Wry Exchange

Mandatory Hosting Sucks
10-13-07, 10:46 pm
Filed under: Culture, Exchange Students, hosting | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Some people just shouldn’t host. So why do they? 
Most often, because they are required to host if their son or daughter is going out as an exchange student.   Some cultures don’t have a tradition of hosting strangers.  They’ll do anything for family or friends, but not ‘charity.’  Here in the US, we host high school, college, sports teams, and religious exchanges for varying amounts of time.   I know several people who love to host, including Husband and me. 
My program doesn’t have mandatory hosting in the US, but most of our overseas partners employ mandatory hosting.  I think mandatory hosting in the US is just laziness.  I placed over 30 students (mostly) myself two years ago, while a group had difficulty placing 20 kids this year.  Just ask…and ask…and ask….
Some organizations have mandatory hosting while the family’s child is gone, others wait until the student is back home, then they host.  Sparky’s family must host, but only part of the year is a must, they may choose to host all year.  The family isn’t looking at it as an obligation, but an adventure.  Sparky’s family is hosting Jon.  The boys may kill each other, but it’s a good placement.  Sparky has 2 younger brothers, they can see what it’s like to live in a new culture.  I hope Sparky2 will decide to come up here when he’s 16.  It’s especially nice since Sparky and Jon have a shared history.  I spoke to one of last year’s inbounds from Chile yesterday.  His family is enjoying their hosting of a young German girl.  
 M’s experience with Psycho Host-mommy isn’t uncommon.  Several of my students have been told ‘The only reason you’re here is because Precious is an exchange student.’  It NEVER occurs to these selfish clods that perhaps karma may bite Precious on the ass, and he could be a burden to someone.  Some of the mandatory hosting families treat the student like an intruder, as if the student had no right to be in their home.  They go on vacation without the kids, and tell them to ‘find a place to stay.’  They put the kids in a lesser quality school than the one their children attend.   If you are in a situation like this, MOVE.  IT WILL NOT IMPROVE.

ext time-Types of suckage


M Update & Hostsister from Hell
09-11-07, 9:16 pm
Filed under: Exchange Students, Outbounds Outbounds | Tags: , , ,

 M’s dinner went well with his counselor last night.  He was moved to a temporary family today.  Hostmom monitored his phone calls today, including one from a former exchange student to Germany.  The boys spoke English rapidly, and then pig Latin.  Resourceful!  This is the second time the family has hosted, and they treated their first student badly, too.  The counselor is angry with them for not following the ideals of the program.

M’s hostsister came out one night after being dumped, and pulled out a very special wine bottle. The bottle was purchased for her 17 year old brother’s birth, and is being saved for a special occasion.  She’s been told NEVER touch that bottle.  She and a friend drank it all.  The empty bottle is hidden under her bed.  She plans on telling her parents that M drank it after he moves.

Visa Denial, Part 296
09-10-07, 9:51 pm
Filed under: Exchange Program, Home, Inbounds Inbounds, Outbounds Outbounds | Tags: , , , ,

 Good news today.  The consulate phoned Eli, and asked him to express his passport to them for a Visa.  Hurray!  He doesn’t have to go for an interview, so this may finally be over.  I’m afraid to say ‘Mission accomplished.’  (It didn’t end so well for the last guy who made that pronouncement.)
Bad news today.  We’re losing one of our inbound students.  She’s been homesick since arrival.  She hasn’t improved any even with school beginning.  I don’t know if her exchange could’ve be saved or not.  I have had only a few quick internet messages from her since our orientation.  Other adults were in charge of her.  (Her counselor, country person, and the inbound coordinator.)
No news today.   M had dinner with his counselor, but with the time difference, I didn’t get an update tonight.  His country person and outbound coordinator are very hands-off.  It’s not my style to have the students take care of their own problems when they need help.  I think his counselor here will prod the others along.  She’s very worried.  I want to remain in the background for political reasons.  People are backstabbing like this is either high school, a prestigious position, or a well paying career.  I don’t get the people who don’t pour their hearts into the program.  Why bother at all?  Just go away or give up your leadership position.  Gee, bitter much, Wry?
Odd news today.  The garage next door caught fire.  I moved one of our vehicles, but didn’t have to move the Harley, thank Buddha.  Husband was scared when I phoned to ask ‘Which key is for the Harley?’  I hate motorcycles.  All the neighbors from 2 blocks around were watching about a dozen fireman who came in 3 firetrucks.  It was the evening’s entertainment.

M & Psycho Hostmommy
09-09-07, 10:01 pm
Filed under: Exchange Program, hosting | Tags: , , , ,

 M, 17, is in Europe on exchange.  He’s been there almost a month.  He started coming to the monthly exchange student meetings last Fall and immediately fit in.  He looks like an angel, and is bright and inquisitive.  M has a great personality, he is well liked.  M knew where he wanted to go, and was studying the language.  M wants a new name, but unlike Sparky, didn’t suggest one.  I like ‘M’, like from the 007 movies. 
M’s having problems with his hostfamily.  Hostmom is the dominant person in the house, and she doesn’t like M.  Hostdad and siblings try to reason with Hostmom, but she has ‘issues.’  Mom is a hypochondriac and always in a bad mood.  Hostmom told M she’s hosting only because they have to host, since their son is on exchange to North America.  (Some countries have mandatory hosting for students’ families going out. Some countries don’t have a tradition of hosting for fun.)  Hostmom insists M understands her perfectly well, even though Hostdad and sister tell her that he doesn’t.  Hostmom told him Thursday she’s sick of him, he’s useless, and she wants him to move.  She said he doesn’t have enough friends, isn’t out of the house enough, doesn’t eat breakfast, and has poor table manners.  They live in a small town, so other people know he lives with the ‘weird family.’
Problems always seem to happen on the weekend when they can’t be fixed.  I’m really unhappy.  They kept the phone away from him when he wanted to call his counselor to arrange a new host family.  (He has a cell phone. Hah!)  He has a dinner meeting tomorrow with his counselor.  This will be his first meeting with his counselor. (Grr)  The hostparents are both away for the weekend, and left M with just his hostsiblings who aren’t home much.  Hostbrother doesn’t like him, and Hostsister is a bit slutty.  M didn’t attend his mandatory orientation, the family said they didn’t want to go, and it was too difficult for them to take him. (WTF) I really can’t do anything but advise him at this point.    I am not his counselor or the outbound student coordinator.  Someone from here should be advocating for M.  If they don’t help him, then Husband can step in.  (Politics)

Britney Spears big VMA ‘comeback’ performance was embarassingly bad.