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