Three years ago, shortly after I had arrived at Quest University Canada, I received an email from Krista Lambie in which she introduced me to the Squamish host family program. While this program was still in its preliminary phases, Krista wrote about the possibility of meeting a family from Squamish, joining them to go on various outdoor adventures like hiking and camping, and also having meals together. Before coming to Quest, I had travelled to the United States as an exchange student where I lived with a host family for one year. Since I had such an amazing experience getting to know Aimee and Brad, travelling to various places together and cooking various meals, I immediately decided to join the host family program and looked forward to meeting my host parents.
Shortly after, Krista sent an email to both Carlos and myself, introducing us to our host parents – Jim and Claire Harvey. After some introductory emails, Jim invited Carlos and I to come over for dinner at his house. Carlos and I were very nervous to meet our host parents. However, by the end of the evening, we were ecstatic to have been introduced to such an amazing family whom had endless travel and work stories and fun experiences to share. Since that introductory dinner, Carlos, Jim, Claire, and I have had numerous meals together, have gone hiking in the morning and evening, and have even seen each other on the other side of the world.
Apart from getting to know Jim and Claire through our endless adventures, I have also had the opportunity to get to know their amazing children – Nico and Nina. Specifically, Nina, who is only a few years older than me, has in a way become like an older sister to me. We have gone out for meals, have taken a few hiking trips together, and have even helped each other during hard times. Nina is fun, energetic, and has the ability to cheer me up even when I am having a bad day. In addition, she is genuinely interested in getting to know my friends and even inviting them over to her house. Our latest adventure together was a big barbeque, which eight Questies (students who attend Quest) attended as well.
A few weeks ago, Carlos and I went over to Jim and Claire’s house for dinner. During the course of the meal, Nina proposed the idea of inviting a few of our friends from Quest over to her house to have a barbeque and also swim in her swimming pool. We both thought that this was such an awesome idea and immediately began planning for the event. After planning, inviting friends, picking the date, and planning meals – we were set!
Eight of our friends – Madyya, Raoul, Isaac, Maddy, Edgar, Ahmed, Zuber, and Leo – ended up coming to this event. They all brought delicious dishes, drinks, and games to share. First, we had a lovely meal, which consisted of hot-dogs, corn, and a delicious quinoa salad. Then, we all proceeded to the backyard where we played soccer for quite a long time. Playing soccer was so much fun; it reminded me of my childhood back in Kosovo where I would spend hours upon hours playing soccer with my friends in my backyard or in our neighbourhoods. Then, due to the warm weather and heat of the game, we all jumped in the swimming pool to cool down. However, we continued playing even in the swimming pool.
After swimming for a couple of hours, playing in the backyard, and getting to know each other better it started to get cold outside. Thus, we all got changed and then sat on the back porch and ate ice-cream while enjoying the sunset. I truly felt happy – the sunset, delicious ice-cream, and amazing friends – what more could I have asked for? This day was truly magical and I feel very thankful to have had the chance to spend it with such amazing people. Now I look forward to having Nina come to Quest!
P.s. If you are reading this blog post and feel inspired to either become a host family or join the program, please contact Will Prescott (Residential and International Student Services) via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.