My life in the U.S
On August 10, 2010, everything looked new when I considered studying in the
United States (U.S). During my previous years of study in Kenya, I had heard that
California’ sunshine is warm and sweet. When I saw the sunshine in California for the
first time, I thought that was the place I wanted to be. This essay covers my life
during the first months in U.S starting with my arrival, stay with the host family and
eventual exit to live with my friends.
While in Kenya just before boarding the plane for U.S, I communicated with my
host mother through a text message notifying her about my trip. Therefore, she was
able to pick me up on time upon my arrival at California. My host mother sent her
daughter to pick me up, and I could still vividly remember the way she held a sign
having my name at the airport. The name was so big and clear. When I saw the girl, I
approached her to inform her that the person she was waiting for was me.
“I am…. the one…. you are looking for”, I said these words to her.
“Oh! I finally hear from you. I already waited for 2 hours. Anyway, welcome to
California”, she spoke to me with great enthusiasm.
To be honest, I felt extremely nervous because I was not able to understand
totally what was she talking about. Luckily, when I felt confused conversing with her,
she always patiently explained and used simple vocabulary. Although I did not speak
English frequently, she still could understand what I was talking about. We chatted
happily in the car on our way back home. Soon I knew her name, which is Angie.
This was the first time I heard such a name, and I had a problem distinguishing
between Angie and Angel.
“Angie? Angel? Angie? Do these names have similar pronunciation?” I felt
confused and asked.
“Not at all. Let me teach you the pronunciation: Angie, Angie, Angie” she was
laughing as she mentioned her name three times.
Despite experiencing a traffic jam in California, we finally arrived home. Upon
my arrival, I saw three people standing in front of the house. They included a tall
man, a woman, and a little boy. The man stood between the woman and the little boy.
I believed that the woman was the host mother, the man was the host father, and the
little boy was their son. While I alighted from the car, they came over to me. We
exchanged greeting by shaking our hands.
“American people like to hug each other when they first meet, but I knew people
like to shake hands to say hello when they meet at the first time.” The host father said.
I said, “Thank you! Nice to meet you guys!”
That was all I wanted to say when I met them because my little courage could not
allow me to engage in a conversation with them comfortably. However, Angie helped
me to address this embarrassing atmosphere. She said, “he is a nice boy, his English is
not so good, so we need to get used to him," She said her mother was Maribel, her
father was Cesar, and her brother was Bob. And then, the host father helped me to
take my luggage from the car, and the host mother took me to visit the house. The
house was beautiful and big. It had a front yard and a back yard. The house looked
exactly like one house I had seen in an American film while in Kenya. I knew this
was a stupid thought, but the good thing is that this was a film thought. Maribel told
me that she wanted to add a swimming pool on the back yard. I was so excited
because swimming is one of my hobbies. The house had two floors, and this made it
different from houses in Kenya; most of the Kenyan houses have at least four floors.
After a long time, I knew that there are so many earthquakes in California, that is why
their houses are not too high. Finally, she opened my room and said, “This is your
room, I hope you will enjoy staying in the room.”
“Thank!” I replied.
The room had a lot of staff. Among them were a bath towel, toothbrush,
toothpaste and some books and pens. I thought my host parents were so nice. Finally,
I had started living American life and was so excited and happy.
Before starting to study in the University, Maribel and her family always took me
to visit different kinds of places. I went to Disneyland, Hollywood, Newport Beach
and other different many places. Every place was amazing, I loved the place and I
think will stay here forever.
I started to go to school for studying. I also made a lot of new friends from
campus. They are from different countries in the world. In the break between two
different classes, my friends always go to the parking lot to smoke. I also started to
smoke little by little. Too bad that this behavior caused a serious problem in my
I remember one terrible night. I had just finished my assignment as usual in my
room. It was 1 am, and I wanted to smoke one cigarette. My host father allowed me to
smoke outside. However, that night was freezing outside. To plus on that, outside was
so windy. I thought that by this time, they had already slept. I opened my window in
my room and started smoking. To be honest, I enjoyed this feeling. In 2’clock in the
morning, I went to my bathroom to take a shower. The bathroom is built outside the
house. Although I closed the door, I did not close it totally. While coming from the
bathroom after taking a shower, I heard a voice from upstairs. Suddenly, I heard my
host father’s voice.
“Alex, are you are smoking?” his voice was loud and filled the whole house. I
was frightened. Honestly, I did not know what I could say. After 5 seconds, I said
falteringly, “I smoked outside just 5 minutes ago.” I stood there and did not move. I
thought that he knew I had smoked in my room, but he said, “Ok, please you know
you shouldn’t smoke in the room.” He said and left. I locked the door and went to
sleep. When I lied on the bed, I thought how I could meet my host family that
morning. How can I talk to them? In fact, I did not sleep all the night and went to
school before they were up. I texted my host mother and told her that I had already
gone to school. I decided to avoid this problem because I had no clue of handling this
situation. However, every fault needs to be faced. Therefore, I texted my host father
and told him that I wanted to see him after class. He picked me to home, and we went
to my room to talk.
“Alex, I do not like any person who smokes in my house, because secondhand
smoke is bad for everyone. I do not want my children to smell it.” He told me
peacefully. “I promise I will never do it next time," I said while looking down. He
said that he appreciated the fact that I admitted my mistake. He forgave me, and he
trusted me that I would never repeat the mistake.
On November 10, 2010, our house contract expired. I moved out and started to
live with my friends in an apartment because I felt I could experience the life of
university with my friends and could party at home. That is what I wanted to do. For
my host family, we often contact each other; I often do BBQ with them when am free.
Also, I visit them once in every week because I think they are my family in the U.S.