By Samara Duerr
I’m now proud to say I have completely adjusted to my new family. Without hesitation, I can call them mother, father, little sister, and so on. It’s pretty comforting to know they have my back and will help me with anything I need. I even showed them my favorite quote since I believed it to be applicable now. It comes from one of my favorite movies, Lilo and Stitch. It goes, “Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten”. Each line holds true to me. I will never forget them, and will never forget to stay in touch with them. After explaining this, my mom immediately turned and hugged me tightly. Emotionally, she said, “I now have one daughter in China, and one daughter in America”. Suffice to say, I was touched. They are always nothing but kind to me. They even love to teach me quick little history bits, culture lessons, and just tell me funny stories throughout any free time we have together. In turn, I help to answer all their questions about America. Which vary from “In America, what’s high school life like?” to “Why does Donald Trump’s hair do that weird flip thing?”. Today started out relatively normal: wake up, eat breakfast, and have my dad drive me to school. Although, it was twin day for our last spirit week at campus, so that was a tiny change in my everyday routine. I’d say the day had an air of bittersweet excitement. We were all very happy to start making preparations for the farewell party, but deep down we knew the closer the party came, the closer we’d be to having to go back home. Even with the little things in America that we all were homesick for, none of us wanted to leave quite yet. Xiamen University had become our home these last few weeks and bidding it farewell seemed like we would loose a friend. Though, in a discussion with friends, it was said that even without Xiamen itself, we found home through the good times and memories we made together. We agreed that what really made home ‘home’ was having each other. So, the day was continued with gleeful anxiety, for an adventure still had yet to take place in Shanghai and Beijing. Everyone I’d asked had grown immensely in not only their Chinese, but also as a person. Being away from home for 6 weeks definitely changes a person’s point of view. I mean, with all the new knowledge and experience we’ve all gained, how can we not change? And so, the day’s class ended. Waving at my classmate’s and saying see you later, we all went to our own Chinese home that ,I’m sure, will stay in our hearts and minds forever.