(Rant ahead. You’ve been warned)
Friday night was super busy. And not just because it was Jenna’s birthday.
Grandparents came over in the afternoon, we opened some presents, things were happy! Then Megan and her roommate Sarah came home for the weekend, Hooray! I do love a full house (too full, actually, and Megan and Sarah got to sleep on couches because there were boys staying in their rooms).
6:00 came and it was time to load up the chimes into the car. I picked up John’s friend and we were off to the High School for our playing of the National Anthem at our second basketball game this month.
All the kids got there (one in the nick of time, after I called his mom to see if he was coming), and did a great job. It’s such a pain to do these things, but the kids feel like rock stars when everyone stands and applauds. it’s great. After we got all the chimes put away, and back in the car, we dropped the friend off at home, crammed all our people in the car, and headed off to a dinner appointment with Julia and Andres, our Brazillian friends. The exchange students were not with us. Even though both Ryan and I had asked them if they could come home for dinner, they were at a party with friends. Friends that they had been with ALL day, EVERY DAY, I might add.
While we were at dinner, one of the boys messaged that he was getting on the train, and would we be able to pick him up? One? Where was the other one? He arrived at the station at 9:45, and even though we (well, mostly Ryan) would have liked to stay longer with his Brazilian friends, it was actually nice to have an excuse to have to go. We were all pretty tired. So, the boy had to wait about 10 minutes for us, but we brought him home to the warm house.
We had no idea when the other boy would arrive, but he had assured us that he ‘had a ride’ home, and we didn’t need to go get him. At 11;15, however, he messaged us to ask if he could stay over with a friend, since a taxi ride home would be $70. “Is that ok?” he asked.
Ryan wrote back that that was NOT ok with him. We had no idea where he was, who this friend was and where it was. No WAY would we allow our kids to do something like that, we would be IN the car to get them that minute. However, when we asked where he was, he gave us some address like parkside 255. What? I could just imagine driving around forever trying to figure out where he was.
I tried to get in touch with one of the teachers to ask if that was allowed. I didn’t get a reply. Ryan was NOT cool with them staying “somewhere”. I wouldn’t let my own kids do this. Maybe we are too strict. So, I asked him to have the mom of the house call me, and she assured me that he was going to stay with another friend who lived close to her. She was in West Jordan and said they were welcome to stay at her house if we wanted. She had hosted this party for the kids that were going home the next day, and said she’s had such a great time with these kids. It made me SO sad.
We should be having a good time with these kids. Instead, we feel taken advantage of, not appreciated, and we aren’t having any fun with them. We are trying, but they act like they don’t want to have anything to do with us. We are merely a place to sleep and a ride to the train station. Yes, we do get paid for hosting, but that’s not why we do these hosting things. We do it so our family can meet people from different places, and learn a little bit about other cultures. I think all I’ve learned about Brazil is that we don’t ever want to go there, and we don’t really need to meet any more people from there.
Anyway, it was 11:30, and we caved and said sure, he could stay with his friend overnight. Probably against the rules, but how would I know that, since I never was given much information about what the rules are. 9:00 curfew? Ha.
This morning, Arthur came upstairs and asked if I could take him to the trax this morning. He wanted to be in Salt Lake by 11. I looked it up, and saw that he could catch the 9:15 train or the 10:15 train. 9:15 was his choice, so we left at 9:00. When I got to the train station, I looked at my phone and saw that Lyndsie (also hosting a student) had left a message that she had picked up Henrique from the station, and she had him with her. I hurried and called her and said I ws at the station and could take him. I guess his phone was dead or he would have messaged me. So, I brought him back home. Drop one off, pick one up. As we were driving home, he just said that he would need to be back to the train in an hour so he could get to the ping pong tournament at the school by around 11.
I can’t wait for this experience to be over.
I came in the door with Henrique, and Megan said to me, “Did you miss the train?” No, we just swapped one boy for the other. I had Ryan drive him the next time.
After Ryan came back, he said, “This is the about hardest $1000 we’ve ever earned. I don’t know if I totally agree with that, (try substitute teaching and earning $60 a day) but nothing about this experience has been easy. I figure if I’m driving them to the train and back, that’s 1/2 an hour. Do that twice a day (or 3 or 4 times a day), that’s an hour of driving.
Breathe in, Breathe out. One more week. Patience. All of these are things I keep telling myself. Oh, and the big one… “We will laugh about this later”. Right?
Oh, and I just opened my email to see that another host family coordinator is looking for families to host kids from France for a month in the summer. Oh, that makes me laugh. Do not talk to me right about hosting other students.