Sunday, 2 December 2007

A = AFS

The first foreigner I ever met was Jane Nelson, AFS exchange student, from Minnesota, USA. I was 10, she was 18.

My older sister brought her home to stay for the weekend. She had a book with photographs of Lake Superior. When she left, I declared “I’m going to go to America on AFS when I’m 17.”

My family humoured me for a few years.

Then at 16, I asked to apply. Went through the interview process. Then one day I came home to find the house strangely silent, my parents uncharacteristically sitting in the front lounge in the middle of the afternoon. I remember the sun streaming through.

The letter on the kitchen table was from AFS. Told me I would be going to live in Thailand for a year. Told me I would be leaving in 3 weeks.

And so, in the wink of an eye, the direction of my life changed forever.

6 comments:

Bridgett said...

My mouth just dropped open. I had no clue you were there AT SEVENTEEN.

Helen said...

I always love stories about how people's lives can change so dramatically based on a chance meeting with someone.

Mali said...

Bridgett I've lived in Thailand twice. Once as an exchange student for a year, then 10 years later when I worked there for 3 years.

Indigo Bunting said...

Oh, what a perfect start to this alphablog. It is so convenient that AFS starts with A. Such foreshadowing! I'm very psyched about this blog!

sky said...

hey, this is a great idea and a great blog. i came across it when i was reading a comment on dooce.com which lead me to a random blog which lead me to indigo buntings blog and which lead me to yours (wow! i see i'm upto no good today!) anyways, good luck with the idea - i'll look forward to following it along to z.

Cedar Waxwing said...

Arriving late, as usual...

This is going to be great -- I can feel it.

Off to read more.