YES Programs



Cider Heaven

2 Fatema And Hfamily Apple Orchard

By Fatema AlSaffar (YES 2015–2016, Bahrain, placed with CIEE in Beloit, WI)

I felt immense joy during the fall in Wisconsin. The trees were beautifully orange, and the cool breeze was a breath of fresh air. My only thoughts when it came to fall activities were pumpkin-related. However, in Wisconsin, the fall isn't just about pumpkin spice lattes and dessert specials — it is far more unique than that. To me, the best part about the fall in Wisconsin is the apple cider.

When I first learned about apple cider, I thought it was weird because I was only familiar with apple cider vinegar. My host parents, Dennis and Debbie (who I call mom and dad), wanted me to participate in a special fall tradition, so they took me to a local apple orchard with their granddaughter named Bailee. I was thrilled to finally taste apple cider, and mom told me that I would fall in love with apple cider donuts. Well, mothers are always right for a reason. I tried apple cider, caramel apples, and apple cider donuts, the MVP of the apple orchard. Their sweet taste and warm texture were indescribable as I indulged in the donuts with my host family.

Apple cider donuts taste like my home in Wisconsin. The smell of those donuts became engraved in my mind to remember the cozy mornings with my host family — dad making jokes as I laughed along with mom and Bailee. Years later, every fall, I remember the apple cider donuts, and my host family tells me when they buy them. Still, I yearn to have these donuts again. Hopefully someday soon!