Hieu from Vietnam wrote this letter to his host family in Wyoming as part of our Share the Love Essay contest. His essay was selected as one of three contest winners. Congratulations!
"Since I came to the US, I have been facing with a lot of problems. From schools to friends, including family to some extents. I still don’t know how I manage to get through such obstacles, but I know best that you guys are part of the support and encouragement I get.
Tony, you decided to take me in as a family member in the middle of the exchange year, which I am always grateful for and don’t know how to pay back. We have a lot of talks, from politics to religions, lives in Vietnam to US, cultural differences to food makings. You always show up as a cold-hearted person, sometimes uptight and harsh, but the more I know you, the more warm-hearted and kind you are. I have learnt a lot from you as a perspective of a person who were born 60 years before I was. Thank you for everything.
And Mary, you are the sweetest American I’ve ever known. You are just as kind and worried about me much as my Vietnamese mom. I remember one time during the Tet holiday, time for Vietnamese family gathering around, I burst into crying because I missed my family overly. You were the one who hold my hand and ensure everything was going to be alright because I had you. And it turned out true. I do, and always will have your back, I know that, Mary. You are the one who always encourage me to do my best and be satisfied with it because you know I’m very high maintenance and more often than not upset about not being the best. I don’t know what I could do without you both, Tony and Mary, whom I proudly call family. Spending weekend nights watching movies together, going to the movies sometimes and play dominos, we have so much fun together. I’ve come to realize that happiness is not far away, it’s within my reach, my family, the best Americans I happened to know.
As I promise, I will always come back to visit you guys. I will have to get used to not seeing you everyday, playing game together, having political discussion, and especially, having your backs every single day when being abroad."