July turned out to be one of the most special months my family has had. We had the opportunity to host a young boy (14 years) from Spain the entire month of July. I studied in Spain when I was in college 10 years ago and I always wanted to be able to be the host family for a Spanish student one day. When an email was sent out to all staff at my office about looking for a host family, Jason immediately forwarded it to me and said, “isn’t this something you’ve always wanted to do?” Yes, of course! Without putting much thought into it, I emailed Global Journeys and the next thing you know, we have a student coming to live with us.
His name is Pablo and we were so blessed to have received a sweet, polite, fun young boy. My younger brother is the same age as Pablo and they became friends pretty quickly. The purpose of him traveling to the US is to learn the American culture and the English language. He did so much while he was here that it seemed like a year versus just one month! Although I won’t mention everything we did, I did want to at least call out this really cool music camp he participated in.
Pablo had cello experience and was interested in learning the guitar. When I started looking for potential guitar lessons, I was recommended this camp on two occasions. I inquired with Global Journeys and Pablo’s parents about the camp and they agreed to have me enroll him. It was a 2 week rock music immersion program where the kids learn the history of music in the mornings and receive personal lessons in the afternoons on the instrument of their choice. The best thing was the concert, where they performed at Sam’s Burger Joint. It was not only an amazing experience for Pablo but for us as well. To see him learn an instrument in 2 weeks and then be able to play some awesome rock songs was so incredible. He really got a taste of the American culture!
If you have a child between 7-17 years that is interested in music, I HIGHLY recommend this camp. Pancho, the music director, and all the instructors are not only highly talented musicians but all have a passion for teaching kids. It’s a really special experience.
In addition to the camp, we took Pablo to the movies, the mall, lake house at LBJ, to Austin, Fiesta Texas and so much more. We really became attached to him and it was incredibly hard to let him go. But we did and now we stay connected with him via email and social networks but of course, it’s not the same. Our intention is to take Jacob to Spain when he’s older so we can visit Pablo.
As I thought more about why we chose to do something like this, I came to the conclusion that it’s our purpose in life. With the latest horrid news stories on the Penn State coach incident or the recent shootings in Colorado, it’s easy to think that the world is falling apart; that good, loving families are a rarity. They’re not and I think that it’s our duty to spread the love of a caring family. We need to make those connections and bring goodness to the forefront so we can encourage our community that there is a chance for our younger generation.
Being able to open our home up to a young boy from across the seas was such a wonderful feeling and made me realize how special my family is. So if you can, open your house to someone new and help spread the goodness of the world.