More Volunteer Testimonials

“This year in addition to eight of us regulars we invited four international students. Sara from Iran came to us four years ago thru MFIS and brought her Russian friend. Two boys were assigned-one from India, one from Germany. After turkey we spent an hour over the atlas talking languages and countries.”  – Cathy

“We hosted a total of nine this year. You connect us with 2 gals from China, and a woman and her two children from India. We also had Goo, who we had join us last year and she brought 2 friends. And lastly we had Kerin who I am a friend to through your program who is from Singapore. So we hosted a total of 9. Four of our neighbors join us and help prepare food so it is a wonderful event.” 

“We had a wonderful day – the world was gathered around our table! Our students were from Thailand, Nigeria, Egypt, China and Lebanon.”  -Donna

“We ate Friendsgiving together with my friends. It was definitely not a typical celebration for someone from Taiwan and he really appreciated it and even cooked something to celebrate! He also enjoyed the Thanksgiving food coma!” – Jonathan

“It was a wonderful night sharing stories, learning about each other, over good food and with great company. Thank you for continuing to organize this special tradition You’ll see our “blessings tablecloth” which is a tradition my mom started…every year on Thanksgiving we write what we are thankful for on the tablecloth. It’s fun to read and remember guests who broke bread with us in years’ past.”  – Holly

My immediate family always brings the same dessert to our large family Thanksgiving celebration, so Donglin and I helped to make that. Then, the day after Thanksgiving, we put up the family Christmas tree – two holidays in one!”  – Kylie

We did a little history of the origin of the feast (cold, inept pilgrims starving; generous, able Native Americans sharing) as well as explain what the foods served were and why each was included. We also went round the table to do a gratitude exercise. Each person, including our token child guest of five years of age, took a minute or so to express what she or he felt grateful for. The evening wrapped up with some word games and then a difficult jigsaw puzzle. They didn’t leave the hosts’ home with my Chinese women until almost 2am! Everyone had a fantastic time!  – Elizabeth

“We love hearing about the wide variety of countries our student come from as well as their impressions of the US. All the students we’ve hosted have been interesting, intelligent, and very polite. It’s been an absolute pleasure getting to know them!:  – Larry & Jo

“…arrived at our Fort Atkinson home promptly and seemed to have a wonderful time. They pitched in with food preparation, willingly participated in our annual jig saw puzzle challenge (a tough 1000-piece puzzle this year) and even helped with clean-up. We were honored to be their first traditional Thanksgiving experience. Thanks for organizing it!”  – Brett & Marsha

Global Friends
“I have a world map that I ask the students to pinpoint their hometown, that’s been a big help for me… We have a cabin and 40 acres in Baraboo. They all love time up there and this year Jiarung’s family from Taiwan came for her graduation. She couldn’t wait to show them the Baraboo cabin! The whole experience is even more valuable for us than it is for them. I love being their American Mom.”  – Suzette

“Hee is from South Korea. She has just returned from two months of travel in the US, and now we are set to explore the area bike trails and see some of the region’s wonderful natural sites.. We have done many different things together. I really like her because she is so willing to try anything.” …but she was most interested making sure that I learned the difference between American Asian food and the “real thing.”  – Pat

“Best thing that ever happened to me. I was just hosted by my student in France. He is going to be married in October and asked me to be his witness. I am going back there in October.”  – Dean

“What a pleasure it was to have her meet my mother and many brothers and sisters and families! She even offered to bring a dish to share, though I insisted it wasn’t necessary (we do potluck in our family), but she made an amazing Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs that were unlike anything you’ll find at an American Chinese restaurant!”  – Kate

English Classes
“My MFIS Global Friend Marco and I meet weekly for conversational English encounters because he is intent on improving his proper English.” -Michael

“…in 1971 when I arrived here as a foreign student from Singapore to pursue a Ph D in Economics, I benefitted from the work done by MFIS. After I graduated and married, my husband, I decided to “give back” by volunteering with MFIS since 1976…we have made friends with students from all over the world. We have visited them in their home countries, and even attended a few of their weddings.”

Temporary Homestay
“Born in China herself, Helen was immediately drawn to and became involved in MFIS. Over the years, she and her husband hosted students from a vast array of counties including Italy, South America, Denmark, and France. “I’m always particularly interested to meet the students from China because of my own background. This year I was pleasantly surprised to meet a young lady from Changsha, the same city in which I was born!”  – Helen

“A large envelope from France arrived in the mailbox yesterday. It contained pictures of the 6-month old daughter of a MFIS temporary homestay student I hosted three years ago. What a delight, and yet one more reason to be thankful for relationships that are established through the homestay program.”
“Two boys were assigned to us this year—one from India and one from Germany. After eating turkey we spent an hour over the atlas talking languages and countries. Now I am sending you thanks for sending them to us.”  – Hannah

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