by Eddah Amusugut (2022-23, Kenya, placed by AFS-USA in Poway, CA)
I had no clear vision of what the United States was like apart from the movies. I really wanted to see it with my own two eyes.
Soon after arriving in the U.S., I joined my school’s cross-country team, and it turned out to be the greatest thing I’ve done so far. I made my first friends on the team. I felt really encouraged by everyone cheering me on with "you've got this Eddah,” which helped me to continue running up the hills during the crazy heat wave in San Diego.
So far during my stay here, I’ve been able to challenge myself by trying new foods like tacos and burritos. I also tried fun rides like the roller coaster and the beach blast. I experienced some American homecoming dances which I really loved, and also pep rallies. I also went to some of the football matches and got to see how American football is played. It was kind of interesting to me that some girls also play the game.
During International Education Week, I loved sharing about my country. I was a bit hesitant at first and worried that nobody would listen or be interested to learn about my country, but the result was the contrary. Everyone was so eager to learn about this country in Africa. It was an interactive session especially when I helped them learn some Swahili words.
I also loved performing a cultural song for my family and making them some Kenyan food. This is how my first few months in the States have been. I can’t wait to accomplish more before I head back home.