For the past ten days I’ve hosted an exchange from Singapore. I had such an amazing time the whole summit and I’ll try to write about my favorite parts here.
The first night I waited at the airport for about an hour while my student Randelle and the rest of the Singaporeans went through customs. I had to work on this DBQ for english so I sat down in a seat and worked on it, and this teacher from Lebanon ended up sitting next to me. She noticed that I was writing about the Ottoman empire so she went on to tell me all about Lebanon and its history with the Ottoman Empire, which was actually really interesting. When Randelle got here we went back to my house and showed her around my house. The official languages of Singapore are English, Chinese, and Malay, but all of the Singaporeans that came mostly spoke english and sometimes Chinese. Singaporean accents took some getting used to because they talk pretty fast and occasionally add -Lah to the end of their sentences. At first I didn’t know about the Lah thing so I was really confused.
Everywhere we went we were driven around by Melissa, and sometimes her driving was a little stressful. One time we left the trunk open and didn’t realize it for like 10 minutes. Last sunday, which was the second day we were there, we visited Dominion and went to a welcome party at someone’s house. I got to talk to some of the delegates but I mostly just got to know them by playing ping pong. My student really liked Dominion because she thought it was cool that there was so much open space where we live. Singapore is half the size of Loudoun county but has 5 million people living in it, so everything is stacked.
The next day we went to DC and all the delegations shared their cultural display boards. Every board had food from their country near it so it was great because I just walked around and ate. Singapore had these cool plastic bubble balloon things so I spent a lot of time there just playing with it. When we got to DC we were supposed to go the US history museum but it closed early so we ended up just walking around the monuments. By then I had gotten to know all of the delegates from Singapore so we had a great time taking those stop and pay scooters and scooting around on them without paying the fee. Once I picked up one and a siren went off from the scooter so I took a break and then ended up doing it again.
After DC we went to the Silver Diner and the delegates thought it was so cute because it had the juke boxes you could play music on. The next day I had to go to school but everyone else went to an opening ceremony at Woodgrove. After that we went to a Dominion lacrosse game, which was amusing to the delegates cause they got to see a bunch of kids wack each other with sticks. The next day we had a walking tour around Leesburg and it was so nice out. For some reason the school had some AP US history kids run the tour, and they ended up getting us lost even though we didn’t realize it. During the tour I got to talk to the Chinese and Romanian delegates more and learning about their countries was really really interesting.
Thursday was the assembly for Dominion where all the delegates were forced to do the flag march. I volunteered to hold the flag for Norway, which was actually such a good idea because I made friends with a Norwegian girl and she told me about some hilarious traditions in Norway. After that we went to a bonfire. Towards the end we got bored and began to set random things on fire which was amusing. On friday Randelle really wanted to go to Walmart and she actually spent 50 dollars on Oreos alone while we were there. In Singapore they dont have all of the different Oreo flavors so she promised to bring some back to all of her friends. After that we tried to have a bonfire at my house but we couldnt start a fire so we burned paper towel rolls and set the marshmallows on fire that way.
Saturday was the glow dance which was so much better than when I went last year. The glow dance while hosting is actually so fun because you can talk to all the delegates you already know and its much easier to make friends with new ones. I danced with the Norwegians and also this kid from the Netherlands named Robin who is moderately famous in his country and is a quote on quote rapper.
Sunday I went to great falls and Tysons. At Tysons we had shake shack which I had never had before. Monday was our last night with the delegates and we watched a movie and had burger 21. Everytime we ate out during the summit I had a burger so by the end I was dying. Tuesday night was the farewell dinner where all the countries had cultural performances that were really funny. The Singaporeans left after the dinner and I was so sad.
Reuben (a Spanish delegate) and Paul (a Chinese delegate) at the farewell dinner. I will miss them so much AAAA
I highly recommend hosting to anyone. All you have to do is share your home with someone and in return you get to learn so much and have an amazing time. I was super busy the whole time during the summit, but I was always enjoying myself