November 27, 1997 in Washington Voices

Student From Mexico Appreciates Host Family Support

Odett Polo East Valley High School
 

Hi! I’m a foreign exchange student from Mexico. The time that I have been here has been a great experience, full of excitement, happiness and adventure.

But it is really hard to be away from your family and friends. So, you need all the support you can have, and most of it is from your host family.

I’m very lucky because my new family has given me all they can.

The first impression that you have being a foreign exchange student is that everything is going to be really different.

But now that I’m here and that I have lived here for a couple months, I know they are not big differences.

One of these is the school. Back home, the school assigns the classes that you are going to take, according to the grade in which you are. So everyone in the same grade learns mostly the same. The school sends a report card to your home, to show how you are doing.

I had a problem with the eating schedule. In Mexico, I came home from school, and we ate right away. Here, having to wait until dinner time has been so hard. Sometimes even if I ate lunch, I was starving. So this was not really good.

Another thing that is different is the celebrations. We do not have any celebration like Thanksgiving, but we do have Halloween, Christmas, the Wise Men from the East, New Year, St. Valentine’s Day, my birthday, and a lot of other Mexican traditions.

We have some things in common. We listen to the same kind of music, although country is an exception. And teens have fun in the same ways. We go to the mall, have some coffee, chat forever. We have the same kind of fast food, same cars.

I’m here to learn from your culture and way of life, but it is a great idea that you can know a few things about mine.

I like this place. I’ll like it more if it snows.

xxxx

MEET ODETT

Odett Polo, 16, is from Mexico. She is staying with the Colkitt family in Newman Lake. Keith and Cathy Colkitt have a daughter, Brandi, 15. Both girls are honors students. They have tough classes and lots of homework, Keith Colkitt said. Odett has tried out for basketball at East Valley High.

The family has shown Odett some of the Northwest’s delights: camping, Silverwood, some of Montana and the Spokane Interstate Fair.


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