When I got to my homestay, it was not what I expected. I didn’t get a huge welcome or a huge family, but it was a good surprise. There was a Grandma, GoGo, and a granddaughter close to my age. I observed the way they interacted: inside jokes, helping one another, and a true friendship. Something I wished I had at home. This strong relationship made me think about all the times that I had put my programs and education before my family; however, it didn’t have to be that way. I learned that while my education was important, the memorable experiences that I could create with
my family are so much more important. I understood how they felt when I closed myself off, running upstairs to finish my essay instead of finishing the movie we had picked. I began to remember all those times when my mom attempted to take me out on our only day off, but I continued to tell her that “Sunday is study day “. I started feeling sorry. Sorry for all the memories I evaded instead of synthesizing. Then, I realized that I had not taken the time to know my grandma as I was too worried about participating in difficult conversations where our political views didn’t align. Thankfully, this close-nit family reminded me that no one will be here forever, and it’s the time that you spend with them now that makes the difference- even if that means calling them into the conversation much more than usual. Because of them, I know I will go back home with changed priorities, where my family is always number one. Even though this family seemed small on the outside, there were large family values that were not embedded in my own. I am more than thankful for this experience; a week with you guys was not long enough.