February 15, 2016

Students Share Host Family, Experiences, And Great Heights

Students Share Host Family, Experiences, And Great Heights

For many host families, welcoming one student into their home is an exciting adventure and an opportunity to learn about a new culture. But for many of our families, the experience only grows exponentially when they welcome two!

This is exactly what Louise Lough and her family finds when they host. Louise, who is also a wonderful Ayusa Senior Regional Director, has hosted many students over the years. This year, she and her family have welcomed Salim, Ayusa YES student from Kenya, and Finn, from Germany. Both students have been “fantastic in their own way!” 

From the beginning, Salim and Finn have become friends. They both worked together making a chess board shortly after arrived, so they could play chess together. They have also blended into their small charter school easily and many of their classmates consider them “one of the guys.” Finn is always smiling and Salim has a great sense of humor.

After their arrival, both had the opportunity to volunteer with the “Spirit of Boise” Balloon Festival. Even though they needed to get up at 4:20am each morning, they enjoyed the experience immensely. They helped the pilot and crew chief of the Dragon Moon set up and fly their hot air balloon, along with tracking it mid-flight to see where it was going to land and follow flight patterns. As a part of the YES program, Salim is required to do at least 30 hours of community service. He has jumped at every opportunity to volunteer and will be serving food at a low-income apartment later in the month.

Both Salim and Finn have accepted the Lough Family, and extended family, even though they have “in no way met them all.” Both learned to play cribbage so that they could play with Louise’s 92 year old and legally blind father, something we are sure will be a treat! They have even accepted Louise and her husband as mom and dad “although we are the age of most grandparents…It makes us feel young!”

Sharing cultures and building communities with high school exchange.

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