Friday, July 3, 2009

Welcome to Minnesota!

In preparation for the arrival of our foreign exhange student, Maya, we spent the day completing the final clean sweep of the house. Most of the time was spent on emptying and cleaning Stephanie's room for Maya to stay in. I don't think that room has been that clean since the day we moved in almost 4 years ago!

At 3:30 p.m. we headed to the airport with nervous excitement to greet our new houseguest at the baggage claim area. We got there and met several other families that were just as eager to meet their students as we were. One family from Eden Prairie had just become a host family 1 1/2 weeks ago and was feeling a little anxiety because they had so little time to prepare. For another family, this was 'old hat' because they have been hosting foreign exchange students for several years. I enjoyed talking with them because they gave me some insight on what to expect the first few days Maya would be here.

Shortly after 4:30 p.m. some of the students walked down the hall and met their families... but no Maya yet... After about 10 more minutes of waiting Stephanie spotted her. Maya immediately recognized the girls (Facebook can be an amazing thing) and waived. Julia held up the sign we had made for her and when we finally met she gave us all big hugs.

While waiting for her luggage at the carousel several of the other French students that were waiting made comments about Julia and Steph. When asked to translate what they were saying, Maya stated that the kids all thought they were 'superb'. I think Julia and Steph were likely the oldest of the children that were part of the host families.

On the way home we talked alot in the car. We bombarded her with questions, which she happily answered. Upon arriving home, we gave her a quick tour of the home and the girls helped her settle into her room. John ordered pizza and we ran to the grocery store to get a few things and then to pick up the pizza. When we got home all of the girls were sitting in the living room. Maya was on the computer checking her Facebook page... she already looked like a part of the family. We all sat and ate pizza, watched television and talked. Shortly after dinner it was apparent that Maya was extremely tired. Poor girl could barely hold her eyes open. John finally told her she could go to bed anytime she wanted. She gladly took him up on the offer and went downstairs to shower and go to sleep. After a long day on an airplane and the 7 hour difference from France it was approximately 2:30 a.m. for her... I was impressed she made it that long.

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