“I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.”

Harper Lee, To kill a Mockingbird


My American Experience started in august 2004 when I came to the US for the first time as an exchange student.

I had dreamed of visiting the US since I was little. The symbol of this country to me was New York and that’s because of uncle Philip.

Uncle Philip was my grandfather’s brother who had moved to the US after WWII. He loved this country and I guess he passed that feeling to me every time he would come to visit. He was an enthusiastic men and I will never forget him and his wife fighting and then realising they were saying the same thing in two different languages! But that’s another story…

So here I was, 15 years old, coming to the US for the first time in my life as an exchange student through AFS.

My host family was from the Chicago area and they had two children who were about my age.

There are no words to describe the year I’ve spent with them.

I went to high school here and it was like being in an american movie. My host family was great and we developed an amazing connection that has been lasting ever since.

This experience has changed me and I do not think my life would have been the same without it. I know for sure I would miss so many friends in my life and in my hearth.

I’ve been back many times since and it’s impossible to come to the US without visiting Chicago and Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

It is in this latter magical place that I’ve met for the first time my newborn “nephew”. An addition to my host family and to my life. He has filled our hearths with joy and we have spent such an amazing time all together.

As usual I could not resist the temptation of jumping into the lake and going for a swim, even though spring has not been very warm this year. The cold water on my body was just as an anesthetic for my body but not for my head. Memories and flashbacks run through my head like a fast forwarding film of where it all started…

As I write this, we are sitting on the porch listening to the surroundings and profiting of every minute left. Soon Mom and Dad will get in from their trip to Texas and we’ll go have dinner before I leave to go back to my life once again.

No nostalgia this time because this is home and this is family, I know you are and always be there for me and I will do the same.


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