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From a YES student: Danny’s first American holidays

January 10, 2010

Danny Laiser, a 17 year-old YES student from Arusha, Tanzania, lives in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, and attends Mt. Vernon High School. In this post, he shares about his experiences during the winter holidays.

This is a good time for me to share my holiday experiences in America since I found it very different than holidays in my country.

The holiday season in America is used as the perfect time for families to meet together and share everything they didn’t have time to share throughout the entire year. This concept is not very different from my country, but the difference comes in how they meet and do lots of fun stuff together.

I want to share what I did with my family during “winter holiday” which is Christmas and New Year’s season!!  My host family has many brothers and one sister — some of them were coming from college, so I was very excited to meet them.

Since this is an athletic family, we do lots a sports, especially soccer!! I really enjoy playing with and against my other family members.

I had a Christmas choir concert, which was very fun and enjoyable for me. This was actually my first time being in a “robe.” It looked very cool to me!! I enjoyed singing American Christmas songs with my fellow students!!

Having snow during Christmas is another amazing thing I experienced in America. It is very funny to watch all the Christmas movies with snow. It is so cool!

During the holidays, I remembered my family back home — it is a time when I really could not forget how I used to be with them and have fun together, but I found the American holiday season to be even more exciting, so I found myself having fun.

On Christmas Eve, we went to church, and when we came back, we opened gifts. We only opened one gift that night and saved the rest of them to open on Christmas morning!! I was so amazed to see all the gifts my family gave to me: a new shirt, winter gloves, camera case, soccer UnderArmor and a bible with my name on it!! This was the most exciting moment of holiday season here. The new year came, and I was so excited to be in a different country for one year!!

My brothers and I made a soccer team, and we went to compete against sixteen other teams which came to the “2010 Bubble Blow-out Men’s Open.” I was very excited to play my first indoor soccer tournament in my life! We had a very good and tough team that we tied only one game and won the rest, so we were able to go to finals, and finally, we took the CHAMPIONSHIP!! This was the “Russell United” team. We received our trophies and went home. We played for a long time that day — from 2:00pm to 10 at night, so funny!!

The day we returned to school came very quickly, and I saw how days can run very fast. Still, I had to go to school even though I was not ready yet… I still wanted to go on with vacation!!

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