By Cheraine Amelo (YES 2018-19, Suriname, hosted by PAX in Bluffton, IN)
I met my host family at the airport not knowing that they would have a big impact in my life. As the months went by, I learned the importance of family and spending time with them. Saying goodbye was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but I know in my heart that our goodbye isn't going to last forever. We will meet again one day. And here I am doing things that I never even dreamed of. This adventure that we went on together has shaped me into the person I am now. And as we face this pandemic thousands of miles apart, know that you guys will forever remain in my thoughts.
During this time of not being able to go anywhere, I have participated in the amazing Virtual Alumni Leaders Training 2020 (VALT) workshop and I have also been reading more books and have started to write about my year in the U.S. During VALT, I have learned a lot and I am currently brainstorming (something that I can do well now, thanks to VALT) on how to do a few fun virtual activities and challenges during this time.
I want to tell everyone who I met during my exchange year to stay at home and follow the guidelines that the local authorities have put out. As we all are affected by this pandemic, we can face it together regardless of the distance. To my host family, where a part of my heart is, you guys are in my thoughts and prayers.