A Better Place Than Heaven

A Better Place Than Heaven

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Hamza and his host mother, Terri

I’ve always expected for a mom, a dad, and a bunch of kids as my dream host family, but my host family ended up just being Terri. It’s small, but it came with great joy. I still remember meeting Terri for the very first time when she came to pick me from Shearer’s. There, I saw a bespectacled lady walking towards me. In my head, I was figuring out about living with her for a whole year. At that moment, the quote, “never judge a book by its cover” came across my mind. My assumptions proved me wrong as Terri turned out to be the opposite of what I thought she would be! My first day at Terri’s home ended up with us getting to know a lot about each other, and I also learned about how things go about here in America.

The grey and white house on North Avenue, which was my first destination, proved to be a better place than Heaven. This wonderful place gave me a lot of great memories to brag about. I wouldn’t have achieved all of my accomplishments during my exchange year without this place. Thanks for God for giving me the nicest people to live with, and the best place to live. It is indeed a fact that I loved my host family from the core of my heart, and took care of my host house as if it were my own that by the end of my exchange year, it was really hard for me to say goodbye to my host family and to leave my host house where I spend many good days of my life.

Hamza and his family during Eid after returning from the U.S.

Hamza and his family during Eid after returning from the U.S.

Terri, generous as she is, gave me so much love that it was so easy to assimilate into my host family. I can’t help but to cry on my last day in that house. It wasn’t only Terri who shared her love with me, but also two of my host brothers which grew really close to me. The three of us were like soul brothers. Altogether, there were three people who made my exchange year the best period of my life. Two of those very special people who impacted my life positively during my exchange year were Tom and Judy Pritchard, which were Terri’s aunt and uncle. They were like my grandparents, but personally, I think of them as close friends. I’m glad that I got the chance to sit and talk with them, and moments shared with them are all very special to me. Tom and Judy had me taste many American deserts, Pineapple Cream Cake being my favorite out of all of them.
There are people in this world who cannot be described in words. Terri is one of those people. She is a complete package of all the goodness any person can own. She is an exceptional lady, with the kindest heart. I was really lucky to have had a host mom like her. She took so much care of my that now she has become one of the most important persons in my life. I’m lucky to have two moms who love me unconditionally and are always concerned for my well-being.
Hamza helped out at the hospital upon returning back to Pakistan.

Hamza helped out at the hospital upon returning back to Pakistan.

Before I end, I would like to thank all Fort Dodge Dodgers for playing the part of being my home too in the short time that I spent in Iowa. I know that everyone I met in Fort Dodge will always remain in my heart. Living in America has been a pleasurable experience. Thank you to the YES team for making all of this possible.

Words by  from Muhammad Hamza Khan from Pakistan, YES 12.