I have to thank you, and all of the dedicated people at FSA, for having given our daughter, Rebecca, one of the best experiences of her life. She has returned glowing with happiness, and saying that she is going back one day. She feels it has been a “life changing” experience. The freedom of German life, the lack of crime, the beauty, the openness – most of all, she says, the sense of being completely free – have made a mark on her. FSA has made possible something that we could never have been able to give our daughter on our own – an experience that has opened her mind, imparted confidence, and inspired her. Every single one of the FSA staff deserves a hug and thank you for what you have done.
We feel very blessed that Rebecca landed in the lap of such a warm and wonderful family. She felt completely at home. She even wrote to me, “Mommy, they are not just my German host family, they are my German family.” She felt so relaxed the entire time, like one the family, and was treated to days out, nights out, evenings at restaurant, trips here, there, and everywhere. She had the best, best time.
Becky talks about cycling back from gym at 9.30 at night – something she could never do in South Africa. She loved the open gardens (no walls or fences), the wonderful sense of unity amongst her classmates, and she loved the way her German family (Uwe and Brigitte Klier) ate together around the table twice a day. This is not something we have done enough of. She loved the variety of food, and the conversation that flowed as they all ate together. Becky has asked us to start doing as they do, and we think it is a very good idea and will start changing that from tonight. We’ll all be eating supper round the table – as families really should do.
Rebecca especially loved the sense of freedom, the cycling culture, the openness and trust between people. She longs to go back. I overheard her saying to her brother, “Joshua, if you ever, EVER get the chance to do something like this, you must do it.” And she went on to say how her confidence has grown – not just in the area of being able to speak in front of people, but in a deeper way. She feels now that she has no worries, no fears, that she can handle tricky situations. She was glowing when she got back. We hope that she will indeed get an opportunity to go back one day. I think that she is South African to her core. She said she would love to return and live in Germany for a year, then come back to South Africa and be part of our solution. Who knows, we hope it may happen.
Bless you all at FSA. I have already written to her host family to thank them for being such stars. They were all wonderful, including the host mother’s parents, and the school. Thanks to all of you. Love, Jane
Rebecca and her life in South Africa: