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I opened my eyes and looked outside my window to see the expansive fields of luscious green grass that were to become my new home. The flight to Holland felt long and I was only able to sleep the last hour of the flight, but that wasn’t nearly enough to hinder my excitement. As I walked off the plane and into the airport, I instinctively went in the same direction as the other passengers from my flight. With a stroke of luck, that tactic brought me to the crowded baggage claim. My hefty suitcase was one of the first on the belt so I did not have much time to look around and process it all. I hauled my two suitcases and backpack out of the chaos and on to get my passport stamped. The gentleman who stamped my passport asked me whether or not my last name was Dutch. He pronounced it as “De-Vase.” At least I fit in with my surname, I thought. Everything was going so fast, and before I knew it I was walking through a door and into a massive crowd of people who were waiting behind a rope, holding signs for their expected travelers. I couldn’t find a sign with my name and unwittingly stood there, confused in the middle of a bustling airport, hoping that my host family would see me and save me from looking like the lost puppy I was.

To be continued…

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