Living with a host family is for many volunteers one of the most rewarding aspects of WorldTeach service and an integral step to feeling like part of a new community. Kate Mast, WorldTeach Thailand volunteer, writes below about her unexpected ties to her Thai family and the difficulty of leaving loved ones behind.
I have a Thai family that I am incredibly grateful for, they have been one of the most unexpected but important parts of my time here. The couple who care for me, Don and Yuu, have become the older siblings I always wanted but never had. I never expected to feel so at home with two people who came from such a different world as me but now I cannot imagine not having them in my life.
I feel especially blessed with my Pisao (big sister) Yuu. She has been one of my biggest supports here in Thailand. We dance together in the kitchen, we talk about our days, we cheer each other up, we tell each other jokes, we even have girl talk and we do it all with out even speaking the same language. We have created our own way of communicating by mixing the little bit of Thai I know, the little bit of English she knows and whole lot of pantomime.
Kate and her sister Yuu
Tonight at dinner as we were talking it hit me how much she really means to me, just how much a part of me she has become. I have never had a sister, I never knew how wonderful it could be.
We have made a pinky-swear pact that I will return to Thailand to see her when she eventually has the baby she dreams of. I know that the pact didn't have to be made, I will return to her throughout my life to share it with her, but knowing she loves me enough to want me to make her a pinky-swear pact is a gift. She is my sister and she always will be.
Kate's host family, Yuu and Don