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Posts Tagged ‘Host Family Adventures’

There has been some sort of “Super Bug” living in my house the past few months. Herman began getting sick just before Thanksgiving and after many weeks of being he merely had a virus a dose of antibiotics fixed his issues. Kat came down with the same thing just after Christmas and a round of antibiotics was all it took for her to get better. I on the other hand have now taken 3 rounds of antibiotics since Thanksgiving. I have gone through an upper respiratory infection, a sinus infections and now I am battling bronchitis.  Here’s hoping that attacking everything in the house with Lysol, Clorox wipes, and straight up bleach will kill it.

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I just wanted to apologize for such a slim number of updates lately. We are now in the full swing of Christmas plans. It has been very crazy around here with both Kat and Holly having such full social calendars. We have all been sick at some point since Halloween with various illnesses. Our little exchange group has to see two of the members off this coming weekend. It will involve two separate days of driving to Savannah for us, but we want to be there, so that the students will know that yes they did touch all of our lives.

Hopefully after Christmas, I will have the time and energy to post somke updates and brag a little about how well both Kat and Holly have been doing in school and outside of school.

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Holly has decided officially to stay on through May.  She signed up for just one semester, in case she got tooo homesick, or just didn’t like the reality of America.  last night she told us all that she wants to stay here.  She has to of course go through all the channels and get her visa extended and all that paperwork. 

Holly staying gives us more time to take her to all the places we want to go.  I think we’ll go to Helen in the spring.  We’ll also try to take her to the Renaissance Festival.  Of course, we’ll also go to Disney and Epcot maybe during spring break.  Maybe we can also go to Jekyll Island, Ga. and wherever else Holly might want to see around the state.

We must be doing something right.  Herman, Katie and I have done a lot to make her feel at home.  I think it helps that she has made several friends and is involved in activities at school.  She has her first Cross Country meet this afternoon.  Katie and I are going to watch.  It is lucky that band and flag practice was cancelled because we have a no football game this week.  Katie’s boyfriend, Cameron is also coming to watch the meet. 

I’m not sure if Herman will get to be there.  He has quite a bit going on at work this month.  He leaves for Vegas for a week and then he goes to Boston for 3 days.  Even when he is in town, we haven’t been seeing a lot of him lately.  But I keep reminding myself that it always something big this time of year in the computer business.  So many businesses are updating things or moving things/data/equipment around during the 4th quarter each year.  Of course, during April and May nothing much is going on, so we get to travel and have fun then.

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Holly has now been at our house for a little over a month.  It feels like she has been here longer, but in a good way.  We seem to be trying to pack as much as possible into every day lately. Things are going very well I think.  She is fitting in nicely both at home and at school.  This week, she will run in her first Cross Country meet.  We are very excited about it.  I think she will do very well.  She is always one of the top 4 or 5 girls that finish when they run races during practice.  At the football games of course, she’s like every other teenager and doesn’t want to sit with us in the reserved section, which might as well be called the grown-up section.  She has made quite a few close friends on her own and goes off with them frequently on the weekends.  She now has a cell phone, so I don’t worry about her as much. 

We found her a small TV for her room, so she can explore the wonders of American television.  She often joins us in the living room during the afternoon and evenings to watch things, but this way, she can watch or listen to all that MTV has to offer while she does homework.  Just like every other American teenager,  I suppose.

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Well, Holly has been with us a little over two weeks now.  It has been an adjustment period for everyone involved.  I have finally gotten my room all straightened out and my bathroom is back in order also.  Now I don’t feel like I am living in a hotel room.  It’s back to being an oasis in the middle of the chaos that is life with two teenage girls.

Holly and Kat went to the DEA (David Emanuel Academy) scrimmage game with Kat’s boyfriend, Cameron Friday night.  It was Holly’s first experience with high school football.  They had a good time.  DEA lost the game, but I have been told that is nothing new.

Kelley's dog's puppies a week or so after they were born

Kelley's dog's puppies a week or so after they were born

Today Kat went over to Kelley’s house to help bathe the 1 month old puppies.  Holly was going to until she was invited by another friend to go hang out, etc.  She and her friend from school went to Statesboro and saw The Dark Knight.  It was of course Holly’s second time seeing the movie.  I am glad she is making friends her own age and experiencing life like any other American teenager.

