Friday, January 8, 2010

Sisterhood and Friendship

As a little bit of background, in my life back home, I have three older brothers. My first host family I had an older brother, staying with the Neubauers I had 2 older brothers, and then BAM I got two sisters. I would have liked to have a picture of my face when I was told "Your new host family has two sisters". It must have been such a mix of confusion, surprise, and fear. " do...with...two sisters?". I don't know anything about being a sister, I thought. I'm used to older brothers. Protective, loving but not to the point they'd ever talk about it, calm. What would sisterhood bring after 16 years of brothers?

But the first day, we bonded instantly. We danced in the kitchen, we exchanged jokes, we put on our underpants over our clothes. I knew they were perfect. And it's been a couple months here with them, and I feel just as strongly. Although my sisters are similarly warm and inclusive, they both contribute two totally different things to the table. My older sister is mature, takes me to parties, lets me borrow her clothes and translate homework. My younger sister is silly, always up for a laugh and enjoys randomly turning to strangers and snorting like a pig in their face. Depending on my mood, I can hang out with a sister who fits it, if not both.

Moreover, I am gradually learning how to be a sister, which let me say, is quiet different and sometimes straining for me. It's a lot more emotional. I'm expected to sympathize as well as empathize and be a very good listener. It was strange at first to get used to my sisters showing up in my room at random times just to chat about boy problems or recent school drama (in which I have no clue who they're talking about but act like I do). Having my clothes and jewelry borrowed is now the norm, and hearing/getting into petty arguments at meals is also quite typical of this families sisterhood. Also changed is that I am now the middle child, a hard position which made me appreciate my brother Colin a lot more. It means I have to learn how to be an older sister, which is both difficult and rewarding all the same. I defend my younger sister when she's being picked on, and many times I've been her shoulder to cry on. I like it, its different, but in such a good way that I can't imagine ever not being placed in this family.

And now to school. Although I went through my schedule, I didn't get to share about the kids in my school. I have to start with this sentence---I LOVE MY SCHOOLMATES. Literally, they are the best and make me look forward to school. They are so real, and fun, and don't treat me like an exchange student. They realize I'm smart behind my sometimes crappy German (also known as: morning German), and correct my German in such a way that I know in my heart they just want to help me (as opposed to the jerks who correct your German only to make themselves feel smarter and give you a look like your the dirt of the earth). They realize by now that I do the same things they do, just in another country. Were all procrastinators, lazy, go on the computer, and hate school and French class. Now that I've been a few months in, I've started being invited out with school friends and am comfortable going up to any of them for questions. Its just...nice, and I wanted to share that. It's a very happy part of my life here, and I'm very lucky to have such a good school and home life (corny but I don't really give a...)

I'm hoping this entry slightly made up for my last one, in which I'm still not sure why I posted it. I figure perhaps I'll stop posting so often after this one. ALSO I've been thinking of how people who are on semester programs are going home this month, and I seriously can feel their sadness right now. I can't imagine going home now, or in the next month, its like everything's finally starting to click and it would devastate me to have to leave it.


  1. nooo don't post less often! (I'm trying really hard not to sound like a creeper). But seriously, you do a really funny job at talking about life over there. The quote with the gym teacher and your grade practically made me pee my pants. haha.
    - Izzy Ross

  2. Hey Claire! Yours is my favorite blog of all the AFS blogs (don't tell the other students)! I work at AFS and yours is always the first blog I share with potential AFSers. Don't stop blogging--what will I do without funny bus stories and sisterly bonding?? Be very sad, that's what I'll do!