Monday, June 16, 2014

#makesmesmilemondays Welcome, Shazaib! #ExchangeStudent #Pakistan #WorldChicago

This past weekend an exchange student arrived in our home. 14-year-old Shazaib is from Pakistan.

I think I can safely say that our home life is the polar opposite of Shazaib's home life in a small town in the Jammu Kashmir region of Pakistan. So far he loves the eggs here in the U.S., was completely puzzled by the metal contraptions on Daniel's teeth (braces), and inquired as to whether or not we had electricity in our home as we drove to our home on the first day (we do). On Saturday Daniel had an end-of-the-year backyard BBQ with his friends from school - both boys and girls - and Shazaib just looked baffled as the boys and girls ate hot dogs, fought each other with water balloons, and played basketball in the backyard. He loves listening to John Denver. 

This program is sponsored by World Chicago. Last year we hosted Layla from Iraq. I believe in this program because I think that children make better ambassadors than adults. They are just more open-minded and accepting and eager to learn about others, even if it's intimidating at times. Also, since I can't exactly travel to places like Pakistan and Iraq right now with the kids, it gives our family a chance to "travel" and learn more about other cultures while staying firmly rooted in Chicago.

Welcome to the USA, Shazaib!
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