By Masala Machochi (YES 2019-2020, South Africa, hosted by ASSE in Mapleton, GA)
My first impression of living in the U.S. has been nothing but a bliss. August has been the month of firsts for me. I tried Japanese food for the first time, I went to my first professional football game, I went to a basketball game, I had Chick-fil-A and Popeye's which is my absolute favorite. Meeting my host family was the most exciting for me. I remember leaving Washington DC at 4am to catch my 7am flight to Atlanta, and while there I was disappointed to hear that my flight had been canceled and I wouldn’t depart until later. I couldn't wait any longer! I was so eager to meet my host family, and when I finally did, I was thrilled. They welcomed me so lovingly that it felt like I never left my home back in South Africa. I look forward to the next memories we are going to make.
My first day of school was a bit frustrating because my school is really big; it has over 3000 kids and I wasn’t used to such a big school. But the fact that I made friends on the first day and someone to accompany me from class to class really meant something to me. Knowing that I was the new kid and that people were so interested in knowing more about me and my culture made me happy. Since then, my days have become brighter, I made friends and I'm happier than ever at school. I've joined two clubs already and my double placement and I will be starting an International group for exchange students in our school. We really want to meet them too!