Getting off the plane your immediate concerns are getting through customs and how you are ever going to find your way out of the airport (P.S. it’s not hard, the airport is actually kind of small). However, as soon as you hit the wall of heat outside the doors of the airport your concerns abruptly change to “Who am I staying with, and what are they like?” It is one thing to read about people online through orientation, but does that description portray them accurately?

These are only some of the questions I had as I was waiting for the bus to come to the airport and take us to Universidad VERITAS to finally meet our new family. Immediately after we arrive there is a rush of Spanish and I see Nicole (I only knew who she was because of Facebook) and with her was Ana. Ana was to be Nicole, Heather and I’s host mom. She gave us a very warm welcoming and immediately wanted to help get our belongings from the bus. After a very brief trip in the car, we seriously live less than a quarter of a mile from the school; we arrive to our Tico home!

Ana walked us up the patio to our new home and waiting inside was Carlos, her husband. We had an awesome first dinner sitting and talking with Carlos and Ana, we even ate pizza and Chinese food! We also met Taiki, another student living in our house who is from Honduras.  Carlos and Ana reassured us that during our time here they wanted to do everything to make us comfortable and most importantly happy. Whether we needed something from the store, someone to talk to, even to go talk to someone for us or whatever we may think of they would be there. They love each other very much and it is obvious that these are very genuine people.

They welcomed us into their family and let us know that as members of their family we are their princesses and that they always have our best interests in mind. From day one on, this has been true. Carlos, Ana, Taiki and the extended family have been a wonderful resource, our new family, and always looking out for our good. I know I have the best Tico family I could have ever hoped for! You know, it makes me feel silly I was ever concerned about who I could have been placed with, because now these people mean so much to me and I know it will be hard to leave them in a few weeks.

Kaila Noland

L to R: Heather, Nicole, Me, Ana y Carlos, Pablo y Juan Carlos (sons of Ana and Carlos). Taiki is not pictured because he was out getting us all ice cream (because he is so awesome!).

Written By Kaila Noland, Social Media Journalist

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