What do you get when you have 14 Foreign Exchange Students over for a Christmas Party…and each one brings a dish from their homeland? Christmas around the world!! We hosted the party and had quite a cultural experience!
There were students here from Germany, Norway, Sweden, Viet Nam, Italy, Spain, Denmark… and I’m probably forgetting another one or two! Most came with their Host Parents and some of their Host Siblings. It was great to be able to share stories with other parents about what their student is experiencing. I learned that others are crossing the same hurdles as Lara is at certain periods of their stay in America like when they’re becoming more independent or making more friends. Some students are becoming very good friends with their siblings. Others have a true sibling relationship. A few have changed homes since our first get-together in August. And many of them unexpectedly added a student to their family with very little notice. One family is hosting their fourth student at their home for the fourth year in a row. Another student who was with our Coordinator last year attended the party He is from Hong Kong and actually came back THIS year to attend a second year in American High School … and he’s staying with the same family. Word has it that he plans on his third and final year in the same family and school next year! I can’t even imagine that! Another family got their student because their daughter knew the student from the Cross Country team. When she heard the girl needed a new home to stay in, the family stepped up to the plate.
As for the students, it was fun to talk to them and to see them mingling with each other. It was a much more joyous occasion and less tense than the first meeting in August. There were some talking in their language but more of them were talking in English than our first gathering. And for some of them… their English is perfect! I asked some students if they are forgetting their first language — just as Lara feels she is forgetting some German — and all of them said YES… with a giggle while telling me! Our coordinator told me that many students are very nervous before they go back home in June because they fear they will not be able to communicate with friends and family. But I’m told it comes back to them very quickly once they are home!
As for the food that was brought in…. their was Sushi from the girl from Viet Nam. Lara made Spaetzle…a German noodle dish that took her 2 hours to make…bless her heart! A boy from Sweden made a warm rice pudding that we sprinkled cinnamon sugar on top. Another German gal brought German Potato Salad. Another brought a pasta salad. The gal from Italy brought Caprese Salad. A girl from Norway brought Norwegian cookies. A gal from Germany brought sausage slices with cheese on top. Those are the ones I can remember.
Overall, it was a great night of sharing experiences, learning about other countries through these Teenagers and just having a great time!!!