Dear Adit (and family),

Hello from your American Family.   We have been anxiously waiting for permission to write you and just received notice from AFS/YES that we can introduce ourselves and give you some information about each of us and where you will be spending your year. 

Your American home is in Silver Creek , New York .  It is a small town in western New York near Lake Erie – in football terms, you will be in Buffalo Bills territory (we hope you are not too disappointed).  Silver Creek is a very small, safe, close community; it is mostly Christian (99%).   We have hosted an AFS/YES Student before (2008-2009).  She’s from Turkey and she’s Muslim; our different religious background was never a problem, nor did she have any problems in our community.   You will be asked many, many questions as people are curious and want to learn and understand. 

My name is Melodee and I will be your American mother.  I love having family around me.  I like to go for walks after work and on weekends, I enjoy cooking, reading and gardening when I can and entertaining friends in our home.  I work outside the home as a secretary in an office.  I work Monday through Friday.  I leave for work at 6:30 in the morning and am home by 5:30 at night.   They are long work days but I have every Saturday and Sunday off.  When I am home, I try to make the most of it.

Jeff will be your American dad.  He is quiet by nature and is quick witted; he has what some American’s refer to as a “dry sense of humor” - which means sometimes he is difficult to “read”... because you cannot tell if he is joking (most times he is joking).  He works as a truck driver; delivering coffee to customers.  He works Monday through Friday and is home every night.  He starts his day very early in the morning, so he goes to bed very early during the week.  We tease him and call him grumpy during the work week and as you get to know him you will find him to be a kind, sincere and honest man who cares very deeply about people and wants the best for everyone.   He is a volunteer firefighter and fire policeman.  He watches over our neighborhood and enjoys working around the house. 

Meghan will be your American sister.  She is 18.  She attends a local University and is studying Social Work/Psychology.   She lives at home and commutes to school during the week.    She works at a local movie theatre, which makes it easy for us to see a lot of American movies.   She is very studious, loves to read and analyze the world.  She is a very deep thinker.   She has a very good vocabulary and will be able to help you with your English or if you get stuck on words.   She is very good at explaining things.

Jordon is your American brother.  He is 17 and will be attending High School with you.  You will probably be with him most in the first few weeks of your stay.  He has his driver’s license but does not have his own car.  He does really well in school when he applies himself.  During the school year he will be taking college classes, so he will only be in school ½ a day and at college the other ½.  Like most American teenagers, Jordon works a couple hours a week to earn spending money and he is saving for his own car.   He does not participate in any team sports, but is involved in other activities.  Jordon does his own thing.  He is not a follower; nor does he lead.  He is comfortable with whom he is; he is very true to himself.  He has a few close friends, who are like family to us.  From what we read about you and what we know about Jordon, it seems that you both have similarities and differences which we are hoping will be a good balance; so that you can be individuals and do you own things, yet develop a good trusting relationship with each other. 

You will have your own room (Jordon is giving you his room).  We have two dogs and they will not be allowed in your room.  This should give you the privacy you need and a “clean” place away from the dogs for you to pray.    You and Meghan will share a bathroom and Jordon will need to share closet space with you.  Were you able to see any pictures of your American home from our AFS application?

As you know, most American families have dogs and treat them as part of a family member.  We are not much different.  Oliver and Shelby are our dogs.  They are well behaved and are not allowed on the furniture.  They are very friendly.  They like to go on walks.  From our experience, they will probably leave you alone unless you want to give them your attention.  We understand you may be uncomfortable at first but given time, you will become used to them being around.  In the meantime, we will help you to become familiar to them and them to you.

Because you are a YES student, you will be part of a special group of scholarship (YES, CB and another program, which I cannot recall right now) AFS students in our area.  I believe there are 7 of you out of the 40+ AFS students in our region.  We call “cluster” group.  Carol Collins will be your Cluster leader and she (along with us) will help you fulfill your YES Scholarship requirements.   She has many fun activities planned to help you learn about America its history, sociology, government, cultural diversities, etc…  Also to help us is your liaison Sue Erdle and her husband Rich.   They are very nice people and they hosted a girl from India this year (2009-2010).  Also, in school you will have a teacher, his name is Jason Mirek, who will be there for you if you need anything or have any problems.  We think you are very lucky to have such a great support group.  If you are willing, there are many opportunities for you and you should have little difficulties staying active and getting involved.      

I just gave you a lot of information.  I hope that it doesn’t scare or disappoint you.  We want you to have a good year and we offer what we have to give – our home, our time, our relation, our experience.  It’s up to you to embrace and accept them, which we hope that you will. 

We look forward to your reply and will answer any questions you have.

Love,

Your American “Mom”
-Melodee


"Out of clutter, find simplicity; from discord, find harmony; in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.  
 --Albert Einstein


Dan habis itu betapa senengnya saya! Saya bener2 kaget dan seneng setengah mati mendapatkan sebuah keluarga baru!

Hal pertama yang saya lakuin habis itu adalah buka facebook terus search Melodee Whitney, Jeff Whitney, Jordon Whitney dan Meghan Whitney. Dan betapa kagetnya untuk kedua kalinya saya waktu tau Jordon udah nge add saya! Akhirnya kita wall to wall dan sering kontak. Ternyata mereka udah nunggu lama banget buat bisa ngirim email ke saya, betapa senengnya hati saya :)

Saya bakal cerita lebih banyak tentang host family, di post selanjutnya :)

Thanks, Alhamdulillah ya Allah. Thanks for this new family