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Rural Homestay Reflection Interviews

Written on: July 15, 2019

Rural Homestay Reflection

After singing a thank you song to our homestay families and leaving the rural village of Nanyao, I asked my classmates to answer one of the following three questions:

  1. What was the most eye opening situation you experienced in Nanyao?
  2. What was something very important you learned?
  3. What was your favorite part of the homestay experience?

These were their responses:

Adrian: “My favorite part of the homestay experience was being able to live in a completely different environment and experience a different culture.”

Carlos: “My favorite part was laughing and sharing a joke with my family. That was a lot of fun.”

Nina: “Something very important that I learned throughout this homestay experience was that, in Chinese, you cannot say si le (died) about a person. Instead, you need to say lao le to be polite.”

Kate: “Doing house work and chores. I think that doing work with your hands is underrated and under valued. It has become a part of my life routine back in Nanyao and I can’t wait to take that part of me back to LA.”

Pedro: “My favorite part of the homestay experience separated into three different factors: cooking, soccer, and chores. Cooking offered me several opportunities to not only communicate with my family, but also provide them with the best meal I could make. Furthermore, soccer allowed me to connect with my homestay siblings. Finally, chores gave me the opportunity to help and experience several factors the family goes through every day.”

Tucker: “The most eye opening situation I experienced in my rural homestay was the fact that my family had no running water, other than the hose spigot in the garden outside. We did not have a toilet, washing machine, sink, or shower, which led me to realize that people have lived like this every day for years, and has shown me that in the US, we are so privileged to have a bathroom with a toilet, shower, sink, and hot water for almost every bedroom and washing machines to do our laundry for us.”

Sean: “Something very important that I learned is, we can live a happy lives with little resources. Our families in Nanyao didn’t have much, but us, as students, were still able to gain many memorable and happy experiences.”

Ned: “My favorite part of the homestay experience was that my family made me crazy meals every meal. I would always have something good to look forward to, whether it be breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It was super cool to try a bunch of new foods.”

Sammy: “I realized that people can live a life where they grow their own food, poop in concrete holes, and still be extremely happy without all of the stress and pressure that big cities can force upon people.”

Sebastian: “The most important thing I learned was the way that they live in Nanyao. Everyone is happy and there is no conflict between anyone. They are content with what they have and enjoy simple things. I am going to try to take this back to New York with me, where I live in a very different environment.”

Dora: “My favorite part of the homestay experience was being so close to each other, so we could go to each other’s houses.”

Now we begin the adventure in our urban homestay!