Monday, January 26, 2009


Growing up, my family often hosted exchange students. As a kid it was always a lot of fun and I suppose it was educational as well. I got an opportunity to experience another culture that I never would have otherwise.

I remember the time when 4 Japanese exchange students were in our small apartment cooking different items and how much fun it was to learn how to say the names, try to use chop sticks, as well as having everyone eating while sitting on the floor around the coffee table.

Through our exchange students I learned how to wear a kimo, learned a dutch song, and also learned all about tea ceremonies. One exchange student even tried to teach me how to play soccer--my brother did better than I.

I also remember my family closing the family resteraunt early one night only to turn it in to a scene from "Saturday Night Live" so that our Japanese exchange students could have the opportunity to experience a "disco" and dance like American kids.

Now as a family we have been hosting exchange students for the past 4 years. Now my daughter is learning and experiencing all that I experienced as a kid.

When we started taking on exchange students the one thing that I forgot was how having them in my home as a kid led me to want to travel abroad and be an exchange student myself. My parents unfortunately did not have the funds to be able to send me abroad. My daughter on the other hand also has expressed an interest in being an exchange student. As her parents Rev and I, like my parents, can not afford to send her either.

Luckily for the kid she has found an exchange program with a scholarship. She has even applied for the scholarship and has an interview for the scholarship in two weeks.

Now people keep asking "how do you feel about the kid being gone for a year?" I was pretty cool with it until I started really thinking about it. By the way thanks everyone for that.

Yes, I will miss her...a lot. But I still feel that it will be an awesome opportunity for her and she will learn so much. Our past exchange students have been giving me pep talks so I have no doubt that with their help if she does qualify, that I will survive. In fact I believe that both of us will grow and become stronger for her having gone.

And heck, if you can't live vicariously through your kids what is the point in having them?

1 comment:

Jane Ellen+ said...

I had the chance to be a foreign exchange student in high school, and didn't take it. My mother's health led me to turn down the invitation without ever consulting my parents; I thought I could be more help if I stayed home. I don't regret the decision, but I still do think wistfully of the lost opportunity.

Tell The Kid I said, "You go, Girl!"