Monday, March 2, 2009

Hosting an exchange student

Over the years, my family has hosted exchange students. Seven teens at last count. Teenagers from other lands come to the United States to learn about our culture and customs and tour California.

We've hosted six female students and one male. Two from Japan, three from Italy and two from France. Our dear Pika lived with us for a school year and is like a daughter to us. All from different exchange student companies.

The latest student, Jovana, was part of the French group who lived in Patterson from Feb. 16 to 25. It certainly was a pleasure having Jovana in our home. Tom and I really enjoy the hosting experience.

The local host families stayed in close touch throughout the 10 days the teens were here. Certainly, we formed a bond among the families and the teens.

This great group of French teens ranged in age from 14 to 17. Denise Miller coordinated Patterson host families and students while Sarah Panerra of Newman placed students in families there. There were 11 girls, 4 guys, and two teachers on the West Side.

The French group took day trips to Turlock, Tracy, Modesto, San Francisco(twice) and Sacramento. Denise alternated a short trip day, then long trip day, etc.

The lone weekend was spent with the host family. Just as luck would have it, I got the flu on the Friday afternoon.

Our original weekend plans had to be changed. Tom took Jovana to the Pleasanton Mall, a Modesto dairy and for a ride on the firetruck on Saturday. They toured the Winchester Mystery House on Sunday. I could not move a muscle.

All in all it did work out and now we e-mail each other. Jovana is back at home and back to school in Paris.

No comments: