It is so hard to write in English when I know that this post it is going to bring me back to the time I lived in the US and even though you may not care about the things I'm going to say they are very special to me. So, 3 years ago I was on a plane, flying from Atlanta to Bogota, after living a year in the United States. I have to say it was a very sad day, a very sad week.
I should start from the very beginning. I decided that I had to go to the US in the early 2005 just because I knew it was an important thing to my life but also because I was a bit tired of school and I wanted a break, but a serious one. I made a pro-con list to decide wether I should go to Brazil and live there for a while or to go to the US to learn English. I made somehow a research and found out that I had to put almost the same amount of money down to go to either place. I picked the US and bought an exchange program at EF International Education, a place highly recommended by many friends. So I paid my fee, got my visa and on July 27th, 2005 I was flying up to Kentucky.
I was sent to a city called Lexington, a small size metropolitan area in the middle of the Bluegrass, which means the region where most of the horse racing farms are located. I got there after a horrible with many delays and cancelations due to a huge storm in Atlanta. At the Airport Derrick Payne, my first host father was waiting for me. He told me that they were excited about me and he also talked a bit in Spanish while explaining that they loved Colombia and had been here 2 or 3 times. We got home after 1:30 am and they told me that I had to be ready for church at 8:00 am. Yes, to go to Church, I had not been a religious person, well, the next day I was forced to get up early to go with them. So I woke up and found out the family had 2 boys and one girl (the application said they only had the boys) and they were really nice. We got into the car and they played a Juan Luís Guerra CD with christian music, it was funny because on my goodwill party we danced Avispas, one of the songs they played on that CD. The church was a bit far away but the ride was totally worth, the place was pretty and the people very nice, what I didn not know was that they were charismatic and they spoke in thongues and wanted me to do the same. Very awkward.
Anyhow, living with the Payne was pretty nice, until we got bad news, the school were I was supposed to go did not accept my application, due to the fact that I was colombian and they, the Paynes, had had many colombians over the years. So, Jackie, my host mom, investigated really quick and she found out that Jessamine County would accept me on their school system, it meant we had to find out a new family for me as soon as possible. Jackie got a really nice family from their church to get me for a few couple of weeks until the program was able to get me a regular home.
I stayed with them, the Beegly-Jackson family for like 3 weeks, they were so nice I was actually wanting them to get me on regular basis, not only because I got used to live with them but also because Jessica, my host sister attended the same school as I did and it was good to have her drive me to school and stuff like that. Finally at the end of september the program called me and told me they found a new home for me in a different city, I was starting to wonder if the idea of me going to the US was good. Anyhow, the call was made on a wednesday, so I decided that thursday was going to be my last day at East Jessamine and I was going to take friday off to pack and get depressed (lol). I had normal classes during the day and my last one was my favorite one, General US History. My teacher was, at least for what I saw on those weeks, a fun kind of conservative hippie, I know it is difficult to accept the fact that a conservative person would also be hippie, but she was very liberal on many issues as well as she was a good southern person, religious, conservative and very nice. I told her that I was not going back to her class and that I had really enjoyed her as a teacher. She asked me why I was not going back and after she heard the story she told me well I can have you at my house, call your program and have them call me. So I did, on friday she told me that my program decided to let her have me at her house, on saturday I went to King's Island with the Paynes and stayed at their home and they took me to the Hills.
The Hills, my last and very loved host family, lived in Lexington's nicest neighborhood, The Hartland Estates. They lived in a nice home and teh family was composed by Carol, my teacher, Vaughn, her husband, Ross, their son, Della, Bell and Oprah, their dogs, Stormy, their cat and 3 little turtles (I cannot remember their names). They also had a daughter, Grace, who lived in Philadelphia with her husband Morgan. GrandPa was always around as well. Their family was unique, I have not enough vocabulary in English to say how much every single one of them meant for me and my life. And I am not sure if they know how much I loved to be part of their family for almost 9 months.
They had a really nice live style, we went to eat out everyday, we went to the movies at least once a week, they enjoyed showing the best of their culture and society to me, but they never hesitate to say and show ugl and bad things of their stupid government and population. While I was in the US Katrina destroyed New Orleans and Rita scared half of Texas' population. With the Hills I had the opportunity to travel around Kentucky, we also went to Tennessee, Ohio, South Carolina, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
There, in the US, I made some of my dearest friends, they were from church, yes I went to Church with the Hills as well, school and Speech and Drama Team, I am going to name some, if you read this and are not named, Im sorry after 3 years it is complicated to keep track of all of you. Let see, from Church I have to name Garrett, Jordan, Dawn and Amelia, they all kept in touch and Garrett of course has been one strong support that I have 10000 miles away. Jordan is the only of my American friends that has visited me and as long as I know he enjoyed his trip to Bogotá. From school, I can name, among many others, Sarah Tolliver, Andrea Wiseman, Josh Lafferty, Sheila Williams, Samantha, Rachel E.B., Kaitlin Burton, Johnny Smith and of course, Matt Prize. From speech or drama I can not stop calling names lile Crystal Bunn, Chris Schlesinger, Andy Fass, Tiffany Griggs, LeAndra Longoria, Moe, Adam Parker, Maddison, Dana (my all time fiancé), Parker Collins, Faith, Ashley Pucket, Marie Todd, Renee, Krystal Wood, Sarah Thompsom... I also want to mention Erika Webb, Joe Mau and Bill Jones, my loved teachers.