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ISP Host Families enjoy MSC Tennis Championship
By Glen and Kathy Hunt, and Steve and Lynn Henry
This past week we accompanied the Lindsey Wilson Women's tennis team to watch & cheer them as they played three matches in the NAIA Mid-South Women's Tennis Conference Championship. (See also: LWC Women's Tennis captures 16th MSC tournament in a row)
Prior to a few years ago, none of us were really interested in watching any tennis matches. All of us individually had an urge to support Lindsey Wilson's athletic program, but the interest never materialized. Then, as the host families for these women, we started watching their home matches.
We had a great time. As you can see in the picture, they won. The guys did too. There's something of a 'sisterhood' among the team. They practice hard and socialize in full team mode, together. Throughout the tournament, there were either 3 doubles matches or 6 singles matches being played simultaneously. It always seems to happen. At one of those 'you can hear a pin-drop' moment, during all those matches, you will hear one of them say, "Let's Go Girls." This triggers more individual shouts of encouragement. While fully engaged on their own court, each player can be heard cheering for their teammates. They make us proud as host parents, as they bring honor to Lindsey Wilson College.
The Lindsey Wilson Host Family Program is in a league of its own.
Lindsey Wilson College Host Family Program needs support. What are host families? Host families are substitutes for the International students' families. We learned these things when we agreed to host members of the women's tennis team.
What do we do as Host Families? We answer many of their questions about Adair County, Kentucky, and these United States. We do this by explaining our culture, why we do what we do. We talk about Kentucky history, about our favorite foods, history, and the U.S. We engage them in English. Speak slowly, be prepared to repeat yourself. If you frequently hear the response, "Okay," there's a strong possibility the student didn't actually understand, they're just being polite. Share family photos from years gone by. We immerse them into our normal family activities. We bring them to our house and prepare new food dishes for their meals.
What do International students need? Imagine if your child was studying overseas. They may need logistical support occasionally. Shopping trips, visiting historical sites, simply getting away from the campus for some fresh air and a chance to view new scenery. They're hesitant to ask for help, so just stay alert.
What does the Host Family get in return? We get to meet some rather extraordinary young people from around the world. We compare cultures, customs, and traditions. We exchange meal menus, normal daily routines, we learn of their ambitions in life. We learn so much about where they come from and what makes them unique. We learn about their parents and any siblings. We become facebook friends with their parents. Occasionally we get to talk with their family. We become blended as a family across the generations. You get a chance to put a smile on your face by seeing them smile. Many times, we share friendships with their families at home via social messaging. Sometimes we get to meet their families. That IS a real treat. We're still having a great time.
For more information, please contact Sabine Eastham, EasthamS@lindsey.edu.
This story was posted on 2021-04-25 08:27:53
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