YES Programs



A New Home in the USA

Hristina  Petkova   My  New  Home Photo ( Hristina Is In Between Two Blond Girls)

As I sit in the dining room, I notice a sign on the wall that says "Home is where your story begins," and it makes me think.  My story began a long time ago in my home country of Bulgaria.  However, for the last two months, I've been living in Norridgewock, Maine, and I have a feeling that has never been so strong before: a sense of belonging.

When I first found out that I would be living in Maine with four younger siblings, two cats, and a dog in one of America's coldest states, my sometimes pessimistic personality wasn't exactly excited about the next 10 months.  Why?  I am an only child who hates being cold and is afraid of dogs...but I love it here!

Maine is one of the most beautiful places that I've ever been to.  My host family is more than I could ever want or deserve - it's like living with friends rather than parents.  Life with Amanda, my host mother, and Nick, my host father, is a great experience.  They are young, fun, always try to help and understand me.  Most importantly, they are my friends!  My younger siblings, Noah (11), Zack (9), Joslynn (7), and Isaiah (5) are adorable; most of the time they are quite loud, but lovely nonetheless!   And the dog, oh well, I'm not afraid of dogs anymore!

Another thing that I was worried about was whether I would be able to find friends here.  I am more than happy to say that my friends actually found me!  Never in my life have I met such friendly people.  Almost everybody is curious about me and Bulgaria.  It is a great feeling!

My friends at school and my teachers have helped me adapt so quickly.  Whenever I have questions or if I don't understand something, my teachers are always there to help me learn.

I feel like I am in the right place, at the right time, with the right people.  I've adapted so fast that I almost feel guilty.  But the sense of belonging is something that you can't fight.  You either fit in or you don't - I do, and it is the greatest feeling.

Hristina P., YES Bulgaria '11