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From a host’s view: Time difference lessons

September 8, 2009

Dennis and Victor with the Nichols boys, who are in college

Cindy Nichols is the host mom of Dennis Lengishon of Arusha, Tanzania, and Victor Yusuf of Bauchi State, Nigeria. They live in Lewis, Iowa, and attend Atlantic High School.

I thought I was prepared for the addition of two young men from Africa to our family, because we have successfully raised five active and involved children who are all grown and on their own now. Well, I wasn’t!

I found that there are some similarities: how much they eat, how much they sleep, how busy their lives become so quickly.

But oh, there are differences!  Our semi-quiet, empty-nest lives have been turned upside down in three short weeks, but I have to say we love it! The boys are bonding quickly; they tease and take care of each other.

Victor is enjoying learning to play American football. He has progressed from not knowing what a football looked like to earning the spot of kicker on the JV team! He got to play on two plays in the varsity game last week, and the student section was chanting his name!

Dennis has earned the first place position on his cross country team and won a 4th place medal in a meet on Tuesday. He makes it look easy and is an inspiration to the team.  He also is learning to play some songs on the piano!

I want to share a story that is funny now, but was NOT so funny a couple of nights ago…

It was 2:38 a.m., and we were awoken by a foreign-sounding voice saying: “HELLO…… HELLO…… HELLO!” My husband thought it was the radio, so he began flapping at it trying to make it stop. All he succeeded in doing was making music play louder. So now, we have the voice: “HELLO….. HELLO…… HELLO” and the radio playing music loudly.

I started to chuckle when I realized that our portable phone (which is usually in its place at the answering machine by the bed) was in the other room, and we did not hear it ring.  All we heard was the Nigerian voice trying to talk to our answering machine message!

Apparently, Victor had not gotten the message to every member of his family about the six-hour time difference, and his uncle just wanted to say “HELLO!”

We had one sleepy day, but for the most part our African exchange students have been wonderful and educational. Our nest is no longer empty, and we are trying to keep up with our new sons!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Christelle permalink
    September 8, 2009 8:32 PM

    That is so funny! It never fails, there is always someone that calls in the middle of the night. It took my mom 3 years to understand the time difference. I hope it won’t take his uncle that long. Funny though!

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