Fernando Meana, Nuevo Baztan, Madrid, Spain
Our days as a host family, by Heather Mansy 

As a first time host family to a foreign exchange student, we didn't really know what to expect, but whatever we believed we would find in our exchange student, teenage angst, clothes on the floor, etc; we could not have been prepared for what we actually received.  From our first meeting with Fernando Meana, whose hometown is near Madrid in Spain; he was polite, soft spoken and very pleasant.  He also apparently passed the test with our nine year old, who said, upon seeing Fernando for the first time, "Oh, good, he's cool."  In the months that have since followed, we have gotten to know this kind young man with a penchant for tidiness and a quiet demeanor and a mean soccer game; who loves the outdoors, laughs at all the silly kid's movies we have taken him to (we have two boys of our own, aged 9 and 7). A young man who allowed us to dress him like a Pirate for the Portland Pirate Festival, who lights up whenever he gets near anything sports related, who has managed to come from speaking virtually no English upon arrival, to a firm grasp of it only three months in despite his apparently shy nature, and who our boys wanted around at Christmas so they could play with him during the break.  All in all, we have been very pleasantly surprised at this young man, and have thoroughly enjoyed our time with him; and, back to the teenage behaviors, though he has exhibited very few of those we had expected, he certainly can eat his way through a box of Honey Nut Cheerios!

 Rotary Club of Woodland . PO Box 482 . Woodland, WA  98674