What Really Matters
High school exchange student in the USA cooks a Cameroonian meal in the kitchen of her Tennessee host family
Giving in to popular demand, Claude whips up another Cameroonian classic.

Smells like family in Tennessee

I am in Tennessee since 50 days now, and I really enjoy it due to the great support of my host family and my local coordinator. They were all so happy to see me and immediately made me feel as a member of the family and community.

One of the traditions I like here is going to church on Sundays. Going to church for Christians is a worldwide tradition. It is just great to find something I did at home with my family here in the U.S., because I could have also lived with a family who does not go to church. Another tradition I like is “family night,” where we are all present and watch a movie or play a board game together. It is so fun! There is a lot of joking and laughing. It is just so beautiful, and I love it. I also love—I mean really love—cornbread, which is a type of traditional bread here.

What I also like about my family is that they want to know more about me and my traditions too. For example, they wanted me to cook something from my country. When I did, they liked it. Now, they are asking me to do that one more time!

I learned so many new things about my family, but what touched me the most, is the fact that they treat me not like an exchange student, but like a member of the family. It will show from time to time that I am not from here, but only the love matters. I really appreciate that from them—being as close to them as possible.

—Claude (YES, Cameroon), hosted by the Brady family (TN)