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My American Experience: Shelly Ann Johnson, Jamaica

I never thought this day would be a bitter sweet moment for me. When I arrived in the United States of America, all I knew, was that it was my first time traveling outside of my Island Jamaica. My parents worked very hard to send my seven siblings and I to school. I always thought that it was their duty and responsibility as my parents. I now know why they worked so hard, because they know how hard life is out there, and now I am more appreciative. I am going to give my father his first trip out of Jamaica on his birthday and pay for my mother’s surgery. I have learned how to love, to receive help; to put aside my pride and ego. I now want to help develop my community. It made me believe in myself more. I was fearful in going out to work in the classroom to teach, but because of this experience I am better prepared for children of different cultural background and environment.

I have met friends from all over the world, I have learned about various religions, cultures, races and languages of diverse people. We shared many laughs together. I received first hand teaching about different countries. These people, my new friends, across the globe, has taught me to be more tolerant of people. While working, I have become more confident when speaking to people. I was a fast speaker and now by working with and socializing with others, it has helped me to speak at an accurate and moderate speed. This I know will help carve me and develop me in being a better teacher when I go back home and in the classroom. Thanks to my new friends. An experience like this cannot be forgotten, I left Jamaica having six siblings and now I have gained more than twelve brothers and sisters and a guardian from across the globe. As the Jamaican motto goes “out of many one people”

I have so many memories, shopping with friends, the water falls, the galleria, the zoo, the fine Arts Museum, NASA, Museum of Natural Science, Memorial Park, Herman Park, J1 dinner then Baseball match. My Spanish has been developed, I learned how to speak in Arabic, Ukrainian, Albanian, Turkish and Russian. It gave me joy in speaking in different languages by saying phrases like “good morning” “how are you?” “I’m fine, thank you” “I am tired!” I enjoyed being around my new friends and going out. I will always remember these words said to me “I wish to see you again.” If I do not win a prize, I have gained many friends and for this I say to you Cultural Homestay International in different languages:

Arabic ” أفضل تجربة على الإطلاق شكرا ”
Turkish “En iyi deneyim kadar, teşekkür ederiz”
Ukrainian “Найкращий досвід ніколи, дякую”
Albanian “Përvoja më e mirë ndonjëherë, faleminderit”
Spanish “La mejor experiencia, gracias”
English “The best experience ever, thank you.”

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