YES Programs



Experiencing American Culture at the State Fair

YES student standing with her host parents in front of a sign that says "Greeting from the Washington State Fair"

By Manahil Ahsan (YES 2021-2022, Pakistan, placed by AFS-USA in Puyallup, WA)

I am Manahil Ahsan, a YES student from Pakistan. When I arrived in Washington, my host father welcomed me at the airport with a cute welcome sign. I was so excited to meet the rest of my host family, including the host family pets!  When I finally did meet my host family, we were all so glad to see one another and became fast friends. When I first met my host mom, she hugged me tightly. I also gave my host parents some cultural gifts that I had brought from Pakistan. When I entered my room for the first time, I was overwhelmed by the generosity of my host family. 

YES student with her host mom on a ferris wheel

One weekend in September, we woke up early and went to the Washington State Fair. This was the biggest fair I had ever seen in my life! Although it was crowded, it was beautiful and full of so many different colors. I love going to fairs, especially riding the rides. I really enjoyed the ferris wheel, the slides, and the pirate ship rides. I also tried bumper cars for the first time! Although I was scared to ride the roller coaster, I rode it anyway and was so happy that I had faced my fear. We had to wait in a long queue for the rides, but my host family wanted to make sure that I was happy and enjoying the fair as much as possible.

Horses pulling a carriage at the state fair

At the fair, I also saw six beautiful brown horses who were tied up with harnesses. They were nodding and flipping their hair. Their manes were decorated with red roses, which made them look even more beautiful. Then, we went to the animal yard where I came across several cute, little rabbits who were sleeping. I also saw a beautiful peacock showing off her feathers. 

It was such an adventure to see and experience each and every bit of the State Fair. I loved experiencing this bit of American culture and their festivals this weekend. This was my best day so far in America and I will never forget it.