Who met you when you arrived?
My host friends Joey and Melissa came to pick me up from the airport
What were your first impressions of the country, any surprises or shocks?
The first shock I had the moment I came out of the airport was the heat. I thought to myself it was even worst than the place I came from [Rawalpindi, Pakistan]. Then our way home the infrastructure was nothing like I used to watch in the movies. In movies, all they show is huge and fancy buildings but Mesa [Arizona] was nothing like that. All I could see was desert and cactus. I wasn’t fan of the Arizona at first sight.
What did you do on your first day?
I met my host friends’ friends, they were having bible reading and discussion. It was very eye-opening experience that in the US people also discuss religion and share their opinions regarding bible teaching without getting judged. Very cool experience!
Where did you go? What did you eat? Where did you stay?
I just stayed in my host parents’ house in Mesa, the first American wooden house. They had a condo with two bedrooms and one and a half bathroom. The neighborhood was quiet and peaceful. They had fake plants everywhere to make the neighborhood look a little green. They also had a pond in the neighborhood.
I really liked my room. It was very cozy. It had a welcome message for me as well which was cute. There was a bed, a mirror, study table and chair, a fan and closet. I had a separate bathroom then theirs that made me feel very comfortable to fresh up. Joey and Melissa made me feel so much at home that I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all.
The first slang Joey taught me was “shotgun” and the first advice I received from my host friends “learn to say no”.
My first meal in the US was a Nutella sandwich and coffee (didn’t like the coffee at first!). Melissa was quite surprised that I knew how use a toaster. She mentioned the girl she hosted before me didn’t know it which surprising for me. I felt on my first day that people in the US think that people from Pakistan are very backward and don’t have much awareness about west which is true to some extent but not entirely. I had a good experience sharing what I already knew with my host friends and learning a lot from them as well on my first day in the US.