Natchuda from Thailand wrote this letter to her host family in Virginia as part of our Share the Love essay contest. Her essay was selected as one of three contest winners. Congratulations!
"Dear Host Family, I remember first getting off my local coordinator’s car and walking into an unfamiliar house. I remember feeling nervous and awkward about even saying a simple “hi” to you. I remember being so terrified as I didn’t know how to act during our first dinner together. I remember my first bite of the food you made, and how it surprised me because of how tasty it was. And I also remember how I was so relieved when we converse smoothly over that delicious dinner. After that first day, I didn’t know when it happened but it seems that I just got fit perfectly in your family. Before I even realized it, I felt comfortable and I felt belonged.
With only 3 months left, I started thinking about what I’ll miss most about you. There’re a lot of memorable memories that I still remember vividly in my mind. It might seem simple and boring to you, but what I’ll miss most is just our normal everyday life. Every morning after I wake up, I will enjoy my perfectly soft-boiled eggs while listening to Connie who always update everyone with the current weather. We’ll either be so happy that it’s warm that day or complain about how cold it is and how we really don’t want to go to school on such a freezing day. Then, just before we leave the house, Scott would always say “Bye Bye. Have a good day, Tem.”
After school, I sometimes walk home when the weather’s nice or Connie will pick me up when the weather decided to go extreme. Every time it’s super cold, the first sentence I hear when I step into the car is “I turned the heater on so you can be nice and warm.” Every time I hear that I still feel warm inside as you are really considerate and caring toward me. At 7 o’clock every day, I’ll hear “Dinner’s ready!” and I’ll quickly rush to the dining table. Your food is so good that I sometimes overeat. After dinner, we always have a long yet interesting conversation. The topic varies so much that I’m surprised. Scott, you always update us with the latest event happening in the world or historical knowledge that I did not know before. We occasionally have ice cream, and you are always supportive of the variation of toppings I put on. Christiane, we always start doing our homework so late that it became a bad habit but I still love the late nights I spend with you either way. As you love languages and you’re fluent in German, we established that you would teach me 1 German word and I’ll teach you 1 Thai word every single day. This normal routine might seem insignificant but I feel like it played a huge role in my American experience.
I’m so thankful I get to meet you all and thank you for accepting me as a part of your family.