HOMESTAYS: FAR BEYOND GLOBAL UNDERSTANDING AND COMMUNICATION

Home is where you belong. Even if you’re far from where you live, home is an emotional experience you can have anywhere.

Lynn Thompson on a ferry ride with Anuja Khadka from Nepal and Zenisha Gonsalves from India (photo by Zenisha Gonsalves)
Lynn Thompson on a ferry ride with Anuja Khadka from Nepal and Zenisha Gonsalves from India (photo by Zenisha Gonsalves)

For Lynn Thompson, a 58-year-old resident of West Seattle, who has hosted international students for 25 years, homestays serve two purposes, ” I do this for both selfish and altruistic reasons,” she says over email, “Selfishly, I do it for my own enjoyment. I enjoy taking students on outings and showing them this area of the world… I [also] want to make a positive difference in the world and if I can accomplish that by hosting an international student, then I am happy to do it.”

So, homestays are wonderful. It is a beautiful way to knit a relationship that is not only confined to ‘global understanding and communication’ but, is far beyond that : closer to an experience that helps us realize that people around the world belong to different cultures, have different values,speak different languages,and yet, with so many  differences and discrepancies seek one thing called love,above everything else.

On a weekend homestay with Melanie White, Nick Rempel and their two wonderful kids, Daniel and Campbell.
On a weekend homestay with Melanie White, Nick Rempel and their two wonderful kids, Daniel and Campbell.

Something which Nick Rempel,a 54-year-old resident of South Seattle, who has hosted international students for 5 years, says too.

It was a lazy Sunday morning, and I was all tired,just wanting to remain in my bed. But, no, that’s not what I  did, instead I payed a long visit to church, to which I was warmly invited and sat through this long and dramatic sermon,which was far from what I had imagined. So, I felt pathetic and just when I was getting to look too bored, I heard a whisper,”I hope this will help you learn why we do what we do”. That’s when I realized that being open to new experiences and values was more important, even if it meant that you are doing what you dislike.

Therefore, stating that such experiences do so much more than we can possibly think is correct. It not only helps expose people around the globe to broaden their horizons, be open to new perspectives, and sensitive to cultural roots but, moreover teaches them to be better human beings.

It was way past their bedtime, but the kids stayed up late just to watch a movie with me that night.

So, for Melanie White, a 46 year old, and wife of Nick Rempel, homestays do exactly this.Believing that such experiences not only help them adults but, also kids which she particularly  highlights when she says,” children tend to be self centred and selfish, so this is what such homestay experiences most do for me, my children learn to become selfless and flexible to accept people exactly the way they are”.

Beliefs which are close to my heart, too.

So, these are some things that most struck my heart during my homestay experience. Apart from the fact that what really mattered was love and that ‘special something’ that I took with me in the end.

Mitali Rathod

Ola everyone! This is me, Mitali Rathod, currently pursuing Bachelor of Arts in Mass Media at the Don Bosco College of Goa, India. My heart fills with joy when I am asked to define myself. So, here I go. I am an individual who believes in destiny, I am a person who believes in spirituality and I am definitely a person who believes in love. However, one aspect which defines me above everything else is Jesus, my savior. I believe in HIM above everything else in the world. I am who I am because of HIM. Hence, par taking the field of media was certainly HIS plan for me and I am glad about it. In fact, I feel so right when I say this, as I not only found truth that one must seek and find at some point in life during this phase, but I also found purpose of existence which my life initially lacked. Thus, being a media aspirant today, with a pen that is mightier than a sword, is virtue. Virtue which I believe holds the power to initiate change in the lives of people; a breakthrough we are all hoping for, in some way or the other. It is therefore my dream to be a print journalist in the near future, so that I could make THAT difference, be that miracle we most of the time need and sometimes want. I desire to be THAT candle which the society needs in order to perceive a world different from the usual. Apart from this, I’d say that I am a simple person. My interests lie in the fine arts, craft, listening to music, adoring nature, watching movies and reading novels. My favourite cuisine is seafood and Chinese food. But, when it comes to my favourite news source, I’d say, ‘The Times of India’ newspaper and other Goan local newspapers do it all.

1 Comment

  1. It sounds like you got so much out of your home stay experience because you were able to listen and observe…children in the household help too. Children are innocents and so they are very accepting of all people…you gave as much as you got.

Comments are closed.

1 Comment

  1. It sounds like you got so much out of your home stay experience because you were able to listen and observe…children in the household help too. Children are innocents and so they are very accepting of all people…you gave as much as you got.

Comments are closed.