I am trying to plan a girl’s shopping trip to the Tanger outlet in Hilton Head, SC .  I want Herman’s younger sister, Mandy to come along as well.  I think we all need to go do something fun and Holly probably needs some new clothes. The agency and airline would only let her bring 2 suitcases with her.  Even if she only stays 5 months, she didn’t get to bring nearly enough clothes. 

Holly is taking U.S History and a literature course that concentrating on American authors.  This means that I am in a sense repeating U.S. History, 20 years after I graduated high school.  So far the focus of American history is dealing with Unions and the pros & cons of this on society.  I also get to repeat this next year when Kat takes it next year.

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We have been very busy this week since Holly’s arrival.  She arrived August 1st.  It was a long night due to the fact that her flight was delayed two hours and they didn’t have any of her bags. 

Waiting for Holly's Arrival

Waiting for Holly's Arrival

The airline delivered her luggage in two trips – the first on Saturday afternoon around 4ish and the other about  11:30 PM on Saturday night.  I know because I was awake after giving the 2nd courier directions around 10 PM.  It took all of us all weekend to recover from the events at the airport.

By Monday we were showing Holly around town.  We spread out the sights over a few days.  Tuesday and Thursday, Holly accompanied Katie to Band camp and Wednesday both girls went to Open House.  Friday was the first day of school and Holly had already met many people at school.  I’m glad she was able to ease into the chaos of high school.  I know she’s in a high school type setting at home, but I think it is probably a little overwhelming being in a high school and being surrounded by people speaking in a foreign language. 

Everyone keeps asking if Holly speaks English.  She speaks English very well.  Of course she struggles for the correct word every now and again, but other than that she is doing well.  I think she is fitting into our family very well. 

Lounging On Tybee

Lounging On Tybee

 

 

This past weekend we went to Tybee Island and spent time with the other exchange students.  Herman, Katie, Holly and I had a condo, so everyone had a place to clean up after the beach on Sunday.  Our area representatives were there as well as Jessica, whose family is hosting one of the other exchange students. There are 5 total that are going to Swainsboro High School right now – one from Norway, one from Brazil, one from Italy, and two from Germany including our Holly.  The students all seem very friendly, except for the boy from Germany who is very shy and doesn’t say much in English.  All the students enjoyed hanging out on the beach. 

We also took Holly to see The Dark Knight, which wasn’t out in Germany when she left.  Holly also wanted to do some shopping, so we took them to Savannah Mall  and Oglethorpe Mall.  I have to plan a day to go to Atlanta to do some real shopping soon

I think I almost have my house back together again after moving all of my stuff out of Holly’s room.

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Holly arrives tomorrow evening.  We’ll leave when Herman gets home from work to drive to the Savannah-Hilton Head Airport to meet her plane.  Well I say meet her plane, but since 9/11, of course, all we can do is wait on Level 2 in the common area.  It seems like such a long time ago, when you could go right to the gate and watch the plane land, etc.  Katie made a big poster to welcome her.  We’ve seen pictures and all, but we want to make sure she feels welcome in America.  It will be a long night, but I am very excited that this day has finally come.  Our area representative is going to meet us at the airport so he can meet her with us in case there are any questions. 

I think we are going to take all the exchange students in our area (there are 4 or 5 total) to Tybee Island next weekend.  Seth wants to take them all to the beach while it’s still warm. I guess the upper 90’s is what you’d call warm.  Because 2 of the students are girls and Seth isn’t 21 yet, all the overnight trips require an “adult” chaperone.  Herman and I will be filling in that spot.  It will be an adventure to say the least.  He also wants to take them down on River Street in Savannah .  I also thought this would give the students a chance to pick up any odds and ends they might have forgotten at home.  Swainsboro is a small town and doesn’t have much variety as far as retail shopping goes.  Savannah has two malls and plenty of shopping of every variety.

Off to bed now to rest up for tomorrow’s adventure…..

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