Tag Archives: international guests

Inviting the world to stay – Part 2

Jacobo at Pikes Place market, Seattle


Eva wasn’t our first in-home travel experience.  A few years ago, we hosted a 21-year-old boy from Columbia.  He arrived in the middle of the night, looking very foreign, and clutching a bag of fast food take-out.  “Oh boy” I thought.  “What have we gotten ourselves into?”  We had to communicate by writing everything down for the first few days but we were able to communicate better by the second week.  His mother ran a restaurant so he made us a few absolutely delicious Columbian meals.  Read more »

Inviting the world to stay – Part 1

Eva carving her first pumpkin

What’s the mirror image of a trip around the world?  Hosting international guests.  You experience the trip from the other side.  International guests teach you about their culture (and also about yours).  They can expand your way of thinking, help you learn a language, introduce you to new foods, and become lifelong friends.  Sure, hosting takes time (and some money).  Why do you think there haven’t been any posts for five weeks?  But, as a host, your kids stay in school, you don’t have to buy plane tickets, deal with jetlag (much anyway), book hotel rooms, and you can keep your job.  Why not consider it?

Eva, our recent guest from Hungary flew home yesterday morning.  She was only here for five weeks and was busy training in karate much of the time.  Yet, her spark made the time fly by and she was quickly incorporated into the fabric of our family.  The first week, she started calling me “Mom” and referring to our girls as “sisters”.  At first I was taken aback … I am so not old enough to have a 23-year-old daughter.  But, I grew to love it.  Last night, she called Bill “Dad”!  She was better than a sister for our girls.  She had insight into their psyche that only everyday familiarity can extend; yet, no sibling rivalry. Read more »