Decisions, Decisions…

Daryl got a call while the kids and I were in Nebraska.  A HS mother I know in the area was wondering if we could take a Spanish exchange student for the month of July.

She is a twelve-year-old girl named Marta who speaks English.  She would need her own bed and closet space, but not her own room.  She sounds very nice and like a typical 12-year-old girl.

I find the idea both intriguing and overwhelming.

If we said yes, it would involve masses of work getting ready here.  We have been meaning to clear out Daryl’s old den (currently the junk room) for quite some time and move Victoria down there.  If we did, we could fit two beds in that room and the two twelve-year-olds could bunk there together.

That move, however, is going to be a huge amount of work and I’m not certain of how well we could have our whole house in order by July.

Then there’s the fact that we’d have one bathroom for seven people.  Seven.  Would anybody in their right mind sign up for that?

And there’s the fact that living with our family would be quite a lot like “Surviving the Applewhites” I imagine.  We’re just not very typical!  🙂

I have to make a decision soon.  If we do it, it would be a huge leap on my part especially.  I hide it well, but I tend to be rather shy and terrified with new people at times, even with 12-year-old girls from foreign lands.  And twelve or not, it’s a stranger moving in with you for a month.

And let’s face it, we’re odd!  We’re a partially vegetarian, eclectic homeschooling, extended breastfeeding, screwball family likely to burst into song or stop to look at a dead thing in the road.  I’m prone to tying my hair  on top of my head with a pair of thong underwear if I have a migraine.  This is not, I imagine, what your standard Spanish family envisions when sending their children off to learn about American culture.

There are a million reasons to say yes.  There are a million reasons to say no.

I don’t know, but the clock is ticking and so far there is not another family stepping up to take her in our area.



10 thoughts on “Decisions, Decisions…

  1. Hi Alicia,

    That is a tough decision to make for an exchange to have a valuable cultural experience and learning!

    We have had opportunities to host students, and though it really is very exciting, I am unable to commit to it these days. We used to as grad students, and also when the kids were younger.

    After homeschooling I worry about our own quirkiness, erratic schedules, and our need to have some space from people (which may not be looked well by the new comer). And ofcourse, food..huge issue. Strict vegetarian, with a bit of quirky eating habits…we have Indian breakfast at times or a big brunch meal…

    Looks like cleaning the room and putting both 12yr olds is a pretty good workable solution, but the bathroom issue would still exist…I would be inclined to not commit too, but your 12yr old might have such a wonderful cultural lesson and experience from the new kid…wouldn’t she? It is tempting to put up with the bathroom issue..after all, a month can be really pleasant and fun, and can go fast, with the right people around…….

    Your migraine management comment cracked me up…Good luck in making your decision.
    .-= Subadra´s last blog ..FOR TYSON AND NASA FANS…. =-.


  2. Thanks for all your input, ladies! I think the consensus is to say no at least for this year. Good advice. There’s always the future!

    As for the thongs in my hair, they’re stretchy lace and I don’t particularly use them anywhere else! 😉 I have loooooong, heavy hair and when I have a migraine it makes me nuts, so I’ll fasten it out of the way with anything that works. I am usually reluctant to tell people that, though, for obvious reasons!

    I am entirely too honest on this blog. 😉
    .-= Magic and Mayhem´s last blog ..An Inspirational Unschooler =-.


  3. Hi Alicia

    Love your blog AND your honesty. We recently went on holidays for two weeks and were worried about our 17 year old being removed from his extremely important social life so decided to take one of his friends (we have four kids too, three teens so very big bodies around all the time!) and it worked out really well, we didn’t notice the extra person. We hardly knew her (they were just friends) but trusted our son’s judgement and she added some lovely, extra spice – fun, magic and mayhem. My eldest was calmer, I was calmer so the whole household was calmer 🙂 I am a very private person, love being a hermit in my own home with my family so the decision was very big for me too. I am so glad I moved out of my comfort zone which is a little too comfortable at times……
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..Spring Cleaning =-.


    • Karen, thanks for sharing your experience. I really do want to move out of my comfort zone and do this. I do think next year might be better all around though. Now I have to really use this year to put everything in order so I have no excuses next time. 🙂 It’s very good to hear how great your experience was though. It’s very encouraging!


  4. It sounds wise to postpone the exchange student adventure until you’re really ready.

    I love your honesty too … I also think the more people who see how people really live, the better. Then they will feel free to explore what they want their own life to look like, instead of imitating TV and other 2D stereotypes.

    Whatever normal is, it is SO over rated!!
    .-= Vanessa´s last blog ..Comparing the incomparable =-.


  5. Spaniards can be weird too!
    I tend to think our modern family is too different to be accepted by others, but I think that is a false insecurity that most of us share. Everyone feels weird. You, on the other hand, do not try to hide who you are in an effort to blend in, in an effort to not feel weird. People being who they really are is the most powerful example of all time. The 12 yr old spaniard will be able to see and feel that no matter what language she speaks.
    I spent a year in Spain living with weirdness of all sorts ( dog poop down the hallway, a stalker like roommate, incredibly loud snoring, odd diets including blood sausage, shyness, crazy dancing).
    Who knows, maybe you are attracting the most “right” foreign girl for your family. You don’t have to be scared.

    oo Natalie
    .-= natalie´s last blog ..look out =-.


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