Our Host Family of the month is the Blair Family in Phoenix, Arizona! Nominated by their Ayusa YES student, Rihab from Jordan, the Blair Family has helped and supported her during the first few months of her program. Rihab highlights how the little things that a host family can do helps their exchange student’s transition into American life positive and smooth.
"I was asked, ‘how did your host family help you adapt to the life here in the U.S?’, well, at first, I laughed and I thought about it in my mind and I asked myself by paraphrasing it, ‘how amazing and incredible my host family was when I first arrived and how supportive they were to help me fit in?’ as a matter of fact, let’s say that they were more than fascinating and I consider them as my family now. A family that cares, love, protects, and supports! I am speechless and I can’t even say how much I love them.
When I first got placed in Phoenix, Arizona, I was nervous as I am going to meet a family and live with people I don’t really know well. But when I first arrived, I found this amazing family waiting for me at the airport, with huge smiles on their faces, and the love they shared was clear in their eyes made me feel as I am with my own family. Right then, I realized that I am blessed to have them! Not to forget the big poster that they made me with writings in Arabic on it which was really remarkable. I wouldn’t ask for more!
Right then, I realized that I am blessed to have them.
As I was feeling homesick, my host parents were really supportive and understandable. Likewise, they asked me to cook for them one of the meals that I used to eat with my family back in Jordan, and it felt really good. Furthermore, they asked me to tell them more about my country and how our daily lifestyle, interests, history, traditional food, is; so that I can do it with them, by exchanging both routines and information about my country (Jordan; which I am glad to represent) and America (the welcoming country).
One of the things that made me feel comfortable was that they arranged a welcoming party for me, by inviting all of the family members and friends, which I really enjoyed and made me feel like I am part of their family now as they are introducing me to their life and culture. Moreover, when I first entered my room, on the very first day, and on the very first moment, I saw these cards hanging out on the wall and nice welcoming writings written on them and made by my host siblings, even that there was a map and all of the exchange students that they hosted before me were marked on the map. Not to forget, the biggest part was my school. My host parents were both ready for my first day probably more than me! I had to take pre-shots before school, which took a lot of time to do; also they made sure that everything was available when I come here as my school had already started, and I can tell that they were fully prepared for helping me.
Additionally, when it was Eid back in my country (Eid is a celebration for Muslims), they asked me on what do I usually do on such holidays, so I cooked for them one of our meals that we eat regularly (Magloubeh), they even invited my grandma, so we all played card games and we had so much fun.
My host family will be the best 2nd family I have ever had in my life, and I will never ever forget the kind things they did for me...
As time moves along, and when I go back to my home country (Jordan), my host family will be the best 2nd family I have ever had in my life, and I will never ever forget the kind things they did for me, and how they helped me to adjust in the U.S, they will always be in my heart, and my mind, printed right in the middle. And I will never forget this experience no matter how I get old; I wouldn't have made it without them!"