Friday, October 10, 2008

First Time Jitters

It stands to reason that the first time you meet the family that will house you, feed you, and become your “in” into your host country’s culture, you may have a few butterflies in your stomach.

I, of course, spent a majority of the night before running through every possible scenario in my head. What if they don’t like me? What if I make a huge faux pas within the first five minutes? What if they put milk or milk products in everything (I didn’t know how to stay I am lactose intolerant then).

One of the AZ 5 Volunteers told me that the first 10 minutes would be all out awkward, but after that, it would all work out. I obviously was skeptical and decided only the worst could happen...and did it?

Of course not. I stepped off my bus and was hugged and kissed by my host mother and grandmother before being ushered into the house. My host family graciously allowed me a few moments to collect myself and unpack and then treated me to delicious tea and cookies while we maxed out the extent of my AZ language skills (hi, my name is, I am from, where is the toilet..).

Overall, I would have to say the whole experience was awesome. I love my host family and cannot express how much I look forward to coming home after a hard day of language lessons and YD workshops to delicious meals and struggling (but improving) conversations with my host brother and father.

So, my advice to Invitees embarking on their service - don’t sweat it. Only the first ten minutes are awkward.

P.S. The picture is of my Cluster moving to our new homes. As you can see, luggage far outnumber the occupants of the van!