Dierk at Maike and Stefan's wedding reception

(an 8-hour cruise up the Rhein River,
which we were thrilled to be able to attend!)

We became friends in 1968, in Bonn, Germany.
My dad's background was in international law and my uncle was a lifelong politician.
So, I grew up thinking that everyone's family discussed international affairs and
debated law and politics over the dinner table!
I met Dierk while I was living in Bonn!
He had recently completed his Doctorate in International Law, at Bonn University.
(I have created a few separate pages about Bonn and our old stomping grounds there.
See link below.)

At some point along the way, in our 36 years of friendship,
our respective families became Family to each other.

This makes Dierk my "German brother."

Left to right: Maike, Karin, Rutger, Page, and Jon

Wanting our children to experience international friendship and living abroad...
when I was to return to the US, we made a pact
to exchange our children in the summers
"when they got old enough."

The exchanges occurred between 1987 and 2001.

In addition
to numerous individual visits in Brussels and Bonn over the years, as well as, in the US,
we have also travelled as a family together, spending four days in Paris, followed by
touring the Champagne region and ancient Trier, and wending our way up the Mosel River to Bonn.
As couples
, we have spent several days on the Normandy coast, around Honfleur,
and a wonderful two weeks in
Italy together, right after the attacks of September 11, 2001.
I hope to get some photos of those trips posted one of these days.
A sneak preview...

Dierk's significant other

Annemarie has recently retired from a career at the European Commission.
She is shown here
at our house a couple years ago.
I will add more about her soon.

Following is a peek at Dierk's career in International Law
and his involvement with the growth and development of the
European Union....

Click here