Our AYA families give so much to their communities as volunteers supporting international education and cultural exchange in the U.S. As we look forward to a whirlwind of events and opportunities for our participants in the months ahead, here are some more fantastic stories from AYA families about the special moments they’ve enjoyed thus far.
Rita, a host mom from Oregon, wrote about welcoming Jakob from Germany to her family. She shared:
There are so many great times so far, so I included lots of pictures. We have had some great times at the beach and met up with another host mom and her boys at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. The next weekend, we went to Seaside, Oregon, and enjoyed some great beach sunsets.
School is going great. Jakob has become “famous” in his words with some of the kids at school because of his magic tricks with cards. He has his first football game that he will be a player this Friday. We are looking forward to watching him play.
Jakob went on a whitewater rafting trip this last Sunday with our FFA instructor and also was able to stop at the Timberline Lodge before snow. Tonight, after he gets home from practice, I will be able to show him pictures of it with snow, as it started snowing up there today. We have lots of fun things coming up now that fall is here.
Megan, a host mom in Michigan, is enjoying family adventures with Charlotte from France. Megan wrote:
We are having a wonderful time with Charlotte. She arrived before school started, so we spent that time traveling around our beautiful state of Michigan and crossing a lot of “firsts” off of her list of things to do. She went jet skiing, sand dune climbing, zip lining and tubing! Now that school started, things have calmed down a bit, but we’re busy planning our next adventure!
Samira from Germany joined her host family from Pennsylvania on a family trip full of fun. Her host mom, Kristin, shared:
During Samira’s second week here, we took her to Wildwood, New Jersey, to spend a few days at the shore with some extended family. While we were there, my oldest daughter turned 18. A few of her friends surprised her by coming down for the day. They all, including Sam, hung out at the beach, played in the waves and went to the boardwalk. They all bought matching hats.
Later in the evening we all went to a crab restaurant and had fresh crabs. Sam learned how to crack the crabs and get the meat. As the dinner went on the waiters came out with a cake and candles and everyone sang happy birthday to my oldest. There was a lot of laughter and fun the entire day. After dinner, the friends went home, and we went back to the condo. Sam came up to me and asked if she could talk to me. She let me know that she had made a “bucket list” of things that she wanted to do and the experience that day was on it. She was very happy. I was delighted that we could provide her with that experience!
Pat, a host mom from Texas, wrote about how Angelica from Italy and Lavania from Germany have become sisters and are doing good things in their host community:
My students are both in the 11th grade and are doing well. Lavania is practicing for a play in November at the school. Angelica loves going to a fitness center and working out. They are both an only child and enjoy having a sister. They have done volunteer work with me through the church, helping sort items that were sent to Houston following Hurricane Harvey.
Enno from Germany has found a home with his grateful host family in Illinois. His host mom, Tammy, wrote:
Our family is beyond blessed to have Enno in our family now. He is a very special kid. He’s polite, helpful, friendly, funny and all around a great kid. One of our favorite memories is his first trip to a Wal-Mart. He was amazed at all the different things you can get there. It was very entertaining. He continues to make us laugh all the time. Enno is a football player here and has a homecoming date for the dance. He’s fitting right in with everyone. I’m glad we decided to do this. I’m dreading the end of May and goodbyes.
Learn more about AYA families and opportunities to host an international high school student in your home.