Back in July, we had the opportunity to host 2 students from China for just under 3 weeks. They were here for summer camp through a local ESL (English and a second language) school. Jessica and Lillian were so fun! They were only 12 and 13 years old. I could not imagine sending my child to another country so young. But these girls are very independent of their families. They live at the school the attend in China. Jessica's parents pick her up every weekend and take her home while Lillian's parents do not. They pick her up for vacations. When I learned that little bit of information it made me so sad. I could not imagine living at my school and only seeing my parents a couple times per year. It kinda broke my heart really. Especially since they started attending this school at the age of 6. I could not send Moma off next year to live at her school!!
So while we had them with us, We tried to show them around and let them experience what it was like to be a part of an American family. We took them to the zoo and fishing and hiking and I taught them how to bake and decorate cupcakes. There was all sorts of interesting things we learned for each other. For instance.... in China, they receive a hot breakfast every morning. So cold cereal wasn't something they enjoyed. They loved eggs and sausage and hash browns. They hated oatmeal. For dinner, they liked things like spaghetti and tacos and meat and potatoes. One night, I made spaghetti and they went back for seconds so the next week I made it again. They got home from camp and saw me at the stove. They peaked over my shoulder and when they saw it was spaghetti, they started jumping up and down and squealing with delight.
Overall, we had a really positive experience hosting these students. I cried when we dropped them off to go home. I tired to be brave but the second I saw other host families dropping off their students and hugging them, I lost it!
We took them fishing while they were here. They each had never caught a fish before and so we taught them that if you say "Here fishy fishy fishy" you would catch one. Sure enough when they said it, they both caught a fish shortly after.
I taught them how to bake cupcakes one night. I also got out some fondant and let them work with it and cut out shapes. They seemed to like it.
We really enjoyed having them with us this summer. The kids still ask about them and refer to the room they stayed in as "The Chinese Girls Room".
We are looking forward to hosting our next student next month. A 14 year old boy from Japan.