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From a different perspective: Mimi and the Hefferns

October 26, 2009

Mimidoo Shie is a 15 year-old YES student from Benue State, Nigeria. She is living with Cindy and Jack Heffern in Harpers Ferry, Iowa. Mimi attends Waukon High School.

In this post, both Mimi and her host parents, Cindy and Jack, take turns sharing about their experiences thus far.

From Mimi:

Mimi and fellow YES student Roseline pose in front of the Waukon High School sign

Mimi and fellow YES student Roseline pose in front of the Waukon High School sign

Living in America has been so much fun.

Back home in Nigeria, I lived in the city, so coming here to live on a farm is one of the most interesting things. Going from horseback riding to looking at the beautiful cornfields is so interesting.

My host parents are the best, and I thank them for providing me with everything that would make my stay memorable. Iowa is a place I would like to stay in if I intend to live in America. The people actually surprised me, and it made me feel good and welcome.

School is so much fun, and since I’m the only black in my school, it has given me the opportunity to tell them so much about my country and continent. I have tried to correct their wrong opinions about Africa.

My first day of school was so funny because I had so many problems with opening my locker and that made me late for most of my classes.

I really did not understand my teachers perfectly well, and I actually did not ask any questions because I felt inferior and shy. But I now feel free, they always ask me weird questions like if we wore clothes and stuff like that.

My host parents showed me around the house and how to use everything, so there were no funny incidences involving home appliances. But I still need some time to get used to the weather and most of their words.

I have visited so many places like the great Mammoth Cave in Kentucky and lots more. I’m looking forward to seeing snow.

–Mimi Shie

Click on the pictures below to read more about Mimi’s adventures in Iowa.

From the Hefferns:

Having Mimi come into our home has been a wonderful experience for us. It’s amazing to me how courageous these students are. Mimi has made us laugh, and we have made her laugh with the differences in our language and ways of doing things.

One big change for Mimi, of course, has been the weather that we had a week ago with the 30 degree temperatures. It took awhile to convince her to wear a coat (like a typical teenager).

Then one day, she finally wore it and kept right on wearing it, even while in the house. Thankfully the temperatures are warmer again now for at least a little while.

It has been so much fun to see Mimi find things that she enjoys, there are many things to do that are actually the same as in her home.

She enjoys music and is taking full advantage of the music opportunities our school offers.  It is also great to see how the students at school have treated her and how they are learning from Mimi as well as Mimi learning from them. There are so many more things that are similar than what our family ever thought.

–Jack and Cindy Heffern and family

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