There is a lot of talk about how to treat students and that is all well and good. We want our students to have a super time and we try very hard to choose super host families to ensure this happens. But take a minute. Flip the coin…….
How should students treat a host family?
Let me tell you a funny, but true story.
Last year we had a Leader bring some students. She was from the Ukraine and her name was Vera. A very tall lady. At least 6 foot in her stocking feet and she used to look down at me and make me rather nervous. One day, Vera called in to say she wasn’t feeling very well and would spend the day at home. Her host family didn’t mind and she said she was going to lay down on the sofa
All was going very well until I had an irate telephone call from the Host Mother. It went a little like this….
“ That’s it. She has to go. She has used all of our strawberries and I have nothing for my trifle”
“ Oh I am very sorry Mrs *** – do you want to tell me what happened?”
“ Well I came back from work and found Vera sleeping on the sofa. That bit was fine, but she had taken all of the strawberries I was going to use for my Trifle tonight and put them on her face. She said she was using them for a face mask and why was I so cross?”
I tried very hard not to laugh, imaging Vera lying there with some strawberries all over her face, but I understood that the Host Mother was not pleased.
“ Worse than that”, she went on ( can there be anything worse than a lady lying on the sofa covered in strawberries?) “ Worse than that, she had stuck two Vick Nasal sticks up her nose to clear her head. I could clear her head for her and it wouldn’t be with Vicks nasal sticks”
There wasn’t a lot I could say but apologise and offer to send some replacement strawberries around that afternoon. The host mother still wasn’t to be pacified
“ and do you know what she said… she told me not to panic because she would wash the strawberries and put them back in the bowl and no one would notice and if I had not returned home so early, then I wouldn’t know either because that was what she intended to do!”
I could see why the Host Mother was frustrated and that, dear Readers, is a classic example of not pushing your luck and respecting the Host Family if you want them to respect you