YES Programs



Christmas Lights in Chicago

Rafkas Christmas

By Rafka Saad (YES Program 2019-2020, Lebanon, hosted by IRIS in Davenport, IA)

If there's a holiday more important than Thanksgiving for Americans, Christmas is that holiday. I wanted to share a few photos that show me and my two friends from Chicago this past December. We were at the zoo, which happened to have a Christmas lights show. It was an experience for sure! Not only did we see cute animals that I've never heard of before, but we got to see ice sculpting, and listen to Christmas music while taking lots of pictures.

It’s difficult to express the amount of Christmas lights I've seen in the past month. To be honest, the holiday lights are my favorite part about Christmas here. I have been celebrating Christmas back home in Lebanon for the past sixteen years of my life and I have never been this excited about decorations and lights. I might be away from my family and home for the holidays, but celebrating the season with my American family feels just like home. I'll definitely look back at the photos, and I'll remember how sweet my exchange year was. It is actually a life in a year and an opportunity that I'll always be thankful for.

Rafkss Lights


Tell us about your favorite classes and extra-curricular activities in March!

Check out this month's story prompt at and submit your story!

Yes Story Writing Challenge Logo 1