Gardening and (accidental) Garage Doors
I had a dream that I thought would never come true. I wanted to be an exchange student in the United States and I will never forget the day when I learned that I would become one! I was in the first group from Kyrgyzstan that would be traveling to the US! After long and tiring flights, airports and security, I eventually met my host family, who was waiting for me with a poster that said: “WELCOME to the United States!”. This moment made me forget about the stressful trip and realize that I already felt at home in New York!
Over the summer, I did a lot of fun things with my host family because the school year hadn’t started yet. I went on my first camping trip; I caught my first fish; my family and I went canoeing and swimming. I also did a lot of volunteer work! As I watered the flowers in the Adams Center to help beautify the city, drivers passing by were very encouraging by telling me that I was doing a great job :)
I even gave a couple presentations about my country to educate others about Kyrgyzstan, and I helped to promote the CCI program at local fairs.
My favorite moment happened when I was helping the rescue squad hand out the batteries for home smoke detectors. My job was to ring the doorbells and give the homeowners batteries. After a few houses I came to one and made a bit of a mistake. I thought that I was pressing the doorbell and suddenly the garage door started closing. The owner, with big eyes, ran out from his house and I realized that I had pressed the wrong button. I think I apologized about hundred times before I left his house. The owner was nice and just laughed a lot! I am so excited to keep volunteering in my host community and hopefully avoid garage doors!