every once in a while when we hung out in the kitchen. Jo came to tea time every day with the girls, he patiently taught many how to play Settlers of Catan. Jo was like an onion, you had to peel back the layers to fully understand him, something that we did not have enough time to do, but the few layers that were peeled denoted his passion for politics, government, economy, cooking with classical music, flunky ball, languages, and culture. He and my roomie, Nancy, had "Cultural Tuesdays" which meant they would hit up a new museum or landmark every Tuesday and they would be home by tea time. Jo taught me many things, one of them being the importance of being aware and informed about global news, another being that it is never too late to learn flunky ball.
My favorite Jo story, well I couldn't choose just one so I'll say a few short ones.
1. The first night we were all going to go out I walked into the kitchen and screamed, "I am ready to make bad decisions!" A sentence that Jo would haunt me with for the rest of the semester, and though I did not follow through with that statement, this was the meme of the night made by Jo:
2. One night I walked home with Sandro, who occasionally smokes a cigarette or two, and gave Jo a hug when we met him at Holger. I proceeded to go to my room where Nancy, my roommate, greeted me by saying, "Jo said you gave him a smokey hug....what does that mean?" After laughing for a bit I explained that perhaps Sandro's cigarette smell was probably on me and I hugged Jo. Nancy asked Jo what he meant, to which he replied, "Oh Nancy, are we not all just sitting in a smokey bar, trying to order a drink from a bar keeper we ought not to see?" This is still the most famous Holger quote. Much smart, so poetry.
3. Jo is a serious young man, emotions rarely peep through. My absolute favorite moment with Jo was on his birthday. He came home after having dinner with his parents that came to visit. His birthday also happened to fall during a three-day exam. It was a stressful time in Jo's life, so he was not particularly excited to celebrate or live. When he got home that night, we gave him a hand made card and tickets to the opera to see Macbeth at the Opera house. He seemed a bit uncomfortable in the midst of all the love in the room, 'twas adorable! I only cried for 20 minutes.
Jo, I love you so much. You are different from anyone I have ever met, and it was a blast hanging out with you, even if we still do not agree on Cuba's politics.
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