Friendship families play a vital role in helping participants in the Northwest Community College Initiative (NWCCI) adjust to their new homes in the United States. Rosemond Djan, a Ghanaian student studying project management at Edmonds Community College, writes about how her relationship with her friendship family taught her about U.S. culture and holidays.
The relationship I had with my friendship family helped me not to feel homesick and I got the chance to know more about U.S. culture and to share my own culture with them. My friendship family also helped me to adjust to life in the U.S.
Dana and Vivian were my friendship family parents. They were kind and caring to me. My relationship with them was nice and I always had fun when I was with them. Ever since the first day I met them, they showed concern for me. That first day, they took me to a place that I could get African food to buy and I remember I asked Vivian “can I call you Mum?” She was happy and accepted me as a daughter. They accepted me as one of their family.
We did a number of fun things together and I learned a lot about U.S. culture through them. They took me to a baseball match in Everett. They invited me to their house for Thanksgiving. They taught me the reason why they celebrate Thanksgiving and how Americans use food such as turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie, to celebrate Thanksgiving. They also asked me to decorate the Christmas tree with them; every ornament they hung on the tree had a special meaning. I sometimes slept at their house, I got the chance to meet their families and I had fun with their grandkids.
Dana and Vivian sometimes took me out for dinner and to visit their friends for different activities. Vivian took me to where she was born and raised, a city called Auburn near Seattle. We visited a lot of places and we had a lot of conversations and fun on our way back home. They also helped me in my religious upbringing. They invited me to their church and encouraged me to take pride in my faith and values. They showed me so much care and love even though they had just met me.
I am thankful to NWCCI for giving me such a wonderful friendship family. I really appreciate everything they have done in my life during this program. I thank Vivian so much for allowing me to think of her as my Mum. I know I’m going to miss them and the grandkids.
The NWCCI program is part of the Community College Initiative, an exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs.