The Qualities of a GREAT Family Abroad

I lived for three months in Butajira with a host family and two years Chiri, a place that became my community and the people there became my family. During my time there, I laughed, smiled, loved and cried.

  • They become family, including you in family gatherings and outings, like celebrating the New Year, or cooking a special meal when your mom visits you in your community.
  • They give you enough space and privacy while always being available when you need them.
  • When they notice that the rain is starting to fall and your laundry is hanging out on the line, they tell you before it’s too late– or, if you’re not home, they save your clothes from the downpour for you. OR they just tell you that you are HORRIBLE at washing clothes and prove to you that your white socks can actually be white.

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    Kenny and Aso washing my socks.
  • They ask you if you have eaten dinner through the thin walls and bring you food when you haven’t.
  • They sit with you when the power goes out during tropical storms, sharing stories of storms gone by as you watch gusts torment the trees in the yard and try to speak to you in broken Amharic and English.
  • They steal your phone and take photos of themselves that still to this day makes you chuckle.

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    Aso!
  • They fix up the TV antenna just in time to watch the Walking Dead with you.
  • When you cook a favorite meal from home, they politely oblige you in tasting your strange dishes.
  • They celebrate two years of your birthdays even though they don’t celebrate theirs… and invite neighbors to come celebrate with you.
  • They volunteer alongside you at community events.
  • They feed you when you are hungry.10556932_10153802963608459_1149254917486398025_o
  • The kids come into your home and sit with you: either watching tv on your laptop, practice reading an English book with you, or doing crossword puzzles.
  • They, along with your neighbors put rat poison in their homes, but insist on none in your home, and they end up with 5 or 6 rats. That’s love right there.13475026_10154287101738459_3824451487589016772_o
  • They come running when you start screaming that there’s a rat in your house and see you on top of your furniture, telling you to get it out. Cue the laughing, but they still manage to get it out.
  • They climb trees to bring you fruit. They warm up milk from the cows and bring it to you since they know that you LOVE milk.

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    Hi Asomiro!
  • They try out the things you do. They’re inquisitive and curious. What do Americans like to do?

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    Solomon and I meditating.
  • Impossible to forget, they will be in your heart and memories and stories for the rest of your life. They are the ones that made your darkest days clearer and put a smile on your face. They all helped made you whole.

 

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