In honor of Mother’s Day, Greenheart Travel wanted to highlight some of the amazing host mother relationships our participants have developed during their travels. When living abroad, some of the most memorable and life-changing experiences happen while getting to know our host families. We are excited to share a few of our participants’ stories and wish all the wonderful mom’s supporting cultural exchange a very happy Mother’s Day!
Andrea Higgins – Greenheart Travel Teach in Italy alumnus
It’s a scary thought to embark on a journey to live in a new place for an extended period of time. That scary thought was immediately pacified when I met my host mother, Marilena. During my time in Italy, Marilena took me under her wing and ensured that I always felt apart of the family. She always included me in family discussions, invited me to have coffee with her and her friends (although she knew I hated coffee), we talked about my boy problems, she did my laundry, helped me with my lessons, arranged for me to see a doctor when I was sick, and even planned a trip for her and the family to come and visit me in New York. I never once felt foreign when I was with her and it made Italy feel like home sweet home. I will be forever grateful for everything that her and family has done for me and she will always hold a place dear to my heart. Happy Mother’s Day, Marilena!
Kirin Taylor, Greenheart Travel High School Student in Austria alumnus
I love my host mother, because although she is not a replacement mother, she gives me the support, the love, and the care that my real mother would. She has done everything possible to make me a part of her family. She cares for me and shows it, I can go to her for advice, help, or just lovely conversation, and often feel inclined to do so.
Michelle Gilman, Greenheart Travel English Teacher in Colombia alumnus
When picturing my life abroad in Colombia, as I set out for a new adventure in teaching English just six months ago, that image probably wouldn’t have me living with a host family. At first, it was a place to get settled in Duitama until I found a place of my own. Now almost four months later, she and her family have gone above and beyond in providing me with a home away from home. In honor of Mother’s Day, Alba (my host mom) deserves all the recognition her loved ones will extend. Living in Colombia has allowed me to witness the sincere passion that those who were born and raised here hold in all aspects of their life. In my own South American experience, I have not seen this to be more true with any one other person. Alba dedicates her every second to developing the level of English in this city. She even went as far as to open her own language institute here, which has proven to be extremely successful with very skilled foreign and local teachers. Whether the two of us are leading a 9th grade class at Guillermo Leon Valencia, or swapping recipes in the kitchen at home, her brain is always tuned to the theme of English. Thanks to Alba’s desire to open her home to foreigners (and I am not the first), Paulita has been able to get an early glimpse of interacting with people from all around the world, feeding her future wanderlust, while also practicing daily with fluent English speakers. Of course I can’t forget to shout my crazy mom who passed down these adventure-seeking genes I am constantly thanking. A todas de las mamas! Muchísima felizidad y alegría a ustedes.
Veronica Pantaleon, Greenheart Travel Teach in Italy alumnus