YES Programs



Navigating the Waves of Adventure

Hammad Posing With Fish He Caught.

By Hammad Nasir (YES 2023-2024, Pakistan, placed by AFS-USA in Olympia, WA)

In America, culture, tradition, and the joy of travel are treasured aspects of life. It was my second day visiting my lovely family in the Pacific Northwest, and an unforgettable adventure awaited. My dad, an experienced sailor who could rival any captain, owned his own boat, and today, we set out on a boating trip. The weather was perfect, with a crisp, cool breeze and crystal-clear waters, making it a quintessential American experience.

We set out for our journey during the early hours of the morning, and I was particularly excited as I had never ventured out into the vast ocean for a fishing expedition. After a two-hour journey to a dockyard, we embarked on a thrilling fishing trip, covering 47 miles into the deep sea. The water remained astonishingly clear, allowing us to witness the beauty of the natural wildlife. Guided by my dad's first rule of fishing, "If you want to catch fish, you must be where fish are,” we got lucky, catching a 7-pound white Tuna within the first 15 minutes. As time went by, we ventured further into Canadian waters in pursuit of the elusive King Salmon. Although we missed two chances, luck was on our side, and I reeled in the wild fish, a splendid specimen weighing 10 pounds. It was larger than my hand, and the adrenaline coursed through me as I fought to bring it aboard. My father's voice interrupted my reverie, "Did you get something? Are you okay?" he inquired. With a grin that stretched from ear to ear, I replied, "Yes, Dad, I got something incredible."

Hammad Posing with Host Dad on Boat.

We wore smiles of contentment as we cleaned our boat upon returning home, a tangible symbol of our successful adventure. By 3 p.m., we were back, and I took charge of cooking the fish. Despite it being a tad undercooked, my ever-gracious dad insisted it was perfect. I felt a twinge of regret for not getting it just right, but the lesson was clear: in America, if you're willing to participate, you'll always find an opportunity to learn. Whether it's fishing, cooking, sports, or spending time with friends, there's always another form of everlasting experience waiting to be had.