Harrisburg Academy was pleased to welcome exchange students from Guatemala for a seven-week cultural exchange program through Faces & Our Cultures. The students arrived mid-October to join our community, our classes, and our homes through early December.  Jose resided with the Thompson family.

I came to Harrisburg Academy in an exchange program that lasted seven weeks, called “Faces and Our Cultures,” to get to know more about how life is in the United States and also to share my own culture with them.

When I first got here, I met my host family, the Thompsons, which since I first saw and talked to them, I noticed they were very fun and joked a lot just as I do with my family.  It was really easy to adapt to this family.  James, my host brother, and I have a lot of things in common, such as playing video games, playing the piano, playing sports, and many other things.

On my first weekend here, all the kids from Guatemala, along with our host brothers and sisters, went to Sky Zone, and had a great time there.  During the week after this, I went to a professional soccer game with my host family, and on that weekend the same people and I went to HersheyPark, and we stayed there until the park closed.  James and I went bowling with the soccer team for awhile after we left the park.  On the third weekend, I went ice skating with the same people who came to Sky Zone, except this time my host mother came along, too.  On Friday, my family and I went to Gettysburg, and on Saturday we went to Boston and stayed there until Sunday.  On the next weekend, James and I went hiking at Valley Forge and camped there until Saturday night, and we left because there was a windstorm and it was dangerous to stay the night there.  The Sunday before Thanksgiving, my family and I hosted a dinner with the host families from the other people from Guatemala, and they came, too.  On Black Friday, I went shopping at King of Prussia Mall, and after that returned home.  For Thanksgiving, I stayed home with my family and the rest of the family came to have dinner here.  On the next weekend, I went to the go-kart racing place, where I had already gone on my first weekend here.

I had a lot of fun during my time here, and it is one of those experiences I will never forget and will help me grow as a person.  If I had the option to come back here, I definitely would.  I also made friendships that will last a long time, and hopefully, we will meet again.

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