Everything was settled. Well, at least for the next four weeks.
I was about to take part in an international exchange program between Hamburg and a famous university in the US. The idea of experiencing the American university and school system for a while was very exciting. International participants were placed in host families. My family lived close to the university campus. I had already been in touch with them, exchanging emails, when I received a message from the coordinator, informing me that they unfortunately had to change my placement. At first, this sudden change made me feel uncomfortable but as it turned out, this was a stroke of luck for me:
This new family was meant to be mine.
I started to relax when I received an email from my new host mum, explaining that she had just heard the news. When she explained that she and her husband had just started a membership in a CrossFit gym, and that I’d be welcome to join if I’d like to, I got excited and started to look forward to staying with them. She also wrote that they loved Thai food. By then, I could hardly wait to meet them.
Looking back, I feel that my dear friend Destiny pulled some strings. The loving family I got to meet was the perfect match for me. They were nature lovers and lived close to the woods. The mum was a natural beauty, inside and out, reflected by her passion for nature and science. Following her vocation as a loving teacher. The kind of teacher with an easy sparkle in her eyes, doing her best to encourage and inspire children while enjoying every bit of it. She had met her husband years ago, when she was volunteering in Thailand. The special bond and love between them was obvious.
I am grateful that they let me spend time with them, allowing me to notice tiny and beautiful details of their relationship.
He worked as a landscaper for the famous university campus and got up way before sunrise. He usually made breakfast for the family and prepared her favorite reusable coffee mug to ensure her a great start into her long working day. After work, he helped out in the neighborhood, building beautiful plant beds for the community. I had the opportunity to join him once. He taught me how to dig with a spade and even if that wasn’t on my bucket list before, I was grateful for the opportunity to learn from him. Grateful for every blister on my palms.
The family shared their loving home with two dogs, two kittens and a bunch of chickens, altogether living in the cozy bungalow with a beautiful garden. We all managed to adapt quickly. Me being busy with the internship, classes and of course, exploring the college town – and boys. And them, working a lot, saving up money for their children’s education and relaxing by exercising together.
I joined them a few times, impressed by their strength and bond. Touched by watching them share a loving high five at the end of every workout.
Sometimes we had dinner together, just talked or had a beer. It was the perfect fit because there was no disagreement or etiquette, no pressure for socializing if all of us had an eventful day. They appreciated my autonomy, me not getting lost or hit by a car while riding their bike on the huge highways, and I appreciated them for being real. For trusting me with their house keys and fluffy family members.
I am grateful for Destiny’s arrangement which allowed me to get an insight into their life and inspiring kindness.
My host mum once noted impressed: «He usually does not talk so much», while nodding to her husband who was preparing an amazing Pad Thai in the kitchen. The two of us had just completed a personal Thai boxing session in the living room and I sat exhausted next to her on the cozy couch. It felt like a huge and honest compliment. Over dinner, I learned that he used to be a monk in Thailand, which made sense, because even if he did not talk much, he still said a lot.
Communication is also about hearing what isn’t said, and I appreciate my family that was meant to be for this expansion of consciousness and their inspiring and unusual love story.