By Mishal Khan (YES 2019-2020, Pakistan, hosted by BFF in Bennington, VT)
I’m so thankful to my host family for both hosting me and taking such good care of me! They are literally the best part of my exchange!
From my host mom being exactly like my own mother, having fun with my super chill dad and getting advice from my host sister, joking with host brothers and having fun with Arina (my double placement) is amazing!
After I came here and my mom knew I only eat halal meat, she went searching everywhere to find it, she bought halal chicken, beef and frozen halal meals to make sure I have enough protein in my diet. Perks of having a host mom who’s a nutritionist!
My dad… a great runner who takes me with him to 5k races, also a future Jeopardy champion - we watch jeopardy every day, it has become a constant family activity and he’s sooo good at it. Going on trips with him and solving 1000 pieces puzzles 🧩 with him is so cool! I think I have the coolest and most talented host dad who can do just about anything and solve any problem!
My host sister, Andrea, is a freshman in college so that means someone’s got a great advisor for college! When she’s on break, we go shopping together, and discuss the drama at my high school and her college. She also drives me back and forth when I hang out with friends, or when I go to ski practices.
Ian, one of my host brothers has Down Syndrome like my own youngest sister. Interacting with him is really nice and reminds me of my own sister. Eric, my other host brother is at a boarding school so he’s not home very often but when he is, it’s really nice. Listening to all the absurd things that happen at boarding schools and learning new American slangs is very educational.
Lastly, ‘I’m Arina from Ukraine’! That’s what my double placement sister says every single day! We do so many things together, act goofy, share everything with each other and what not.
Time is flying by so quickly and I’m already halfway through the year. The first half has been just amazing! I’m trying new things I’ve never done before and would probably not have done in my country before either. And I absolutely love it! I joined the Nordic ski team, a sport befitting the Vermont weather, and I joined the drama club and have auditioned for some major roles. I even had a small solo in my chorus for our winter concert. I’m making so many memories and I’m going to keep it up.
I love my host family and am so thankful to them for being my second family and also for saying yes for this opportunity!